Day 8: Sheridan, Wyoming to Denver, Colorado
Distance traveled: 430 miles
Time: 7.5 hours
Song of the Day: “Don’t Stop Me Now” (Queen)
Tuesday morning, I packed up the car (with the pickles), and headed out. It was an absolutely perfect day. As I was leaving Kelly’s neighborhood, this is what I saw:
Breathtaking! Wyoming is a gorgeous place, and I loved driving through it (why do only 500,000 people live there?).
I planned an afternoon stop in Fort Collins, Colorado. My college friend, and post-college roommate, Jodi, lives there with her husband Evan, and 2 children: Jordan (3rd grade) and Jake (3 yrs old). Jodi and I met our freshman year in college in the dorm. She grew up in Newark, so we had a lot to talk about from the start. After college, Jodi moved to Denver and I followed the next year. We lived together in Denver for 2 years. We have a lot of fun together, as we both love movies and music. I get to see her most summers when she and her family come back to Ohio to visit. This summer, we were able to visit in Columbus in the middle of July. It was great to see her again Tuesday, and see where she lives and works.
My goal was to get to Denver before there was lots of traffic. I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to stop in Denver at all due to the recent flooding. It wasn’t too long after I left Fort Collins (on 25S) that I hit serious traffic. I could not figure out why it was so stop and go. It is great to have an app like Waze (thanks, Laura!) that shows what is going on. There wasn’t an accident, but as I approached one of the off ramps (maybe the Longmont exit?) was closed. There was clear evidence of the flooding. It was very strange to see water in a place that is usually so dry. I finally got to Denver at about 6:30pm. Tuesday night’s accommodations were provided by The Port Family.
I met Emily in September 1998 when I started working at the advertising agency I mentioned in Day 7 (“The Devil Wears Prada”). Emily and I clicked from the beginning, but it was Emily and Dave’s dog, Bess, who won my heart. When Emily and Dave went out-of-town, they would ask me to house/dog sit. I loved my time with Bess at their house. Primarily because Bess was such a darling dog. However, I loved having a retreat where I could use a kitchen with all of the bells and whistles, and feel like I was a grown up. Emily watched out for me, and when she went to another company, she talked the president into hiring me! It was a great set-up. Emily also wrote a letter of recommendation for me when I applied to law school. We all know how that turned out!
We have kept in touch sporadically, but I had not seen Emily or Jane (now 10!) since the spring of 2004 (I think that’s right). As I walked up to the front door, Emily opened the door and her daughters, Jane and Lila, stood behind their mother with looks of fear on their face. They were tentative at first, but I think they picked up on my familiarity with their house, and it made them feel more relaxed. After that they warmed up to me. Jane was quick to say, “We went to France last year!” She grabbed the photo book that was created from that trip, and showed me all of the highlights. Lila kept herself busy by making ancient coins (a tinfoil creation). We had a lovely dinner and talked about school and the girls’ activities. I was lucky enough to get to listen to Jane practice her guitar, and chat with her about music.
After the girls went to bed, Emily and I stayed up way too late trying to catch up on the past 9 years. It was so nice to feel like we could pick up where we left off. We haven’t talked much over the years, but it certainly didn’t feel like it. Hopefully, the Port Family will come to Oregon (there are direct flights from Denver to Redmond!). Thanks, Emily! I was tired after a long day of driving, so I was ready for bed. That concludes Day 8.