The mile high city
Trip Start Dec 30, 2010
84Trip End Jul 06, 2011
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Where I stayed
Couchsurfed with Erin Farb
I promised my host I would ring her, I have a USA phone card and all I need is a pay phone. There are none in 4 fast food joints that we stop at on the way on this warm Sunday afternoon. I try a gas station, the owners are humble enough to let me use their personal landline phone. I still use my phone card as it's a free call, so cool of them to allow me into their back office to use a phone. Erin picks up and is unsure where the address of the greyhound is. I thought it would be easier for her to find out (later transpires she has no Internet) so I go back to a fast food joint that offers free wifi, find the address of the Denver greyhound stop and text it to Erin.
The road from Oklahoma to Denver was awesome and spectacular! I enjoyed peering out of my greyhound bus window, I'm still so thankful to Claire for sorting me out some music for my new itouch.
Later that evening, I arrive late into Denver. Within five minutes of waiting outside, I'm offered various types of drugs and am having my arm twisted into taking a couple of guys for a beer. I decide to call Erin, she received no text! Oh man, damn cell phone! Within 15 minutes she is outside in her car and whisks me away from a night of pain killers and alcohol abuse! I guess this would be one bus station where I wouldn't be prepared to spend the night.
Erin lives slightly south of the city, a beautiful neighbourhood and lives in a house with 4 apartments. She also has two cats, big Mr T and petite little Cleo, they both warm to the ginger gringo.
We stay up for a couple of hours chatting before Erin heads to bed and I head to couch. Unaware, but my legs would infact be laying on the exact spot where Mr T tends to nap/sleep. Everytime I woke in the night, he was sat on me, but once he realised I was awake, would jump off as if he was not there, cheeky little monkey. The sofa was very comfy and I slept like a baby!
Miles walked 0.49
Day 135 May 18th - The funny thing with a cat sleeping on you all night, is that you think you're having a good sleep, but I end up waking exhausted. I guess I couldn't roll and at one point, looked above my head to see the other cat, Cleo, sitting on the arm rest above my head. Good job that I love pets!
Erin makes me breakfast, I have oatmeal with banana, and a couple cups of fresh brewed coffee, delicious.
We head out to downtown Denver. park north of the South Platte River and walk south along 16th street Mall, almost as far as capital hill. We pass many interesting buildings and are stopped by some people collecting donations for children in Suriname. The young lady seems very surprised when I say I've been there and know where it is. As we donate, she rudely stops another passer by and completely stops telling us about the details of what she was collecting for. As we get to the end of 16th st Mall, the heavens open. Apparently, it never rains in Denver. It hasn't rained all year, but of course, when British man turns up, he brings the British weather. We try to head back to the car, after catching a free bus, but we were getting soaked, so we fell into Anthony's pizza place and grabbed a beer. They were showing ESPN, but sadly, a very moving and sad story about Wes Leonard, a young basketball player in Michigan, who after scoring a winning overtime shot, collapsed and died moments later on the court. The piece by ESPN followed the team and they continued on a winning run, dedicating it to Wes. Oh man, not the kind of story you want to hear when you're getting to know someone, but google it, read about it, it's so very sad.
We hung in this pizza shop, nursing a beer for about two hours, till we braved the rain, to run back to Erins car and go drive to meet her boyfriend Nathan at the Buffalo pastry shop. Such a funky little place, selling sweet and savoury pastries. We have lunch there. Very tasty!
We leave and head over to Nathans apartment, partly to put mine and Erins clothes in the dryer, but also to pick a few things up for a trip to the mountains. At Nathans place, which is full of amusing artwork, posters, signs etc, I meet Nathans room mate Josh, a big tall lanky guy with a great sense of humour. We hang there a while, put back on our dry clothes and set off for a little trip to the mountains.
We drive to the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. The mountains views are breath taking, very easy on the eye, sadly, it was absolutely tipping it down with rain. Even Nathan couldn't believe the bad luck I was having with the weather in Denver. With the bad weather, driving conditions got worse as well and it wasn't long before we were driving through ice and snow. We passed through a couple of small towns before we did a loop and headed to the Amphitheatre.
We parked up and headed to the Amphitheatre, what a site, is set between 400ft high red sandstone rocks. The acoustics are so good that many bands record live albums here. I check the schedule and see the Kings of Leon are playing are the end of August, also I see Death Cab Cutie and the Flaming lips. Other bands don't stand out for me, but the place sits 9000 people and I imagine some amazing shows. If only I could be there for the end of August.
