Archive for January, 2004

Western Road Trip – Graceland

January 17, 2004 Leave a comment

I went into Memphis and made my pilgrimage to Graceland. No photos are allowed within the house; these photos are at the Presley grave site at the end of the tour.

I drove all the way through the afternoon, evening, and early morning to arrive back (sort of) home to crash at my mom’s in Ohio.

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Western Road Trip – Oklahoma!

January 16, 2004 Leave a comment

Leaving Amarillo and continuing east this next morning, I took a detour off of I-40 to see a piece of pop art inspired by the “Cadillac Ranch ” (I believe in Nevada) and other similar work. I also stopped to see the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere, the National Route 66 Museum in Clinton, Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Elk City (better than the National museum in Clinton).

As I continued east through Oklahoma on I-40, I approached Oklahoma City. I decided to stop and see the memorial for the Oklahoma City bombing. I had never heard or seen any information about this memorial before; I just assumed that there must be one. It was easy to find in the center of the city.

Even though I did not personally or indirectly know anyone killed in the bombing, I have never been more affected by a public memorial before. In an ideal world, displays like this would not be necessary. But given that they are, this one was done right.

The Gates are Time are the primary feature of the memorial. The are at opposite ends of the reflecting pool. The water in the pool in only and inch or two deep.

There are 168 chairs in the field, representing the 168 victims killed in the bombing. They are arranged in nine rows, representing the nine floors of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Nineteen of the chairs are a smaller size, representing the nineteen children victims.

Elements such as the graffiti painted on the wall of the neighboring building have been preserved. The building is the former Journal Record Building, which is now the memorial’s museum and visitor center.

Following my visit to the memorial, I went over the Bricktown, which is Oklahoma City’s entertainment district. I had a delicious steak and stout at the Bricktown Brewery.

I continued east on I-40 into Arkansas, and got a room at a cheap hotel just short of the Tennesee border.

Western Road Trip – Taos, NM

January 15, 2004 Leave a comment

On Wedneday morning (14 Jan), I said my goodbyes to Brad and the city of Boulder. I decided to head south on I-25. I stopped for lunch at Rosie’s Diner in Monument, and a car wash in Pueblo. I took a detour off the Interstate further south, I drove through the Spanish Peaks wilderness area in order to head towards Taos, New Mexico.

When I got to Taos after dark, I found a cheap room at the Best Western, then went into town and found the local microbrewery for a cheeseburger and a couple of stouts.

It had been a light snow year so far in the Southern Rockies; there was no snow to be seen around the town of Taos. I headed up to the ski area Thursday morning. There was decent snow on most of the marked trails and slopes where they had snowmaking, but most of the terrain that Taos is famous for was roped off. I get in a few hours of skiing before I got bored, then headed back to town, and got some lunch to go from Wendy’s before hitting the road again.

I drove on the Enchanted Circle, which is the name given to the highway connecting Taos to some of the other mountain towns in the region, including Eagle’s Nest and Angel Fire. As I left the Enchanted Circle and Cimmaron Canyon, I came to the town of Cimmaron. Here the land flattened out abruptly. High plains and buttes continued for a little while as the mountains gave way to the Great Plains. The final few photos in the gallery are pretty much the view I had for the next couple of hundred miles. It was the flattest terrain I had ever seen, even more so than Kansas, or as I would later learn, Texas and Oklahoma.

I continued driving into the evening, and got a room at a Motel 6 in Amarillo, Texas.

Categories: Skiing, Travel Tags: ,

Western Road Trip – Another summit in Boulder

January 13, 2004 Leave a comment

On Tuesday 13 Jan, Brad took went in late to work so we could get our last hike in, this time up Green Mountain. It was pretty icy there, plus it was getting late, so Brad turned around about two-thirds of the way up to head to work, and I proceeded to the summit.

I spent the rest of the day on Tuesday exploring around town some more, including The Hill area near the University.

Western Road Trip – A Brick Workout in Boulder

January 11, 2004 Leave a comment

Sunday 11 Jan was designated as super-workout day. In the morning, Brad and I headed up once again to Mt. Sanitas. Then, we immediately headed out on our bikes to Lee Hill Road, a 1200-foot climb.

