Thursday, April 08, 2010

2010 USA Tour : April 5th, Denver CO

Audienceleaving Craig CO

It was a cold cloudy morning, but with none of the expected winter weather.

Before we set off met the owners of the site who were very friendly and also had a wonderful general store there. However, keeping to their high pricing where all camp sites so far offer free morning coffee, there’s was a dollar a cup. Then we needed to fill up with LPG gas and their price for that was 30% more than we had paid before. On their side, they seem to have very little RV trade so I can understand their high pricing is to ensure they can afford to stay in business. However, I wonder if their pricing is scaring campers away. Only they could really know that.

It was good to be on the road, back on the wild Route 40 along the side of the Williams Fork mountains and through some more small stage coach stop style tiny towns. Shortly the sky was blue, sun out and the day warm.

Steamboat Springs and beyond

First thing we discovered, as we entered Steamboat Springs, was the RV campsite I had booked, then the manager cancelled, was actually open and quite busy. It is a beautiful campsite in woods and by the river. We groaned.

Add to that the outstanding beauty of the Steamboat Springs town. We would have loved to have spent some time here. Steamboat Springs seems to be both gateway to the Rockies ski resorts towards Denver as well as the pioneering trail of Route 40 we had just been on. The wild west architecture here is at its best and the novelty of the small shops and entertainment is all very luring. Add to that the stunning landscapes around it. There is also a very active free bus service to get everyone around. We would have had quite a ball staying overnight here.

Beyond Steamboat Springs the wild west scenes and small towns stop and are replaced by modern ski resorts that became more frequent as we became closer to Denver. Driving also changes from empty “easy rider” style plains, desert, wild red and yellow rocks to quite busy mountain roads that twist and turn up and down the forested rockies mountains including many hairpin bends and absolutely no pull-ins for taking photos. Shame we could not stop and take more of this in as these mountains are extremely beautiful.

into Denver

As with any large USA city, once you are within 50 miles of it, the traffic is abundant and often gridlocked. With Denver, approaching from the west, this is so true, while also still driving sweeping bends and up and down steep Rockies roads, on a 6 lane highway.

I have heard that Denver is always a young town and this was well established by the driving. In Ireland we have a fear of the “boy racers”, affluent young men in highly paid professional jobs who pour all of their money in zooped up cars and terrorise the roads at the weekend with their high speed and daring jinx while full of drugs and alcohol. They cause about 75% of Ireland’s road deaths. We soon discovered Denver has a large breed of their own, and Claire pointed out that it seemed to be two “girl racers” for every “boy racer”. We had a few narrow escapes from their tail gating, zipping across the front of us to turn right, racing to block gaps and blocking our way if we wanted to make a turn, absolute zero courtesy with their driving.

It was a delight to get into old down town Denver, one of the nicest downtowns we have visited, but watch out for the boy and girl racers who all totally ignore all stop signs and red lights. Note sure what is worse now, these “racers” or the deer suddenly jumping in the road. I think I’ll have the deer.

The wonderful, wonderful Moondance Botanicals

Lovely location and easy parking, and then you walk into the Moondance Botanicals store, to an other world experience of nature dreamtime.

We knew right away this was a perfect fitting venue for what Claire and I do, especially Claire who is very much a star and perfect light for stunning venues like these.

Claire and I performed two shows as more people that can fit the room had booked to come. We had never done two shows one after another so it was a strange experience. Claire did perform a different selection of songs and tunes for each show. During the second set she performed the Connemara Cradle Song beautifully, a song I had never seen her perform live.

Tonja of Moodance Botanicals started each show with a beautiful introduction.

The audience and ourselves enjoyed exploring the inspired botanical products, in the store, for all life’s experiences.

This was a wonderful show for meeting Facebook friends, one of the best shows for Facebook friends actually turning up. I have discovered that Facebook is wonderful for co-ordinating the creation of events, but for getting people along the old ways are best, phoning up friends and inviting them, and asking them to bring friends, and maybe sending emails with links to info too.

then off to camp

Our camping for the night was in the beautiful and well run Crystal Lake State Park, a beautiful large oasis on nature within Denver’s urban landscape.


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