The game was relatively early in the morning, and I had hoped to watch it in my hotel room. With an early checkout option clearly stated on the hotel contract, I assumed there would be some sort of issue for late check out. So, as soon as I woke up, I went to talk to the front desk. The woman there was strict but I managed to sweet talk her. What’s not to love about someone wanting to stay in a hotel room for an extra hour to scream at our national soccer team? She caved; I wasn’t going to be charged an additional $25 for my extra time.
It was odd watching such an important match alone. My first USA game was with thousands of avid supporters. Now I was alone, in a hotel room in Burlington CO, screaming at the TV and drinking extremely cold beer (it had, in truth frozen, so the first beer of the day (at 8am) was a beer slushie).
After the game, I packed the Horse up and headed to the VFW hall, the only place in town open for lunch and, I was hoping, breakfast. With luck, they were still serving breakfast. Biscuits and gravy were ordered and quickly consumed. As was a beer. Because. That’s why.
My good friend Brandon lives in Denver and works for a natural resource consulting firm specializing in erosion management and federal compliance. As chance would have it, he was inspecting a site near Burlington. Further, he had a truck that could handle my bike. Perfect, a quick hitch to Denver and a no more flat-middle-of-the-country Plains bullshit.
I tried my best to entertain myself in Burlington for the remainder of the day. I was anxious to get to a real city, to a real beer drinking community. There would be microbreweries, beer bars, and great food. All by the days end.
Eventually I made my way to the city park. A nap seemed appropriate, but before I could fall asleep, I was greeted by my boy. The only information I had giving him was that I was at a park; instinctively, he drove around until he found a sign for a park (presumably the only one in the city). After much embracing, we loaded the Horse and set off for Denver.
My family has a long standing property between Denver and the airport. I had hoped to ride to that property and set up camp as a king in a familial domain. With my hitch, I had to settle with a highway drive by. There isn’t anything there, so I wasn’t missing much. But the idea had become romantic to me, so I was sad to not fulfill it. At least I was in Colorado, and headed to Denver.
Upon arrival, we visited a bottle shop. I referred to it as a package store and Brandon lost it. For whatever reason, he hadn’t heard them called that. And I think he liked saying package store. I managed to control myself to some degree, and only spent $100. Which isn’t much, as I planned to be in Denver for at least a week.
We made it back to his house and began a path of destruction. After several at-home drinks, we headed to one of his favorite local breweries (which also happened to be down the street from his house): Denver Beer Co. The beers were great, and the atmosphere was outstanding. People were everywhere, and everyone seemed to be in high spirits.
From there to Amato’s Ale House, where a hulk of a man with the world’s deepest voice served us numerous double IPAs. We didn’t need beers with that much alcohol, but at that point of the night it made sense. Go figure.
Of course by the time we got back to Brandon’s house we were desperately lacking sobriety. Shitty, late-night pizza was ordered. Somehow Brandon managed to dump the entirety of a jar of parmesan (saw dust style, not grated) onto the pizza. It didn’t matter. We ate all of it. Then found the disaster zone the next morning.