After Kansas we hit up Boulder, CO to visit friend and former colleague Kene where he now lives on a goat ranch while working on his post-doc. Be still my bleating heart. I almost made off with a small goat named Honey, but with the two cats I wouldn’t want to get pulled over for any Zanesville shit. Oh, this is Kene’s yard:
Oh, and just to digress for the record’s sake, I permitted Dharia to visit a prairie dog colony local attraction but only because it was within 10 miles of Kene’s ranch. It was built because Celestial Seasonings was gassing them and controversy ensued.
We had a delicious lunch in Boulder and stopped into a small warehouse called “La Fromagerie” where Matthew gave us a 10 minute time limit. Think Supermarket Sweep in a refrigerated room filled with cheese. The joy, the pain.
Soon we were rumbling towards the Rockies with Dharia behind the wheel. Right away we started seeing some of the more threatening signs we’d so far. Like “Avalanche Zone” followed by “Deer Stampedes Next 80 mi” and something about not trying to exit the highway if your brakes go. When we started seeing snow, the signs changed to these incredibly snarky statements which I can’t remember because I probably entered a subconscious fugue state after we encountered our first stretch of “5-7% grades next X mi.”
Our engine made a terribly frustrated sound and we crawled downwards as the RPMs shot up and whined at 4500. I yelped “downshift!” but when Dharia kachunked the thing into 2nd gear it didn’t help at all. In fact it was even scarier, so we put it back into D and I wrenched open the laptop. I Googled something like “7% grades RV downshift” and started clicking my way through several RV message forums. Other people had wanted to know about downshifting, probably when they weren’t already barreling down a Rocky, so I started rattling off what I could find. I learned a lot. It was kind of like when Neo downloads all those fighting techniques into his brain in The Matrix.
“Downshift BEFORE starting the steep descent!”
“It’s your rig and your life; don’t worry about traffic behind you!”
And as I was imparting this message forum wisdom to the Captain the signs were getting even snarkier, and I remember one saying something like “7 more miles of 6% grade/don’t even think about speeding up.”
But like so many RVs before us, we made it down just fine and were rewarded with beautiful scenery until dark.