Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hello Wisconsin!
It's not quite like "That 70s Show" here, but I imagine it was a lot like it during the 70s!
We've been up here for just a few days, and we are currently baby-sitting our nieces and nephews. This weekend we'll be going camping for 3 nights at Veteran's Memorial Park in nearby Cameron, which is right on the lake and should be tons of fun. A bunch of Liz's extended family will be joining us, and we'll be fishing and boating, amongst other activities. But we'll tell you more about that after the fact, until then, here's news on our time in Chicago:
As mentioned, we arrived in Chi-town around dinnertime on Friday, and after a bit of relaxing with Jenn and Jake at their place, and then Brooke and Kevin arrived to start the evening. Our "couples crew" then headed to a small Thai restaurant, where we were the only table there (which forced them to turn the AC back on, thankfully), but the food was delicious, though the service was somewhat stereotypical for a big city. Afterwards, we headed to the rather ritzy 96th Floor at the Hancock Tower for some $11 drinks. Thankfully the view of Chicago-land was free, so that at least somewhat made up for the ridiculous prices. It should be mentioned that for $11, it should be a bottle, not a beverage. That's why we probably won't ever live in a big city... but who knows (not us!)?
Later that night, after Kevin and Jake parted ways, the four of us went to a latenight improv comedy show at a place called The Playground. We saw two comedy "troupes," one that used live diary entries to tie the show together, and the 2nd that emulated/partially mocked Dungeons & Dragons. There was split decisions on which group was funnier, but any real nerd knows D&D comedy is legit!
On Saturday we slept in "just a little bit" and then walked a few blocks from Jenn & Jake's place to check out a Greek street Festival. There were all sorts of vendors, a trampoline-tumbling group, live Greek music, more Souvlaki, Gyros, and Baklava than even any Greek could ever eat, plus Keo (a Greek beer) and plenty of cheap ($9/litre) Greek Rose wine. Both Liz and Jake won a Kronos raffle, so they were delighted recipients of free frisbees and t-shirts. Anderson was the sole loser, since Jenn was participating in a raffle boycott.
We spent the rest of Saturday relaxing and laying low, eating a delicious dinner prepared by Chef Jenn, and watching some episodes of "Strangers With Candy." If you've never seen the show, it features some hilarious comedians, perhaps most notably a pre-Report/Daily Show Stephen Colbert.
It should be mentioned that throughout our time in Chicago, we took advantage of the (relatively) cheap CTA mass transit, aka The El. Or "the the" if you speak Spanish. Train rides are enjoyable, though not as fast as they ought to be, but good preparation for our upcoming European travels.
On Sunday we checked out another Chicago street festival, this time an arts fest with hundreds of (mostly) local artisans, with art of all types and mediums - though the prices were rather universally outrageous.
Brooke and Kevin met us (with Jenn & Jake) down there, and then we went over to the B&K residence to admire all of their boxes. Brooke is moving to Colorado this next weekend for a new publishing job in Boulder, so they are in the midst of packing up all of their belongings. Kevin has a lease and a book that he's writing to finish, and then he'll be joining her in November.
We then went to a wonderful Korean restaurant, where we cooked our own food on a grill on the table. We split a tasty beef and octopus dish, and Jenn enjoyed a much-anticipated bowl of kimchi soup, much to the delight of Jake we're all sure. Monday was Jake's first day of law school at the Kent College of Law, so he needed a tasty meal to prepare himself.
