Day 21: Challenges in Colorado

So, we’re not quite through with Colorado.  There were lots of delays today.  Up in the mountains — all kinds of nonsense with those one-lane-only, follow the pilot car affairs where you’d turn off the engine and wait.  And wait.  Like a half hour.  It happened to me about four times and I wanted to cry and scream.  I tried to doze but it was difficult because you were sure any minute now the person would flip the “stop” to “slow” sign around and you’d get blasted by a horn from the car behind you.

Then more traffic headaches on the interstates since it was Friday getaway day.  Started in the afternoon and crawled on I-25.  Side roads were no better with tons of traffic and lights.  The weather was pretty crummy as well.  Sorta sunny in the afternoon.  Nice sun when I was sitting doing nothing, of course.

And then to compound my fairly miserable mood, I got a few emails from needy, pissy people regarding Flickr & my website.  Really made me question why I’m doing all this.  I could be just hanging out with my dogs & reading or watching TV or going off to shoot neon signs at night.  But I’m saddled with this self-imposed homework of cropping, tweaking, writing, uploading…  I’ll stick it out for this trip.  And mull it over about next year’s trips.  I’m toying with the idea of using the blog for some other purpose — like a once in a while more composed & coherent sort of thing.  I’m sure I have a few fans that like tagging along for these nightly posts but really.  I’ve done this for five years now and maybe enough is enough.  Time to do something different?  Or maybe I’ll feel better in the morning.

Onward.  Let’s start with a sign from Leadville.  There was a nice sign right next to this one that’s gone now — so take those trips & see/shoot them while you can folks!


Also Leadville.  Sign-lovers know from that doo-hickey scaffolding on the roof that there was a hanging sign here previously.  I don’t know what it looked like:


A downer from Idaho Springs.  The King’s Derby — a landmark with locals and tourists — has been closed at least a year — with the name blanked out.  Here’s what it used to look like:



Also Idaho Springs.  Another nice example of a “sequin sign” — as described earlier in this trip at this post:



And last one for the night (hey, I know this was a short one but I did two posts tonight) — from Greeley where we stopped for the day.  I think the rainbow is a nice optimistic way to end it — better luck tomorrow, hopefully some sun and less traffic tie-ups.



We’ll make it to Wyoming tomorrow for sure!  I think it’ll be flat for a while which I’m really looking forward to.  These countless mountain passes for the past week or more have made me a wreck.


24 thoughts on “Day 21: Challenges in Colorado

  1. sorry to hear you are reconsidering the blog. i love your blog (as i have told you numerous times). haven’t wanted to comment too much this trip as i know you try and respond to everyone as best you can and don’t want to bug you….

    please don’t let p.i.t.a. types change what you do; that said this is a crazy amount of work. as much as i love the blog it would make sense to maximize your time on the road without having the distraction of the blog.

    love the doggies pic!

    am struck by how vertical these signs are in recent posts. such a different feel (the western US area) than here at home. great shots, even against the clouds.



    • Yeah, I don’t know about this blog next year. Probably still do it. There are always a few jerks out there that make you reconsider all the effort you’re putting forth. For what?

      In general, I try to select vertical type photos for the blog because of the layout. Horizontal photos get reduced to only a few inches across in thumbnails — whereas vertical can be like 10 inches tall and dramatic without need to click on the photo to see bigger size. Same format problem in Flickr — only there it’s the opposite. Wide photos read better than tall ones in thumbnails.

      So it might appear that signs are taller here than elsewhere just because of the choices I’m making. I think signs just survive here longer in desolate areas. There are more desolate areas in the West for starters — but signs (and buildings) are also just left to be rather than destroyed.

      • ah, the limitations of the technology, eh? thanks for the explanation — it was interesting.

        i can totally envision you in all these podunk places. love it!


      • Not so much the limitations — just the square hole of thumbnail sizing. I wish this blog format didn’t have such fat margins on the sides. Horizontal photos would look a lot better. I’d do more vista shots. Maybe I’ll try some other format in the future.

  2. Please don’t let the morons get you down DJ. You’re an absolute roadside hero to many of us! The blog and flickr is helping me get through my annoyance. AC died in my car the day before I was headed to Minnesota(visit with Gordon Tindall and his diner) with two days planned for southern Illinois and Indiana. Took it to Toyota thinking they would have a part in stock, and they can’t get it til Tuesday, so i’m doing what i should have, taken it to the local guy. So your blog is getting me through this misery of losing 3 days and probably the Illinois and Indiana parts.

