“In a happy little foreign town where the stars hung upside down a half a world away” – Deana Carter
Miles traveled: 564.2
Today was a 9 hour road day (well technically 10 since I lost an hour with the time change), so before I got going I decided to make a small detour to get the blood flowing with a morning hike. I couldn’t think of leaving the Denver area without going to Red Rocks Park and seeing the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater – I’m a live music junkie, and it just would have been morally wrong to not go check the place out. They have a couple of trails in the park, so I hopped on the 1.4 mile loop trail by the trading post and then drove up the road a short tenth of a mile or so, parked Dusty the Jeep, and began the strenuous hike up the stairs to get to the top of the amphitheater. Holy lord were those steps steep! To paint the picture, the steps at the East entrance start well below the stage level, and they even have a sign telling you how many steps you have left (and to check your heart rate!) before the top. Sure, 29 steps, thanks for the motivation – I only just hiked a couple hundred…straight up. Once I past the snarky signage I made my way to the top and holy crap – what a view and what an awesome venue. I will be back someday for sure to see a live show there – it just has to be phenomenal! I made my way back down once my heart rate leveled out and I could breathe the very thin Colorado air with reasonable effort. I’ve been doing a good amount of hiking, but I’m clearly grossly out of shape! Once I got back to the Jeep, I made a quick stop into the trading post (which had some great music showcases of some of the big names who have played Red Rocks, including a whole section for the one and only John Denver) because I felt like my efforts of the morning certainly warranted a shirt and sticker for the cooler.
It was time to hit the road and make my way east to Topeka, Kansas. There’s not a whole lot to say about the drive, it wasn’t terribly eventful and the scenery was fairly one-note. Like holy cornfields, Kansas. My goodness. I did make some progress on my last audiobook (more on this dilemma later) given the hours I put in on the road today!
Anyways, I was starting to get a little road weary and I had noticed that at nearly every exit for one of the small towns in Kansas, there were numerous signs for Antiques. So I hopped off the exit for Abiline, KS (boyhood home of Dwight D Eisenhower – who knew) and meandered my way to the old main street area. I spotted a few antique stores and popped into one to look around for a good find. I am always on the hunt for an old camera to add to my collection so generally that’s what I focus on. I spotted a small Kodak Duaflex Camera with the strap from back in the Eastman Kodak era for $7. So I scooped that up right away, walked through the rest of the store and made my way to the check out counter. And that’s where I met long-winded Susan. Susan was the friendly storeowner, and oh boy was she a self-proclaimed chatterbox! The 47-minute check-out process consisted mostly of discussion (well…she did 98% of the talking, so perhaps discussion isn’t the most fitting word to describe the situation) around why she doesn’t allow people to take pictures in her store. Why you ask? Because they with then turn around and sell the images to the Chinese and they will “re-pop” them for profit on eBay. Alrighty. I was nearly at a loss for words and attempted to escape multiple times! Susan would have none of that – she started sketching drawings of items she had sold over the last 20 some odd years. Ha. I was finally able to escape, and drove the last hour and a half to my hotel in Topeka.
I checked into the hotel, and notice a Barnes & Noble down the street. I swung by and picked up a few more audiobooks – crisis averted. For now. I headed back to the hotel for the night since I had an early morning tomorrow!
Until next time…