Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: Rocky Mountain hi!

23 Responses

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    And the claim that your G & T goes twice as far, twice as fast at altitude turns out to be a wishful myth.

    I suspect this myth arises from aeroplane travel. People do feel the effects of alcohol more on aeroplanes, but probably more because of the dual dehydrating effects of the alcohol combined with dry re-circulated air from the air conditioning, than the pressure or height.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Ah. Aspen. Great pix Jolissa.
    Did you know that one of my heroes, Hunter S. Thompson, ran for Sheriff there? and very nearly won. That, if nothing else, endeared me to the place.
    As for the tea at altitude thing. Can anyone tell me why the water has to be 100c? is it an enzyme conversion thing? (seems too hot for that to me) or is it a resin extraction process? </g33k>

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    I suspect you're right, Graeme. I bet the power of suggestion makes a big difference in the case of altitude.

    Steve, I'll ask my pet physicist and get back to you on the tea question! (I clearly don't have a scientific brain, as my only thought was "well, this is a crap box of teabags").

    And yes, the Hunter S connection. There's a bar at one end of town that he apparently used to prop up...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Every major route out of town and into nearby towns has a paved path running alongside the road.

    Swoon.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Are you on extacy this week david, you seem to be falling in love with everything this week.
    ;-)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Swoon.

    Get your smelling salts. I just went back and put in a pic for you. Not the best photo I've ever taken (it looks better in the Gallery view), but it gives you an idea. Cyclist heaven.

    There are also paved trails that don't follow the roads exactly, but link the towns nevertheless. Like the Rio Grande trail, which follows the old railway line.

    They're used year round, too. You guys better cowboy up for that bit through the Central Plateau!

    Oh, and, read this and weep:

    From day one — which was sometime back in the 1950s, he said — a bike path was part of the plans for the I-70 project.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Kennaway,

    And can we talk about the bike paths? Oh, the bike paths. Everywhere you go. Every major route out of town and into nearby towns has a paved path running alongside the road.

    You do realise that nice man Mr Key is planning to give us all exactly the same thing? More or less. Sort of. Eventually. Maybe.

    Did you use that laptop in the chequered cab to send this latest posting?

    Western Bays • Since Feb 2007 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Kennaway,

    Are you on extacy this week david, you seem to be falling in love with everything this week.

    Apparently a courier recently dropped off a Harrod's gift basket, which David assumed was from a long-distance admirer of his postings.

    Western Bays • Since Feb 2007 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I tried to get this video from Youtube. But its been locked out. So I'm having a go at posting the Yahoo music's copy.
    I wonder if it's going to link? Anyway, A nice song called Mile High

    Since Nov 2006 • 2467 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    So, that's Aspen?
    I'd often wondered, wny the fuss-
    the place is gorgeous (but the dwellingplace prices are obscene..)

    And that taxi is phuqing farout amazing! Why doesnt the bloke franchise?

    Loved your kid on the island too- every kid should have what I grew up with - our own wee totally our patch-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • richard,

    Re the tea-temperature thingy... I looked it up; water at Aspen's altitude (around 8000 ft, I think) boils at about 90 Celsius.

    I am not a tea drinker, but I frequently MAKE tea for a certain Public Address blogger, and I do know that it is more appreciated when the water is actually boiling when added to the leaves, so the difference of 10 degrees may indeed make a difference even if can't say why.

    I think Douglas Adams would agree, too.

    We are driving to Denver over Independence Pass today, which rises a little beyond 12,000 ft -- so we won't be boiling a billy at the top, I guess.

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 256 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Torkington,

    I lived in Fort Collins, CO for ten years. Yes, altitude makes a difference to cooking times--many recipes feature alternate cooking times for elevated readers. It's precisely because lower temperatures are needed to make water boil at the lower pressures that come with altitude.

    Aspen's purty, but all of Colorado's mountains are like that. Try Steamboat Springs and Estes Park (home of the hotel that was where Stephen King set The Shining) for more affordable beautiful outdoors. I say "more affordable" but not "affordable" because they're still more wallet pain than I could justify.

    We're heading back to Fort Collins at the end of the month to visit friends and family. Thanks for stoking the fires of anticipation!

    Ti Point • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    I lived for four years in Glenwood Springs, a hokey wee place at the other end of the valley from Aspen, about 60 miles away I think. I spent a ton of time snowboarding and partying in Aspen and I always felt a sense of the surreal about the place. So beautiful and so obscene.

    Hunter S. was a hero of mine too and still alive when I was there but despite many hours at his local, the Woody Creek Tavern, I never spotted him. I did hear a huge explosion once and wondered if he was about. His wrecked typewriter - shot with a .357 Magnum whilst in a wee rage - still sits in a corner the bar.

    I did a lot of mountain biking around there too and it's spectacular (and hard work until you acclimatise). And the weather rocks. As do the natural hotsprings along the sides of rivers. As does the reliable powder and the tree runs and...well, tis just a very, very nice location.