Our Monday was enjoyably spent at the Indian Consulate downtown, in the midst of intensely pouring rains, which Jenn politely joined us for, though it was a time-consuming process, and we honestly almost did not get our travel visas. There are numerous options for visas for tourists, with 6-month, 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year options. The problem with tourist visas to India, however, is that they are all good for only 180-days per visit; one then has to leave India, and then re-enter, if you want to stay for more than 6 months at one time. There is an "entry visa" as well, which is good for up to 5-years, without the 6-month visit restriction. So we were hoping for an entry visa, to make our life easier, and to allow us to stay in India potentially for up to 2 straight years. So we were sent to meet with a "Mr. Roy" to discuss this possibility, theoretically to argue our case. But when we arrived in his office, we had our first (surely of many) obnoxious beauractric experience. Apparently we accidentally put our Colorado forwarding address instead of our former Iowa address for our residency, though we obviously have no residency at all right now, and thus Mr. Roy refused to talk with us all, simply saying he couldn't help us and we'd have to go to San Francisco, because they handle Colorado. Apparently, consulates don't like explanations, since he wouldn't listen to a word we said. It's very frustrating to be in a position where you have no control over anything, but obviously going to San Fran was simply not an option. So we refilled out our entire forms, got the third degree from the desk clerk, who then decided that we weren't able this time (like there would be a next time when we see him personally) we couldn't receive anything more than a one-year tourist visa. Funny how complicated trying to spend all of our hard earned money in India seems to be. But we can renew our visa (before it expires - and only outside of India since apparently they can't handle these issues within their own country), which we will most likely take care of in Nepal. Fortunately India itself will be more enjoyable, but we're not voting for Mr. Roy for consulate of the year (sorry, you were so close to getting our vote, sir). The funny thing is that of course the receptionist is the nicest lady ever, and even the desk clerk was helpful, it just seems unusual that no one could believe that we accidently filled out a form wrong. But whatever, we have our visas, and a wonderful story as well.
While waiting we enjoyed some Chicago-style pizza at a nearby Uno, as well as a few self-sympathy beers. They worked, in case you were wondering.
We then returned to Jenn's, got situated, and then went over to her friend Erin's house, for a BBQ that was a feast in disguise. Chicken, tiapia, beans & rice, and all other sorts of goodies got us stuffed, and then we went with Brooke & Kevin over to their friends Jade & Joe's house to watch the Showtime show "Weeds." Mary-Louise Parker (of Sex & The City fame) stars in the show, and if you've never seen it, you're missing out. So Netflix it, or BitTorrent it, and if you don't what those terms mean, do yourself a favor and get out of the 20th century!
It should be mentioned that we also witnessed Joe annihilate NES Tetris, shattering the 200,000 point mark. Impressive, to say the least.
After goodbyes to Brooke & Kevin, we then met Jenn for our last El ride home. It was arguably the best ride ever, since it was super late, so we virtually had the train to ourselves, and each stop took a maximum of 5 seconds.
We then tiredly said goodnight/goodbye to Jenn, and passed out for our last night on their comfortable air matress.
Tuesday morning, well, late-morning, we left the Windy City, grabbing some White Castle on the way, which ended up haunting Liz most of the ride to Wisconsin. They're not called "sliders" for nothing!
So now we're in Wisconsin, home of the 56k modem internet connection, but we'll post again soon!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Back in Iowa!
After a lengthy day of driving yesterday, we arrived in Iowa City at around 10 p.m. Unfortunately the drive from Laramie, WY to Iowa is essentially the same distance as from Denver, CO, but we toughed it out, alternating driving and sleeping.
We left Anderson's parents house on Saturday morning, after a quick breakfast and goodbyes, and headed to Boulder to see one of Anderson's oldest friends, his buddy Dan Brewer. Dan has just become the equivalent of God, as he has recently been promoted to manager of the Movie Gallery he has worked at since he arrived in Boulder. We ate lunch at a very unique place called the Dark Horse, that has all sorts of weird decorations hanging from the ceiling, and is also home to numerous delicious beers, most notably Buffalo Gold. We also checked out the hotel that his girlfriend Brya works at, which was eerily home to a recent heart-attack victim.
