Wednesday, August 10, 2011

W-b-N Denver

June 3, 2011

The late afternoon is cool, and cottonwood fluff drifts lazily through the air at this relaxed, easy-living campground in Englewood, just south of Denver. Wish I could spend a little time here just hanging out, but tomorrow morning I must take a shuttle to the airport and fly back to Charleston to pick up Blake for our trip to Yellowstone.

The day after returning to Denver from Pike’s Peak, I went to the Denver Airport to figure out how to get there and to scope out parking and airport access, so as to plan my strategy for getting there tomorrow and for sending Blake back to Charleston after our Yellowstone trip. Afterwards, I drove down to Cherry Creek State Park and stayed at the campground near a reservoir. The day at Cherry Creek was pleasant, devoted largely to catching up on things - showering, doing laundry and finishing a book (The Life of Pi).
Yesterday, Gail Mullen and I went into Denver and spent half a day (including lunch) at the Denver Art Museum, primarily in the American, European and Western exhibits. We also visited a special exhibit on early Renaissance Italian art, organized according to the Italian city in which it was produced. Period background music made for pleasant browsing; I think they tried to create the best possible venue for their Italian Renaissance paintings (which are not all that special) by adding some glitz and educational information. The museum is very user friendly, with sitting areas and books available about the subjects exhibited. The American and European art section are organized according to subject matter rather than country or chronology; this offered some interesting juxtapositions. The Western Art section is in the new wing of the museum, and features more recent visual arts, including textile art.
We had a very pleasant dinner at her house – grilled chicken kebobs, potato salad, veggie salad and ice cream. I met her husband, John, and learned something of both their lives. John has an interesting background; he was a marine pilot and later flew with U.S. Air. But he developed diabetes while he was in his forties and has had trouble managing it in recent years. In the meantime (before and since the onset of diabetes), he has climbed all of the 50+ mountains in the U.S. that are over 14,000 feet in height, including Pike’s Peak. Gail and I have interacted only occasionally since our years at Kalamazoo College, primarily at the “K-gals” get-togethers; I feel as if I have gotten to know her better since spending that day together.

This morning I went to the National Jewish Health (NJH) to get forms to fill out for my five-day “appointment” from June 20 – 24. I’m doing this at Arlene’s urging, although it will make the trip back from Yellowstone really hurried, and the trip to Iowa for the week-end writer’s conference almost impossible. And parking around NJH will be difficult. The patient coordinator never heard of anyone coming there in an RV (I’m sure that’s not the case at Mayo). We’ll see if it will all be worth the time and aggravation.

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