Friday, July 17, 2015

Boobs, Beers, and Old Friends

The view from our room.  Colorado Springs is beautiful!
After much contemplation we decided Pikes Peak was going to have to wait until Day 3.  Neither of us were thrilled with the idea of doing that run in the rain.  The thing we've noticed with Colorado is morning riding is usually pretty nice, but look out for those thunderstorms in the afternoon.  Our hope was that if we just holed up for the night, we'd be able to ride with some sun the next morning and actually be able to see and enjoy more of it.

As I said in my last post, we have friends that live in Colorado Springs.  The BWG grew up with them and I met the wife through Facebook.  Old friends for the BWG, new friends for me.  I'd talked to her through Facebook messenger and on the phone a few times while doing some custom jewelry pieces.  I knew I had to meet her in person.  She seem so down to earth.  The kind of person we call "Salt".  I had a feeling it would be an instant friendship. 

From the awning at Santa's Workshop, I gave her a call.  After we coordinated where we were with where they live and where we were having dinner I had an idea of where we needed to be.  Thank goodness our new laminated Colorado map had an additional city map of Colorado Springs on the back that included exits.  That made it pretty simple to get us back on the road and headed in the right direction.

Just when I thought roads where were bad they got worse.  The interstate through Colorado Springs is awful.  Pot holes from hell and traffic, that I swear, is worse than Las Vegas.  I was grateful we only had a few miles.  Busy interstates throw my anxiety right over the edge.  Everyone is in such a damn hurry to get somewhere and no one really looks for motorcycles. Along with pot holes the size of toilet seats I was ready to get back to two lanes.

We lucked out on finding a room big time.  The first motel we checked out, the Embassy Suites, was booked.  I've stayed in Embassy Suites before and if you're willing to pay a little extra, they are great.  The rooms are nice and there's a lounge.  Needless to say I was a little bummed we couldn't get in.  Right across the street there was a Best Western. They had a few suites left for $130.  This is was way over our budget.  But with the rain, the fact that they had a laundry, a decent continental breakfast, and a bar across the street, we jumped at it.  Still wet and cold we unloaded into our new digs for the night.  We were pretty excited about the bed too.  It was HUGE.  Which meant we could sleep without butt kissing all night the way we had in Delta.  The BWG is twice my size.  Sleeping in a full bed with him is near impossible.  I spend all night on a slant trying not to roll in to him.  Plus he's a restless sleeper so arms and legs are flailing all night long.  I was looking forward to us both getting a good nights sleep.

After unloading, getting my contacts out, and a ball cap on, we walked over to the Embassy Suites to try and dry out and relax with a beer.  Our friend met up with us there and offered to chauffeur us for the evening so we didn't have to worry about getting ourselves around.  I gotta tell ya, I instantly loved her.  Real people make me happy.  She and the BWG reminisced about their years growing up and I could see a true friendship that had withstood the thirty some years since high school when they last saw each other.  Happily married for a couple life times, she filled us in on her husband and kids and all the changes they had been through over the years.  Her husband was working that night so dinner was to be just the three of us.

I had never heard of The Tilted Kilt other than it was an Irish bar and grill type restaurant.  After walking through the front door I was pretty sure we don't have those in Utah.  There were boobs. Lots of boobs.  It was a Celtic version of Hooters.  For a moment I was certainly feeling my age.  Not that I ever had much in the way of boobs, but I did used to be one of the dolled up young girls that could walk around with a plastic smile for hours on end.  Things are a little different at 39 than they were at 23. 

The food was GREAT!  We all ordered fish and chips.  After my first trip to Canada my mom told me when you order fish and chips always look on the table.  If malted vinegar is a condiment in the place it's more than likely going to be pretty good.  As soon as our food arrived I spotted the malted vinegar and was a little giddy.  It's not an easy feat to find good fish and chips where we are from.  The Tilted Kilt did not disappoint. And it was only two buildings down from our Motel.  BONUS!  AND they serve beer. Another bonus.

After dinner our friend drove us out to where her husband works so the BWG could catch up with him for a bit and so I could meet him for the first time.  He was a great guy.  Fantastic sense of humor yet a somewhat quiet.  He's worked hard through the years to get where he is, yet he wasn't arrogant or egotistical about that at all.  Just a super nice guy that is just happy to be who he is.  You could also see the bond between he and his wife.  The genuine caring and friendship they share that I'm certain took years to cultivate.  Relationships are hard at their best, but this couple truly has something special between them. They are the kind of people you WANT to be around just so you can learn how it's done. I'm sure we will be visiting them again.

Back at our motel we decided to get laundry done.  By this time we are getting pretty tired and more than ready to just lay in bed with the TV and kill a six pack.  However there were two other couples that had the same laundry idea.  Fortunately our room was right across the hall from the washer and dryer so 15 trips to check our clothes wasn't as bad as it could have been.  I did learn a lesson though, get up early and wash your clothes in the morning.  It was almost 11pm before I drug our stuff back to the room half wet.  I ended up laying everything out hoping it would dry before we had to pack up the next morning.  We were tired enough that we ended up leaving the maid three unopened beers.

In order to save time we decided to refill our water bottles in our room and have breakfast at the motel.  That way we could just be on the road and head over to Pikes Peak without trying to find a decent place to eat and a grocery store.  I'm not big on refilling water bottles.  I've heard the stories about how those things can contribute to cancer so a one time refill within 24 hours is my limit on that. It worked out great though.  Breakfast was better than we expected as well.  Scrambled eggs, omelets, sausage, bacon, yogurt, fruit, waffles, and a variety of other options were available.  We figured we saved $20-$30 on breakfast and it was decent eating and balanced out the over budget room for the night.

It never ceases to amaze me the people who will strike up a conversation when they see you are traveling on a bike.  I had stepped outside after breakfast for a smoke (please don't judge).  That bike is my comfort zone so I always head to it when the BWG isn't with me.  We have a bond.  LOL.  I look out for the bike and it looks out for me.  I parked my butt on the curb and it didn't take long for a gentleman, that was also smoking, to walk over and strike up a conversation.  He was from PA and I think this was their sixth trip to Colorado over the course of a few years. The second in a month.  He filled me in on some of the sights and things they loved about the area including Cave of the Winds and The Royal Gorge Bridge.  He had been up to Pikes Peak already and was heading back up via the Cog Train that leaves from Manitou Springs. He mentioned that it was probably a good idea we had skipped Pikes Peak the day before given that so many people get struck by lightening up there during the thunderstorms.  Well duh, why didn't I think of that???  I was hugely relieved we had decided to wait as the weather was looking good for us this morning. 
This little critter decided to join the conversation as well.  The gentleman from PA said that happens a lot around there.  I guess the bunnies just hang out and are somewhat like rodents.  Who knew?  I probably could have fed him if I'd have had anything to offer but our snacks were still in the room.  We said goodbye to Mr. PA and he told us to look for him below us on Pikes Peak, he'd be in the train.  We never did end up seeing him again.

Ok friends, Pikes Peak is going to have to wait another day since my posts are running so long.  And I KNOW that one is going to be lengthy.  It was one of the highlights of our trip and I'm so excited to share but want to give it the attention it deserves.  So, until tomorrow.....

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