Home > Uncategorized > Day 87

Day 87

Location: Boulder, CO

How comfortable it was to wake up in a king-sized bed and not a reclined car seat.  It took me a few seconds to remember where I actually was.  I am definitely not used to this luxury.

This hotel has a pool, so I’ve been taking advantage of that since I’ve been here.  Got some early morning exercise swimming, and then by late morning I was out the door to run some errands.  I ended up parking by the well-known Pearl St. area in Boulder.  I had never been to the place, but had heard a lot about it.  The Pearl St. Mall is a big open area, spanning several blocks, with lots of shops, restaurants, and little food kiosks.  It’s very easy to get around there, and easy as well in the non-Pearl St. areas of Boulder in the vicinity.

I was told there would be a lot of street performers on Pearl St., but I didn’t see any.  Maybe I was too early.  I did see a good number of panhandlers, though (hippie panhandlers are big in Boulder).  I have to say I’m kind of sick of seeing panhandlers, especially after a belligerent guy told me, didn’t ask me, to give him some money.  I’ve seen a lot of panhandlers on this trip.  Too many to count…people holding signs saying down on their luck at street corners….others looking for handouts at stop signs near interstate entrance ramps…others in rest stops (and that guy I just saw eating lunch out of a big cooler before he set up shop).  Yes, rest stops.  It’s just too difficult to determine who is legitimately struggling, so I avoid them all, and have become more and more distrustful as time has gone by, so I just avoid them.  I realize I don’t have some uniquely brilliant insight into the world of panhandling here, but I’ve seen far too many people asking for hand outs to think any of it is real.

**Rant over**

I got a lot of walking in, probably a couple miles, before heading back to the hotel.  There I met Mike once again, and we headed towards Boulder’s Chautaqua Park near some of the Flatiron Mountains.

We did a bit of hiking at the park which afforded some good views of the mountains and the city of Boulder, as well.

Mike takes in the view

Good times hiking with Mike.  Afterwards, we went to grab a bite at a place called “Noodles”, one of Mike’s favorite restaurants around here. Great meal (and yes John, I added some tofu into the noodle dish).

spicy noodle dish, some chicken noodle soup, and a chocolate milk. great dinner

After dinner we headed back to the hotel, and parted ways from there.  Mike – great hanging with you these past two days.  Good luck in school, buddy.

I had the rest of the evening to get organized for the next few days of the journey.  Wednesday and Thursday will be mostly driving days, as Friday I plan to arrive back in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  I’m also due for another oil change, so I’ll probably take care of of that here in Boulder before I head out.  My route will send me east into Kansas (a state I’ve never visited before), and then south.

Amazing stay in Colorado.  I had a good bit of R&R nearing the 22,000 mile mark on this trip.  Thanks once again to John.


  1. melissa
    August 25, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    hahaha, glad to see you join the dark side view of panhandlers. But there are always exceptions to stereotypes.

    Is the place you dined at the same as Noodles & Company?

    Very nice of your friend to treat you to a nice hotel. Happy driving.

    • August 25, 2010 at 6:59 pm

      Agreed about exceptions, but I’ve become fairly cynical about panhandlers at this point in the trip. And I think you are right – “Noodles & Company” is the full name of the restaurant. Have you seen that restaurant outside of CO?

      • Mike
        August 26, 2010 at 12:21 am

        P-town’s got it. It’s a chain.

      • melissa
        August 26, 2010 at 12:20 pm

        I’m not sure I’ve seen it outside of CO. It’s a yummy chain. Affordable, quick, and delicious food.
        Thanks to your blog, we ate at Moon Star yesterday. Yummy ToFu homestyle.

        I’m with you on the beggars. You gotta wonder how many take your money to buy booze and drugs.

  2. bea
    August 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    boulder! one of my favoriate U.S. cities. lots of places to do hiding. lots of biking lanes and bikers there. no, not the noisy and oil sucking kinda bikes i am talking about here.

    confucious says “what goes around comes around”. one day you might lose your wallet and phone. you have been in a car for days without changing. you have not shaved. you are at a strange land. you are penniless… panhandling might be an attractive proposition to you at that time. yes, i have a wild imagination. and no, i won’t give $ to most panhandlers either. i hope this karma will never hit me.

  3. John
    August 25, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Joe, your tracker says your location is “Unknown”, I told you Kansas is the middle of nowhere. Hope the drive is going well.

  4. Ashley
    August 25, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Whoa. This post started without a map. I don’t know how to read this. It’s like you wrote your post in a different language.

    • Ashley
      August 26, 2010 at 8:42 am

      Also – is Noodles the same as Noodles and Company? They have a few of those in Rockville. Did you never go with us? They’re Sobes’s favorite restaurant too. Delicious stuff. Just went last weekend while were at home 🙂

    • August 30, 2010 at 2:33 pm

      Hahah not all of them do! Ok, maybe 95% of the posts do start with a map. I do have to mix it up now and then, you know.

  5. The Mommie
    August 26, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    How thoughtful of your Georgia Family and how nice to share time with their Mike.

    Special times continue for you in spite of your “hot foot” on the gas peddle.

    “May the force continue to be with you.”

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