Tuesday, August 16, 2016



Colorado is an inspiring state. I first visited at age 18 on a road trip with a friend. I wrote this then: 
Below towering Clark Peak I paused on bridge crossing a swollen melt creek. As I leaned on the rail watching the the water rush swiftly away, I could see in it my life's past moments like a rushing river passing through me and vanishing never to be relived. At that moment I turned about to face the oncoming deluge of foamy water. Here was the future! It was the part of the river flowing from who knows where. I knew I couldn't really get to its source but would have to wait for each wave to pass through and then it would swirl off to someplace just as illusive.
Six years later, I moved there and stayed six years. I left for three years but then came back for three more before leaving for good.


chickelit said...

Trump makes a cameo appearance in the Joe Walsh video around the 1:44 mark.

ricpic said...

Colorado High?

Winding back road from Paonia to Crested Butte
Air like wine
Rock face mountains all pink
Cathedral aspen grove
Stop car
Get out
Swarmed by ravenous black flies.

Lem said...

I sure hope to go there some day.

chickelit said...

Colorado High? Redux

Hiking 12,000 footer off road on CO 14
Summit air like wine
No trees no bugs
residual snow in June
Descend back to car
Biting mosquitoes
Start running through forest to outrun bugs
Hurdle trees and streams
Shoes soaked
Get out
Swarmed by more ravenous bugs
Keep running downhill
Crash through dense undergrowth
Come face to face with huge elk
Startled frozen, we hear each other breathe
Part ways, both running

Sixty Grit said...

I lived in Fort Collins in '72. Did concrete construction, which is not an easy thing to do in the Colorado winter. I never did get used to the altitude, hated the cold and moved to California. Ah, warmth...

rcommal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AprilApple said...

Speaking of Denver... I had to drive to it and in it yesterday.

I'm heading down 36 and I get a call. 'Hey drop everything and come to Fort Collins for a last minute meeting with the painter.' So I pull over and consider. ugh - no.
I have been driving to Fort Collins once or twice a week for the last 2 years. I cannot take it anymore. I told the guy to handle it without me and I proceed to Denver as planned. 4 stops.
I was on and off I-25. I-25 and 6th Ave, I-25 and Evans, I-25 and Alameda.
So I'm driving all ovr in thick slow moving traffic. It feels like LA. I'm looking and I'm noticing.... It's the height of the election season and NO bumper stickers. NONE. No pro Hillary - No pro Trump. Nothing.
I still see a few old Obama stickers - an occasional Bernie sticker (they are fading) Isn't that interesting?

I grew up here and I've watched this place explode in population. The pot brought 1 million+ boom, in a very short time. It was 1.8 million when I was growing up. Now we are at 5 million. 2014 projection is 8 million. The roads will all be the same.

AprilApple said...

2014 = 2040 projection****

AprilApple said...

Oh - and for those of you who lived in Fort Collins... You would not recognize it.

Sixty Grit said...

I last visited Fort Collins in 1984 - even after only 12 years away I barely recognized it. I hear the college even got a new cow. Will wonders never cease?

Last time I was in Colorado was to apply for a job in Colorado Springs in '88. It is 6,660 feet above sea level and I was huffing and puffing just walking around. For a while I was disappointed I didn't get the job, but the company later went out of business and the guy who interviewed me was a jerk, so all in all, no great loss.

Plus, I really like living in a place with actual atmospheric pressure.

Amartel said...

Poor Darcy. Getting there just in time to see it turn into California.
I'm getting out of Cali at the first possible opportunity. Thinking about Boise.

Sixty Grit said...

Even in 1972 there were bumper stickers that read "Don't Californicate Colorado". Seriously, that has been a concern there for decades.

chickelit said...

Weren't those bumper stickers made to resemble the green and white license plates withe word "native"?

chickelit said...

@sixty: how many other places of residence do we have in common? Sunnyvale, Fort Collins. How about Cleveland...ever live there? How but CH or DE?

chickelit said...

Shortly moving to FTC in 1984, I dubbed it "Fort Sprawlins"

chickelit said...

@sixty: did you ever hang out at Mishawaka a ways up 14 on the Poudre?

We may have crossed swords IRL.

chickelit said...

I moved to CO from WI and found the climate quite pleasant if quirky, I liked how snow sublimes instead of melting.

