The top pic is of the 180 acre city of Alma (pop. 393 [2013]) where I gassed up late this morning.

The drive today was brutal. Not only long but had to pass through several 55mph construction zones and eventually through desolate Colorado cattle (black angus everywhere) country complete with 1 actual tumbleweed bouncing across I-70. This was very much the sort of ‘plains’ one would picture in a Western movie. Western Missouri was mega-farmland which I hadn’t suspected though admit ignorance. There appeared to be a lot of corn which either was planted late, a 2nd crop or simply wasn’t doing to well. Many were often surrounded by vast patches of forest/trees. Unlike Indiana this land was not scarred with cell phone towers. There were far more FedEx trucks than I’d noticed on my previously other long drive form Cle -> St. Louis which was wrought with many tractor trailers. Between gassing, restrooms, stopping to stretch and check the vending machines it took closer to 10 hours factoring in the time difference. Thankfully it was uneventful.

Greater ’Downtown’ Boulder was most eventful. A 1-2 story assortment of retail/business/restaurant built around walk-through squares. Lots ‘o brick. A spectacular mix of people ranging from the most plentiful college students, young and old[er] families and a surprising mix of feral tweens and their raggedy pit bulls doing their best Soggy Bottom Boys impressions. It was pretty spectacular. I hit Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse for a GIANT garden pizza (which will make a fine lunch+dinner tomorrow) and a couple of some of the most yummiest adult beverages in the country. A Russian River Blind Pig and Prarie Bomb!. This was an older graduate, professional mix of people at the bar and families in the larger back rooms. Great atmosphere. I found the people here extremely friendly and laid back in a very West Coast way. Maybe it’s own ‘mountain’ way. Overwhelming upbeat and approachable; even the few that put on their best ’too-cool’ NYC face. Even the homeless appeared too nice to bother asking for money. Most certainly another city I wish I had more time for. But very badly want to get my rural hike on.

I'll hope to include more pics tomorrow. I'd initially set out to exhaustively photo-document the trip but quickly found it unreasonable given the amount of driving I'd committed myself to. It's simply not possible to take all the pics I'd like to and make it anywhere in any reasonable amount of time. Between focusing on the drive and then the subsequent recover and relaxing have neglected the photos. I will work on this.

622+ miles
Countless windmills
Dozens upon dozens of oil pumps (in Co. fields, which I found most surprising)
2 states
2 Adult Superstores (along I-70, which I didn’t find surprising)
1 tumbleweed
1 pizza
1 presumably sewer residing raccoon (that I almost tripped over on the way to pizza)
1 Eisenhower boyhood home and Presidential Library [passed by]
1 National Orphan Train Complex [passed by]
1 Greyhound Hall of Fame [passed by]
0 accessible vending machines (most likely for the best)