November 2022


Random Trip Notes

I’m back in Weimar–but before I move on to life back in Germany, here are a few more travel tidbits:

Is it really an honor? On my way from the airport, I drove down a stretch of I-70 in Denver that was named after the Tuskegee Airmen. I don’t have any doubt that these individuals are worthy of honor, but is having a named stretch of highway really an honor? To boot, I noticed the sign along a really ugly bit of the highway. Actually, I’ve never understood why naming any stretch of highway is really an honor for anybody—save for one case: Naming the stretch of highway that the KKK was cleaning after Rosa Parks was perfect.

Dealin’ Doug still deals: I’ve never understood the appeal of going to somebody who shouts into the camera trying to convince you to shop at their store—especially if they sell autos. More than a decade after moving away, one of these shouters is still selling cars. If I were in the market, I’d be willing to pay more to not buy from this guy.

Troubleshooter: I have a vague recollection of this guy, Tom Martino, being a consumer advocate for one of the Denver television stations. Now he is some kind of shill for slightly suspect companies, like Rockies Autos. In this case they sell used cars—putting up photos of automobiles, announcing the MSPR, and then the used prices. Say $20,000 new and $4,0000 used—but really, this is a false comparison. The car is used! Not that many cars increase in value, and those that do, wouldn’t be sold at some third-rate used car dealer that advertises on TV. Tom Martino should be ashamed of himself.

Colorado Furniture: Stuck inside in Laramie, I turned to Cheyenne’s CBS5 to see the local news—much to my amusement, they had advertising for American Furniture Warehouse, a company out of Colorado—I can remember Jake Jacobs selling furniture on TV since I was a kid in the 80s—the advertisements always featured him with tigers or other exotic wildlife. In this case, the ad was notable to me because he was talking about how the store was locally owned and that if you bought from him then your dollars would stay in Colorado. I wonder how effective an argument this is for people living in Wyoming to drive on down.

9th and Downing Coffee: Monday morning I went to the coffee shop located at 9th and Downing—now Dazbog, formerly Dietrich. Since I started going there, only two things have changed: the name and the décor. That might sound like everything, but I want to be clear what hasn’t changed: the customers. I was there for just over an hour and a half and I recognized about a third of the customers from my previous visits—and there were two or so that I remember being there in the Dietrich days.

Driving in winter: My drive from Laramie to Denver on Sunday was treacherous. I-80 between Laramie and Cheyenne was mostly dry, but with blowing snow providing limited visibility. I probably averaged 55 miles per hour, despite the cruddy conditions—although I was passed quite often. I took a break in Cheyenne to relax, before heading south on I-25. About a mile north of the border I encountered my first jack-knifed truck—blocking northbound traffic. In the next forty miles, there were at least half a dozen vehicles off the road and several trucks that had issues, including one FedEx Ground truck that had left a large pile of boxes in the median. The funny thing: I was averaging no more than 40mph in this stretch, despite the clear skies and long visibility. The road itself seemed slick to me—a thought supported by the many accidents—and closed highway. I was all the more happy that I hadn’t taken US 287 from Laramie directly to Fort Collins—I hadn’t driven in that kind of weather in years.

6 comments to Random Trip Notes

  • Anja

    I know the shouting car dealer as well! These shouting guys sell other stuff, too. Like hedge trimmers and what not. What I hate the most are commercials for medication and their long lists of side effects. I’m glad we don’t have those in Germany. The snuggy commercial always makes me happy 🙂

    See you soon! Anja.

  • Wouldn’t it have been ironic if you had later learned that US 287 was nice and dry, no slick spots, etc. once you returned to Denver. 😉

  • mateo

    Glad you made it back in one piece, Adam! Hope you enjoyed your time in the states!

  • Anja – There was a car dealer in Indianapolis who on the radio would shout about being Indy’s number one dealer by volume. I always agreed. Didn’t buy a car from him either.

    Cynical Queer – US 287 scares the crap out of me, even when it’s dry. Truckers don’t know how to drive on it and I can think of at least 9 people who’ve lost their life on that road right off the top of my head–UW’s women’s volleyball coach, for one; plus I think 8 members of the UW track team were killed on the highway back in September 2001. I’ve had a preference for going via Cheyenne for quite awhile…

    mateo – Thanks! I did. I hope to see you soon.

  • If Dazbog still has the same customers after all these years, either the coffee is good or there is no other place within walking distance.

    • It’s a great location and the coffee is good as well — the people watching opportunities are superb at the 9th and Downing location–and that neighborhood is quite walkable–I’ll even hazard a guess that there are other coffee shops nearby, but I’ve never bothered to look.

      I actually remember the area from when I delivered The New York Times — it was one of my favorite neighborhoods to drive around; unlike, say, Highlands Ranch…