Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Welcome to Denver

I set off for Denver on Friday afternoon, leaving Minnesota and traveling down 35 in the middle of high humidity, meaning the fog was so thick that I could barely see 1/20th of a mile at times. When I got to Des Moines, for my stop overnight at a friend's house, it was close to fifty degrees so the fog was nonexistent. That night, my roommate here in Denver, met me in Des Moines and we had a short night of sleep, because in the morning we left for Denver at 6:55 am. We awoke to an ice storm that turned into a freezing rain storm that was pretty nasty for the first hour and a half of driving. However, once we got to Guthrie Center, IA (about an hour west of Des Moines) the weather cleared up, it stopped raining, and eventually the sun even came out. From there on out it was just truck along Nebraska and then into Colorado. No major problems, the roads were completely clear, and the weather was nice and warm. We finally reached a point, about forty-five minutes away from Denver, when I could see the mountains again. They were silhouetted by the setting sun and the clouds around them. It was a beautiful sight.

We drove into Denver, with the help of a GPS, and found the apartment. From there we unloaded our stuff into the apartment and set off for Morrison, CO. That is where a family friend of mine lives and we were going to stay at there house for a few days. The apartment is located just south of downtown Denver, and just for the sake of education, my school is located about thirty minutes south of here in Centennial (which is really close to Littleton if you know where that is) and then Morrison is directly southwest of the apartment up past the first layer of mountains and up some very curvy roads. My friend's house is on a ranch and they have four dogs, five horses, a bunch of chickens, and one duck. It was absolutely gorgeous up there and we spent the first night just hanging out and getting acclimated to Denver, which means drinking lots of water.

The following day, Sunday, we spent sleeping in after our trek across the country and hanging out at the ranch. I read the first book that my students will be reading and spent some time just enjoying the beauty of Colorado. We had to go take care of some animals at a neighbor's house up the road and walked into an eight million dollar home. Kind of interesting to see what eight million dollars will get you in Colorado - let's just say a very beautiful home with an incredible view.

On Monday we decided that we should get some skiing in, since we are in Colorado and everything anyway. So we woke up early, packed our bags, grabbed our skis, and headed off to Winter Park. My roommate drove and I navigated our way up the mountain to the ski area. On the way we were stopped for something called "avalanche blasting," which was a new experience for me. That delayed our arrival at Winter Park for about twenty-five minutes, but we eventually made it, along with what seemed like half of Colorado. Needless to say, this is peak skiing season for these locations with all the families on vacation and such. So the lifts were packed. After I remembered how to ski, as it had been a year, it was smooth sailing from there on out. However, let's just say that after my first run it was reminded to me that I was at altitude (I don't think I have worked that hard in a long time). So my roommate and I spent the day on the slopes hitting a lot of runs, including Mary Jane (if you are a skier out there you'll know what I mean), and had a good time. Around four o'clock when the sun starts coming down we decided to call it quits, or rather I was so exhausted that I could not physically do another run, so we decided to call it a day. We then proceeded to drive back, in traffic, from the mountain to the ranch. There we picked up our stuff, said good bye for now (as it will be a great place to get away from the noise and craziness of the city) and drove back down into Denver.

Back at the apartment we arrived with a whole bunch of stuff in boxes. So we spent the better part of last night unpacking our stuff and going through check-in forms. We have a living room, small kitchen, small bathroom, and a bedroom for the two of us. It isn't very big, but at the same time we probably will not be spending lots of time here - or at least I do not plan on it. Needless to say we got the majority of our stuff put away and hit the mattress around midnight.

This morning, now Tuesday, we both intended on sleeping in a little, but to no avail. Between the time change, the not used to sleeping in, and the new environment we both woke up a little early. All is good though, I am adjusting to city life. We are next to a milk delivery truck location and behind a checker auto parts store sitting on the corner of a pretty major street. Needless to say we hear the traffic, the sirens, and the "loudness" of the city. This morning we start Wartburg West orientation and we'll even get to go downtown and explore the city a little. Then this afternoon will be spent hanging pictures, getting groceries, and working on some classwork that I need to get started on.

So all is well for now. I will be meeting with my cooperating teachers, the ones I will be working with at Arapahoe High School, tomorrow afternoon so that will be awesome. The rest of the week will be spent getting ready for class on Monday and getting adjusted to life here in Denver. We should have an enjoyable time and think I am finally ready for it.