Road Trip Across America – Parts the fourth and fifth

Part the Fourth:

Car update: It was something funky with the gas cap. When I drove to the parts store to get a new cap, a bubble formed in the tank, which then set the sensor off a bit later. My guy in Santa Fe – Mario – figured it out and fixed it in 5 minutes. If you need an engine light turned off in Santa Fe, I got a guy.

The rest of the 3rd was really pleasant. The sunset was spectacular, then some of the hostel denizens got out their guitars and started playing. I felt so artsy!

Santa Fe Sunset

I stayed at the Santa Fe International Hostel about 2 miles from downtown. There was an interesting mix of your traditional “dirty hippies” (who were all quite nice and a few offered me pot) and adventurous young people. I spent the fourth with a few of the latter – Sharif, a playwright, and Brian, a sculptor, who were visiting local youth shelters to give creative outlets to the local troubled youth, and an Australian engineer/goelogist who had bought a van and was driving it around the USA for 3 months. Victor (the Australian) gave us a ride downtown in Bruce (the van). It was an excellently sketch-tastic van – beige chevy, lots of dents, missing paint, and a bed in the back. You know you are jealous. I know I am. We had lunch on the plaza (in the shade) and then went to see some galleries. As Victor put it, Santa Fe is a city of mud and bronze – the buildings are all mud and the art is all bronze. There is also an excellent rock and fossil shop that we stopped in. I’ve always liked rocks, but it’s even more fun to look at them with a geologist. We had a competition over who could find the most expensive piece of art. Brian had the lead for a while with a large piece of glass in the shape of a harp ($135,000), but Sharif won with a giant bronze sculpture of a man reclining (price on request: $200,000). My favorites were the kinetic wind sculptures, the statue of truffes the pig, and some very stylized birds.

Truffles the Pig, image via jackiechan.com

There is also a lot of elk imagery in the South West.

An Elk Statue

Whole Foods donates to the hostel when the food bank can’t pick up, and on the 4th, they donated some burgers and other BBQ materials. We had an excellent cookout of donated foods then went to see the fireworks.

Santa Fe is there, and it swears it won’t forget you. If you found it, it would let you come and stay.

It’s on I-25, if you are looking for it.

Part the Fifth:

Today was my drive to Denver. Everyone I spoke to at the hostel said to skip Denver and go to Boulder (and after sitting in traffic for 30 minutes to go 4 miles, I see what they are saying), but I was told by the lovely Christine, in no uncertain terms, that the Denver Biscuit Company was not to be missed. It was about 2:30 when I got into Denver, so I figured I would get a late lunch and continue on to Boulder. While sitting at a 5 minute stop light, I checked the hours on my phone. It closes at 2. At that point, I wasn’t going to leave Denver until I had a biscuit, so I went to a hostel to wait out the night.

There were several things I had thought about doing in Denver. While the city is not known for its great sports teams, it does have a bunch. As would be the case, they are all out of town. Tomorrow I was planning on going on a walking tour of some of the microbreweries around town, but that only happens on the weekends. Not much is happening in Denver on a Tuesday night. Or a Wednesday day. So I changed my plans. I am going to get a biscuit tomorrow when the DBC opens at 8, then I will be on my way to the badlands (via Mt Rushmore). Instead of an extra day in Denver, I’ll do it in the badlands hiking around a little. It’s going to be 88 degrees there on Thursday, which is positively chilly compared to the hike in the Grand Canyon. And they have fossils there.

After re-vamping my plans, I decided to catch the end of happy hour at a nearby brewery. The walking tour had been nixed, so I decided to do one myself. I decided on the Great Divide brewery, as it was about 3 short blocks away from my hostel.

The Great Divide Brewery

BEST DECISION I’VE MADE ALL TRIP. The beer was great and the atmosphere was fun. I met a few of the regulars there – super friendly guys. One was from New Hampshire, so we talked New England for a bit. He was quite impressed with my JP street cred (not realizing I’m from the other side of Center Street). As happy hour ended, another regular I was talking to, Jeff, invited me over to his house for dinner (if his wife okayed it). She did and so we went over to his place for tacos. It was great. Jeff was hilarious, and his wife, Emerald, was super sweet. As I walked home from their place (in the rain), I saw the Capitol Building all lit up.

Colorado State Capitol

I can’t think of a better way to spend 18 hours in Denver.

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~ by Genevieve on July 5, 2011.

One Response to “Road Trip Across America – Parts the fourth and fifth”

  1. Love it! Sounds like you are meeting some really fun people on this road trip. Keep up the blogging, I enjoy living vicariously through you. Especially glad that you got to experience GCNP. I agree, no image I have seen can do it justice. Stereo images might be a bit better, but the effect is so much greater when you are actually peering into its polychromatic vastness.

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