June 7th 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0

Was awakened very rudely by Val at some unspecified hour in the dark of the morning – it took me a couple of  minutes to orientate myself, but another car had parked just in front of us and we had rolled forward onto him – we got out, pushed ours back, and then went back to sleep. 

When we re-awoke we drove into Boulder and parked near the University.  We walked around a little (me hobbling – my flip-flops were killing me) looking for a toilet and some water, in that order.  We did find a really nice little grocery store, where we bought bread and water-melon, and used the bathroom.  Later, we were able to find Union Building – there was a ride board there, and there was a lift offered to Alaska – weren’t able to follow it up tho’ – he wasn’t home. 

Drove up out of Boulder into the mountains, the car really labouring.  Stopped a couple of times to let other traffic pass and to look at the scenery – had lunch by a mountain stream.  Drove to Ward, a small ex-mining town, now operating, we heard, as a co-operative.  Not really an old Western-style ghost town, but with interesting old buildings.  Had coffee and milk in the café – very friendly – and then ambled round, taking pictures.  Got an interesting free newspaper out of one store, all about local history.  Drove around the area, before returning to Boulder.  Checked out a bluegrass festival we saw advertised – we’d missed it, by about two hours.  So we used the Student Union building to freshen up, changed, then strolled down the Mall, a pedestrian precinct which also serves as social and cultural meeting place.  We passed a cinema which was showing “The General” with Buster Keaton – with live piano accompaniment – it was fantastic, the best film I’ve seen for ages. 

Returned to car, and were trying to find our way out of city to camp for the night, when we were stopped by police – I’d turned left from the wrong lane.  However, it also turned out that the rear plate of our car was from a stolen vehicle – problem!  Lots of radioing, questions, looking for chassis nos etc.  Finally, we had to follow the police car back to station + they let us camp in parking lot – really, they were much more friendly than UK equiv.

An incident that we remember as being of high drama is brushed off pretty casually. This was the third time the US police had watched over us as we slept (this time, locked into their parking lot), and on each occasion they had been kind and considerate.  We were white and polite, of course, and our British personalities were exotic enough to work in our favour.

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