Saturday, May 11th, 2013
We drove back to downtown Denver. For reasons I can’t pinpoint, Denver reminds me a little bit of Baltimore, except it’s much, much cleaner. We started our morning out searching for a coffee shop that wasn’t Starbucks, which was a challenge. We asked a girl who was passing by us where one would be. She told us to follow her to her work, since there was a coffee shop on the first level of the building. It was a coffee shop and a hair salon, which was an unusual combo (but hey, we’ve been to a ice cream parlor/laundromat in Texas). Unfortunately the coffee was pretty lousy (I guess hair is more in their skill set), but it was good enough for the time being.
We went to Pata-gucci (Patagonia), so Trevor could get his usual sticker for the van and so I could beg for a new pair of shorts. Back in New Mexico, I tore one of my favorite pair of Strider running shorts, and Trevor insisted I keep the remains since he had faith that they would help me out (They are known for their amazing customer service). They took my shorts with no questions asked, and although they felt bad that they no longer carried the color I had, they handed me three other pairs to choose from for a replacement. This would be the start of my dedication to this company. Not only do they have great customer service and carry fair trade products, the owner, Yvon Chouinard uses the profits towards environmental activism.
We strolled along Broadway before grabbing lunch at a very artsy bar and restaurant called “Sputnik”. The food was amazing! We did some more window shopping on Broadway before meeting up with our old friend, Lisa at a place called “The Irish Rover”. We did some catching up, then showed her our van before grabbing coffee at “Bardo Coffee House”. Then, we left Denver to check out Boulder.
We took I-25 North to US-36 West passing by green, grassy hills before we arrived. We parked close to Pearl Street, where a lot of the shops are located, and found ourselves surrounded by tulips of every variety. There were street performers all along the walk from jugglers, to bluegrass bands, magicians, to yoga masters, to people making balloon animals.
We asked a police officer the policy on sleeping in our car. No bueno! He told us if we drove to the outskirts of town, that should be fine, and no one would hassle us. We headed up 18 miles west through the mountains of the Roosevelt National Forest, and found ourselves in a town called Nederland. It was getting late, but we bundled up and wandered around town anyway. Many of the stores were closed or about to close, so there was limited things to do.
Did you know there is a frozen dead guy being preserved in Nederland? The story goes that in 1989, a man brought his recently deceased grandfather, Bredo Norstol, to the U.S. from Norway, keeping his body preserved with the help of dry ice. Him and his mother moved the body to the quaint little town of Nederland where they had planned to keep him cryogenically frozen in a small building behind their house. The grandson was deported for overstaying his visa and his mother was eventually evicted due to violating local ordinances by living without electricity or plumbing. Worried her father would thaw out, she contacted the media and after a legal battle and thanks to public sympathy, she now has an environmental company by the name of “Delta Tech” maintaining the cryonic facility.
Every year in early March since 2002, the town has a weekend long festival in his honor called “Frozen Dead Guy Days.” The festival includes a frozen salmon tossing contest, ice turkey bowling, coffin racing, polar plunges in costume, and more. I was really sad we had missed out. I still plan to return to Nederland one year to partake.
We decided to risk it and sleep on the street. Cars were flying up and down the road we were sleeping on, so quickly that the van would wobble each time. I worried that we would wake up without legs in the morning.
Jump Back to Part 28: High Altitude, Ski Towns, & A Car Crash
Jump Ahead to Part 30: Ghosts, Delirium & Talking to Turkeys
Start Over at Part 01: The Blue Bubble, Freebies & A Rude Awakening