Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bye, Cycling

The joyous goat excursion was only the beginning of Saturday’s activities. Katie, a pixie-haired adventure fiend who once took me on a 12-mile run from Louisville to Boulder just for kicks and shin splints, invited me on a short notice trip to Denver’s Highlands Fair. I had been to the Highland Games in Alaska where I watched bearded men toss cabers and kilted Scots juggle fire on stage while a band played (is that a thing?), so I was quite stoked to revisit my fake heritage. I skimmed the Fair’s website for anything Scotland-related. After failing to see anything relevant, I assumed I was too excited to comprehend words and agreed.

The Highlands Fair, however, referred to the district of Denver where the event was located. But, redheaded men not included, there were still plenty of weird things to see.
If I have my baby here, do I get 20% off
my next floor-length maxi dress purchase?
For when you want to hit someone as hard as you can without getting arrested
This reminds me of the days when I used to pour table salt into my hand and eat it until I felt like I was going to have a heart attack

Why is it so dark in there?
Why are all the dogs wearing low-slung jeans and calling me "Bro"?
After seeing all this goodness, as well as people nomming on three pound rice krispie treats the size of how they should always be, we embarked on a journey to dinner. We settled on WaterCourse Foods, enticed by the solitary “$” on Yelp and this description: A cute cafe space with Watership Down-inspired murals sets the scene for vegetarian dishes.

The restaurant was nestled five miles away in downtown Denver, so we unloaded our bikes and began peddling contentedly, dreaming of the lettucey things we were about to eat in only twenty minutes time.
But, as Christopher Columbus once said: “Where the heck are we?”
Through side streets, detours, highway lanes, and closed bike paths, our bumbling bike jaunt soon became a dreaded trek. 

Such hunger. 
Much anger. 
Scarce completely formed thoughts. 

We peddled, and peddled, and peddled, and pretended to have a merry time, and peddled, and peddled.
90 minutes later, at an unbelievable 18:00 min/mile pace, we arrived at the Watercourse, where we were met not with a table, but with this:

Why am I waiting? Last time I checked, I am an American and I am entitled to my rights:
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of instant gratification
Our wait gave us ample time to view the fine decor that had caught our attention all those year-like minutes ago.
 I don’t know what I expected. More blood probably.
For our appetizer, we ordered a strawberry milkshake made as quickly as possible.

Though it was a vegetarian restaurant, our dinner was surprisingly tasty. The “chicken” tenders were actually just heavily breaded cauliflower. If you take out the cauliflower and just dip the breading in ranch dressing, it tastes just like KFC.

Our ride back to the car was only three miles, and we were certain we had figured out how to beat Denver at its cruel bike game. But like most twenty-somethings with big ideas, we were wrong.

Since we were so off schedule at this point, we had the great fortune of seeing Denver by bike at night. Did you know that there are a lot of sketchy-looking middle-aged men in tank tops that walk around Colfax at night? Or that a bunch of rats live on the path down by the river? Put those on the list of things you won’t see on an official walking tour. 
On your left we have—-OH GOD, VERMIN

One hour and another failed attempt at a quick trip across town later, we arrived at Forest Room 5. It was like drinking a beer in Narnia, except with a bunch of hipsters instead of anthropomorphic beavers, like these fine folk:
Forest in a Forest
Sarah in a Sassy Stare
As much as we rued our existence at times that day, it was definitely worth it, for we were filled with inspiration and a spirit of vengeance. One day, we will bike across Denver faster than suburbanites taking a beleagured post-Cheesecake Factory walk of pain. 

Not anytime soon, but one day.

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