Chronicles of the Colorado Adventure: Day 2

Sunday was accent day. We went to church with Uncle Greg, and I was blissfully happy listening to the worship leader's Australian accent. Then after church, we went out to eat at Smokin' Dave's Bar-B-Que. Apparently, Smokin' Dave likes to hire internationals. Our orders were taken by an obviously foreign man, whose accent I was unable to trace. I employed my time in watching the other waiters, trying to figure out each one's nationality. I kept up a whispered commentary to my table mates. "That one's Russian, definitely Russian. Don't know what area of Russia, though. And he's probably from India. And that guy...Hmmm...Italian, maybe?" Mom has gotten used to my strangeness, but Uncle Greg and Aunt Kelly probably thought that their niece was just a little on the crazy side.

My accent obsession did come in handy, however. When the food was served at last, the server asked Aunt Kelly whether she had ordered 'reebs'. Poor Aunt Kelly looked a little confused. Yours truly saved the situation. "He means 'ribs'." I whispered to her across the table. There! Even the strangest obsession can be useful sometimes.

After we had eaten as much of Smokin' Dave's bar-b-que and sweet potato fries as we could possibly hold, we hit the road. We took the Peak to Peak Highway that runs from Estes Park to Interstate 70. A lot of the highway runs through mining country, and is bordered by collapsing mine shafts, derelict buildings, and enormous heaps of tailings. And the aspens. I have a love affair with aspen trees. Sunlight streaming through the golden leaves, giving them an unearthly glow of beauty, is one of the loveliest things I ever hope to see. The slim, white-and-black trunks, so sinuous and graceful, are the stuff poetry is made of. None of the pictures I took really did the aspens justice, but here is my best effort.
We stopped at the town of Nederland for a quick look around. Nederland is apparently the place where young hippie types hang out. I felt a bit out of place...but not in the way I usually feel that I'm sticking out. Mom and I poked around in some of the shops. We discovered a lot of high-priced items we could do without. We also discovered a man playing dry-wall bucket drums on a street corner, along with a female sidekick who could do clever things with a hula-hoop. The guy was a really good drummer, and I wish I could have gotten a video of him. I suppose a picture will have to suffice. 
We did find one place with decent prices - a little store that sold ice cream and used books. I happily looked through the books while the others got ice cream. I came away with volume of J.R.R. Tolkien's poetry and short stories, and the resolve that someday I would run a store like that.

Uncle Greg wanted to introduce us to some 'real mountain roads', so we found our way to a road which, he informed us, used to be called the Oh My God Highway. It now goes by a slightly less memorable name that I...well...can't remember. We spent a long time winding up the side of a mountain, with craggy cliffs rising up on one side of us and an abrupt drop to aspen-clad valleys and the occasional abandoned mining town on the other. The total lack of guardrail really did not disturb me - Africa and the UK have seen to that - and the views were really impressive.
The remains of a mining camp
Sunset was beginning to creep down over the mountains when we arrived at our final sight-seeing destination of the day. The town of Idaho Springs is home to an old, disused mill and the waterfall that powered it. The mill used to be run by a rather interesting-sounding chap who avowed that he would live to a ripe old age since he never took a bath and never got married. Cause and effect, perhaps? Here is a picture of the man and his mill.
Day two ended on a very good note. We stopped at King Soopers on the way home, and I, after some confusion with the cashier, succeeded in purchasing a package of Rooibos tea. 


  1. This made me laugh. Makes me want to go to CO again! I really like your new background, too.


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