We then spent the remainder of the weekend in Wyoming, with our recently-engaged friends Chris & Katie. They live in Laramie, so we checked out some good local favorites (the vegetarian/organic restaurant Sweet Melissa's and the dingy bar Copper's, home of the tasty drinks Copper's Popper's) the first night we were there, and then on Sunday we took full advantage of Wyoming's extensive natural beauty. We got up early (by our standards) at around 8 or so, and then headed out for a full day of fishing. We hit up two beautiful spots (one was a "super secret" local spot, the other Lake Marie high up in the mountains), and caught 7 fish (all trout of various varieties) that were destined to be our dinner. The crisp, thin, mountain air and the high elevations were tiring but refreshing, and we saw plenty of hawks, antelope, and other flora and fauna. We returned home late, for a satisfying dinner of stuffed, grilled trout, exquisitely prepared by Chris. It should be noted that their dog Jackson had a wonderful time, too, though he'd like everyone to know that he was tragically denied his own fish dinner.
After our all-to-quick Wyoming weekend, we headed to Iowa on Monday the 21st, after a quick stop by Katie's parents house in Cheyenne to drop her off (she had broken her foot a few week's earlier, so she needed to get a cast put on). Thankfully this was our largest day of driving left, and the 12 hours passed tolerably enough (Laramie & Denver our unfortunately the exact same distance from Iowa City).
Our few days in Iowa flew by, our days spent taking care of our last batch of errands, as well as sorting out our last bunches of stuff (to take to Wisconsin). We have actually decided to return to Iowa for one last night, to see Hunab Ku open for the Pnuma Trio on the 7th of September, right before we were going to be at HarvestFest. So that works out well timing-wise, and then we'll be able to see an awesome show with two great bands... hopefully you'll be there to join us!
In Iowa we bounced around, passing out in several places, so many thanks to Luke, Stephanie & Jeremy, and the Hunab Ku house for all of their hospitality. We did manage to polish off one last keg of OCBW red ale, so if you learn anything from us, please remember to always support your local brewery whenever you have the chance.
After an all-to-quick three days, Friday morning was upon us, and it was therefore time to head to the Windy City. Traffic being simply awesome, our 4-hour trip became 6 before we were actually at Jenn & Jake's high-rise condominium, conveniently located a few blocks from Greek Town. So that's where we are now, and we'll give you a thorough Chicago report in the very near future.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hawaii Top 10 List (As Promised):

1. Surfing lessons----> We woke early Tuesday morning (our 2nd morning in Maui) and had Anderson's parents take us to the surf shop for our group lesson. After signing in we immediately were outfitted with water shoes and rub gear (rub gear is just the cool way of describing a water/swim shirt and board shorts). After a quick snapshot next to a surfboard (which we could have purchased for a reasonable $10) we were ready! Our instructors, two young surfers with a decent summer job, first demonstrated (on land) how to paddle and where to lay and position yourself on the board. We also learned the theroy behind standing up. Once in the water, Liz was frightened by the fact that she would have to go under water without plugging her nose. It may have hindered her performance, except that the water never seemed too deep and the falls all happened in slow motion. The waves were a decent 4 feet in size (big for a beginner) and the water as salty as ever. Liz managed to get up on the first try and rode the wave ALL the way to shore; she paid for it by eating rocks and a surfboard. Anderson was a bit more graceful in the overall sport and rode a good 6 waves in just over a hour. Liz also rode a few more good ones before our muscles gave way and the lesson was over. We had the boards for a few more hours but we were so exhausted that we didn't get back in that day. In was a great feeling to be riding the wave that you waited so long for.
2. Golfing at Wailea-----> All the Muth men able to awake early enough (sorry Sterling) played the beautiful Wailea Gold Course on Maui. Anderson, Cousin Geoff, Aaron, Uncle Greg, and Randy (a groomsman) played while Dudley & Rodney drove carts. Randy was the big winner of the modified-skins game that we played, but everyone played well, and with the georgeous views it was impossible not to have fun. Anderson managed (a miracle amongst miracles) to win 2 holes, even shooting par on one hole. Not bad for a 10-year-layoff from the sport!
