Part of the joys of traveling is occasionally seeing great friends who you don’t get to see that often. For the next four nights I secured a spare bedroom at the home of longtime friend Steve Johnston and his girlfriend Monica Landeros. I had not met Monica yet so I had to go out and approve whether she was good enough for Steve. haha
They were great hosts and went out of their way to show me around town and make sure I was fed well. I remember waking up really early each day of my visit to enjoy coffee and have a few cigarettes on their back porch surrounded by their two friendly dogs. I also did my best to not wake them up because I wake up annoyingly early. Pictured below is Steve’s dog Sequoia. She is HUGE and it is always nice to spend time with her while I am in Denver. I think that she weighs about 150 pounds. My dog weighs 9 pounds….
This was the first time visiting Steve now that he had a girlfriend. It was really nice meeting Monica and knowing that he has found someone special, they seem to fit together nicely as a couple and live in a beautiful section of Denver that is booming now that everyone and their brother is moving there.
Other than seeing Steve and Monica I was in town to see a band called the String Cheese Incident for their three night run at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Red Rocks is arguably the best outdoor venue to see a concert in the United States. All of my friends were staying at a local hotel and we had a party bus to get us to the show and back each night. If you see a show at Red Rocks I would recommend going in early to secure a seat up front left of the stage. You will be steps away from a bathroom, bar and smoking section. There were about 30-40 people in our group so there were friends and fun everywhere. I always forget how much fun a live show can be.
After the long drive, two nights of concerts and a bit of altitude sickness I pulled the rip cord and decided to skip the last show and spend the evening fishing with Steve and Monica at Chatfield Park. After exploring a few different parts of the river we determined that the water was too high to fish so we headed back to the lake. We saw a huge owl while walking in the woods.
The next morning, I said my goodbyes and headed out of Denver and to my first National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison. I never tire of seeing the wonderful mountains in Colorado. The drive was so beautiful and I crossed the continental divide by heading through Monarch Pass. I stopped in Gunnison to fill the cooler and get some food. Not only was I mistaken for a local in the grocery but I also stopped by a shop that sold animal furs. I think they had every type of fur imaginable. They also sold a lot of guns and knives. Not really the souvenirs I had planned for friends and family back home.
One regret of this trip is that I didn’t get enough pictures of my friends. It is a constant struggle as I really don’t like taking pictures of people. Hopefully as this blog continues it can be something I work on as a photographer.