June 26, 2010

The Rocky Mountains Stole My Heart With Hugs of Gold

(Photos of Denver are in a separate posting because pictures change my settings.)

A stunning sunset sliding behind snow-capped mountains greeted me as I stepped off the plane in Denver, Colorado, last Monday evening, June 21. 2010.

Photos failed to capture the golden shadows casting a glow behind the majestic mountains, and the long silver shadows that reached out to greet me as I looked around for the rental car waiting to transport me to places I'd never seen!

Just slightly short of breath at this altitude of about 5,000 feet above sea level, and feeling a slight headache, I was happily surprised to discover that the effects were not bothersome as some had suggested they would be! These symptoms quickly disappeared and did not return at all.

With a little assistance, I got on the shuttle bus and rewarded myself at Dollar Rental with a bright red "economy' car.

Slightly breathless, I headed to Highway 270 towards those sunset silhouetted mountains that beckoned in the west where I hoped to find the apartment we had decided would be our new home if we make the move to Denver in a few weeks! I turned the dome lights on and off as I followed the Mapquest map I had printed before I left home.

Nothing but delightful surprises did I see as the night quickly surrounded me, and the city night lights sparkled off to my left. A black fortress of beauty filled the sky in front of me. Then, my last exit proudly boasted our favorite of all favorites - Cracker Barrel Restaurant!

A few miles further, and I was sitting outside our soon-to-be "new" apartment. The current owner walked right past my car and into the sweet two-bedroom unit we hope to call home very soon. I took a few night pictures, and pulled out the Mapquest route to the motel that came with my Travelocity package.

The next few hours were the most horrible experience I have ever endured.

I found the place after circling road construction, a bridge out, and long detours.

"Denver's Best" was a dirty, nasty, weekly motel for cheap truckers. (If I can say that without causing distress to truckers whom I respect very much.)

If I had known where I was, or felt safe enough to even leave my room after had I locked, double locked and secured my room, I would have certainly gone to another part of town to sleep that night!

But instead, I dispensed with supper and fell into a troubled sleep after several hours frightening noises that sounded like someone trying to open my door, foorsteps padding close to the foot of my bed, lonely trucker-dogs howling all around me, semi trucks negotiating the sharp turn of the back of the motel, and heavy doors slamming every few minutes. In my room, the full-size refrigerator next to the bed sounded like a bad lawn mower, and the window air-conditioner thundered into action like a tornado. I almost jumped out of bed every time either one came on!

Then I woke up about 3 a.m. all shaky and sick with what I recognised as LOW blood sugar. (No supper. Very little food on the plane.) I knew I had to eat something or the sugar would keep going down very fast as it sometimes does.

I forced myself call down to the front desk and tell the deep-throated manager that I was sick and need something to bring my sugar up. I asked if someone could bring me a candy bar from the vending machine. (I'd die before I'd step out of my room before daylight.) Surprisingly, someone knocked on the door, and a Hershey candy bar attached to long black fingers slipped through the crack. I exchange the candy bar for a $5 bill and barricaded the room again.

Thankfully, the candy and two cups of black coffee with sugar gave me my 'land legs" again and kept me alive until I could get out of there at daylight. I cancelled the next night even though I'd get no refund from Travelocity.

I'll not go into detail on the job situation, but at the 'interview' I was met by the supervisor and given a nice tour of the facility and a history of the company.

Then learned that they had hired a nurse for the position the day before.

"We had an internal applicant that we had to accept," she explained as she handed me a cold bottled water. "You have to be sure to drink lots of water at this altitude or you'll get sick."

They didn't call to let me know the position was filled because, she said, "I'm sure you have several other interviews today. Please feel free to use my name as a recommendation."

No, I didn't have any other interviews scheduled...

But, I used to time there to make several other inquiries and got encouraging leads that I'm confident will open up into at least one good job for me, and that's all I need.

The Mapquest maps I printed prior to leaving home turned out very useful. Indeed, I didn't get lost once. Those beautiful snow-capped mountains always whispering to me, and the crispy, clean, air that surrounded me, brought a feeling of welcome and freedom.

The apartment is just as perfect as I had imagined. I'm sure we will be happy there. I'll post some pictures, but they don't do it justice.

My friend, Juanita, might be pleased to see some photos from the University of Colorado. I drove down highway 36 and ended up there. I can't wait to see what's behind those lofty, cotton-tipped mountain peaks that sit right in their back yard!

My sister and her husband already plan a vacation there next year! Oldest son has promised to visit from Portland.

So, dear friends, followers, family, co-workers, and cyber neighbors. We are going to fly away while we still can. We want to step our of our comfort zone into a path of new adventure and happy endings.

We have so much to do in the next month!!!! Already, our hallway is stacked with dozens of donated boxes. John came over today and helped bring all the storage down in the garage.

The new apartment floor plan has been dissected to determine where every piece of furniture will fit. Even the placement of the kitty box is being considered.

The best is yet to come when I start posting photos of our wanderings through the great vastness of the Rocky Mountains for all to enjoy and savor.

Or maybe the best is when YOU come to visit us someday and watch that faithful sunset reach out with a hug of gold at end of every day.

Take Care on the Journey,
Your friend in life,

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