3. Honolulu Zoo-----> Our final day in O'ahu we spent at the Honolulu Zoo. It was within two blocks from our hotel and, after a breif delay due to a downpour, we leisurely walked there. The zoo houses over 1,000 animals and we saw most of them. At both the elephant pen and the chimpanzee cage our timing was such that we saw snacktime with the zookeepers. After the snack, the zookeepers discuss the animals and answer questions. Muy informativa! After 4 hours of walking and viewing, Liz and Marcia were ready to move on to dinner.
4. Beaches as far as one can drive------> Obviously, there are beaches everywhere (hint: they're islands) but the color of the water, the temperature of the water, and all the tiny islands off the coast are a constant picture of beauty. It is almost warming to the soul to look out at the ocean while driving (or walking) the shore. Each beach and side of the islands have their differences and they are often quite noticeable; Large, crashing waves and a rocky shore in one spot and a sandy, prestine beach in another make the ocean never seem dull.
5. Plenty of Muths-----> For the first time during adulthood every Muth cousin was in the same place at the same time, which resulted in much catching-up as well as partying and general fun-having. We represented Iowa, Sterling & Reannon New York, Marion & Geoff California, and Aaron (obviously) Hawaii. No wonder we don't all hang out very often...
6. Biking 10,000 ft. down Mt. Haleakala-----> This excursion was a true adventure. It started with a 2:30 a.m.! pick-up time in front of our hotel the morning after the Old Lahina Luau (which the whole Muth family attended...oh...and there was an open bar). From the hotel we pit stopped at the bike garage to watch a 10 minute saftey video and meet our leader, Uncle Russ. Uncle Russ was rearing to go but we all wanted to sleep during the two hour ride to the 10,000 ft. crater of the dormant Haleakala. We selected the sunrise ride so we were at the top with our camera by 5:30. We instantly put on our full windsuit as the temp. was below 50 degrees with a high wind chill. It was cold, to say the least, but the windsuits made it tolerable to stand out in. The sunrise was awesome and a true reward for our ungodly wake up time. After a brief measurement and ride around the lot, the train of 12 was ready to go. The beginning of the ride was the most exilerating. We reached speeds of 30 mph and it was lightly raining when we rode through the clouds. All one could hear was the sound of their own breathing and the bike wheels spinning on the wet pavement. After the clouds, we rode through the cool showers for another 5ish miles. We rode through an open range and the cows were pretty funny (we learned that later that day someone hit a cow). After the rain we saw a rainbow, which took our breath away.
7. Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay-----> We saw over 50 species of fish, in clear, comfortable water, without ever having to venture more than 100 feet into the ocean, at what is regarded as O'ahu's premiere snorkeling location. We arrived before 7, so we got in for free, and were able to take advantage of some prime snorkeling before the crowds (and then the cloudy water) arrived. In between rounds of snorkeling we got some nice tanning and reading in.
8. Hotel view of Waikiki Beach-----> While we weren't able to surf it too successfully at all, we did have a great view of most of Waikiki from our 24th-floor hotel room. Regarded as one of the world's premiere beaches, Waikiki didn't disappoint, as it was constantly sunny, and constantly packed with surfers, swimmers, sun-tanners, and general beach-goers.
9. Absolutely perfect weather-----> When it rains in Hawaii, it does for 5 minutes, simply to cool everyone off. Then it's back to being perfectly sunny, with less humidity than Iowa. So while most people were suffering, we thought it was a great change of pace from Iowa's 99% humidity!
10. Aaron & Jackie's wedding-----> Obviously the primary reason we were even in Hawaii, the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, and reception were all lovely. The rehearsal and ceremony were both held right next to the ocean, and the reception at Stella Blues was fabulous, with tons of good food and delicious drinks, as well as some fun slide shows and a late, Muth-dominated dance. Congratulations are definitely due to Aaron & Jackie, as well everyone who helped make their day so spectacular!

We're currently still in Denver (our apologies Chris & Katie), because we decided to spend one last real day with Anderson's parents, but we'll be leaving Colorado early tomorrow morning, see Dan & Brya in Boulder for brunch, and then arrive in Laramie, WY to spend the remainder of the weekend with C & K.
