After crossing the border into Nebraska and spending a peaceful night at the Bunk Motel in Chadron, we made our way to our next state. But before we left town, it was time for some food. We tucked into some Arby’s. I had a Brisket burger and it was absolutely the best thing I have ever tried!
Stomachs full, we definitely had to stop at another replica of a famous English landmark. Stonehenge. We’d already seen it in Australia I hear you say. Well yes we did, however, this one was a wee bit different. It only took us about an hour to get there but as we approached we saw it from the road. It was CARHENGE…in the middle of a small town called Alliance!! I don’t know what the artist was smoking when he thought of the idea but it was really cool. As you can see from the pics, it was made of old cars. They’d all been painted the dull colour but like the Cadillac Ranch in Texas, people have tagged and drawn on them. It didn’t stop there, there were buried cars scattered all over the place and even a dinosaur and fish made out of car parts. Stef tried to imitate the dinosaur for me to take her photo, but she looked more like a zombie! The temperature was about 30 degrees, it was a clear sky and the sun was beaming. Obviously, the sun and the metal of the cars were not a good combination. Therefore, when Stef agreed to climb a car for a photo, how could I say no. Two burnt hands and one sore bum later, I managed to get a good photo of her sitting on the car though.
A few hours later we had hit the state line. It was our 13th State. Colorado. We reached Denver, selected motels on the sat-nav and chose the closest one. It was the Town & Country Motel. It looked like a bog standard motel like we’ve become accustomed to. I went in to pay only to be told that they only had one room left – and it was a smoking one. It had been a long drive and I could not be bothered to drive to another one. I paid the cash and we went to the room. I was expecting some smoke filled room but it didn’t smell that bad. They obviously knew we were coming and had put in a very strong smelling air freshener. Stef moans when I put a new Magic Tree in the car and always manages to find the hidden freshener I leave in the front room but this time the smell wasn’t an issue for her. Thank God! There was one major problem about this motel though. It had no internet. After a while, I started to get the shakes. It wasn’t good. I had to get out.
It was time for dinner and we had seen loads of adverts for The Olive Garden so we decided to hit that. We’d had amazing olives at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in OZ so to go somewhere called the Olive Garden, surely they would outdo them by miles. We parked up and walked to the front door. There were loads of people waiting. It wasn’t a good sign or was it? We got to the front of the queue and took the pager to wait for our turn. We waited for about 30 minutes. These olives better be good. We were lead to our seats and given our menus. I scoured the pages. Not one olive dish. Not even on the starters! How can they call themselves Olive Garden and not sell ANY olives. It’s like burger king not selling any burgers. Pure madness I tell ya!
The next day, we headed to Aspen. In my head, Aspen is a skiing oasis. Mountains covered in snow with cabins and hotels scattered around the bottom. Judging by the recent weather, I was going to be disappointed. We’d timed this trip so we would be in the States for summer. It was baking so there definitely was no snow or skiing. I suppose this was lucky, as I’d probably go skiing for the first time, fall over, break a limb and have to get airlifted to a hospital (which is what happened to my cousin Jade – luck must run in the family!). On the way, we had the famous Rocky Mountains either side of us. They were massive. At some points you could see a bit of snow on the caps but that’s all we were getting as the rest of the mountains would be green grass and tall trees. It was very scenic and must look amazing covered in snow. As the road traversed through the mountains, we watched the altitude on the sat-nav. It just kept going up and up. We eventually hit the highest point we have travelled on this trip – a whopping 11000 feet above sea level! We kept seeing signs to put on tire chains. It must be a scary experience to have them on – if you looked out of the window, it would be a shear drop. Sod sliding off that!
We finally made it to small place just outside of Aspen called Snowmass Village and checked into our hotel, the Pokolodi Lodge. It was a great improvement over the last accommodation, as not only did it have great views and a swimming pool, it had the internet! Yay back in the 21st century!
After dumping our bags in our room, we headed to Aspen. Along the route were fantastic views of the Rocky Mountains. It seemed like they went on forever. I just couldn’t get over how green everything was. Where had all the snow gone?
We hit Aspen and headed straight for the food! We found a delicious Mexican restaurant called Su Casa. I had a massive burrito. It doesn’t look big from the photo but it was. I’d say it was about 7 inches in length. With our stomachs full, we went for a walk in the town.
