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  • Writer's pictureSandra

Colorful Colorado - Part 1

Updated: Nov 7, 2022

At 1pm on Monday 08/22/2022 we will be welcomed by Colorful Colorado.

The planet is on fire and I suggest that we have a little refreshment in the form of a shake. However, everyone interprets the word “small” differently.

Ice-cold and with a calorie count that probably covers the daily requirement, we continued our journey into the interior of the state, also known as the home of the Rocky Mountains. Coincidentally, we pass a national park that I not only didn't have on my radar, but whose existence I wasn't even aware of.

The Black Canyon is a very small park, especially since you inevitably use the Grand Canyon as a comparison object. Both are undoubtedly canyons, but that's where the similarities end in my opinion. This black canyon was nice to look at, but it didn't trigger a photo frenzy like in the Grand Canyon.

I was hoping for a great sunset at the Sunset View Overlook, where all the other visitors also made the pilgrimage, but there were to many clouds.

Finally we left the black gorge and looked for a nocturnal quarters under the cover of darkness. We found what we were looking for near a former visitor center and the associated campsite that has been closed for 2 years. Bedtime! After a rather cool night we were back on the road early in the morning. I decided to take a break for breakfast at Lake Forke.

This National Recreation Area was a real eye catcher. I wanted to jump into my kayak and paddle a lap across this huge blue lake, in which the mountains - between which it was embedded - were reflected so beautifully.

Unfortunately, Sebastian didn't go along with me and I had to scrap my plan for better or for worse. In the next town I insisted on tackling the “mission Haircut” and was able to check off at least this one successfully. ✅️

Thanks to the hairdresser, I not only saw something out of my eyes again with the clever fringe length, I was also able to pick up a hot tip. “Crested Butte” was the recommendation. A popular ski area in winter and a great place for hiking, biking or just enjoying nature in summer. Perfect for slowing down. Yeah, traveling can be stressful too.

And so did we. We strolled comfortably with Lennox through the picturesque scenery, made acquaintances with the locals and enjoyed the peace and quiet. A retired doctor offered to park us in his driveway for the night, which has an unobstructed view of Crested Butte. There was also a free restaurant recommendation, which we also gladly followed. In the evening there was pizza and cocktails

followed by a hefty bill. We enjoyed the evening (nevertheless) in this colorful little place,

where everyone has at least one dog and in summer everything seems to revolve around the mountain bikers. After a good night's sleep we strolled through the shopping mile with many small shops for things that the world doesn't need before we drove 320 km to Fountain (near Colorado Springs). More on that in a moment, but first a little video about Lake Forke and Crested Butte:

On Thursday, August 25th, 2022, it was time for the Hot Rod Rock & Rumble held at the Pikes Peak Raceway.

Pikes Peak International Raceway is a racetrack facility in Fountain, Colorado that opened in 1997. In addition to a one-mile D-oval, there is a 2.09-kilometer permanent road course. However, this weekend was not just about racing, it was about red-hot hot rods, real American music, pin-ups, car shows, flea markets... Oval cruising, drag racing and burnouts were also on the agenda.

Apart from the fact that it sounds like a great event, the main reason for our participation was: Sonia. Well, who is Sonia? Some still remember our visit to Ohio (see "I like places that make me smile"); we visited Dawn & Jim. Sonia is Dawn's daughter and therefore Sebastians' (Host Family) sister. After several years in which the two had not seen each other, it was clear that the time was ripe. And since Sonia, her husband Nick and their two children Gabrielle and Russell (who are no longer children) were taking part in this promising event with their family business, we decided to visit them there. A few days earlier we had booked the complete package 3 days Halli-Galli including camping. The young park attendant that we met at the entrance to the raceway was more of a blank and the rest of the group seemed hopelessly overwhelmed. There was definitely no question of organizational talent here. So at first we stood in a line of cars and RVs, the driver of the RV in front of us having decided not to waste his time in his RV... nice for him. It's just stupid that everyone else behind him didn't make any progress when it went on. Since the guy was nowhere to be found, we got in a different queue. When we finally made it to the festival site, we suddenly had to register. So it was time again: wait in line, please! This time on foot. Although it took quite a while until we finally got to our goodie bag including the festival wristband,

