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Colorado 2008 Trip

Day 10 of 10

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Sunday, July 6th
Return home

Not every UPS Store is open on Sundays, so we made sure to find one the day before that would be open. On our way to the UPS Store, we drove through some very nice neighborhoods near Broodmoor. We thought they would be very expensive, but were amazed at how the prices compare to the Bay Area. One home we saw was indeed expensive, $2.7 million, but it does have 6 bedrooms, 10 baths, and nearly 12,000 square feet on a 35,000 square foot lot! The house next to it, which is 5 bedrooms and 4 baths in 5000 square feet on a 32,000 square foot lot is "only" $1 million. Almost makes me want to leave the Bay Area and move to Colorado.

We arrived at the UPS Store just after it opened. We dragged a bunch of gear from our car -- sleeping bags, pads, folding chairs, pillows, even our cooler, which we had stuffed with other things we didn't want to bring on the plane. We packed it all up and shipped it home via UPS ground.

Afterwards, we drove toward the Denver airport. One interesting thing we saw was a huge coal train. It may have been the longest train I've ever seen, maybe 200 cars, and every single one of them was piled high with coal.

Google maps directed us onto E-470, which is a toll freeway. The bad part is that, because it's not a bridge, there are multiple toll booths along the way. The first one asked for $1.75. The next one, a few miles away, asked for $2. The last one before the airport asked for another $2, so we ended up paying $5.75 in tolls. That's fine, but I wish we could have paid it all at once (you can buy an electronic tag if you use it often). The other strange thing is that many of the exits required 75 cent tolls to get off - and only exact change was allowed. Thankfully (since we didn't have any change), we didn't need to get off for any reason.

We arrived at the airport in plenty of time to return the rental car, go through security, and arrive at our gate in time to see that the flight was delayed by nearly 2 hours. We did eventually make it back. A few days later, our packages arrived from UPS without a hitch.

Just a brief mention of the logistics of the trip. Sending our camping equipment ahead of time worked out well. In fact, if I had to do it over again, I probably would have shipped more stuff in advance. Sure, it costs a little more, but you avoid the aggravation of carrying it through the airport (important if you have kids), and you avoid having to rent unfamiliar gear on the other side. I also made sure to ship stuff that wasn't completely critical; i.e., if it didn't arrive on time, we could resort to renting it. UPS is pretty reliable, though, so I wasn't really worried.

That being said, the hassle of lugging two car seats and having our flights delayed left a somewhat sour taste for air travel. Not to mention the hassle of getting a rental car. For closer trips, like Utah, I'll seriously consider driving instead. For Colorado, I'll probably still stick with flying, since it's a long 18 hour drive away.


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