After nearly twelve hours of recuperative sleep, I seem to have some brain function back again. You can't really sleep on an aeroplane as the noise tends to keep those circuits in your brain that remain vigilant to threat, permanently on-guard. Sleep works in cycles of about four hours and any period of sleep shorter than that does not see you complete the full, necessary cycle of stages.
So, when I arrived at my hotel, this was the view:
And when I awoke next morning, this is what was revealed when the curtains were drawn back.I cannot express how glorious this view was. The camera really cannot do it justice. The distant Rocky Mountains shining in the morning sunlight were utterly breathtaking (though so was walking up stairs in that thin air). Their jagged ruggedness was softened to pink by the sunrise. It really was quite spectacular and imprinted itself upon my memory almost as vividly as on the CCD of the camera.
However, I would rather forget. The road journey up to Boulder...
And now I am home. And it is still somehow in my head. A day or so later I reflect upon this odd modern phenomenon of long-haul travel, making a journey of months into a tedious but relatively short "hop" across the World.
It seems in hindsight like the vastness of distance through which I traveled to get home from Denver was crossed in an instant. The mind is a bit like that: It tends to shorten times in which little happened (if you can call flying 5000 miles "little" but in truth, little took place in those ten hours or so.).
But in reality, it was a rather uncomfortable and tedious time spent mostly in a huge aluminium cyclinder.
Another idiosyncrasy is the clarity with which the view in front of my eyes at this time 36 hours ago can be called to mind as clearly as if I could walk to the curtains now, pull them aside and gaze out upon the mountains again. Probably this will fade in time, but for now I am grateful to retain this vista in my head, maintaining the horizon in my head the way a pair of boot-stretchers keep your footwear open sufficiently to still get your feet in after a time of neglect.
Today, I look out upon the soft, gentle scarp of the South Gloucestershire Cotswolds and very beautiful it is too. It is a reminder that beauty comes in different forms and familiarity seems to be the arbiter in general of which one we consider the most beautiful at any particular moment.
A useful thought if ever I bumped into one early on a Saturday morning.