    And, hell yes, the op-shop is a riot. I still have a few bits and pieces I picked up there - it's an embarrassment of riches. Which I guess is quite an apt metaphor for the town really. I always felt slightly embarrassed to be there.

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

    so the difference of 10 degrees may indeed make a difference even if can't say why.

    Definitely - with coffee (espresso, anyway) a couple of degrees either side of about 92-ish can change the flavour completely so tea's probably similar.

    I wonder how coffee goes in Aspen? Maybe you can make the perfect drop just by boiling a kettle and pouring it straight on!

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 181 posts Report Reply

  • irkstyle,

    great post, sounds like you are having an interesting time.

    Vaguely remembered from the "Ever wondered about food?" tv show - black tea should be made with boiling water as it is best for the leaves. (can't remember exactly why but it is probably something to do with enzymes and breaking open the flavour, stopping bitterness etc. other teas should be made with slightly cooler hot water otherwise the leaves will cook.) regardless of ettiquette if you take sugar and milk in your tea, add them to the cup then pour the tea over. taste test proves this is better. Never add milk and sugar before the teabag and water. bleuch.

    ah, perfect cuppa recipe. (still no explanation of why boiling water though.)

    Since Oct 2008 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I lived in Fort Collins, CO for ten years.

    Oh, how weird. My mother-in-law and sisters-in-law live in Fort Collins, and we're visiting them this year too.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    There are some teas you treat differently: prime Japanese green tea, and, Chinese silver needle tea.

    You wait five minutes after boiling the water: if it is prime green leaf,
    you pour the water on through a sieve. If it is silver needle tea, you wait 3 minutes, and pour through the top container of a Chinese tea-pot/cup.

    I rarely drink tea, find blackbilly tea a kind of stew, but do have family who deeply appreciate tea (and have gone out of their way to source especially good teas. Or, as luck would have it, have loving Japanese friends who provide them with the best.)

    BUT - whatever satisfies the moment is my motto-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • sallyr,

    I did a whistle-stop tour from the People’s Republic of Boulder-side a few years back and remember the strong feeling that the Rockies are simply far older than the Southern Alps.

    After a day watching the elk bugle I stopped at a diner in Estes Park which was having Oktoberfest. Elk was on the menu so I chose that. I got chatting to the proprietor: surely the elk does not come straight from the national park? Is there a special season for elk harvesting? Oh no, she said. Since the outbreak of mad elk disease a few years back they don’t eat the local stuff. They import the finest elk in the world, it’s called cervena and it’s from…

    Since Jun 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Sallyr, you've solved a mystery for me - one of the local restaurants was advertising "New Zealand elk" which had me thinking "What the..."

    Am suddenly realising I'm not even clear what an elk is, although we drove past the sign for the Elk Migration Corridor twice a day for the last few days of the trip... I'm picturing a moose, but that can't be right.

    The baby buffalo on the way out from Denver were worth seeing, though. Super cute and shaggy, like cows crossed with bearded indie rock boys.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    I'm loving all the Colorado connections. Nat, I've always noticed those cooking instruction variations in The Joy of Cooking but never thought about them. Makes sense, though.

    Michael, we didn't make it to Glenwood Springs this time, but on a previous visit we had a nice long soak in the hot pools. My memory is of a very chunky American soup of large, happy people... which was sort of visually shocking, after spending the week in Aspen, which is full of skinny happy people. (I'm sure it's socioeconomic).

    Glad to hear I'm not the only op-shop gleaner, too. Good pickings in embarrassingly rich towns!

    Sweet tune, Steven!

    Did you use that laptop in the chequered cab to send this latest posting?

    Nah. But it was the first time I've been tempted to ask a taxi driver please NOT to check his e-mail during the drive!

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Am suddenly realising I'm not even clear what an elk is

    'Elk' is just the North American word for boring old 'red deer'.

    Did you get that waking-up-feeling-like-you-can't-breathe thing on the first night? I had that in spades when I was in Elma, Colorado (altitude over 3 km) -- but one of my fellow engineers had blood actually coming out of his eyes, which was way cool.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 953 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    'Elk' is just the North American word for boring old 'red deer'.

    Ah. I wondered if it was something like that. I found myself thinking "wapiti" a lot, but again, without any clear sense of what that is, except that it's a super-awesome word to say.

    Did you get that waking-up-feeling-like-you-can't-breathe thing on the first night? I had that in spades when I was in Elma, Colorado (altitude over 3 km) -- but one of my fellow engineers had blood actually coming out of his eyes, which was way cool.

    Wicked! No blood-spurting eyeballs, alas, but yes, lots of disturbed sleep and disturbing dreams. And huffing and puffing while running after the scooter duo...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    And the claim that your G & T goes twice as far, twice as fast at altitude turns out to be a wishful myth.

    Hmm, I did once get embarassingly wiggly on a single beer in Boulder. I guess there was no excuse after all.

    I found myself thinking "wapiti" a lot, but again, without any clear sense of what that is, except that it's a super-awesome word to say.

    Is it Ogden Nash who wrote

    Here comes the wapiti
    Hippity hoppity

    ?

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 451 posts Report Reply

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