Let the Hawaii synopsis begin!
We're now back in not-quite-so-lovely-by-comparison Colorado, hard at work doing our final round of organization before we leave the country for an as-yet-undetermined number of months. We will be spoiling ourselves by attending a Rockies game at some point this week, but beyond that work (wills, financial details, to-do-lists, website stuff :-) is our main priority, as we only have about 4 working days while we are here, plus we have to get our car fixed. But that's all boring, you (hopefully) want to hear about the end of our vacation in Hawaii...
So when we last left you, we had a scant 3 days remaining, and we were headed to the Polynesian Cultural Center, on the far side of Oahu (opposite from Waikiki where our hotel was). Well, it should be prefaced that the PCC was founded in 1963 by the Mormons, and that 80% of its current employees are students who "pay their way" at the neighboring BYU campus by working 6 days a week at the PCC, and that they are all international students (it seemed) who presumably were converted to Mormonism somewhat recently. So, like all things Mormon, something suspicious seemed afoot in our opinion.
All that having been said though, we did have an enjoyable time being painfully tourist-y at a "theme park" for indigenous tribes: there were 7 islands representing 7 ancient Polynesian cultures, with relevant activities on each (hula dancing on Hawaii, fire-starting with dried wild hibiscus in Samoa, etc.) as well as a fancy dinner (cocktail shrimp are always wonderful) followed by an elaborate stage show with over 100 dancers that featured extensive fire dancing. The PCC was an all-day-event, and we had a good time, though it was by far the most tourist-oriented activity that we did during our whole trip.
The next morning we had an excellent change of pace; we awoke at 5:45 am in order to go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. We'd been advised that arriving early was the smart thing to do, and we were definitely rewarded, as we saw well over 50 species of fish without having to go very far from the shore. The water was crystal clear, quite comfortable, and teeming this fish. And just for Liz, a large eel appeared for a brief moment. We had a ride with Tommy's Tours, which made our life easy, as they provided our equipment as well our transportation, and our driver on the way back gave us a plethora of local eatery recommendations. That's how we later found ourselves at Ono Hawaiian Foods, which if you are ever on Oahu you must go to so you can try authentic Hawaiian food done right, and Leonard's Bakery, home of these delicious traditional-Portuguese sugary-doughballs called Malasadas.
Our final day on Oahu was mostly spent exploring the Honolulu Zoo, since sleeping in and packing up meant we didn't even arrive until around noon. The zoo is home to over 1000 species of animals, including hundreds of native birds, and has an excellent African section as well. We lucked out and were able to catch two informative talks by zookeepers, one on elephants and the other on chimpanzees. From there we went straight to the airport, since the wonderful world of fear we live in decided our new favorite color should be "orange" and that liquids and gels are simply too much responsibility for we, the people, to handle. Not that we're opposed to airline safety, a complete ban on liquids just seems to be a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, particularly since the technology exists for airports security to screen for hazardous liquids/gels, they've just chosen not to utilize it. Nevermind that our whole terminal got cleared out for additional random screening minutes before boarding... what a wonderful use of government funds - but at least the Honolulu Airport is safe from terrorists. We then caught a surprisingly smooth redeye flight, leaving Oahu at 10:15 pm and arriving in Denver bright and early the next morning at 9 am.