The weather continues to be poor, so we leave the mountains and return to Denver. We pick up Josh and head to a bar that every week has a $5 wing night! As many wings as you can stomach for $5! We're fortunate to find a table as the place is super packed! At the same time, the Bulls are playing the Heat and the game has just started! Josh and Nathan went to college in Illinois and are following the Bulls. Me too. My brother and I saw the Bulls in November, so since the Celtics lost to the Heat, I've been following the Bulls. The wings were amazing, I went for some spicy hot ones and some BBQ ones, you get a basket of 6 and the baskets keep coming out until you say no more. I had three baskets!
Once we were all winged out, we headed over to a student area of the city for a trivia night. We met another one of Erins friends called Mike and settled in for a good ten rounds of trivia. It was a really fun night, reminded me so much of spending Tuesday nights in Inwood with Di, Josh and Monica. Such fun nights! Out of 15 teams we came 2nd! We received a $15 voucher. As an example of one of the questions 'Before the Rush hour series, name Chris Tuckers last 5 movies where he played a named character?. We got 4 out of 5, I knew Jackie Brown was his last, do you know the other 4? Sadly, we couldn't use the $15 that night, but I'm sure Erin and her friends enjoyed spending it the next Trivia night!
After a long day and my feet still feeling a little wet, we call it a day, I had such fun hanging out with Erin and her friends, a great experience of this awesome city of Denver.
Back on the couch, I share with Mr T again!
Miles walked 1.32
Day 136 May 19th - I wake very tired again. Erin cooks us eggs and we have a lazy morning, chatting, playing with the cats. Erin has some work to do and I have some couch surfing issues to iron out. So we head to a very cool coffee shop near by and sit there for a few hours. My host in Seattle has pulled out and I'm struggling for a couch in Salt Lake City. I've learned that asking young people tends to bite you in the butt, they are flakey and pull out at the last minute.
We walk back to Erins for lunch and then, seeing as it was still raining, go to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Not my usual kind of afternoon activity, but the rain was constant and the museum has some pretty cool exhibitions going on. The first we looked at was a space and earth exhibition. They had this cool large disc, that was similar to google maps, but from above. Spin the disc and it zoomed in or out on the world. I showed Erin where the Isle of Wight was, but couldn't get close enough to show her my mums house! There were various things to play with, sadly, being a big kid, the little kids were dominating all the activities.
We find a cool infa red camera that shows your body heat. The random purple patches on my jacket is rain water, I don't have crazy purple spots!
We walk off to a human biology base camp. It measures your height, blood pressure, tracks your walk and all sorts of other things. There was a special experimental area where one could undertake experiments. Erin and I undertook one I did at high school, checking out a skin cell from inside your mouth. They even supplied dye to highlight the different areas of the cell. I had more fun wearing a lab coat and wearing purple gloves, which Erin got to keep!!
We left the science museum, after being kindly asked by a lady with a gun that the museum is closing. OK, fair enough!
We head back to Erins for a few moments before we head near that state capitol to pick up Erins friend Geoff. He lives in a very random apartment, works random hours, was a little quiet and shy but ended up being good company. We headed far out of town for some Pho. Tasty noodle and veg broth, apparently, I ate enough for two meals, but it was very tasty and very spicy!
We were still in the mood for hanging out so we went to a funky college coffee shop, near the trivia night place and had a coffee and I got some good news from someone called Mary in Seattle who was prepared to host me. Phew! I stupidly chose to visit Seattle over Memorial weekend, and roughly 12 couchsurfers had already said they were busy.
We drive Geoff back to his place and head back to Erins. We stay up late chatting again. Erin was a wonderful host. We enjoyed long, interesting and deep conversations over the three days I stayed. She has a great partner in Nathan and they are considering starting a family very soon. She will make a wonderful mum and I really hope to see her again in the future. For now, she's soon off to Hawaii for a long holiday, lucky Erin and Nathan!!
Mr T made no effort to be subtle this night, he joined me on the sofa as I went to couch.
Miles walked 0.87
Day 137 May 20th - Erin is so great, she even gets up early to drive me to the bus station. She herself, was driving upstate to go see some friends. We chat over coffee and she drops me off at the bus station. I have a 12 hour trip to Salt Lake City, but no couch to surf on, so I have found a cheap hostel for a couple of nights. The best thing, my greyhound bus for the next 12 hours has wifi!