    • Thanks!! If I get a sunny day today, I should be my happy-go-lucky self again by dark.

      I hear you with the A/C troubles! I lost nearly three days on this trip and about two or three on the spring trip. Luckily, my trips are longer. I can’t imagine the frustration or folks that have only one week and spend half of it in the garage. I’d be crying and screaming the entire time in the waiting room. Luckily, my A/C seems to be finally resolved — and necessary! I can’t remember a day that it hasn’t been at least 90.

      My blog is intended to show the highs and lows of roadtrips. I really push it to the max in terms of mileage so there’s bound to be breakdowns. And although I travel in the best-weather months of the year, there’s always rain and clouds to screw things up.

  3. Ignore the whiners. For each one of them there are probably hundreds of us who enjoy travelling with you. I look forward to reading your blog every day while you are on your trips.

    • Thanks Larry! I didn’t know you were following along so closely. Nice to know folks are enjoying whatever the heck I’m writing in my delirious state at the end of the day. I will probably keep doing it even if it’s ridiculous and exhausting.

  4. I usually blog after a trip just because it’s so much work. By the end of the day on the road I just want to relax. That said, I have enjoyed following your trip as it happens.

    Best you can do is follow your bliss.

    • Yeah, I’m really torn. I think done the day-of is more exciting than doing it a month later. There’s something special about seeing photos that were taken THAT DAY. Makes is almost like being there. And my griping and raving is more real, too, in real time! (ha)

      But some days feel longer than others — and trying to write anything coherent at 2am is tough. Tonight, for instance, I’m just getting settled at 10pm. Haven’t even started cropping photos yet. Most people just dump photos into their blogs as-is. But I can’t bare to do that — even it it would mean more sleep.

      • i think your blog is magical because of all the curation, description, and color you add to the pictures. it’s just so danged great, debra jane.

        and having you do it so close to when the pictures are shot means we get a lot more vivid details and can feel like we are on the road with you.

        so maybe if you have to modify blogging, maybe the intermittent blogging could be an option — for nights where you aren’t needing to kill yourself up late to do the blogs?

        i don’t know — you are such an inspiration, i agree, just trust your heart / head. i’m so sorry the internet attracts jackasses. it’s the price of being so public i guess. they can suck it!

  5. I’m a quiet one, as well. But I am following along nightly, as I have on your trips the past few years. I don’t know what anyone would have to be a jerk toward you about, but I’ll second the aforementioned “don’t let the bastards get you down.” Keep on truckin’.

    • Thanks! I appreciate all the positive feedback I can get. It really helps me get over the “humps” out here on the road. And when you’re exhausted, it doesn’t take much to become a big deal. And when you have many miles of straight, boring driving, what idiots say can sometimes get to you (hurt and/or piss you off more than merited). But those jerks are ancient history now — especially after a stellar day like today.

  6. Ignore the winers, or out them. They aren’t worth it.

    I for one enjoy traveling along. I get to see what I could not see on my own. Go places I couldn’t go to. It’s a monumental effort you do, and if you enjoy it. DO it. Life’s too short.

    • Thanks for that. It’s hard sometimes when you’re running low on steam and you get sideswiped by some needy, critical a-holes. I take it all too seriously. But I was back on track with all that behind me the morning after. Glad you’re enjoying the trip.

  7. Hello, Debra Jane! I was off the internet for the past 1.5 weeks–(visiting Mom, who is on impossibly slow DIAL-UP)– but am home now in smoky Southern California and just catching up with your adventures.

    I understand how some kooks on the internet can be real buzzkills. I have had a few of them as well, and their mean spirit can shake you up and weird you out. I mean really: We just want to do our thing and bliss out! Your daily blog is a wonderful personal travel journel. Documenting all the highs and lows of your epic roadtrips will be great for you to look back upon and read in the future. I also think your journal would make a fascinating book for even “neon-unaware” folks to read. Anyone who ever dreamed of hitting the road.

    Anyway, I love tagging along, I think your work is important, and I hope you continue to document your amazing journeys.

    • Good to hear from you! Welcome back to the world of high-speed. More smoke here today as well. I’m over the “cranks” that got me down. Feels like months ago. These days are so intense on the road – helps to get over stuff like that pretty quick. I’ve always thought these trips would make a good reality show for the Travel channel — something like that. Maybe more money in TV than books. And more visually interesting with video/film than having to pick just a few photos. Glad you’re enjoying the ride!

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