We head out on I-70 past the airport. We plan to start off the trip doing some surveying at a site Greg is working on east of Aurora. East of Aurora is synonymous with the middle of nowhere. And this isn’t just an urban bias. It is a fact that the population drops off precipitously. And to many this is a good thing. As we drive out east past the airport, just as the Interstate narrows down to four lanes, the map atlas we are using changes scale. For Eastern Colorado, there is one page of map for every four pages of map for Western Colorado. That is just how sparse it is. Big sky. Things few and far between.
I am loving it. It is great to have no traffic, no traffic lights, just wide open spaces. When we survey in the canyons, it is so quiet. No one will pass by. We can count on this. The kids even seem to enjoy it and find games to play and ways to amuse themselves. After surveying, we drive south on dirt roads for hundreds of miles. We will not see a Starbucks for five days. We encounter pronghorn, oil wells, cemeteries, cheap hotels, canyons, a roadrunner, rabbits, hare, deer, extinct volcanoes, petroglyphs, horses, mules, cattle, springs, and ruins. It is great.
Bent’s Old Fort turns out to be very nice. Closest thing to a castle in these parts. The boys love it too and want to spend lots of time exploring. Only catch (typical) is that when we finally get to the fort and settle in to watch the video, Kadin starts getting fussy and complains that his ear hurts. He can’t get comfortable and is really in pain. We have just arrived, but we have to leave. This leads Rees into a meltdown. But we have to help Kadin out of pain. Luckily, back in the car, we find the painkillers we need and 20 minutes or so later (after his father and I carry this growing 5-year-old all over the place), he seems fine again. One more dose of painkillers gets him through the night and then the problem seems to resolve itself. Phew!