On Monday 12 Jan, I spent the day taking a rest from exercise, and wandered around town looking at the many gear shops again. I test rode an Ellsworth Truth mountain bike (very sweet) and a couple of Rocky Mountain bikes. I spent too much at the Performance Bike store.

Me and Brad on the summit of Mt. Sanitas

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Western Road Trip – More Nederland, CO

January 10, 2004 Leave a comment

On Friday 9 Jan, I headed up to Eldora Mountain Resort to ski for the day. It was a decent hill, but it has a reputation for being very windblown. The front side on this day was in pretty good shape. I ventured over the the back side once, but the main slope there was a solid sheet of ice, and the more interested backcountry terrain was closed. The front side was enough to keep me having fun for the day, though.

On Saturday 10 Jan, Brad and I headed back up to Eldora for more snowshoeing. It warm a warm and beautiful day, and the people-watching was good, with lots of other groups of snowshoers and cross-country skiers out.

After the mountain excursion, we stopped in the town of Nederland for coffee, then headed back down to Boulder for a fantastic lunch at Hapa Sushi Grill. Their happy hour rates allowed us both to eat our fill of sushi rolls for under $20.

Western Road Trip – More Boulder, CO

January 8, 2004 Leave a comment

On Wednesday Jan 7, Brad, Kristin, and I loaded up the skis and headed to Breckenridge for the day. It was a decent day; intermittently sunny and not too cold, but many of the lifts were closed in the morning due to high winds. Things calmed down later and just about everthing was open for the afternoon except for Chair 6.

On Thursday Jan 8, Kristin caught the bus back to the Denver airport, Brad headed to work, and I was on my own for the day. It was considerably warmer and clearer than earlier in the week, so I decided to head up to Mt. Sanitas again. I took the Ridge Trail up the back side, which is more in the shade, so still had a good bit of ice and snow on it. The way back down the main trail was pretty clear and easy going, though.

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Western Road Trip – Nederland, CO

January 6, 2004 Leave a comment

Our outdoor activity for Kristin and I on Tuesday was snowshoeing at Eldora Mountain Resort. The temperatures had warmed up a bit this day.

Western Road Trip – Boulder, CO

January 5, 2004 Leave a comment

I left Columbus on Jan 3, 2004. I headed west on I-70 through the rest of Ohio, Indiana, and grabbed some lunch at Denny’s in Effingham, Illinois. I went on through Missouri and made my way through Kansas City around mid-evening. I had planned to spend the night somewhere in this area, but I still felt pretty alert, and decided to keep going. I grabbed some dinner at the service plaza on the Kansas turnpike.

I started feeling pretty groggy in the western half of Kansas, plus it was snowing fairly heavily, so I pulled over at a rest stop to take a nap. After about an hour, I woke up feeling alert again, and the snow had tapered off, so I got back on the road.

I got to Brad’s place just before dawn, around 6:30am on Sunday Jan 4. I knocked on the door, and called the cell phones of Brad, Kristin, and Becky (she had flown out on New Years Day), and had to leave messages each time. I knocked some more until they finally woke up and let me in. I crashed on the couch immediately, only to have to wake up an hour later so that we could all grab some breakfast and give Becky a ride back to the airport. Brad, Kristin, and I spent the rest of the day exploring the bike shops, breweries, and coffee shops of downtown Boulder.

On Monday morning (Jan 5), Brad had to head to work, so Kristin and I went to the local IHOP for breakfast, then headed up for a hike on Mt. Sanitas. Before Kristin and I left for our hike, Brad called to warn us of the unusually cold weather outside that day. We misunderstood him to mean that it was 10 degrees below freezing; we found out later it was actually 10 degrees below zero! With the brisk walk through town and up the Mt. Sanitas trail, the temperature didn’t feel too bad, but the cloudy skies made the views less impressive than usual.

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Western Road Trip – Columbus, OH to Boulder CO

January 2, 2004 Leave a comment

I left home on New Years Day 2004, with my vehicle packed with skis, snowshoes, mountain bike, and any other gear I thought I might get to use while visiting my friends Brad and Kristin in Colorado. The trip started with a couple day’s visit with some of my relatives in Columbus, Ohio.

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