This weekend was an adventure that I had been needing for far too long. The trip to Denver was a great way to clear the head, and wonderful to see Jeff Parker, a great friend who has been there through a lot with me. I’m happy I got to spend a few days seeing what his “next chapter” looks like. 

Predictably, he is having, as a cohort member of ours liked to say, “a whale of a time.” Denver, its many places to explore, and the mountains are agreeing with him quite well. Ever the extrovert, he has found his niche with a great new group of friends who I got to meet as we ran the Color Run together. And most exciting of all, I get to meet the lady that is making his world shine, and she is truly a wonderful fit for him. 

We have a very unique dynamic as friends- incredibly opposite, but at the same time extremely complementary. We challenge each other and mystify each other, but are always there for each other when it counts. The dynamic has shifted somewhat in a lot of ways- distance and relationships have made things different, and the introvert in me honestly struggles to adjust at times. But through it all, we click. I think we always will. At the end of the day, we’d go to battle for each other, no matter what the opposition or the road there looks like.

Other Highlights of the Denver Adventure (Ad-Den-Ture?) Included:

  • Colorado Itself! This may sound dumb, but Colorado is a highlight unto itself. Red Rocks, Garden of the Gods, the Columbine Memorial in Littleton, getting to spend time on the campuses of Johnson and Wales AND The University of Denver (#nerdalert), and seeing the D’Amicos in Colorado Springs are all things that made me confident that Colorado is a place I can hang. Good thing too, as I have more friends moving there!
  • The Food! In reading labels leading up to my trip, I was convinced that there was not a ppm of gluten to be found in the city of Denver. Seriously, a great many gluten free foods are made there. And while that was not fully accurate, I found it so easy to eat! A GREAT brunch place, Snooze, was able to let me have pancakes out for the first time in over a year; and I got to go to the often mentioned, but not seen outside of Colorado, Udi’s Bread Cafe! *swoon*
  • Adjusting to Altitude: The only reason I was excited about the altitude was the opportunity to bake using high altitude directions. And I did, and it was very exciting πŸ™‚ I was convinced that being a mile high in the sky for four days would leave me gasping for air and pallid from all the blood I knew I would lose from my nose. But thankfully, I avoided some of the horror stories and managed to adjust admirably. Aside from a few gasping/dizzy spells my first night while I tried to sleep, I did okay. And that included during…
  • The Color Run: This was the main event. Apparently I needed an occasion to go to Denver, and this was a good one. Held across the country, it features a 5k run with powdered paint showered over runners at each K of the race. Many like to start it wearing a solid color, and seeing what the end result is. The ruckus you see at the top of this post is a (mysteriously pixellated) image of the end of the race powder party, the finale that features color all over the place. It was a challenge to run at that altitude, and Florida is a horrible place to train for such a thing. But I made it through, running all but about 1/2 a mile and even making new friends along the way! A bonus: two contributors to the Student Affairs First Years blog, Katie Ericson and Katie Schmalzel were at the race as well! I always have a great time meeting people from the Internet world in real life, and this pair of ladies was no exception.
    • In the interest of full disclosure, and as a nod to the name of this blog, this is the first race in which I was a fully unpaid participant. Race registration closed after I had already bought my ticket, and I neglected to try and register after more spots became available. So yes…I crashed. BUT, I did buy merchandise, so they did get some of my money! Shhh. Don’t tell!
All told, it was a great adventure and had some moments. If you can’t look over the vastness and intricacy of the mountains and think of anything in life you would do differently, well…I envy you. This was a great trip for me to reflect, a few days to think about where I am and where I want to be, and to do it in the company of old friends and new. Thanks Denver, it was a blast, and I’ll see you soon πŸ™‚

I already want to go to there again!

2 thoughts on “Color Crashing and Colorado Camaraderie

  1. I'm sad we didn't end up catching up while in Denver but we pretty much crashed hardcore once we got back from our travel adventure. Miss you lady, and hopefully we'll both end up there!

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