So there we go, there's Hawaii in a nutshell, and all we can say is that we highly recommend visiting if you have a chance. The islands are very different (the pace on Maui much slower and laid back), but everyday we did something fun and different. Thanks definitely go to Marcia & Rod for taking us with them to paradise, and congratulations and best wishes are due to Aaron & Jackie on their wedding and marriage.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

This will have to be another brief post, since we haven't eaten in a while, and are going to wonder through the shops of Waikiki while looking for some food, but we have made it to the lovely island of Oahu. We are staying at an enormous resort hotel (we are on the 24th floor) overlooking Waikiki beach, and have had a lot of fun so far on our 2nd Hawaiian island. Monday was Anderson's mom's b-day, so we had a nice family dinner out, dining oceanside, with roving musicians, overly fancy drinks, and an amazing dinner menu. We'll post more details later, but our bikeride down the crater on Maui was fabulous, and we just got done playing a few games of lasertag with our Uncle Greg (thanks go out to him for his hospitality) at Ultrazone. Tomorrow we're all going to the Polynesian Cultural Center, which is supposed to be both enjoyable and educational, and then on Thursday we are (finally) going snorkeling, so we can make use of our underwater camera. Unfortunately we head back to Denver late Friday night, but we should have time to check out the zoo during the day beforehand. Since the Muth parents need their beauty sleep, and we're hanging out in their room to use the internet, that's all the news for now, but a full Hawaii report, including a Top 10 List, should be posted sometime this weekend when we are able to fully relax back in Denver, CO.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A more exciting Hawaii post will follow once we finally have some time when we're not fighting off yawns, but our vacation / cousin's wedding / family reunion is going splendidly. Of course, any good trip is supposed to be exhausting, so I guess that explains it! Anderson's cousin Aaron gets married tomorrow to a wonderful lady Jackie, who will undoubtedly be a great addition to the Muth clan. All of the Muths have been partying it up, since this is the first time Anderson's father, his two brothers, and all of their respective children have been together for at least 10 years. So far for "family stuff" we've had a wonderful rehearsal dinner at Jackie's parents' house last night (complete with a bangin' limo ride, poolside meal, and surprisingly well-behaved children), a rather excessive BBQ at our condo, a Muth men golfing trip this morning to the stunning Wailea golf course, and just a wee bit o' drinkin' which already led security showing up at 2 am, much to Marcia's pleasure. We also went surfing for the 1st time ever (which was amazingly fun though rather painful on the ribs and hips), did a bit of boogy-boarding (not quite as exciting), grabbed the new Spearhead disc "Yell Fire" - definitely worth getting, and we've eaten at several delicious local eateries. The hot tubs and pool have seen us a bit as well, and the poolside Mai-Tai Wednesday this afternoon was pretty awesome.
So tomorrow's the wedding, Friday we're going to a luau as a family, and on Saturday we are going to bike 38 miles down from Haleakala Crater, the dormant 10,000 foot volcano here on Maui.
More updates soon...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

It's been quite the hectic week, filled with fun and travelling, and we are currently relaxing in a condo on the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii. But before you can be clued in about our tropical adventures for the next two weeks, a bit of a rewind is necessary:
We safely checked out of duplex last Wednesday, with our Buick Lesabre packed with our Colorado-bound possessions, and our items for Wisconsin left at the Hunab Ku house (thanks again gentlemen, cat, and dogs), most of which are stuffed into our awesome back-up car, a '85 Buick Skyhawk. In theory we are selling that car, or giving it away, or something, but more on that in a bit. Many thanks to all who helped us move stuff out (particularly Nicole who bailed us out of a jam at the last minute), and we hope everyone who received our furniture and other possessions gets as much good use out of them as we did. After much running about Iowa City, wrapping up some procrastinated last details, we ate a quick meal at Guido's Deli, which has all sorts of deliciously dank sandwiches, and began the drive to Omaha, NE with the members of Hunab Ku (Luke, Scott, Joe, Collin, & Derek -- drums, guitar, guitar, percussion/keys, & bass respectively) to see their show at The Goofy Foot Lodge. The bar was somewhat odd, given that it had skateboards all over the walls (which explains the name), but it was still quite nice, and since "we knew the band" we pretty much got free drinks all night. Our friend Blake, whom Anderson played soccer with at Cornell, met us at the show, and the three of us had fun watching the band rock as hard as anyone can in Nebraska. Blake has just gotten married and bought a house, so we wish him the best on both those endeavors!