Sixty Grit said...

We have much sublimation here - I learned that word when I was in 6th grade, as it was observable right outside, at least the matter changing definition of that word.

I worked at C&C Concrete Construction Company, which may still be in business. We built a church, many sidewalks, foundation walls, but at 6 degrees I kind of lost my enthusiasm for chipping out frozen earth to create enough room to build a concrete form in.

The guy I worked with was a genius - truly, he could visualize what a finished concrete stairway was supposed to look like then build a form where it wasn't, and have the whole thing strong enough to support the weight of the wet pour. He came by his intelligence naturally, as his father was one of the founders of an applied physics lab. I learned that later when I called on said lab trying to sell them software, and saw a portrait plaque of his father in the main hall.

But back to the story - we used to shoot pool in a pool hall down town somewhere, I remember the Poudre, but it was more like something Eliza would have crossed when I was there. We went up to Estes Park once, but mainly I worked, and froze. I got out as soon as I could. Sold my Saab and bought a Rambler - which was actually a brilliant move, monetarily and from the standpoint of dependability. Never did much tourism, never saw the sights. Never acclimated to the altitude.

When I was there in '84 I was just passing through - driving from The Dalles to Denver to visit a former coworker. We had camped at Madras in Oregon, stayed in West Yellowstone, camped at Jackson Hole, then pressed on. Good times, good times.

CH? Chapel Hill? DE - Delaware? We vacationed there when I was a yute. Bethany Beach was where we went, as that was the Baptist beach, no bars or liquor stores, unlike that sinful Rehoboth Beach just up the coast - Methodists - feh - bunch of drunks!

As for Ohio - best part of that state, other than Zanesville, home of the Y bridge, is the "You are now leaving Ohio" signs. Do not like that place.

Where we should have crossed paths is in RTP, where there used to be some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Seems like a natural place for someone who understands benzine rings.

And yes the bumper stickers resembled the tags.

chickelit said...

@Sixty: CH stands for Canton Helvetica aka die Schweitz. DE is Deutschland.

I remember there being a large cement plant north of town. In the 1980's, it was in the middle of nowhere. It's probably gone and made over into homes. I drove around Ft. Collins a couple weeks ago, showing my son a few of the many homes/apartments I called home there. Many parts of town have improved.

chickelit said...

You probably recall Richard Lamm -- "Governor Gloom."

Sixty Grit said...

I flew to Munich in December of '92, was only there a couple of days, did get to see the awesome Christmas fair - the hand carved figures were awe inspiring - truly remarkable work.

Took the train to Zurich, was only there long enough to admire the train station as I walked through it to catch a train to Geneva. Absolutely loved Geneva - what a wonderful place.

Spent a couple of days there then jetted off to Manchester, saw Mont Blanc towering above the clouds leaving Switzerland - that's a great mountain, you know, for Europe and all.

Landed in Manc, then flew to Glasgow - spent a couple of days there - went to the local museums - Glasgow Museum of Transportation, the history museum - have you ever seen a Claymore up close? Scots used to be a serious people. Took the train over to Edinburgh, it was December - the sun rose at 8:30 and set at 3:30, so I took in as much of that town as I could in one day - saw the castle, the memorials, the whisky shops full of single malts - little did I know that I should have purchased a couple of them, samples, don't you know.

Then the Scandinavian leg of my trip was cancelled and I flew home. That's the only time I was ever in CH or DE - I've been to Italy a couple of times since then, Paris, London a couple of times, speaking of awesome museums, and various places across the Pacific.

I am completely content to stay home these days - I like being in other places, just don't like to travel to them. Beam me over, Scottie!

Someone mentioned a didgeridoo the other day - funny, but all of the cities I have been in have a distinct aural fingerprint, so to speak - in Edinburgh at Christmas time you hear Christmas tunes being played on bagpipes, everywhere. In Sydney it was didgeridoos on almost every street corner - buskers, playin' for money.

In Shinjuku station in Tokyo there were long corridors and the sound there was one of shuffling shoes - no one talked, they just walked in glum silence. Salary men. Tens of thousands of them. It reminded me of nothing more than Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

In Munich there was a rally in support of immigrants (I KNOW!) and the sounds there were choirs singing American gospel songs - fascinating, eh?