In addition to some previous posts here is some more on our time in Colorado.
We spent 28 days in Berthoud, CO. Well, we parked the camper for four weeks. Kat was gone for two weeks and I was gone for one, so we weren’t there as long as it sounds. We felt really at home, there was always something to do on the farm even if it is to watch the olymics and we weren’t in the way or dragging anyone down. The weather was better than we expected because initially we were worried about this big heat wave going through the Midwest and part of Colorado. We had already had our fair share of super hot days and nights in Kansas and Nebraska, so when we got word we were welcome to park on the farm and stay inside the house where it was air conditioned, we quickly and happily agreed. I loved helping around the farm and it was nice to be around friends. (See separate post Berthoud) We also get to add one more item to our farm resume: wrangling cows! The girls got out one morning and the neighbor came over to tell us they were in her pasture. Ok, so we had to go round them up and get them back into their own pasture. That went rather well since they are scared of me even though I feed them. After we got them home we did some fence fixing. While Kat was waiting for me to bring some tools the cows watched her closely to see if there was going to be hope for them to escape later. They didn’t. All we need now is to get some boots and we can think of ourselves as cowgirls. haha
We didn’t really explore Colorado much. We only went to one National park- Rocky Mountain National Park. (See separate post Rocky Mountain National Park) We plan on returning to Colorado next year to visit the parks on the West side of the state and also just to see more of the state. We did go to Denver and to Boulder a couple of times. We went to Denver to meet up with one of my friends that I grew up with, we went to high school and college together. Debbie is one of those friends where you can just meet up with after 9 years and still feel like you are friends and it hasn’t been that long. We caught up and ate dinner at an awesome mexican food place, Jack and Grills. It was great because it was a New Mexico type of Mexican food. Lots of green chilis and really tasty red sauce. The portions were huge, so we had leftovers for the next two days. While talking we discovered we had both left our jobs on the same day! January 31, 2016. Weird. It was nice to see a good friend from way back. Wish I would have gotten a picture of us.
We had a side trip out to California during the third week. See separate post: My California Vacation. Kat had work to do and I was ready to go somewhere and do something, so we went together so she could show me around all the good eating places. I sure felt the change of altitude in California and also when I returned. From sea level to 5000 feet is a recognizable difference when exerting yourself doing exercise or farm work. Some of the work was fun, like learning to drive a tractor, even if it was to move cow poop around.
When we got back we still needed to get our Colorado volunteering completed. We found an opportunity at the Rocky Mountain food bank in Denver. We had the 12:30pm to 3:30 shift. It was well organized and it should be that way because it seems they rely a lot on volunteers to help them get the work done. There are only 65 full time employees and they put out 130,000 meals a day! We were two of the few who were not part of a company group. There were groups from Cigna, Kaiser Permanente and one more, but I can’t remember the name. I guess Denver is a healthcare company mecca.
Their companies give them time away from work to go volunteer up to 8 hours a year. We were all assigned jobs that would create pallets of 31 lb boxes of ingredients that would be supplemental supplies for elderly people. From folding boxes, adding cans of green beans, peanut butter, cereal, rice, etc. to stacking, wrapping the pallets and recycling the empty boxes, we made 481 boxes in those three hours. It was a good day and we definitely got our upper body exercises in because we were lifting the boxes onto the scale to make sure they were 31 lbs – that tells us if something is missing or extra added and we don’t have to visually inspect. See what I mean about being organized? Efficient too! Someone knows assembly line production.
The last step was putting them on the pallet and they had be stacked 5 high. That was a stretch for me and impossible for Kat.
Colorado is beautiful, it just seems so clear and I love seeing the mountains off in the distance. We liked driving around and checking out the country roads when going places. One thing we noticed quite a few of were Fracking sites. I had never seen one, just heard about them. Well, Colorado has quite a few. For those who have heard of it, but don’t really know what it is: Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is the process of injecting fluid—approximately 95 percent water and sand, plus less than 5 percent of what some have said are commonly encountered chemicals—into rock formations miles below the ground at a high pressure. The goal is to create a fracture network that allows the crude oil and natural gas inside dense rocks to flow into the wellbore and be extracted at the surface.
Apparently the frackers convince people that it won’t be that loud, but then they put up 40 feet walls around the work area and it is still super loud. I didn’t get to experience it first hand, but it may be something to remember if someone wants to frack around you. ( I love using the word frack.)
The day before we left (Thursday, August 18th )We did take another quick trip up to Rocky Mountain State park to buy the National Park Passport book. We got the yearly park pass already and were going to skip the book, but Carol showed us her book and the benefits of having it. One thing was that it has nice little maps marked with all the National Parks, Monuments, Beaches, etc. So, if we are close by we can go check them out and get a stamp in our book. Before that while driving through Estes Park before we stopped for lunch I saw a huge Elk ripping leaves off a tree right outside the door of the power plant. We parked as soon as possible and went to get some pictures. I don’t know if the residents of Estes Park get that excited, but it was cool for us to see him. Estes Park is also where they filmed the Shining. Below is the famous hotel. I bet when watching that move no one would guess how beautiful it is there.
It was a nice day for a drive. We didn’t want to break our streak of visiting a Walmart in every state, so we went there to stock up the camper before going back home.
So, that was pretty much our time in Colorado, shoot, here are a few things I left out: We went to an escape room challenge place in boulder and had to use clues to solve puzzles to get out of the room. Only 30% of the people solve it. We did it! That was fun. We went to the movies and saw Suicide Squad, Kat learned to bake a strawberry/rhubarb pie! Pure deliciousness. Anyway, this morning after we feed the animals (we volunteered), take long showers and pack up the camper we will head out to Wyoming.
As much as we enjoyed Colorado, it is time to go. I am excited to be back on the road. I’ve had a case of hitch itch since before we went to California. Hitch itch is what people with campers call getting restless and needing to hook up the camper and get on the road. I like to call it itchy hitch, but Kat said that made it sound like I needed antibiotics. Oh well, I still think it’s funnier.
Here we come Wyoming!