On my way from St Louis to Denver I stopped by in Topeka, Kansas, just to check out the capital of the state where creationism is as good as evolution, as far as the history of mankind is concerned. And this being election season, the folks who got voted into the school board four years ago, and got booted out two years ago, are now trying to get back in. Stay tuned for more creationism after November 5.

But then moving on the Denver was quite something. Driving for hours through western Kansas is rather boring: never have I seen so much land with so little in it, and being so flat. At any time one can see for many miles in all directions (not that there actually is something worthwhile to look at but farmland). But eventually (now in Colorado) things get more hilly, and finally one drives over one last hill, and suddenly the whole horizon, North to South, is filled with the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. A spectacular, unforgettable view.

Denver itself is quite nice, as is the whole area. Much more happening than the Mid-Western cities, and very much up-and-coming. And of course all the mountains to look at/climb/ski/whatever you could wish for. The friend I stayed with -a marathon runner- had some fun telling me to go for a morning run, which turned into a lot of huffing and puffing on my part: it's quite noticeable that suddenly I'm a mile high, and the air much thinner. Since this is supposed to be a vacation I think I'll skip running while up in the mountains.

Moving on to South-Eastern Utah, I passed by Vail and Aspen (too early for skiing though), and got some great views of the Colorado River Valley/Canyon along the way. I thought I was beyond civilization in Kansas when I couldn't get FM radio; here (Moab, UT) there isn't even AM radio. But who needs technology when nature offers so much? The answer, of course, is many people, which is why there's satellite TV. Not for me in my hostel though, where one goes to bed early, and gets up early the next morning, to get the most hiking out of the day's sunlight.

After checking in on Arches, Canyonlands and Bridges National Parks, I'm headed for Arizona, and my side trip to Chicago is coming up too.



TripPrologue - TripPart1 - TripPart3 - TripPart4 - TripPart5 - TripPart6 - TripEpilogue - Photos