Ok, so today we are going somewhere that is about 14,000ft up in the Rockies. That’s 2000ft higher than when I was in a plane in 1996 getting ready to jump out for my very first tandem sky-dive, but we’ll be standing on terra firma.  Now, remember yesterday’s post where I said we went to the store at 11:30pm? Well, that is less than a 100m walk to the front door, and I was talking to Juli’s partner Jase as we were going and it was like I was coming to the end of the Bridge to Brisbane… well, what I would imagine, because you know, I don’t run, and definitely not over that distance… anyway Jase offered to walk slowly, and I finally said out loud “I am so unhealthy”.

Crucifying internal dialogue people.  The whole time I’ve been here, doing the smallest things I would run out of breath and have to stop and take a big breath in.  You know when footballers are taken to places and train at altitude? Well, I’m being like a footballer, but totally forgot that Juli reminded me at least 3 times a week leading up to my trip that the difference in altitude is going to make it hard to breath.

She said to me this morning that I have been doing really well and I’m like ‘NO I’VE JUST BEEN HIDING IT…’ Jase said “you couldn’t hide it last night….chuckle”

Shut up.

So, there is nothing wrong me with, I’m just getting used to the altitude and I can stop wondering why I need to take a massive breath like I’m diving for mussels in Ohope NZ just to pick up my shoes off the floor to put them on.

So as we head further up into the Rockies today, I hope that the oxygen masks come out of the roof of their car, or they supply wheel chairs at the top. 😉

Cross fingers for bear sighting today.

Ok…we are home. I don’t think there are words for what I saw today. We went to Estes Park and did make it all the way up to Cafe in the Clouds, and yes, the altitude really hit home to me up there. 14300 ft, I had to take a breath while saying plain sentences.  It was extraordinary.  The drive up was some of the most spectacular scenery I have ever seen in my life. My photos won’t do it justice.

Was so wanting to see a bear today too, but nada.

So, it’s just coming to the end of Summer here and up there it was freezing. Where we had lunch has a big viewing window and there was a thunder storm going on up there, and just before we were about to leave the rain suddenly became very small, light snow.

The wildlife was great!  I got to see a chipmunk, a ground squirrel, two mountain goats, lots of elk and a couple of deer.  I also managed to manifest a few blue jays – apparently they aren’t supposed to be around at the moment, but I said out aloud that I would love to see one because they were in a book my Nanna used to read to me when I was a child. Bingo – 4 of them.  One of them came right up to me and let me take very close up photos. Very pretty bird. Can’t wait to download my photos.

ANOTHER toilet story: up there, like at home, the toilets are long drops – and I think this one I went to must have been 14,000ft long because there was a very fascinating draft happening that had me imagining being sucked into the Abyss. It was also just as hideous as our long drops in the smell and quantity of sanitation, but with a “pleasant breeze”.

Had flashbacks to every movie I’ve ever seen with a tornado in it driving to Estes Park.  All those red barns and big flat fields.

What I learned today:

  1. all the corn fields on the way down are all GMO
  2. I learned that while the USA Traffic people are all about empowering people to make their own choice about stopping, there is no choice when it comes to building a home and how long the grass can be.  The covenants are so tightly wound over here, that all these little clump communities look like lego land.  The houses are lovely, but all the same colour and shape and size.  If you don’t keep the grass to a certain length you’ll get in trouble. 
  3. There are oil wells and gas wells everywhere.  The oil ones are just like those big ice-hammer looking things and if they aren’t moving, there’s no oil left, but they don’t get capped.
  4. Riding a motorcycle with a helmet is an optional extra.
  5. Texting while driving, talking on your mobile while driving is quite normal.
Day 7 coming right up after I have a bit of a snooze 😉

Don’t you go fallin in any cricks now y’hear, the critters mayght come up an git cha…
Amanda Goddess of the Imperative