27.04.2017 - 29.04.2017
The most eventful drive of the trip so far took place on Thursday, April 27. Ryan has continued to be behind the wheel the majority of the miles. This time, however, he was a passenger hanging onto the “oh-shit” handle as I drove white knuckled through the plains of Kansas into Colorado. A tornado warning was in full effect and we experienced the tumultuous winds and downpour of rain that went along with it. Tumbleweeds, big and small, were coming at us from every direction. We kept a piece of one that was in our car grill for a souvenir afterwards. Eventually the storm cleared and the sun shined bright the closer we got to Denver. We finished listening to “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie, the sixth-best-selling single-volume book of all time. Although the murder mystery got off to a slow start, we were intrigued from Chapter 3 until the end. We rate it 5 out of 5 stars. Ryan and I arrived to our destination in Wheat Ridge, Colorado at approximately 6:30 pm that evening.
I am pleased to introduce our hosts Austin and Abby. Austin and Ryan have been “brothers from another mother” since 7th grade. They grew up together and both attended the University of Maine in Orono for engineering. He and his wife Abby eloped last February 29, 2016 and are planning a celebration of their marriage later this year in Vermont. Abby is a super smart nurse practitioner completing her fellowship as a hospitalist/intensivist at the University of Colorado Hospital. They live in a posh apartment complex just outside of Denver with their dog Remi. The first night we arrived the four of us chatted until the early hours of Friday.
With Abby working at the hospital on April 28, I had the pleasure of spending the day with Austin and Ryan. We started with a workout in the morning before heading out to explore the region. Our first stop Red Rocks where we were fascinated by the stunning scenery and awesome amphitheater. From there, we went to Mountain Toad Brewery in Golden. The three of us ordered the BEST tacos ever from the Colorado Pig Rig, a food truck stationed just outside the brewery. We each had a chipotle chicken and Korean beef taco with a side of deep fried tater tots. Yum!! Next stop was New Terrain Brewing where we sampled more of the local beer offerings. It started snowing that evening and the snow would linger into most of the day on Saturday. We wrapped up the night by watching the biographical film “Lion”, which I would highly recommend. On a side note, April 28 was the day I was eligible for the Maine State Lottery’s $40,000,000 Fortune Final Event. The top prize was $2 million, plus they were giving away more cash, John Deere tractors, a Ford Mustang convertible, outdoor patio set, and a home entertainment system. My sister went as my proxy to the event which was held at the Augusta Civic Center. She was joined by my mom Rinda, dad Bill, and father-in-law Ralph. Regrettably, my crew only left with a new hat, water bottle, and two winning scratch-offs. Guess I am still saving my luck for Las Vegas…
Saturday was a beer marathon. With Abby having the day off from work, the four of us painted the town red. We started at the Denver Beer Co. where I purchased a sweet zip-up hoodie. The beer names were fun (I enjoyed the “Princess Yum Yum” and “Japance Off”, which had sake in it) and their warm pretzel was good, too! The Crooked Stave, which specializes in sour beers, was our second stop. We met up with Abby’s coworker Mike and his wife Jamie who accompanied us to the Wynkoop Brewing Company. Our assemblage of 6 expanded to 8 when we were joined by Abby’s fellow nurse practitioner Ashleigh (pictured with Abby and I outside) and her long-term boyfriend Dan. We visited another cool place called the Great Divide Brewing Company where more delicious beer was consumed. Mike and Jamie exited prior to the group’s dinner outing at Park Burger. Ryan and I got along swimmingly with Ashleigh and Dan who shared a lot of common interests. After many laughs and fun conversations, we eventually returned back to Austin and Abby’s place. I passed out around 2:00 am while the boys raged until 3:30 am. The noise of our alarm going off at 6:30 am the next morning was a rude awakening and the conclusion of our longest stay in one place for the month-long adventure.