Until next time, America.
The atmosphere here in Colorado lent itself to relaxation. When I stepped outside into the dry mountain air and looked out at the purple mountain majesty that surrounded us, I felt a happy calm smooth over me. This relaxation seems to have affected everyone here however and “punctuality” is for the birds. We took our time in the morning keeping ourselves busy until Tom’s friend Geoff gave him a call. We started our day with a leisurely meal at the Super King Grocery Store. They had delicious prepared food for a reasonable price and a microwave so we indulged ourselves for awhile in their café style seating area and then met Geoff over at a bar.
The bar Geoff was waiting for us in, called Road34, was pretty cool – we walked in to a ceiling full of hanging bikes – the bar was attached to a bike shop and apparently both were run by the same ambitious duo. Geoff explained that things get much livelier towards the end of the summer when the college kids come back into town, but we enjoyed a beer in relative quiet and then went out to collect his pretty dog Madison, who was patiently waiting by the outside fence. We headed back to Geoff’s house and met some of his roommates and eventually his girlfriend as well, and then after a long and much anticipated length of time we headed down to the dock to board a small boat that belonged to Geoff’s friend who he affectionately nicknamed “Drill Sergeant.”
Drill Sergeant loaded us all onto his boat and we lounged on the back end until we got out far enough into the water that he could speed up. He instructed us to go down below and sit in the kitchen/living room/ bedroom/ bathroom area so that the weight on the boat was distributed evenly until he was out in the part of the lake that he wanted to drop anchor in. We all squeezed down below with the Dave Matthews Band blaring and the motor on the back of the boat roaring - and minutes later got the “all clear” to come back up on deck.
The view was breathtaking. Of the places we have been so far on this trip, Colorado has stood out to me as one of the most beautiful states we have seen. I walked up the steps of the boat and looked out over the bow then slowly took in the panoramic view around me. Soft pillows in the shapes of clouds drifted lazily around the light blue backdrop of sky. Lush green covered mountains circled around the lake where the boat sat, the peaks of which basked in the hazy soft heat from the sun.
One after another we bravely dove into the icy Colorado water and as my head surfaced from under the deep, blue, frigid lake my breath quickened and my skin rippled into tiny goose bumps. Needless to say I was back on the boat enjoying the view from the deck before too long trying to wring out my shirt and shorts and warm myself in the last lingering rays of sunlight. Though I was chilly, I was as happy and relaxed as I can imagine ever being.
Soon, though, it was time to head back. We had a short drive to Denver yet to tackle and the soft pillows and clean sheets of a hotel calling our names. Drill Sergeant sped us back into the dock and we headed back to our car after a satisfyingly leisurely summer day. Thanks to him and Geoff for being our hosts here in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Until next time, America.