things to do in denver when you’re red
The last few days of my trip Denver followed my standard new city vacation profile, in general: use the public transport system, such as it is, and my feet for the rest.
Tuesday it was South Denver; after taking the Light Rail as far as it went, to the Lincoln station, I checked out the immediate area. Between huge housing developments there are huge empty fields; I stood in the middle of one, took in the view of the Rockies, resisted the temptation to pick up a handful of dry red soil and take a sniff, then returned to the station to catch a bus. (I was late, but so was the bus.)
The driver, a little Mexican guy in sunglasses, had a radio on: like every other time I heard the radio in Colorado, it was playing almost all British pop music, hardly anything American at all. The bus took us through Sky Ridge, where I found myself whistling Little Boxes, then stopped when I noticed just how huge these little boxes were. Some were as big as the 3-floor 15-apartment building I’m writing this from. I got off at the Highlands Ranch center – out of curiosity at the name – in time for lunch, so I had to try a Fatburger. Definitely the best fast food I had on my trip, and surprisingly healthy, with the amount of salad they had on top. Not much else around there except yet another Barnes & Noble, so I hit the road.
This was a mistake: it was getting hot, I had no sunscreen on, and I had underestimated the distance to the Lyttleton / Mineral station on the not-to-scale map. Two miles later the road took a sharp left, and I could see it carried on for at least two miles further, with nothing at the end. I know my limitations, so I waited for the bus in the shade of a road sign. Some strange looks from passing cars and Harleys, but no-one said a word to me. It eventually arrived, the same bus with the same driver as earlier, who failed to give me a strange look. Oh well; we got to the station about four miles down the road, where I caught the Light Rail back to downtown Denver.
After hitting Walgreens for some supplies, it was a night off, with free internet access and a hot bath, listening to the latest podcast of NPR’s Wait… Wait… Don’t Tell Me. I’d asked the hotel for a bathtub, and got one, but ended up wishing I hadn’t; it was short, and there was no headroom before the wall behind it, so I couldn’t lay back all the way. There was also a large shiny knob, controlling the plug, that gave me the kind of view of myself that I hope I never have again. Then I took my glasses off, so all I could see in the reflection was a blur of colour; a closer look at my face showed me the colour I would be for the next few days.