The last time I saw a David Bazan concert in Grand Rapids in November, I was turning around and packing up my car to drive down I-80 to I-355 to spend a month in Illinois getting proton radiation treatment. This year, after an loud and grungy Bazan show at The Pyramid Scheme, I hit the same road, but instead of going north on I-355, I went west west west.
So Adam and I are renting an apartment in Fort Collins now. At least through July. I loaded up my car with bikes and outdoor active wear and drove straight west along Interstate 80 for 15 hours from South Bend to Fort Collins for my first vacation since I started my new job last April.
I didn’t really have many plans aside from seeing some mountains and drinking good beer, but on those fronts, I was quite successful. I rode my bike a few days, up canyon roads that climbed for 11 miles and 2,800 feet, and down the backside, hitting 58.4 mph on the descent. My hands only froze from the cold on the first day. I got used to the altitude.
I swung by Denver, and Boulder, hiked through Eldorado Canyon State Park, went backcountry skiing in Cameron Pass, trail running in the foothills near Fort Collins, and just generally unplugged from the modern world for awhile.
I visited 7 breweries and sampled as much beer as I could. The New Belguim tour is the best brewery tour I’ve been on. Brooklyn Brewery is still the worst tour.
I drove back across the great prairies of the Midwest, bookending my trip that started with wine tasting and dune hiking in Michigan and ending with hiking a “rugged” trail in Indiana meant for “advanced hikers”.
November has gone fast.