Danler Road Trip 2016 – The Final Day

July 11, 2016

Jodi had prepared fresh blueberry muffins, granola, strawberries, and greek yogurt for breakfast. It was perfect, like, and delicious. After breakfast we all played Poo™ The Card Game. I didn’t win.

When we were all Poo™ed out, we packed the Expedition and headed out. Lizzy and Will both had to work, so we would meet Jodi and the rest of the cousins at the Wings Over the Rockies air and space museum in Denver. We had to stop for gas and coffee, so were a little late. The museum was cool. The largest plane on static display was a B-1B Lancer. It was fun talking airplanes with the girls, especially Jenna, who has showed an interest lately of airplanes and becoming a pilot. In one of the simulators they had, I explained to her many of the cockpit instruments, circuit breakers, systems, etc. It was fun to share my experience with her.

When we’d spent enough time looking at airplanes, Jodi and the cousins said goodbye and left. It was super nice to get to hang out with them for a bit, and to stay at their house. Shortly after they left, so did we.

One of the things I most wanted to do on our trip was to visit Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder. I had asked Kirsten to marry me there on July 11, 1992, so it became important to me not only to visit, but to visit today. The girls and I took 36 up and got off on Baseline, then proceeded up the mountain to the summit. I didn’t know exactly which site was the one, but it all came flooding back to my memory when we got out of the truck. I found the exact picnic table where I’d presented her a candle-lit dinner I’d prepared, and the nearby rocks perched atop a high dropoff overlooking the mountains to the west, where I’d proposed. The girls and I snapped a few pictures before Skye and Hayley went off to explore. Jenna and I shared a good cry and talked about Kirsten and what our relationship was like in those idyllic early years.

Who can visit Colorado without buying marijuana legally? Not me, it turns out. I used Google to find a dispensary on Pearl Street. I walked in to the small shop, had my identification checked, and was then ushered in to where they have the product. The young guy helping me was wonderful. I told him that I was visiting from Maine and that I didn’t want to bring anything on the airplane with me that evening, for fear of being stopped by TSA or the DEA or the NSA, etc. I also let him know that I have almost zero experience with pot, so needed some help. I didn’t want to smoke or vape, so edibles were preferred. I told him that my wife had had a medical marijuana certificate, but rarely used it. I also told him that my daughter was concerned that having cannabis in my blood at the airport would put me in legal jeopardy. We both laughed. He helped me pick out some gummy edibles and we discussed dosing strategy. I would eat a 10mg candy, and three hours later another to bring it to 20mg. Depending on how that went I’d have a good sense of how much was enough for my body, knowing that any single dose would stay in my body for around six hours. I purchased five gummies, each in its own sealed foil pack.

At some point in the conversation I mentioned that my wife had died a month ago. He expressed his sincere sympathy and asked how my daughter was doing. I told him I had three and remarked that they were doing well. He shook my hand for a long time. I’m sure if there hadn’t been a counter in the way, the handshake would have been a hug. He commended me for my strength and said that he honors what I’m doing as a dad. It was super sweet and very human. I thanked him for helping me and wished him well.

The girls were curious about my new purchase and asked lots of questions, which I welcomed. I opened a candy and slipped it into my mouth. It had a slight cannabis flavor, but mostly tasted of watermelon. After about thirty minutes later I ate another one. I was definitely feeling its affects, and didn’t want to overdo it with a third, so let that be it for a while.

The girls and I stopped at a UPS Store at CU so I could mail home my camera, dirty laundry, and souvenir items we’d acquired. From there we drove to a theater in Denver, where we watched a super fucked up movie, Swiss Army Man. It might have seemed more weird because I was a bit high at that point, but I’m pretty sure it would have seemed so sober. Hell, the main character was riding a dead guy like a JetSki, powered by flatulence.

After the movie we rushed to the airport, topped the tank off in the Expedition, then turned it in to Enterprise. They did a quick walk-around and didn’t seem to notice the dent I’d put in the first day of the trip. I had the insurance, so it wouldn’t have mattered anyways. We took the shuttle to the airport, got our boarding passes, checked a couple bags, and made our way to the gate. On the shuttle bus I removed my contact lenses and at two of the remaining three gummy cannabis candies. I threw away the third as soon as we got to the airport.

The flight home was uneventful. Tonya was at the Jetport to pick us up. It was super great to see her again, as I’d missed her. Jenna’s boyfriend, Max, was also there, as was his sister Pearl and his dad Mike. I’m not happy to be home, as the past 18 days have been some of the best of my life. I am glad for a bit slower pace and some much needed sleep.

I enjoyed talking to Jenna about flying airplanes.
I enjoyed talking to Jenna about flying airplanes.
Captain Jenna
Captain Jenna
We visited Wings Over the Rockies with a few of the Claytons
We visited Wings Over the Rockies with a few of the Claytons
The B-1B Lancer is a pig.
The B-1B Lancer is a pig.
The girls couldn't get enough of airplanes at Wings Over the Rockies.
The girls couldn’t get enough of airplanes at Wings Over the Rockies.
I was glad to see this Learjet 29 on static display outside Wings Over the Rockies in Denver, Colorado.
I was glad to see this Learjet 29 on static display outside Wings Over the Rockies in Denver, Colorado.
The Danlers at Artist Point.
The Danlers at Artist Point.
I asked Kirsten to marry me here, at Artist Point, Flagstaff Mountain, Boulder, Colorado on July 11, 1992.
I asked Kirsten to marry me here, at Artist Point, Flagstaff Mountain, Boulder, Colorado on July 11, 1992.
Picnic, anyone?
Picnic, anyone?
Skye took some impressive panoramic shots. Here she is at Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder, Colorado.
Skye took some impressive panoramic shots. Here she is at Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder, Colorado.
I love Colorado!
I love Colorado!
Colorado candy.
Colorado candy.
Skye took us smoking on our trip. I didn't mind.
Skye took us smoking on our trip. I didn’t mind.
We put 5,548 miles on the Expedition. It needed an oil change by the end of our 18 day trip.
We put 5,548 miles on the Expedition. It needed an oil change by the end of our 18 day trip.
Our epic road trip was bookended by airplane rides.
Our epic road trip was bookended by airplane rides.
Weary travelers about to board the red-eye out of Denver.
Weary travelers about to board the red-eye out of Denver.

Sisters in the sky

4 Comment

  1. Tonya Holt says: Reply

    Thank you for sharing the stories of your whirlwind adventures, I’m grateful you all made it home safely! I hope the trip was everything you wanted it to be and then more.

    1. The trip can only be properly described with positive superlatives. I will treasure the times I had with my beautiful daughters for the remainder of my life. It cannot be overstated how much it meant to me.

  2. You’re girls are a treasure and it’s apparent their dad is rad! You will all remember this trip. Kirsten was smiling down upon you all and I can’t imagine how emotional it was for you to be in the same place where you proposed. I would’ve lost it.

    1. Cheryl, thank you for the kind comment. I did lose it. As I did when we visited the apartment where she lived when we fell in love in Idaho. I miss her so much. The triggers are everywhere. I don’t mind at all breaking down, as it is always a release. Without the pressure valve that is crying, I would have long ago exploded.

Leave a Reply