Excruciatingly detailed journal of visiting Colorado and climbing Longs Peak

Friday, July 27, 2001

Zack and Scott’s American Airlines regional jet from Ft. Wayne to Chicago took off about 20 minutes late on Friday, July 27, 2001. It lifted off about 6:30 p.m. and only took 32 minutes to get to O’Hare. We deplaned and had a nice supper at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant there in the main concourse. We split a spicy chicken pizza and a big basket of French Fries. Zack had two ginger ales, Scott had a Killian’s Red beer. No dessert.

We left Chicago for Denver at 10:30 p.m. on what looked like a 727 and arrived on time, about 11:30 p.m. Mountain Time. No sweat getting our luggage or taking the Dollar shuttle to the pickup area, and we loaded into our silver2001 Dodge Intrepid and were driving out the exit by 12:45 a.m. I set the trip odometer to zero.

We were at Scott Ashley’s house by 1:15 a.m. and unpacked and in bed by 1:45 a.m.

Saturday, July 28, 2001

Next morning, Saturday, July 28, we were up by 8 a.m. for Scott, 9 a.m. for Zack. Scott Ashley’s mom called and I talked to her for about half an hour. We were showered and out the door by 11:20 a.m., headed for a nice lunch at the Hoffbrau, corner of Wadsworth and 88th in Arvada. Zack had a Little Joe 6 oz. Filet with Brau chips and three Dr. Peppers. Scott had a mushroom burger with Brau chips and a nice Guiness Stout.

We hit the road for services from there, navigating to US 36, then to I 25 and on down through serious traffic backup due to traffic to Castle Rock, Colo. We asked directions to the Recreation Center, and arrived at church at 2:30 p.m., half an hour late.

Charles Melear gave the sermon on the parable of the unjust steward, and we talked with him and Jacque afterwards. We agreed to meet at the Horsetooth Reservoir parking lot on Tuesday the 31st at 9 a.m. and take the 2.5-mile hike up to Horsetooth Mountain, then grill out at Charles and Jacque’s home for lunch that noon.

Mark and Suzy McNair Weaver were there, and we met retired minister Herbert Magoon, who was in a wheelchair due to a stroke 10 years ago that paralyzed him on the entire left side. He paints landscapes in oils and attends his stroke support group.

We also met a frail Mrs. Benson, no relation to Maurice Benson of the Dells, who asked me “when will our Lord return?” She was talking to a cute high school senior from San Jose, Calif., who was visiting friends for a couple of weeks. Met Kevin DuBois, a 42-year-old single who programs controls on Disney rides, video games and other neat stuff.

Afterwards we went to a church social outdoors at nearby Buttermilk Park, where I introduced myself to a nice young fellow who turned out to be David, the son of Danny and Anna Wilson, twin brother to SFG programmer David Wilson. He has a bachelor’s degree in business, and does telephone support for a French software company in Denver. Lives up near the Ashleys in a rented house with a roommate. Very happy, bright, nice fellow.

Then Zack and I drove up 85 to 285 to 70 to 470 to 8 to Red Rocks Park, arriving at about 6:15 p.m. We read the colorful and panoramic geology marker, walked around on the various sidewalks all over the place, stood on the stage, and visited the gift shop, where we bought two postcards, one for Peggy and one for Lorraine.

In the early 50s my mom went to concerts here, and one time sat near General Dwight Eisenhower in his military uniform.

We then drove back to the Ashley’s house at about 7:45 p.m., arriving about 8:30 p.m. We talked to Peggy on the phone for quite a while, and Scott worked on his departmental budgets for about half an hour. We then hit the hay about 10 p.m.

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