Thursday, August 11, 2016

Golden Colorado

Day three on our road trip took us on a route that would avoid Denver at all costs.  We were warned about the traffic in Denver so we took a route that ended up going through Golden, Colorado. As we were approaching Golden I kept thinking it sounded familiar. Why have I heard of this place before? Oh, yea Coors beer. This was the first town in Colorado where I actually felt like I was in Colorado. We went through a couple of other larger towns, Loveland and Boulder,  but they were so new. All of the buildings were new and modern and they looked like they could have been anywhere in the US.  Golden had an older downtown area, but it was clean and kept up very well. It looked like more of an old west town. The town was surrounded by mountains too so the views, every where you looked, were spectacular.
Our main objective here was to get something to eat and stretch our legs. We walked around and found Buffalo Rose. They had live music on the patio so we found a shady spot and waited for lunch. The service was sooooo slooooooow but the food and entertainment were good so it sort of evened out. Seriously, it took close to 40 minutes for my chicken quesadilla. It was a delicious chicken quesadilla but still. After our long leisurely lunch we walked around the town. When we drove into town we notice people walking around with inter tubes.
There must have been a water park or something and we wanted to find it.  We followed some tubes down the sidewalk and found the spot where they were all going. It's called Clear Creek White Water Park.  You can bring your own tube or rent one and get in the creek and float down.  There were even some fishermen in the creek. There's a nice walkway going along the water.  Since we didn't have our swimming gear handy we walked on this pathway for a little while. It looked like if you kept following the creek you'd end up at the Coors Brewing facility.
We only spent a couple of hours in Golden but glad we did. It was a great pit stop.
Up to this point we avoided bad traffic and minimal construction zones.  We were glad we went around Denver, even though we really didn't know what the traffic was like. Unfortunately I-70 west of Golden was a nightmare. The speed limit was 75 MPH and we averaged 18 MPH for a long time. Going that slow we had plenty of time to contemplate what was causing the traffic jam. It's a four lane highway and all lanes were at a crawl.  Surely there was a horrible wreck. Nope.  The elusive runaway truck? Nope. Jack knife? Nope. Fallen rocks? Nope. A broken down vehicle in the middle of the road? Nope. NOTHING. Once we got out of the ridiculousness of an 18 MPH descent down the mountain we saw nothing that would cause anyone to go that slow. I came to the conclussion that we were all stuck in a bad game of follow the leader and the leader was someone who should have left their car in the driveway that day. My journal uses more colourful adjectives but we'll leave it at that. So this leads to travel tip #5324, make sure you use the restroom before getting back in the car. This stretch of the road trip was only supposed to be two and a half hours long, which any normal person should be able to "hold it" for that long. Unfortunately Google Maps, Garmin and Siri never plan for 18 MPH traffic. When you're stuck in the fast lane going nowhere there is nowhere to pull over to use the restroom.  On the flip side you should also make sure you have something to drink and some good tunes to get you through the madness.  In Chicago this sort of traffic makes people lose their stuff, but in Colorado everyone seemed so calm, like we were all in it together, so we all cooperated with each other to get through it. We joked that this must be the evidence of what legal marijuana sales can do.
Up next, I finally make it to Glenwood Springs, CO!  Some of the best adventures were done in this area so stay tuned.

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