Monday, September 19, 2005
Simon Butterworth Heads To Colorado
The following report is from our good friend Simon Butterworth:
Ingrid retired in August and with my attempts to get a business going derailed by a biking accident in the spring we decided to move to more economical digs. As Katrina left devastation down south we crossed the path of her remains last month on our drive out to Colorado, with cat and dog. The following is a not too long summary of our drive out here.
We were very glad to have driven out here and finally seen a bit of the country that we have only seen from 30,000 ft in the past. We did not see much of anything but wet roads for the first day but by the time we stopped on day two to have a look at the site of the Chicago Triathlon (the waterfront) the sun was shining (and has remained so except for one day ever since). If you are one of my Triathlete friends and have thought of doing a Tri with over 5,000 other people Chicago is certainly the place to do it. If it was not for the winters out here I could think of no better very big city to live in.
Crossing Wisconsin we were also temped to stop and stay. It is easy to understand why so much cheese comes from here. We stopped at Lacrosse to have a look at the Mississippi and found a magnificent small city.
Crossing the Prairie at 70 mph is interesting at least for a while. Thinking about going across in a Prairie Schooner (AKA Covered Wagon) brought new respect to the pioneers of this country and continued respect to the farmers still working this land. And, if the pioneers route took them into the Badlands (as we did) they must have thought that God had abandoned them completely. I think this place defines desolate beauty better than any I have ever seen.
It is hard to imagine that this was once a place teaming with sea life (the rocks are limestone formed at the bottom of a shallow inland sea). It also provokes a sobering thought that there is enough water, locked up in the ice caps, to flood this area 1,000 of miles from the sea and I think over 1,000 ft in elevation.
The Black Hills and Mt Rushmore rise out of the desolation to the west of the Badland. Well worth a visit to play tourist and a great place to train. A night in the Bavarian Inn (instead of Super 8 motels) was most welcome. An early morning run introduced me to what running was going to be like out here, very nice.
Another day of Prairie heading south across eastern Wyoming and we were cruising down the I25 with the Rockies on our right. Sure is a great way to arrive in the Boulder Denver Area.
The animals did great on the trip. Nina our cat was not too happy at being cooped up in a small dog cage for the trip but she survived. We brought a harness and leash to “walk” her and she adapted quickly and also learned a Houdini trick and on one occasion climbed out the harness and took off between a fleet of parked tractor trailers. She was happy we were not. Hanna (dog) also adapted well and seemed to look on our minivan as home after 5 days.
So here we are. Apart from unpacking we have spent the last two weeks looking for a permanent home and we hope we have found it. I wish it had a view of the mountains from the house but views add big bucks, 50K in new developments, to the price of a home. With this one all we have to do is step out of the front of the house and we can see the Flatirons (a section of the Front Range of the Rockies) with very dramatic rock outcroppings (popular spot for Climbers).
NOTE: If you need Simon's new email address, just ask Bob Miller or me (Mike Engel)