We’ve been in the Denver area since Thursday and have discovered something curious about the mile high city and its environs. The Denverites seem to make as much use of individual street names as possible. In other words, Denver is host to a Franklin Street, Franklin Ave, Franklin Blvd, and Franklin Circle. Whenever we program information into Samatha to get directions, she returns many different options, and if we don’t know which one we want, we can’t get there. Dave gets frustrated (which is unusual) because the similar street names get confusing. I think it’s because the lack of oxygen at this altitude translates to a lack of creativity. But that might be a big jump. At any rate, since discovering the street naming thing, whenever we encounter something we can’t explain, something that seems to defy logic and / or common sense, I suggest that it’s the lack of oxygen. Because I’m just that funny.
But Denver more than makes up for its confusing street naming system with an abundance of walking, biking, and running paths. I’m pretty sure you can get just about everywhere here on foot or by bike without worrying about cars. That is really impressive.
Denver also has thunderstorms. Exciting ones. Oh how I miss good thunderstorms! We don’t really get them often in Northern California. I remember one time waking up in the middle of the night, hearing a thunderstorm, and not knowing what it was. I woke Dave up to tell him that we were under attack. He told me it was just a thunderstorm and asked how I, who grew up in Southern Indiana, land of frequent thunderstorms, could not know what was going on. It was just that I hadn’t heard one in a long time. Anyway, Friday afternoon we were wandering around a lovely area near a nature center where Dave’s dad volunteers and the skies kind of suddenly grew very dark. Then the thunder and lightning started. The temperature must have dropped twenty degrees in the few minutes we were walking. It was actually very lovely.
We were lucky because we avoided hail, but apparently other areas of Denver got pummeled. The thunder and lighting were nice, though. And the smell of wet pavement in summertime brought back some wonderful memories of playing in the rain with Leslie Remien and Jennifer Keeping about a hundred years ago.
The storm on Friday forced us back to Dave’s parents’ house before we got a chance to explore the trail we had begun. So instead we spent the afternoon reading, talking, eating, and playing video games.
Clark is really good at these games and provides helpful direction to those of us less fortunate. He’s also a four-year-old who can read and count to three hundred. Despite not having children of my own and not spending much time with others’ kids, I still know that that is unusual. On the other hand, he’s mad about anything Star Wars, which is not unusual for kids his age. His generation keeps Dave employed. So, go Clark!
I will admit that I’ve become attached to the Wii swordplay games. I like to wave the control around and pretend that I can actually do damage (okay, I’m really pretending that I’m the Slayer. There, I admitted it.). There’s one game that we call “smashing nerds” (neither Dave nor I can remember its actual name) that is particularly satisfying. Dave plays wisely, using defensive strategies to survive the nerd onslaught. Clark and I both play savagely, swinging away and smashing the crap out of all the nerds that approach us. Guess who scores higher.
On Saturday Dave and I did what needed to be done for the return trip: laundry and cooking for Ralphie. Yep, I cook for my dog. He eats brown rice (cooked until it resembles porridge), sweet potatoes, red potatoes (purple if I can get them), kale (dino), parsley, and chicken. To this mixture I add calcium powder that I buy from the vet and a pinch of salt. He loves it. One of these days I’ll post the recipe that I devised after a lot of trial and error.
Ralphie also got a bath in the backyard on Saturday. He was a trooper, only attempting to escape a few times. Once free from the towels, he resumed his favorite backyard activity: hunting squirrels. The squirrels that live around my in-laws’ backyard are cheeky little bastards who seem to enjoy taunting him. (If I’m repeating myself, it’s because of the altitude.)
He loves being in the back yard, which means we’re going to have to get a house with a nice back yard one of these days, just like we bought a new couch after we adopted him so we’d all have room to relax.
And naturally since he’d just had a bath, Ralphie had to find something stinky to roll around in.
That brings us to Sunday, Father’s Day. This morning we went into Denver to hang out with Dave’s brother Greg and his boyfriend Jack. (I LOVE Jack. Love, love, love him.) We met them at the Gay Pride Parade, which was a lot of fun. Then the four of us and Ralphie went to lunch at a Greek restaurant. The Greek omelette was delicious. I’d say as good as the one in Glenwood Springs and that was a damn fine omelette.
After lunch we went back to the hotel so that Ralphie could nap and I could start writing this post. We needed a little quiet time today because it was so hot.
Soon enough it was time to return to Dave’s parents’ for a delicious Father’s Day dinner of grilled salmon, asparagus, and fruit salad. I’m going to be sore tomorrow from playing so much Wii, again with coaching by the inimitable Clark.
After dinner I was thoroughly trounced by my other nephew, Cory, in a few games of doubles solitaire. But it was fun and that’s what matters, right?
Now we’re just back from a final walk with Ralphie. He was hunting rabbits while we were trying to get him to do his business so we could return to the hotel. As usual he was unsuccessful–with the rabbits, not the business. I wonder how he’d do off the leash; he’s pretty fast and agile. Maybe he’d catch one. I don’t really want to find out.
Tomorrow we begin the return trek. I’m looking forward to re-tracing our steps. But first I have to pack.