After the show we grabbed a hotel room, which we packed with all 7 of us, though the iced over air conditioner was less than desirable, though the discount the next morning evened things up pretty well...
The next morning, well, noon, we attempted to leave Omaha quickly, but were slowed by Collin's lost wallet (hopefully relocated by now), and the fact our car briefly wouldn't start, but that seemed to be a fluke key-reading problem...
So we ate lunch at King Kong outside of Lincoln, which is completely delicious -- they serve cheap gyros, philly steak sandwiches, greek salads, as well as really huge burgers (the Super Kong contains 2 lbs. of beef). We stop there everytime we go through Nebraska now - its greasy good, and the cheesy gorilla theme adds to the charm.
And then the madness began:
Just outside of Lincoln our check engine light turned on, then started flashing, and then our car started pouring smoke out from the engine. We pulled over, and the undercarriage of the car was practically on fire. Fortunately, some Mid-West kindness saved us, as the first vehicle that drove by was someone on the way to pick up a car from the nearest mechanic, which was in Beaver Crossing, NE. Basically, our transmission was about to go, and because the car was so hot the transmission fluid line had clogged and reversed itself, spraying burning hot fluid all over the engine, which then dripped down onto the muffler. However, since we had all of our possessions in the car, and were on a bit of a time schedule, nevermind that that's about $1200 to fix, we decided to hang out until the car had cooled and the sun had gone down (it was around 97 degrees - one more degree and we would have had to sing bad pop music...) and then keep driving and hope for the best. So we ended up relaxing at the town pool for an hour or so... nothing equals fun like hippies in a small town!
We fortunately made it to Colorado, but had to take the backroads the entire way, keeping our max speed at 60, in order not to overheat. But the backroads have one problem: hundreds of miles without any gas stations that are open 24 hours. So we ran out of gas in Colorado... fortunately the Hunab Ku van was right behind us, so they found gas relatively quickly, and we were able to coast into what must have been the only working gas station east of Denver on Highway 36. So instead of arriving at 9 or 10 pm as we had originally hoped, we limped in at about 5 am the next morning. Pretty awesome.
Friday, therefore, was pretty much a blur of sleep and unpacking, as well as a car switch, before we headed to Idaho Springs, CO to go a music festival called Katenation that Hunab Ku was playing. If you live in Iowa, it used to be called the 4-20 party and was held in Tipton, but this year, the 10th anniversary, was held outside Denver because one of the promoters moved out there. So Friday night we camped at about 9,000 feet, had a nice miniature drum circle, and enjoyed some New Belgium brews since the state of Iowa has yet to get on the Fat Tire bandwagon. None of us really knew what to expect from this party, since the other bands played "all sorts of music", but that was really code for "metal, hardcore, and punk," so we got to listen to some fabulous screaming (ick), but the land was pristine, situated in a mountain valley, and all the people there were really nice (despite their differing tastes in music), and there was about 15 kegs of Natural Light, which was great because you need to drink lots of water at high elevations. Luke, Collin, and Anderson all went swimming for a few seconds in the clear (and clearly freezing) mountain pond on the property, though it should be noted only Anderson had the balls for skinny-dipping. A few friends joined us: our old neighbor (from Iowa) Max, who made the drive from Iowa for the fest (since he'd been to the last 8 in Tipton, he figured it'd be lame to bail out on the Colorado rendition), and our good friend Caleb who lives in Colorado. It was great to see them both, and of course the Hunab Ku show rocked - they played a bit after 7, and though people seemed unable to dance, they were definitely deemed the most talented band there by, well, pretty much everyone there! They passed out all sorts of promo CDs, and Anderson video-taped the show while Liz took a bunch of still photos, so hopefully their journey to Colorado, part of their first ever multi-state "two-er," will be the first of many more such ventures for them. The only downside to the whole day was that we were unable to camp a second night, because we had to drive back to Anderson's parents' house. But of course, as much as we hated bailing on our friends, they were all a bit jealous since we were headed to...