Sit yourself down for another round of vacation slides with the Vores! We could’ve stayed in Denver for far, far longer than we did, but we packed a lot of livin’ into four days. We’ve grouped the photos into three categories: “Lost Valley Ranch,” “On The Road With Katie Stratman,” and “Everything Else.” Enjoy! (That’s an order!)
LOST VALLEY RANCH
Lost Valley is a dude ranch where Erin worked for a summer in college. Katie’s Garmin told us to turn off state route 126 and follow a winding dirt road for nine miles into the mountains. Erin’s friend Darcy was waiting there to meet us. The Hayman fire in the summer of 2002 burned almost 140,000 acres of forest around the ranch (Darcy’s husband Jeb was one of three ranchers to stay behind and help the firefighters), so it looked far different than Erin remembered. But it was beautiful all the same.
Erin to cattle: “Who’s ready for some wrangling?”
Darcy, Everett and Erin. Erin tried to wrangle Everett before Darcy intervened.
Buffalo Peak. It may look scenic from afar, but up close it has a severe case of acne.
Ben lays claim to the mountain. He marked his territory by urinating 26 times on the way up.
Ben 1, Mountain 0.
Darcy, Jeb and Everett. Ben has a man crush on Jeb.
Sheep Rock. We stared at it for hours and still never saw the sheep.
Wounds sustained by Erin during her climb. We have six more pictures just like this one.
ON THE ROAD WITH KATIE STRATMAN
Among the many, many fine qualities that Katie Stratman possesses as a host, her expertise as a tour guide on our very own Jack Kerouac Denver Bike Tour would rank high on our list. The route took us from Civic Center Park to The Colburn Hotel (where Neal Cassady stayed with his future wife Carolyn Robinson while also carrying on an affair with his first wife as well as Allen Ginsberg) to the Sonny Lawson Baseball Field (memorialized in the first chapter of part three in On The Road) to Larimer Street (where a terribly rude motorist expressed his views on bicyclists and their proper place in the traffic hierarchy) to our last stop, My Brother’s Bar, where Cassady ran up a substantial bar tab which he had to arrange for a friend to pay when Cassady was in the Colorado State Reformatory. (The bar gives you a copy of Cassady’s letter if you ask.) Exhausted from all that biking and learning, we decided we’d earned a beer and Girl Scout cookies.
Ben, with tour guide Katie. We hoped rigorous training and months of immersing ourselves in Beat poetry would pay off.
Our fabulous host Katie Stratman. Fellas, get in line.
Erin at the Colburn. This was moments before an elderly woman afflicted with OPES (Old Person Entitlement Syndrome) said “Excuse me!” because our bikes were blocking the portion of the sidewalk she was walking on (which, it should be noted, was not the whole sidewalk). After we moved out of her way, she remained standing for a moment silently registering her complete and utter disgust with us youths, then harrumphed and went on her way. It was very awkward.
The Colburn. Norman Bates interned here before starting up the Bates Motel.
The Denver Post building. Jack Kerouac did not work there.
Lunch at Heidi’s. Jack Kerouac once had a crush on a girl named Heidi.
We finished strong at My Brother’s Bar.
Guess which half of Voreblog just farted.
Erin had Katie stand close to this man so we could discreetly take a picture of him. He struck us as gross.
The Loaf ‘N Jug, just one of several unfortunately named Colorado convenience stores.
A close-up of Erin’s wound.
Fact: Geese are planning a coup of Colorado state government at this very moment. Numerous counties are already under martial law.
We got into a staring match with these big horn deer. They won. They always do.
This has nothing to do with our trip, but man is it funny.
Obligatory Utah Jazz pic. Sad, despondent Jazz post to follow later this week.