Day 10, July 18 - Thursday
This was our last day before we fly home tomorrow morning. So we're back in Denver. We tried a couple of stops with high expectations that didn't pan out. We tried to see the famous Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, but parking was impossible - we tried and tried but had to leave. Then we travelled to Aspen and had intentions of driving to Maroon Bells - a scenic mountainous drive that cars weren't allowed up today. So we walked around Aspen for a while - OK to visit but wouldn't want to live there. We saw a sign that said, "Friendly, expensive, hard to park - it's Aspen." Enough said. We saw three people lose their tempers in three different parking and driving situations - sometimes the elite don't act so elite ...
Then we drove to Independence Pass up to the top and then on to Leadville. On the way up the harrowing drive we were stopped for about ten minutes due to a Jaguar commercial being filmed - we talked to the film crew and got a photo of the camera truck. We were at the Continental Divide at the top of Independence Pass - over 12,000 feet. We passed through an area of snow to get there - exactly 24 hours after we were hiking in almost 100 degree heat at the Arches. The west is amazing and I'm not talking about Pee Wee. Leadville is supposedly the highest incorporated town in the U.S. It wouldn't surprise us.
Then driving to Denver we ran into a rainstorm - the first prolonged one we've had in all our journeys. Then we passed through a long tunnel and came out on the other side of the mountain and it was totally dry. The west is amazing.
Then we saw a sign that said to pull over for a good spot to view bighorn sheep, so we did. When we arrived, we realized we had tried the same thing 9 days ago when leaving the Denver area. On that day we realized we had tried the same thing 5 years ago on our first trip. So we idiots have tried the bighorn sheep viewing three times thinking it was our first time there. And, by the way, never have we seen a bighorn sheep. I imagine the sheep are way up on the side of the mountain getting a good laugh out of us; "Hey look Bessie - those two old guys are back again. Stay out of sight!"
We're staying in Aurora not too far from the airport. We took a drive over to the site of the theater tragedy from almost exactly one year ago where I believe 12 people were killed in a senseless act of violence. In our journeys we have happened by and visited the Columbine, VA Tech, and now Aurora sites and memorials. This trip and everything we see makes us really appreciate our country, but when we see places like what we saw tonight, and imagine the terror and grief all those people went through, then we also see a side of our country that is nothing to be proud of.
Tomorrow I'll finish the blog and make a list of the good deeds. Remember that anyone wanting to make a donation to the Lawrenceville Co-op as support for our trip can contact me and I'll tell you how to. Speaking of good deeds: two today. First we left several water bottles in the refrigerator for the cleaning ladies or for the next residents - we arranged them neatly with a good deed doers card. Then in Aspen, we were walking to our car when we saw a female city worker trying to get on a ladder in a precarious position in order to trim some limbs away from a street sign. She was very happy to accept our offer to help - I held the ladder while Pee Wee did the trimming - it took about 5 minutes. She really liked the good deed doers card - I've got a feeling she might pay it forward which I hope happens a lot. Good night from Denver - 4:30 a.m. wake up!