but in the meantime Sonia had found us and there was enough distraction and things to talk about. So far I only knew her from stories and was nevertheless moved to finally get to know her, even if I was understandably only a supporting actress. After the formalities (registration) were completed, Sonia guided us to her pitch. Although our booked space was actually on the other side of the festival site, Sonia pulled out all the stops so that we could park right next to her camper. This was perfect because we could spend so much more time together and save ourselves long walks across the campus. After getting to know the rest of the family ties, we helped set up their "Gennie Shifter" booth. These are manual transmissions (shifters) and shift levers (shift knobs) for classic cars, hot rods, muscle cars, etc.

The next few days literally flew by. While Sebastian helped diligently at the stand, I wasn't really a help and mostly flitted around with Lennox and my Genny, which I gave to George Weldon's gifted pinstriper hands at the first opportunity to pimp, who usually embellishes hot rods with paintings . Freehand and with a calmness, he expertly conjured up some decorative pink-purple lines on my Genny's white trim

while I chatted about the world with his lovely wife Kim. What great people... and I'm not just saying that because George didn't even want to accept money from me for his work.

With my pinstriped Genny, I got into conversation even more often with the already very open-minded rednecks I met on the way to all the colorful and original hot-rods.

In addition, you always ran into girls in their "hot" rockabilly outfits, so I felt like pimping myself up.

Although there was constant hustle and bustle around, the atmosphere was relaxed and I enjoyed the relaxed and light-hearted manner of the Americans. Once again, I wished that I could take a large portion of serenity with me, because in such moments I realize how dogged and unrelaxed I myself am sometimes. This weekend, however, I could confidently let God be a good man.

We had planned to eat out for one evening, but when the Finns who were camping next to us tempted us with home-made deluxe burgers, which the burger chef served in front of the camera, we scrapped our plan. Finns? Citizens? Camera? Yep, we were confused too. This Finnish crew consisted of the main actors Akseli Herlevi (former Top-Chef winner Finland) and Ossi Lahtinen with their 2-person film crew. The 4 travel through world history and produce a program for Finnish TV (also available on youtube). While Akseli conjures up the best delicacies under the simplest of conditions, he and Ossi seemingly casually get in touch with the country and its people. In that case we were "land and people" and found ourselves in front of the camera with full mouths, munching burgers. Anyone who now thinks there was some kind of script or plan is wrong. And I don't think it's necessary when you have someone like Ossi with you who constantly makes people laugh. He reminded me a bit not only visually of the comedian Dirk Bach, who sadly passed away... After we had all eaten more than enough, the Finns wanted to see a Skoolie. So shortly afterwards I found myself showing off my Skoolie in front of the camera.

But the evening only reached its climax when the Finns started to auction off all their cooking equipment to the highest bidder, as they didn't want to take the things they just bought a few days ago home with them. Would have also been difficult with gas grill & Co. Nick and Sebastian were suddenly in the mood to bid and got hold of the things at bargain prices. To be honest, I wasn't impressed by the huge cool box that made Seb's eyes sparkle... where was he going to put it for the next 2 months? Luckily he found a solution that I could live with, he strapped the box to the frame under the bus to save space. And if it hasn't fallen off, it's still hanging there... But what is much more interesting is the question of what the Finns do with us from the film material. The program will be broadcast in the spring of next year. I am excited.

On Sunday morning, August 28th, 2022 Rock & Rumble ended with a loud bang - literally! Because suddenly the Winnebago stage from the video from above was on fire. Thank goodness no one was hurt. The reason for the fire is probably the action the previous evening, where flames were ignited from the exhaust pipe for show purposes. What a really sad end to such a great weekend.

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