Friday, November 29, 2013

Idaho Springs to Denver

Idaho Springs to Denver

 Let me update where I'm at in my story... I had left Idaho Springs, CO. Trying to make it as close to Denver as I could get. I knew I was going to have to eventually get on to I70 for a few miles.  On my way out of town, I was able to get on a bike path past the tunnels. It was sweet, it ran next to the river the for about 4 miles. It twisted and turned between two high peeks, with jagged rocks jetting up at the top. As I walk, I always keep an eye out for some of Leroy's favorite things to eat. Its a habit now. Even when he's not with me, I walk over to a bush and stare at it, waiting for LeeRoy to pop his head out from behind me and and start eating what ever bush is in front of me...

 In fact, just the other day, as I walking I saw a patch of clovers  and walked up them and just starred waiting for LeeRoy to notice them too...The thing was. LeeRoy wasn't with me. He was at a host home and I was going out to eat with the host family. I laughed and then ran to catch up with the family as they walked into the restraunt hoping they didn't notice I had just stood staring at a patch of clovers for a good 10 seconds with a very confused look on my face. It's almost become an involuntary thing; when I see a bush LeeRoy would love, my body seems to be magnetically drawn...I have to keep reminding my self that LeeRoy is not with me ...

 Ok back to the story...
I had been walking through some beautiful territories, and I was loving it. My heart was at peace. I was feeling good. I was feeling strong. About 10 am I started getting so excited. Denver was just around the corner and I wanted to have a successful time. The last big city was Salt Lake, and that didn't go over well, so I was preparing my heart and mind. Also, one thing I have learned is people either love this whole project or hate it--no one is really in the middle. So I have to be prepared for anything. Ya know, looking back now, I remember thinking I was overwhelmed with people and opportunities so often during this journey. The funny thing is that was nothing compared to now. I must say I love it. But I don't think I'm the best with my time. 

 So I'm walking on the old 40 highway. The section I'm walking along at the time happens to be a very dangrous part.  The road has lots of twists and turns and that translates in to a lot of blind corners; and I hate, hate, hate that. There was no shoulder to the road so LeeRoy and I take up about 1/4 of the lane. I had made a plan to jump on I-70 because the side roads were just too dangerous.  People kind of freak out when I do that, but just for the record, the safest roads for us are the interstates. They always have really wide shoulders and the rumble strips that not only warn the driver that they have crossed over the line, and it's so loud that it warns me too.  So say what you want, but LeeRoy and I have always felt the safest there.

 I always walk facing the traffic... In fact, it's kind of turned in to this OCD kind of thing. I'm walking up the off ramp, onto I-70. This always makes me so nervous. I know I'm not supposed to do this. We are full on walking into traffic. About 1 mile into it, I start to calm down. It is fun to watch the faces of everyone driving by on this 4 lane interstate. Some smile or laugh, some looked shocked, but my favorite are the confused looks. I love to see that look of complete confusion, like "what is that guy doing?", "is that a goat?"-- it's hilarious. Just as I'm settling in and feeling confident in my decision, a police car pulls up in front of me. Before they get out of the car I do 3 things: get my ID out, start taking pictures with my phone, immediately get an attitude.
 In hindsight, I know the last one is a bad thing. During that time, I had just had a lot of bad experiences so I feel like I lost respect for police officers.  I don't do that so much anymore. I find you catch more flies with honey than vinegar when it comes to police, and even more than that, I know I can only control myself, not them. 

The officer gets out of the car, and I don't really look at him until he gets right next to me. I was staring at my phone with my hand out holding my id. when he comes up to me and says,
 Police man: howdy. What do you got going on here
 Me: not much just walking with a goat. I said as I looked up with an annoyed look on my face.
 Police man: ya I can see that, and you can't do it on the interstate.
 Before he even finished his sentence I started arguing with him.
 Me: I'm walking across America. We started in Seattle and have walked safely to here, and at times we have been on the interstate. 
 Police man: Well, you can't do it here. You have to get off the interstate. You're going to have to take the back roads.
 Me: I'm telling you it's so much worse on the back roads. There's no shoulders to the road has lots of blind corners.
 Police man:  Yeah, but there's not near as much traffic.
 Me: Yeah, well it only takes one...and we are dead.
 Police man: You have to get off the interstates.
 Me: Yeah, Yeah, ok. I'll get off at the next exit.
 Police man: No, man. You have to go back to that exit, and I will escort you there, He tells me with his hand raised pointing behind me.
 Me: What?! Come on. The next exit is about 2 miles away I'll be there in 30 mins.(That's a lie. It would have taken me more time than that.)
 Police man: Nope, sorry. I can't let you do that.  You have to go back.
 I drop my shoulders and throw them back as I say "Yeah, okay...".

To be continued.....

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