Monday, April 09, 2007

Fort Collins, ter - picture heavy

G'day all!

We are going back into the past - it is after all nearly two weeks since I took the pics I'll show today.

Fort Collins, day three.

Oh dear. This day did not start well. We had gone out for dinner with Nathan's new team the night before. I had a lovely gluten free noodle dish. Something kept me awake until 4am. Argh! I just could not sleep. I had to flush something out of my system (and cistern) literally before I could get to sleep. If I had had anti-histamines with me it would've been easier but I didn't have any.

Over the previous couple of nights Nathan and I had both woken up about 3:30 or so. He did again that night. I never got the chance to wake up then. LOL. At last I fall asleep. Blessed blessed sleep!

6am the clock radio alarm goes off in the next room. Full bore (just like the shower in our room - the water came out so fast even on the softest setting it hurt). It sounded like someone was having a party in our room. So I go bang on the door, after putting a pair of trousers on and grabbing the room card - don't want to be running around half nekkid now *and* get locked out of the room! (But that did happen to a Prime Minister of Australia and also someone I used to work with, only the latter was TOTALLY naked having mistaken the front door for the bathroom ;-)

Bang bang bang on their door. No response. Whimper a bit cos of the unfairness of having the clock radio go off so loud in the NEXT room after only two hours sleep.

Back into our room. No button on the phone reaches reception. Stumble off down the hall, down the stairs, round the corner to reception. Whimper at the desk attendant. He goes to turn the power off.

Stumble back to room just as the radio goes off. Blessed blessed sleep!

8am. Our clock radio goes off. Dang!

Turn clock radio off.

10:08 am. Fly out of bed as if stung. Gotta be out of the room in less than an hour. Eeek!

Waking up so late blew our chances of meeting up with one of Nathan's new workmates that morning. Instead I only just had enough time to shower, pack, repack, go to hand in the room cards, realise we had left stuff in the wardrobe.... get stuff, repack and hurry off to do some shopping. Got me some new shoes and casual pants and a tshirt. Runners (trainers) in the US are ridiculously cheap compared to here and my old pair had just worn a hole in the left shoe upper. Perfect timing!

Then S picked us up for a drive. We had to be in Denver by 7pm, so we took the long route.

Did I mention that it snowed overnight? Well it did! Nathan and I were like a couple of kids running around. Snow! Terribly exciting to us. I am sure that in a year's time, assuming this all comes off, that we will cry at the sight of more snow - we will be sick of it, but currently it is New and Exciting.



So here's a few shots of the drive from Fort Collins to somewhere else, then up into the Rockies to Estes Park. We admit to a bit of lightheadedness on this trip - we are flat lowlanders here. Fort Collins is almost a mile high. Our highest mountain in mainland Australia, which I walked to once (it can't be described as climbed as it is basically the highest point in a low ridge that sticks out of a plateau), is only 2,228m (7,310'). Estes Park is at 2,293m (7,522') and is located in a bowl so you have to climb through passes to reach and leave it. It is the highest I have ever been.











We stopped at the Stanley Hotel (home of the Shining by Stephen King) for morning tea. It is a very interesting building and reminded me of the Chalet up on Mt Buffalo (one of our favourite places to go!).


We had some obligatory happy snaps of the pair of us! Hooray! Normally they are only of Nathan since I wield the camera, but S took some shots of us freezing to death.


See that grin on my face? That is a rictus, a frozen rictus. The wind was so cold that my teeth were hurting like I'd bitten into an icecream. Thank heavens that I had finished the fingerless mitts - I needed full fingered ones but fingerless ones were helped. Pity I couldn't wear them on my mouth....

We checked out the town and admired quaint houses and quainter elk feeding near the creek





and YMCA area up there. Lots of mission brown huts and cabins with all sorts of activity buildings. Great views:


and snow fell on us! So Exciting!

Do you like this pond? In winter it is used for ice skating. Not now though.


I particularly liked the dorsal fin of a very orange shark lurking in the pond... very Jaws!



After Estes Park, we drove to Boulder. Boulder had some lovely old houses in the Californian bungalow tradition, and some English style places. Plus it had Red Rocks reserve:








I think you can tell that I was muchly taken with the combination of red rocks, blue/green pines and dusting of snow.


And the Flatirons, which are a great rock climbing place (though I reckon it might've been a bit cold and slippery on this particular day).



It really started to snow more at this point - you can see the clouds setting in. It was so dim I couldn't get a good shot of snowflakes on Nathan but this bad one will do - we were delighted to see that they really are six pointed. I have only ever experienced snow in a full on blizzard, where pellets of snow hit hard and hurt.

It was a fabulous trip and we are hungry to see more! I love mountains. They and the sea are my favourite places to be. Just as well we'll have mountains then cos the sea will be a LOOOONG drive away.

S dropped us off (thanks for a great time!) and skedaddled back to his family - the snow seemed to be setting in and being out on the road is not the place to be. The flight out of Denver was exciting. It was dark and the plane had to be de-iced as slush was falling out of the sky. They had to de-ice the turbines first so that we could taxi then we sat in the queue for real de-icing (this is all fascinating to us at this stage), then we white knuckled down the runway and off up through the snowstorm. We saw Las Vegas this time - it has some really obvious flashing lights and bright colours. I waved (again) to Sknitty and Crazy Aunt Purl as we came into LA. Customs was no drama but sitting waiting for the plane.... argh, waiting waiting waiting, knowing that these seats were the most comfortable we'd have for the next 14.5 hours.

Can I just say that flying with a man who is 195cm/100kg+ (6'5" and over 220lb), and sitting next to a man who is only six foot tall but built broad is NOT fun? I had to go to my chiro cos I was a pretzel! Plus for whatever reason the flight back seems longer than the one there cos the plane is dark and even when you do manage to nap, you only manage it for an hour at a time. But at last


Blessed sunrise! Ah, sunrise on the plane. You can even see what airline we flew if you look at the big pic. Not that we chose an airline that Australians get all patriotic about, it was just the only one of two with seats available. Anyway, sunrise took forever or so it felt, since the sun was chasing us.

Oh, Lexie, who emailed me - your email address is bouncing so I can't reply. I'm not intentionally being rude.

Next time there might even be knitting content!

anon!

8 comments:

  1. You must knit more scarves! And mittens! And gloves! And hats! :)

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  2. It is such a blast seeing these things through other's eyes!

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  3. I agree with Kristi. We get so used to our wonderful scenery. Not that I ever take it for granted.

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  4. Thanks for the pictures, Lynne. Even those of us already living in the US don't usually get high-altitude views like that!

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  5. Thank you for my trip down memory lane. Isn't that view of Boulder great as you come near to it on the road? And the Flatirons, and Red Rocks - great places, and soooo different to Melbourne.
    Thanks again.

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  6. Beautiful pictures! It's not often that I get to see scenery like that either. We get some snow here but not as much as they get in Colorado. If everything goes through, you can knit lots of stuff to keep you warm.

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  7. What stunning photos , I love living up here in the mountains but they look like pimples compared to these

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  8. Great post! What a contrast to our Australian scenery, which is just as beautiful, but so so different. Enjoy your adventure!

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