Ok. So apparently the link I tried pasting to my last post does not work (thanks Mom!). I’m sure there is a technical solution to that but rather than spend my time trying to figure it out, I am just going to post it!
Indecision?….Should I…. Ummmmm…. What if I…..?
Well rested and back on the road after my slightly paranoid sleep in Rock Springs. I managed to put together a basic plan of attack for the day which, if all went according to plan (I believe this is what they call, foreshadowing) would result in me arriving in Boulder, Colorado for one last night of civilized bed-rest before, finally, arriving in Moab.
Although I had been looking forward to Yellowstone and Grand Teton and everything else in between. There was a sense that being in that place I had seen in so many pictures and movies, with the canyons and red sandstone cliffs and Native American lore would wrap me up and plug me in to the cosmos somehow. Where the merciless yet nurturing hand of Mother Nature would somehow guide me towards all the answers. The duality of man, my purpose in life, the soul of the earth and the simple yet, infinite and unknowable meaning of life, all revealed through epiphany or absorbed through osmosis in this ancient and mystical place.
I mention this now because, as I stated in my previous post, it was a toss up between heading towards Salt Lake City or Denver. Moab lies south and somewhat in between the two and either route requires some backtracking. I had at this point, decided that I was going to skip Rocky Mountain National Park which is just outside of Denver for pretty much the same reasons that I blew through Grand Teton. Not to mention that all of these places, up to this point, sit anywhere between 6000-9000 ft in elevation and it gets colder than a witches teet once the sun goes down. Climbing further up into the mountains to pitch a tent was almost less appealing than climbing into the potentially bug infested motel bed. Almost. However, the decision was made and I was heading south east.
Back to the task at hand, I had decided to head to Boulder because, in my infinite…I won’t dare say wisdom but perhaps, romanticism? I had decided, for no particular or informed reason, that it would be more quaint than Denver.
Three things of note here:
1. Smaller does not always mean more quaint.
2. Never under estimate the size of American cities.
3. I have drastically underestimated the value of a GPS device.
(In hindsight, it would have cost me less to buy a GPS device rather than use my phone due to the archaic and borderline criminal mobile roaming charges that we deal with in Canada…just sayin. What’s up CRTC?)
I had already checked online for hotel deals in Boulder but one thing that I have learned this far into the trip is that no matter what sort of deal you may find online, if you are budget travelling, there is almost always a better deal to be had through local motels that don’t bother with advertising or online promotions.
With that in mind, in addition to feeling a little defeated for not being able to just breeze into an unfamiliar town and sort myself out within an hour, I decided, fully conscious of the hypocrisy of my previous statement regarding hotel deals, to look at what was being advertised online. So as soon as I caught site of that familiar Starbucks logo (mermaid? green lady with stink lines?) I pulled over for some coffee and wifi.
According to various online reviewer people, who I would later find out have no sense of direction whatsoever or at the very least, have a very different sense of proximity than I do, suggested a number of appealing lodging options at reasonable rates in Golden, Colorado just a few miles down the road from Boulder. I decided to give up on Boulder altogether and make a little headway in the direction of my planned trajectory.
Well, Golden is indeed a great little town on the south west cusp of Denver with a beautiful, old town, historic look and feel. An old mining town essentially appropriated by Denver as it gradually expanded over the years and the home of Coors beer. Unlike Boulder, you can drive through and around Golden in a matter of minutes and I still couldn’t find any of these places I saw advertised online. Bear in mind, that the sense of direction I was once upon a time, quite confident in and proud of was not only shaken but shattered and limping around in a state of furious confusion at this point.
Another point of note: If you park your car close enough to a Starbucks, you can leech off their wifi signal without having to go in and buy anything. Shhhhhhhh
With that, I checked online again because I felt that I might go into nervous overload/shutdown if I drank another coffee due to the fact that I’ve been on the road now for many, many hours. (I drink a lot of coffee)
All the street names matched based on the address of these online hotels and the ones I’m seeing in town. The hotel is on 10th st, I am on 10th st but the road dead ends well before the address number is even close to what I am looking for. So when I type in the address of one of my possible destinations and it tells me that I have to hop back on the highway and drive 10 miles east I am convinced there is a glitch somewhere. As history has shown us, human error is more often than not, the leading cause of things gone wrong and, in my opinion, this qualifies. This applies to both my lack of planning as well as the misinformation posted online. I’d hate to take all the credit for this little debacle.
Although technically still in Golden ( I would like to see the urban plan/city limits details on this one) the hotels in questions were in fact 10 or so miles back towards Denver and located in, what I think most people would agree, no mans land. One was next to a truck stop off the highway, the other was just across the street from a sprawling, light industrial maze of nothing interesting. I decided to press on.
I won’t go into too much detail but I kept with the theme of the day and continued to wander in every possible direction but the right one. In the end, without quite realizing how I got there, I was driving through downtown Denver. I tried a few hotels and motels and they were all booked solid for the foreseeable future.
Finally I found a room at the Quality Inn downtown, very nice, close to everything, more than I wanted to pay but there was no way I was doing any more driving at this point. By the time I had grabbed all my essentials from the car and made it to my room, it was midnight. Thank you very much! Hellooo Denver! Hallelujah! Goodnight!