Littleton

Although we have been describing it as Denver since people may mostly know where that is, Peg and Dave actually live at Littleton which is south of Denver in the outer urban area. Their home is a townhouse in an area that was developed in the 1980s and ‘90s.

Peg and Dave are regular morning walkers and suggested last night that we might walk with them this morning. They had joined me on my morning walks when they visited with us in Toowoomba in 2004. I was happy to join them and was up soon after 6:00, when I woke, checking email and Facebook and reading news from Australia. Majella had decided to stay in bed and catch up on some sleep.

A little before 7:00 we walkers set off on the normal track that Peg and Dave follow. We walked through some local streets and past a high school building before joining a walking trail that eventually came around to follow an old irrigation canal. Along the way we met Mike, who was introduced as a friend and one of the guests who would be joining us this evening. We were back a little before 8:00.

Peg offered some options for breakfast and we settled on blueberry pancakes with sausage, maple syrup, and fruit salad accompanied by coffee. That was delicious and more than enough to get us started for the day.

After breakfast Dave drove us along Broadway to the downtown area of Denver where we saw the state capitol and other significant buildings. The houses along Broadway were mostly brick in a variety of styles dating back to early last century. Majella was taken by the use of tiles to decorate the gables on many of them. Others had various stylistic features from the Art Deco and other periods. The downtown area has a mix of older buildings with high stone columns and other classic features along with more modern tall glass structures.

On the way back we stopped at a Sierra Trading Post store. To our surprise it is warm here in Colorado and expected to stay that way for a while. The itinerary that Peg and Dave have planned for us later this week includes places with pools and neither of us had brought our togs. Our stop was to buy togs if we could find something suitable. I managed to stop at togs. Majella bought togs, a pair of shorts at a price she could not resist, socks, and a pair of waterproof hiking boots at a very good price. She had been looking for something to replace the Merrells she has been wearing and these boots were both comfortable and waterproof. Peg bought a top and Dave found a pair of mudguards for his bike. It was a successful shopping stop all round.

We ate ham sandwiches for lunch and then played table tennis for a bit. Majella and I were clearly the weak points in whatever combinations we tried but it was fun and a little more exercise. After that it was time for a rest before Peg, Majella and I set off to the Sprouts store to pick up supplies for this evening and our trip later in the week.

By the time we returned it was time to begin preparations for the evening meal. Peg and Dave had invited family and friends over to meet us and had prepared a fun quiz on Australian slang terms. At 5:00 we were joined by Dave’s brother Bill and his wife, Karen; Peg’s sister Sheila and her husband, Joe; and Mike, who I met on the walk this morning and his wife, Lydia. Their arrival coincided with the end of the football game that Dave was watching between the Denver Broncos and the Oakland team. A minute from the end the score was locked at 17-19 against the Broncos. About 10 seconds from the end they scored a field goal and hung on to win 20-19. Dave and the other Broncos fans were well pleased.

There were lots of connections and interesting conversation before and over drinks and dinner. Mike had worked as a geologist in the UK and Australia as well as the USA and for at least some time with BHP. Karen had been born in Dubuque which is on our itinerary for later on the trip. Joe was able to suggest an additional Frank Lloyd Wright house on or near our route in McCook, Nebraska. There were lots of other interesting tidbits of information shared in all directions over a couple of hours and most of the guests did reasonably well on the test of their knowledge of Australian slang.

After dinner we did another walk around the neighbourhood and then relaxed with some old TV – Mary Tyler Moore. The plan for tomorrow includes some hiking so there should be no need for an early morning walk.