10/16/2004: Getting the heck out of Dodge
We got up, and got the 7734 out of Dodge. (Try it upside down with an open four).
We didn't bother to tour the tourist center at Boot Hill, or even to visit the "Historic Downtown Area". We skipped them because of both the seasonal closures of the good stuff, and our inherent aversion to sites aggressively pandering to tourists.
One thing I have to say for Kansas is that it has nice roads. As soon as we hit Colorado, and road condition noticeably worsened. We passed a sign, "Welcome to Colorful Colorado". Nothing but endless browns and beiges of autumn fields.
We stopped in Lamar, CO at the welcome center. There was a 2-block long line for flu shots at the Senior Center across from us.
We finally saw a distant, hazy mountain from U.S. 50 between the towns of Las Animas, CO and La Junta, CO (Maybe an hour west of the Kansas border).
We've made it to Colorado Springs, CO elevation about 6,000ft. First we went to one that assured us on the phone that they had high speed internet. We got there and the freckled girl at the desk explained that AOL dial-up is "high speed". Feh. We got lost trying to find the next hotel, that only offered a mountain view. We got lost our last time through this town 2 years ago. Maybe we're still there! Anyway, the Rodeway Inn had just installed a WiFi port! The assistant manager is a Wash. U. EE degreed Indian (from near Bangalore) who burned out on tech work a few years ago.
As some of you know, one of our goals for this drive out west was to make the Saturday evening Contradance in Colorado Springs. We got to town hours early, and I looked up the address of the dance online. After dark, we drove the winding way, through unlit neighborhoods and into an industrial looking area that the map indicated. There was a building with some lights on and a few cars parked. We walked in, and were the 4th couple to appear. To the Square Dance! The contra dance was at the far end of town, but didn't have directions online. Well, once we were there, they didn't let us leave. With us, they had enough for a square, if the caller danced. Well, we stayed and had a pretty good time. The caller was good, and patient with us newbies. Most of the group knew from contra, so they did expect us to be fast learners.
I'd even heard of the caller, so I surmised that he must be somewhat famous: Ron Counts with his partner, Kit.