Following an uneventful day of flying, Kristen and I arrived in Denver at 5:20 Monday afternoon. Sam and Heather were waiting for us at the gate. Sam is starting his last semester at the University of Colorado this month and we wanted to take the time to come visit before they move back to North Carolina.
Neither of us had been anywhere near the Rockies before and we were a little surprised that we didn’t see a single mountain on our way to Denver. We were even more surprised that we didn’t see any on our way from the airport to our hosts’ apartment in Westminster.
After living in the Appalachian Mountains for four years, I had imagined Colorado to be just like the mountainous areas of the East Coast, only more so – twice as windy, twice as cool, with scenery twice as dramatic. Not neccessarily so. For the few people out there who, like me one day ago, don’t already know, the eastern half of Colorado is as flat as Kansas and hotter than North Carolina. The high today in Boulder was almost ten degrees warmer than at our home in Benson. These surprises weren’t dissappointments though. It’s always exciting to experience a new place, and to gain so much new knowledge off the bat reminds me why I wanted to travel in the first place (besides catching up with great friends, which was the main point of this trip).
This morning we did get to see some mountains. The foothills of the Rockies are just visible from Sam’s and Heather’s balcony. Heather took Kristen and I to see the Flatirons on the outskirts of Boulder while Sam was at work. We hiked around the base, but we got too late of a start and didn’t bring enough water to make it to the top. The mountains are not the image of snow-capped peaks and spruce trees that come to mind when thinking of the Rockies but they are just as dramatic. They are called the Flatirons because three of the large rock outcroppings look like the bottom sides of clothes irons.
After the hike we met up with Sam, lounged around at the pool, fried fish and played a friendly game of monopoly. I won.