Minnesota to Colorado… and Back – The Road Trip Recap (July 2-7)

Post #100 was already about the events that took place at Coors Field itself, so this post will exclude the baseball aspect of my trip and focus on the rest of the non-baseball stuff I did while visiting my “childhood-crush” of a state.

July 2 – Travel to Worthington

The trip began after my wife and I finished work on Tuesday evening. My parents came down to our place and we headed down to Worthington, MN – cutting our trip down to about 11-12 hours instead of 14+ hours in one day. My grandparents live down in Worthington, so we had a free place to crash before starting in on the terribleness that is NEBRASKA.

On the way down I snapped a couple photos, as to catch the spirit of the road trip. I wanted to document each day, so here’s the trip in a mostly visual form:

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Shot #1: The scenery just outside of our starting point.

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Shot #2: A typical backdrop as you come closer to the day 1 destination – Worthington.

July 3 – Travel from Worthington to Denver

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Shot #3: Thanks Nebraska! Just when I thought the constant scenery of corn was bad, then we see this awesome “structure”.

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Shot #4: My first real indication of Denver approaching. What’s more exciting, seeing Colorado for the first time or nearly escaping the death-clutch of Nebraska?

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Shot #5: Oil. Colorado has oil, something Minnesota doesn’t have.

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Shot #6: Just outside of the Denver suburbs I see my first glimpse of recognizable mountains.

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Shot #7: Fishman. But it was a lady driving, so more like Fish-lady? Isn’t a fish-lady a mermaid, though? Either way, I can’t help but think of a catchy tune.

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Shot #8: After reaching the hotel we decided to check out Tocabe, a Native American Restaurant that specializes in Fry-Bread Tacos. EXCELLENT!

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Shot #9: Also on the menu were Buffalo ribs served with blueberry BBQ sauce. I was pleasantly surprised by the sauce, though the ribs left a bit to be desired (surprisingly fatty for buffalo meat).

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Shot #10: What do I see playing on the TV? The Twins are playing the Yankees at Target Field, and I get to watch them 880 miles down the road while enjoying the local Denver-cuisine.

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Shot #11: And this was my “shot of the day” on Instagram – a nice stream running through the mountains in Golden, CO.

I also took a quick video, but it didn’t turn out the best. I still uploaded it to YouTube; be kind, I know it’s low quality:

July 4 – Coors Field

BASEBALL! Check out the previous post to read more. Here’s a small sample of the game:

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Shot #12: A modified version of a picture posted on the previous entry. I used a cool app (“Toon Camera”) to edit the photo.

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Shot #13: …And here’s a panorama that wasn’t included in the previous blog post. This was my exact view of the game, not bad, huh?

July 5 – Summit of Pikes Peak (14,115 feet)

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Shot #14: The anticipation for our climb up the hill began at the cog station. (Take note of the weather, the “after” picture is very different.)

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Shot #15: When the guide explained that one of the areas we’d be passing through was Minnehaha, our ears perked up – Minnesota has numerous city/geography names including Minnehaha, plus I was born in Minnehaha county in South Dakota! (Jael wanted me to mention: Minnehaha is Dakota for “dancing water”, not “laughing water” like the “-haha” seems to imply.)

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Shot #16: The first of the awe-inspiring views. Only about half-way up the mountain we started to realize the climb ahead.

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Shot #17: This non-occupied property once was home to a child-birth! Can you imagine the craziness of giving birth at 12,000+ feet?!

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Shot #18: Let’s play a little game: “Find the marmot!”

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Shot #19: My dream of seeing a snow-capped mountain was fulfilled later when I could see some large mountains to the north of Denver, but I DID see a little bit of snow on Pikes Peak, too!

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Shot #20: Reached the summit! This view was pretty incredible… if only I wasn’t starting to feel the effects of the high altitude so suddenly. I’m not sure if it was 100% altitude or the heights coupled with anxiety, but I felt some weirdness early on.

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Shot #21: A mile-marker on top of a mountain. To think that a man ran up the entire thing in almost exactly 2 hours flat. Don’t even get me started on the other guy who drove up it in just over 8 minutes (that’s over 100 mph in the straight-aways with no guard-rails).

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Shot #22: Yet another wonderful shot from the summit of a mountain within approximately 300 feet of being the tallest mountain in Colorado!

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Shot #23: Jael and I at the summit. By this time I was starting to see some spots and not feel the best. Damn you, altitude!!

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Shot #24: My parents, co-conquers of the mountain with my wife and me.

