If you are lucky, you have what I call “Two o’clock in the morning friends.”
You know the friends. The few rare people you can call at 2 AM in the morning. And when they answer their phone, they don’t ask “Why are you calling so early????“, the instead immediately ask “What’s wrong?”
I have a handful of friends in this way. A few in Colorado. And some in Rhode Island.
One of these friends is my buddy Tim.
We went to same Catholic elementary school, both our mothers volunteered to watch the children during lunch time at said school, and we worked in the same hospital in our teens and early twenties. He took me on my first mistake-prone backpacking trip. And he along with some other family members and friends joined me on Katahdin for the last day of my Appalachian Trail thru-hike.
He also helped moved me to Colorado a year later. (If two guys from Rhode Island traveling to Colorado sounds a bit familiar, it is also the plot of Dumb and Dumber. I kid you not.)
Tim had some vacation time. And he made a cross-country motorcycle trip from Rhode Island to Colorado. As of this writing, he is about two-days from home. That’s 4000 miles in about a weeks time.
The last time he was in Colorado was for my wedding back in 2012. ‘Nuff said. 😉
We caught up, talked, had a beer or two, and enjoyed *not* playing tourist in Colorado.
But we did get a hike in over the vist. Something to stretch out the legs that was not touristy.
We did a little over 8-mile hike in the Red Mountain Open Space up by the Wyoming border.
Combined with two other public land areas, there are about 75 sq miles of rolling plains, arroyos, and sheer open space that is very much alien to the wooded and congested area of southern New England from which we hail.
Tim was impressed. And I was happy to show one of my favorite areas in Colorado.
A well-known song played in our heads for obvious reasons.
We drove to the nearby Soapstone Prairie to see something different. Tim was again impressed with the vast space. Something not seen in Rhode Island.
And what did we see on the horizon? The elusive Yellowstone Bison herd that was re-introduced to this area. I was hoping a cool and overcast day would bring them out. And there they were.
The following day was very rainy. Perhaps not the best day to go higher up in the mountains as originally planned.
The theme of large mammals was continued by going to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge just outside of Denver. A remarkable place of 16,000 acres next to a major metro area. And with a herd of bison easily seen on an 11-mile driving tour. I had been there previously and thought it would be a worthy place to see again.
We saw some raptors.
And one very large bison!
An unplanned for trip, due to rainy weather, ended up being a great highlight.
All in all, a very good visit. A fantastic way to catch up while getting some outdoor time in, too.