Thursday, June 13, 2013


I left you with the sun going down and bein tortured further across Kansas. Just to prove that I had entered new territory, as soon as I crossed state lines a coyote ran right in front of my car! Bam! You're not in Kansas anymore! Anything can happen here!

Oh coyote, what a bit of foreshadowing you brought!

Did I mention my favorite thing about driving across the country? Time travel. Obviously! I stared at my phone for almost an hour straight so I could watch the time go back from 11 to 10. I was disappointed, but given something better! I traveled forward to the next day and then BACK AGAIN!!! What?! My students are right! I am magic! (My wrinkle in time did not render any winning lotto numbers sadly)

I drove into Denver so glad to see civilization! I will admit, that while it was dark, I did notice that eastern Colorado is pretty flat, but still more interesting than Kansas.

I was shocked by how big Denver was, and then found out that thy are cheaters and there are a bunch of towns squished together. All of them amazing. Denver is especially amazing because they have my husband, Peyton manning. I did ask Siri where he was. Turns out that piece of technology is a piece of crap...

However, Magnolia Hotel is NOT a piece of crap. As soon as I got there, the valet took my bike down and stored it for me. I will admit, I held back a few punches and screams and other east coast inspired habits. Then they took my car. Then I almost cried. My life, my Hobbes, my world! I figured that my parents wouldn't bail me out all the way out in Colorado, so I did nothing but perhaps sulk a little bit. My hand might have reached out for the little red rio as it drive away without me. (Thinking about castaway? "Wiiilllllssssoooooonnnnn!"....yeah me too)

Perhaps they could tell I was distraught. The weight of my car keys gone, naked but for one measley bag containing clothes (important?! Not nearly as important as my climbing equipment that mutinied along with Hobbes!)

They offered me milk and cookies. In fact they give you milk and cookies as a bedtime snack around 9:00 every evening! I asked the obvious question as they patted my back and pushe the elevator button for me, practically tucking me into bed (that story in a second!)

"Is Santa comin to the lobby after the milk and cookies?!"

The doorman laughed. "He played along, yeah he'll be down and you can sit on his lap and tell him what you want for Christmas."

This kid doesn't know about my history with Santa...he doesn't know I will be sneaking down in The middle of the night to check...

So I go to my room all snug and cozy and milk and cookied! It's beautiful at this hotel, I was exhausted and ready to curl up. I get all tucked in to those blankets that are typical of a plush hotel. The ones that all at once give you the weightlessness of a cloud and press against you in a tight hug. Aaaahhhhh about to go to sleep. My door opens, the light goes on, I'm about to be attacked! My battle cry: "uh...hellllloooo?!"

The battle cry strikes fear into the heart of the cleaning guy and he gives his thousand apologies to me and my honorable family and scurries away! Muahahahaha!

Were they really going to try to tuck me in after my milk and cookies? I think to myself. Then a phone call, the desk clerk apologizes and apologizes and I'm about to give him the "no worries dude!" When he says something that stops me in my tracks...

"I'll be taking 50 dollars off of your charges while here Ms. Ellis."

Shoot I have to act stern and upset now, but also like this guy has assuaged my anxiety. I want to giggle instead, because I'm mature like that. 

That guy almost saw me starkies!

Good night Denver! What a welcome! 

Next morning starts and I'm out the door. I want to find a place to boulder, so obviously I head to a bookstore to read up. I'm walking downtown for about ten minutes and immediately text about ten people that I'm never leaving. Denver is awesome. It's the biggest metropolis in Colorado and its the cleanest air I've breathed in in 3 days and 7 states. I don't see a single car until about 6 bikes have passed me. It's the quietest city I've ever experienced. I felt like I had to whisper when I talked! In the first hour, I don't see a single person who doesn't have a tattoo, bike, or dog. I'm home!!!

What's more, this is in the city. It's riverfront park. There are people sun bathing, biking, swimming in the water and skateboarding! My people! They're all here! And they're all nice. Everyone who I stop to talk to asks how my morning is going. And then the clincher...they stop and look me in the eye and wait for my response. Like a real one. They really wanted to know about my day. And I found myself really wanting to know about their day. This kid (who is really a thirty year old dude but was tattooed up and wore a straight brimmed skater hat and a t shirt) sat down on a rock near me in the park. I saw he had a Long board which reminded me of my one friend who thinks long boards are lame and my other friend who actually loves long boards. Struck up a conversation. In ten minutes we talked about weed, the difference between skateboards and long boards, driving across the country, cops in Kansas vs. cops in Texas, and what development he lived in. Some of my friends won't share as willingly as this kid! And he's the norm!

He was originally from Minnesota...and he's not the only Minnesotan ice run into either. Those people just won't stay put! And no one is originally from Denver. Most people I talked to have transplanted here anywhere from four months ago to six years ago. I heard no one day they had lived here any longer than that. Love these people! LOVE THIS PLACE!

People here have a sense of humor. Just look at this sign in the local climb shop...

This sign should be a caution for cars instead of bikes. Cars are more rare.

People like this are not rare. He sang Beatles songs in the tourist strip. I don't know if he's homeless or not because everyone kind of dresses that way...

Mopeds are cool here. Seriously, they are. I didn't think it was possible either. And this combination of various lifestyle choices is very very normal here...

And hello the view is amazing everywhere you look!

Again why don't I live here?

Anyways, I went bouldering in Boulder. It makes me giggle when I say it. We all know my sense of humor, everything is worthy of a chuckle...

And bouldering was so convenient and the view was amazing and I was scared to death because I was alone and no one was there to tell me I was stupid! I had to tell myself! Therefore I only did some warmups and traverses. I wasn't worrie though because I hired a guide to take me out Monday, even though I wasn't really planning on staying all day Monday, but the rocks call and I obey!

Next up....altitude....

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