Once we left Pueblo, we headed north to Denver to hook up with our friend of many years, Ronnie. There is a good bike trail there and we took advantage of it. Ronnie Ubered on up to the bus where we were parked at the Elks in Westminister and we sat outside the bus and yakked before we enjoyed a meal at our favorite Mexican restaurant in the area, Guadalajara. The ceviche and the company were excellent and we enjoyed catching up since last year.
We stayed at the Westminister Elks for four nights, I think. The cats have a playground to explore, the bike trail is right there and we got in some down time.
We had decided to go over the mountain to visit our friends in Grand Junction, Ted and Ramona. Ted taught us to drive the bus and all four of us have been buds since . We pulled up from there, knowing we had to make a stop to dump, navigate Denver traffic and make the very long haul through the Eisenhower tunnel and over Vail Pass. We have done it twice before in the bus so we knew what to expect. Can you say S L O W ? We just didn’t want to overheat or get the temperature up or the air pressure down.
Both other times we went from west to east but not this time and not in summer. We knew it was going to be a long day and it was. But the bus just keeps on going. Temperature got a little elevated but it was also 95 degrees out. The last time we did the pass, it snowed. Not sure which is better. There was over seven miles of seven percent grades. Several times. Once we cleared Vail, it was better going.
Much later that day, upon our arrival in Grand Junction, I looked up at the hooks where we keep our bus keys. We each have a set. I said, “Where are your bus keys?” He thought a minute and said, “I left them at the dump.” OOPS. There was a pole there that he set them on because no pockets in his shorts. As soon as we got to Grand Junction, I called the Jefferson County Fairgrounds (where we paid $20 to dump!) and left a message. Good luck, I thought. Long story short, somebody called me back at 10:30 that night and said they had the keys. Somebody at the fairgrounds had retrieved them and they wanted to let me know. Called them back, they mailed to our friends in Grand Junction. We will get them back! YAY! Postage was $1.00. Well worth it! Moral of the story: Wear pants with pockets when doing bus stuff.
We had to take a detour from our iPad route since the police had the street blocked off.
Once we got settled, I witnessed an ominous sight and even told Jim about it. Of course I did.
Two tow trucks went by, one with a motorcycle and one with an SUV. Bad feeling. We found out later that the motorcyclist was killed in the crash. I hate that.
When we got to the lodge in Grand Junction, which is right downtown, we had to take on water because when we dumped, Jim also dumped most of the fresh tank to alleviate some weight. That involved a cigarette smoking veteran with a chip on his shoulder but helpful to a fault. We got it done.
We stayed in that night.
On to our friends in Grand Junction: Ted and Ramona. And their new family additions.
We didn’t waste any time catching up with them. The hours just slid away. We ate, we drank, we walked, we talked, we played with the cats and dog. We went to the Farmer’s Market. What can I say? It was perfect…
Grand Junction has an energetic downtown. The Main Street is adorned with sculpture on every corner. Lots of restaurants too. Bike shops (two!), art galleries and antiques.
After our final day of conversation and wine, we boarded our “limousine” and were magically transported to the bus. Ted is a driver, after all.
Some final selfies:
Great visit, great friends. We are BIG BIG lucky.