It was so peaceful, yet busy. People would be sitting outside restaurants eating, kids playing in the water features and of course, people riding horses through the streets. All in a normal day in Aspen. As we walked around, you could see the ski slopes with the stair lifts going all the way to the top. Now, they were nothing but sloped grass fields, but you could still use the lifts and venture the area if you dared. The town seemed to be quite historic looking. The buildings looked old but at the same time, well maintained. It was like stepping back in time.
Walking back to the car, we noticed a small shop. It was quite hidden from view, but the sign on the street was what caught my eye. It was the Green Dragon Cannabis Company. Now here in Colorado, Marijuana is legal and not just for medical reasons like other states. You can just pop into the closest weed shop and buy some like you would with alcohol in a liquor store. As long as you are older than 21 years old and have valid I.D, you can get yourself some sweet Mary Jane. The only thing you can’t do is smoke it in public, which is pretty much like alcohol anyway. I’m always up for trying something different and we always need stuff to write about in blogs anyway. When in Rome eh? As we went in the smell of it hit you. The back walls were filled with glass jars full of different types of cannabis. They had Grape Skunk, Maui Waui, Golden Goat, The Wheelchair, White Russian and many more. Very bizarre names and I wonder how they were given – especially the Wheelchair! The shop was really busy. It wasn’t just the typical stoners. There were old ladies in there that wanted to try it, young lads that wanted a good weekend and even a middle age couple that looked like they had just come from the office! Stef was dead set against taking anything but that didn’t stop me. I didn’t want to smoke anything though. I like my lungs. As we got to the front of the queue we explained we were from the UK and this stuff is still illegal. After showing our passports to prove our age, the young lad behind the counter was more than happy to help. He suggested some sweets. They had Gummy Bears, Candy’s, soft jewels, melon drops and tons more. Each one contained 10% THC (which is the active ingredient in cannabis which gets you high) and there was 10 in a pack. He told me the average joint would have a THC content of about 10% so I should only take 1 at a time and leave it an hour. I coughed up the $30 for the 10 Watermelon Tarts from EdiPure and off we went back to the hotel.
First things first, we needed to get some drinks and food for the room. There were no real 7Eleven type shops in Aspen so we tried closer to home. We’d just missed the closing of the local gas station so we thought we’d go to the local mall. We got to the junction where we could go right to where our hotel was, which was a few minutes drive, or straight on to the mall. We drove for about 10 minutes and made it to the mall. We walked around but they also had no real snack shops but we were sorted if we wanted any skiing gear. We headed back to the car and pulled out of the car park…right into our hotel’s car park! It was right next door! Why did the signs take us around the houses? Oh Stef and I did laugh.
Back at the room I cracked open the THC laced sweets. A bit hesitant, I popped one in and checked the time. 30 minutes later and nothing. 1 hour later and still nothing. Did he sell me just sweets? In went another sweet. 30 minutes later and still nothing. So what to do? I popped another 3. An hour later and was I tripping my balls off? Nope. It had no effect on me. A bit disappointed, we went to bed.
The next day, we headed back to Denver and stayed in a Super 8 motel in Stapleton. For lunch, we went to a Sonic Drive-in. It’s a traditional American fast food chain where you drive up to a bay, make your order at your own intercom and a waitress brings you your food. True to fashion, I ordered the biggest hotdog I could find and devoured it.
We visited Denver town centre and walked around for a bit. Like every town/city, they had big old buildings. Their State building had a golden top that you could see shining from miles away. As we walked down the high street back to the car, we stopped off at a PinkBerry for one of their tasty Froyos. As we did, we passed numerous bars and pubs. They had the USA World Cup match on and every place was rammed. It got to the extent where people were crowding outside watching through the windows. Every single kick that the USA team made, the crowd cheered and roared, whether it was a good or bad one. It was quite funny to watch and I wondered if some of them had any clue as to what was going on!
As we were leaving the state the next day, I had to get rid of the weed sweets. Just because I bought them legally, doesn’t make them legal in other states. The best way to get rid of them? Eat all 5 of them in one go of course! If this doesn’t get me mashed I don’t know what will. Anyway, to cut a story short, nothing happened. Major disappointment. I can drink massive amounts of coffee and the caffeine does nothing to me either so it’s no surprise!
Guess I’ll have to cross drug addict off my list of possible jobs for when I return back to England.