Denver Days

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

I’ve spent 4 days in Denver. Most of trip has been in the suburbs, full of dry perfect weather, babies, dogs, and home cooked meals. Note: The babies and the food have not been dry, though. Time has been spent in homes and cars, living almost as extended family. Because of the trip, it’s been hard to realize that I’m no longer working. In part, because everyone wakes up early due to the baby. For the past four days, I’ve awoken earlier than I ever did for work, but that’s okay. For whatever reason, I’ve had some disturbing anxiety dreams and tooth grinding at night. But I hope it’s just my neurosis going through a phase shift.

Last night, I dreamt I survived a plane crash. I was walking back to my seat as the plane landed, but the gears never came down and the plane bounced and scraped along a city street as I held on to the framework of a seat I had fallen next to. When the plane came to a stop, I ran to the flaming rear to grab my wallet and camera before jumping out the door into the cold street below. I couldn’t find who I had been traveling with. My camera didn’t seem to work. Dreams like these are not the most comforting when you’re about to go on a long plane ride, but I’ll assume it’s not a premonition.

On a lighter note, photos and captions:

Airplane taking off while J. and I waited at the Denver Airport for her sister’s family to arrive.

Lone ground crew member drops his stick.

Mysterious dome shaped building with garage door along the highway. The truth is out there, Sculder.

Dumbshit out for a helmetless a joyride.

The Rocky Mountains.

Dead field mouse outside the house of J.’s uncle. This house is where we stayed. It’s about 45 minutes north of downtown, at the edge of farms and encroaching subdivisions. His was more of the old ranch house variety, a holdout among the hills of dry grass, agricultural and oil fields.

Rabbit sitting in the lawn, pretending not to notice me. The neighborhood was full of them.

It was also home to a large colony of prairie dogs. When I tried to get close enough for a photo, the standing sentries sounded the alarm and everyone ran for cover. This little guy remained outside.

Across the street from the prairie dogs, cattle were being herded by a dog. Bitch would run behind them, nipping at the ankles of those that fell out of line. I’ve never seen cows run as fast, or bitches.

The trophy room of J.’s uncle, a tribute to years of racing victories.

Big man contemplating big packs of beer inside Daveco Liquors. Daveco is the largest liquor store in the country. The size of a small grocery store, instead of food it’s stocked with vice and sin.

Thick hamburgers getting grilled for a filling dinner.

On Saturday, the group went to watch J.’s uncle race at the Interstate 76 dirt track about an hour east of Denver. The weather was sunny and mild. The track was dusty. The people were friendly, chunky, and a little sunburnt. Her uncle competes in the Modified class, but we watched many classes compete, from Mini Sprints to large Batmobile style Late Models. In this photo, her uncle waved the Colorado flag while waiting to enter the race.

J.’s uncle changing a tire between races.

His car number 46, in a powerslide orgy on the 4th turn. He placed 1st in the qualifier and 3rd in the main event.

Stock cars rounding the bend.

The dusty pit area behind the track near the end of the day.

Hand painted car number 80.

Later in the day, J tripped over a baby chair and broke her toe. Her brother helped bandage it.

Monday, we went to ride the Cog Railway to Pike’s Peak. Here are some stoplights along the way.

The railway starts in a small town outside of Colorado Springs. It’s the longest, highest and nearly the oldest cog railway in the world, and I presume the most expensive to ride. Tickets were $30 a person. Along the hour-long ascent, you pass by Aspen and pine forest, snowy waterfalls, reservoirs, and large granite boulders.

Above the tree line were high winds and tundra grass. The tracks can be seen on the left side of this photo.

A view of old ties and the valley below.

The train at the top.

Me, trying to not look like my ears were freezing off in the 14˚F wind.

After the long ride back home, we got out the telescope to look at the moon. This photo was taken through my camera however, further proving that the zoom lens I got rocks.

Long exposure of the machine shop.

J. inside, bottle feeding her niece.

On Tuesday, J. and I walked around downtown Denver. Not much photographable, but this abandoned store had a great sign. I guess the mop business isn’t what it used to be.

After spending a few hours at a coffee shop, we walked back to the car. Along the way, we passed by a hospital getting torn apart by a dinosaur like apparatus.

Time to get back to Stumptown.

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