Friends and family who visit Denver don’t make the trek out here to visit me, nor do I go to Denver to see them. The trip is a few miles short of 200 miles, so it seems doable, and yet, oh, my, what a long drive it is! You’d think it would be a nice drive considering that the highway skirts the foothills in spots, but it isn’t.
Oh, there is an occasional lovely view out the window, such as snowy mountain scenes
or the Air Force Academy,
but mostly, there are miles and miles and miles of traffic and housing developments and immense shopping areas full of immense stores. In fact, once we hit I-25, we saw relatively few empty miles. I know the growth shouldn’t have shocked me, because after all, the out-of-control growth is the reason I moved to the western slope and now to the sparsely populated southeastern corner of the state, but signs of unchecked growth still surprised me in certain areas. One town that was practically non-existent when I was young had grown to 10,000 by the time I left the front range and is now up to 80,000 and still growing rapidly. Yikes.
We didn’t have time (nor did I have the inclination) to visit my old neighborhood, but the neighborhood we did go to was reminiscent of areas I was familiar with —
a mansion or two surrounded by a lot of smaller houses.
I was glad to for a chance to walk a bit, stretching my legs, and getting a feel for the neighborhood as we headed to a
for a tasty lunch. (I had a half of a Philly steak sandwich and sweet potato fries) and then we continued back to the car on a roundabout route that took us past a Masonic Temple. (Denver always seemed to be a stronghold for Masons, but that’s just my perception and not necessarily the reality.)
The trip back home took us again through those same three cities, with a stop at the Peterson Air Force Base. Oh, excuse me. Google informs me that it is now the Peterson Space Force Base.
The highlight of the trip, of course, was being able to spend time with my friends, but a close second was being able to see the stars so bright in the dark skies. One of my friends lives outside of town where there is no light pollution, and since there was no moon when we stopped by her place at the end of the trip, those stars sure shone on that black obsidian backdrop!
Although I enjoyed the day, it was so exhausting that I have a hunch it will be a long time before I take another road trip. I do know that I will no longer feel slighted if people don’t make it out here to see me. This really is the back of the beyond, and a long way from where I once lived.
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