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Shot #25: Every time I tried to exert energy I felt like passing out, so I took this picture for yet another game called: “Find the wife!”

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Shot #26: This was the Instagram “shot of the day”. Definitely a shot I could not get anywhere close to Minnesota.

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Shot #27: For some reason there was a discrepancy between “summit peak footage”. This and a few other signs said 14,110 feet, while others stated 14,115. Might it be growing?

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Shot #28: On the way back down the mountain my wife started freaking out. I thought she was having a seizure or altitude sickness or some other issue, but nope, she nearly broke the camera hanging from her neck because she was trying to grab her phone to take a photo of the GOAT!! Well, it wasn’t the flattering side of the mountain goat, just its butt. The goat appeared to be digging into the dirt/rock, but we finally saw its head as we went a little further down the mountain. With that said, there was something that we missed in this photo, something I’ll reveal in a photo taken on accident by my mom – we noticed it only after returning from the trip.

Additional note: “Jael” is hebrew for “wild mountain goat”, so she was not only thrilled just to see this awesome wildlife, but seeing how she was viewing the very definition of her name, it was especially happy-panic-inducing.

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Shot #29: I told you that the weather changed! It started off mostly-sunny and warm and by the time we came back down the mountain is was cooler and down-pouring. We got super lucky with the timing, since the rain held off until about 2 miles left down the mountain.

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Shot #30: Visible above is a BABY GOAT! We missed this little guy in all the excitement of the mother-goat, probably due to its small size and camouflage ability. Take a better look at picture 28 above, just to the left of the bigger goat, the little guy is just blending in with the rocks.

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Shot #31: The highest-above-sea-level panorama that I will probably ever take in my life (while standing on solid ground).

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Shot #32: Gray’s Coors Tavern – Home of the best “sloppers” in Pueblo (which is also home of the “slopper”). We decided, mainly because I wanted to try one, to make the one hour trek down the road from Manitou Springs and try this local specialty.

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Shot #33: Before I reveal what exactly a “slopper” is, I want to show you the inside of the bar. I blurred out most of it, since it was your typical dive, but the area more in focus is a line of baseball gloves. I do not know the entire back-story, but it appeared as though many patrons/relatives of the owners had their gloves immortalized in the bar. The string of gloves went nearly around the entire perimeter of the bar.

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Shot #34: I ordered the full-size “red-chili slopper”, mainly because Jael and I wanted to try both the red and green versions, but Jael doesn’t care for beans, and this obviously has beans. this slopper was pretty delicious, but…

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Shot #35: …the “green-chili slopper” was amazing! I purposefully didn’t describe what a “slopper” is, because it isn’t until this photo where you can actually see the real ingredients. A “slopper” is: the bottom half of a hamburger bun, a hamburger patty, slice of cheese, green chili, and onions all served in a bowl. TOP-NOTCH FOOD!!

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Shot #36: While stopping at a 7-Eleven (remember, I love finding crazy drinks; couple that with the lack of 7-Elevens and you have a perfect pit-stop) I snapped this semi-cool photo of pretty-colored clouds. My phone doesn’t take the best evening/night pictures, but it’ll do.

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Shot #37: More clouds, this time there were definite cumulus mammatus clouds visible – though my not-so-good phone and delay/bad angle prevented a better picture.

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Shot #38: And that was my haul from the 7-Eleven. Shaq on a can of pop meant an EASY purchase.

July 6 – Our Slow Trek Back to Minnesota

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Shot #39: SNOW-CAPPED MOUNTAINS! Off in the distance are the prized-possessions of my mind. I had dreamed of seeing snow on top of large mountains since in grade-school, and now it was within viewing distance.

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Shot #40: Iowa. not nearly as bad as Nebraska, but continued views of corn as we made our way back towards Minnesota began to be a nuisance. Sunsets like this are kind of pretty and calming though.

July 7 – Road Trip Over

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Shot #41: The last “photo of the day” of the trip. This was taken just outside of Worthington – the last of farm-country for a while.

Well, thanks for reading the blog! The trip was crazy, over 2,000 miles on the road in less than a week, constant movement and sights to see.

Thanks go out to my family for taking me to see these wonderful sights.

2 thoughts on “Minnesota to Colorado… and Back – The Road Trip Recap (July 2-7)

  1. Pingback: The 2013 Baseball Season – A Year In Review (Picture Edition) « Plouffe's New Hairdo

  2. Pingback: Plouffe’s New Hairdo’s State of the Union: A Shining Past, Present, and Future « Plouffe's New Hairdo

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