I continued on towards Denver then arrived at my cousins place in Lakewood around 8:30pm. My car hit the 1000 mile marker for my journey as I entered his neighborhood. We had a delicious home cooked diner and a couple mile jaunt for some after dinner Dairy Queen (Dipped cones are where its at) as brilliantly proposed by Ethan.
The next morning Jason had made plans for us to see some of the area and spend time at the Red Rocks Auditorium where I could play my guitar and enjoy nature. The Park itself was breathtaking, seeing all the ancient sand deposits turned angular red rock formations stunned me and a pack of dear that came within 15 feet of me as I stood still.
We got to the Red Rocks auditorium. The massive formations on either side create a natural acoustics marvel that allowed me to be heard throughout the amphitheater even though I was unmiced on stage while 3 guys power washed the seats from the night before's event. My cousin grabbed some really cool photos of me playing in different areas and a couple of the people there for exercise or enjoyment (Them stairs are brutal) complimented the mini performance. One of the photos I may turn into my next business card graphic! Jason an I grabbed a hearty breakfast in Capitol City that offered some fantastic home made Banana Nut bread.
I then headed back to Boulder to meet up with Adam who moved from the Rochester area last year. I met a couple new cool people and learned about some of the major changes in town with the construction of a Google Campus and other growth factors as the economy is expands. This also furthered my interest in the area as a potential place to live and work. After a few hours I went back and met up with my cousin at Ethan's little league baseball game and ended the evening with an episode of Black Mirror with my cousin.
As soon as I entered Colorado, the energy of the landscape shifted. I felt insignificant in comparison to the monolithic formations of the rockies yet a sense of empowerment and motivation because I knew they could be conquered and climbed and enjoyed. On the way back from Red Rock, I had a great conversation with my cousin (it's the first deeper conversation I recall ever having with him). We discussed the lessons life has to offer, and how the most important things in life are not comfortable and require effort and practice. Contrary to societal concepts, always trying to be comfortable and not pushing yourself is a surefire way to stagnate. A big thing I took away from his words was a new view on how everyone faces struggles. Even if we succeed at overcoming a challenge in life, it can (and often does) repeat because theres more than one thing to learn and the universe letting us know there is more. I've had some repetitive struggles in my life the last 8 years and these words resonated. I'm trying to move forward by thinking about what I haven't learned yet as much as thinking about what I HAVE learned. This mindset is another helpful growth promotor and may help keep humility apart of my learning process.
Reminder to self; I do not and will not know everything, and to think otherwise is arrogant.