G'day folks! I'm sitting up in the main auditorium of the Loveland Church of Christ at their sound desk using the internet... Thanks Kirsten! I've passed through Denver & I'm now tracking north along the mighty Rocky Mountains, which I might point out, are looking rather white today! The temperature has dropped significantly over the past week & it's a rarity for the thermometer to top 10deg Celcius. I'm enjoying the cooler conditions though & I'm happy to have left the Colorado Plain's wind behind. It was getting a tad demorolising - I'm used to being overtaken by trucks, cars, motorbikes & bicycles but when I started to be overtaken by scores of tumble-weed, I knew I'd fallen a few notches down the highway food chain. The walk into Denver was taxing with two of the days stretching well over 70km. Both were not intended to be that far but due to the circumstances I found myself in I had few other choices. The 1st day, 79km, happened because I arrived in a town at 12am & there was no where to sleep for the night. I laid my sleeping bag out behind the community centre on a lovely lush green section of grass & began to drift off to sleep... until the pop-up sprinklers came on at 2:10am. I was sent scrambling & tumbling but not before all my gear had been thouroughly drenched. It was 2degC & with a cool breeze blowing I didn't feel like sitting around trying to shiver my self dry. So I packed up & continued walking on through the night, eventually arriving at 9:30am at a place called Hugo (which is at mile 401!). I slept the rest of that day in a dry & warm hotel after the local Catholic Church kindly served me up a hot breakfast. The second long day, 74km, came about because I arrived in a town that scared me & so I kept walking! It was around 55km from Limon to Dear Trail but there was no church there & no hotel. The lady serving at the gas station suggested I put my hammock up at the local park but on my way down there I spotted a big old couch sitting out the front of a run down house. It was stupid of me to do so, but not looking forward to spending a cold night in the hammock I very abscent mindedly walked up to the house, knocked & inquired of the young man living there if I could 'rent his couch for the night'? His reponse was to ask me to wait while he checked with his wife. I stood on the front step & waited for at least 10mins until finally the man's wife opened the front door & demanded that I get off the property. At that same moment the couple's skin-head friend arrived at speed, sliding his car up into the drive way. He jumped out with a mean scowl on his face & walked straight up to me. I quickly apologised & left the property promptly. As I did I over-heared the man's wife say to the skin-head friend that the police & sheriff were on the way! I turned & asked why & she simply yelled back, "Because you wouldn't leave!" So apparently in Dear Trail "Wait here" means "No, go away." Anyway, I didn't feel like putting my hammock up anywhere in the town & so after finishing my dinner under a street light I continued on into the night to finally arrive at the next town around 1am (& the hotel was open). After that little episode I've ditched the hammock I bought a one-man tent & more winter clothing to get me through the next few months. Denver was very beautiful though the 1st little strip was far from pleasent with many homeless people & even more intoxicated (it was around 3pm on a Friday). I had a couple of good chats with some of the homeless guys but it was so sad to see the incredible difference between that section of Denver & the rest. The next day I met the very personable Archbishop Charles for a brief 5mins but spent most of my time in Denver simply shopping for the winter gear I needed for the trip ahead. The last few days have been exceptionally cold & thus I was able to test my new gear out & I'm happy to say that even though it was hovering near 3degC for two days straight & I was plumetted by a frigid north wind & rain I pulled through without a shiver nor wet socks. The sky cleared today & revealed a very white Rocky Mountain range with snow blanketing the slopes. The leaves are changing colour & it's providing a spectacular back drop to the days of prayer on the road. The hospitality since Denver has been fantastic & I've been able to drop in on many churches & extend an invitation to pray for unity. I've received a few invitations myself, such as to the Broomfield Parish Oktoberfest Community Event. I drank soft drink all night but had a wonderful time meeting the many people who'd turned out. And then last night I happened to knock on a Church door just as the youth group was gathering & I was invited to stay, participate, eat & then sleep in the lounge room of the youth group leaders house! Brilliant. I'll see you next week from somewhere near the not-so-tropical Wyoming border. Until then, God bless & please pray for unity! Sam.
"The Lord is my shephard, I shall not be in want." Ps 23:1
ps: Cheers for the comments guys! I hope I answered your in depth question Tanner? :-)