Tuesday, September 20, 2005

We're Moving Out!!

We're finally on the road again! Our goal was to leave yesterday, but then reality hit us. When you're stationary for awhile, everything seems to migrate out of the cabinets and "secured" areas and onto table tops and counters. Not to mention the layer of dust that accumulates inside and out when you're in an unpaved campground. So we spent most of the day, putting things away, cleaning, checking fluid levels and tire air pressure in both vehicles, laundry, putting our toys back in or on Ele, etc. We would've tried to wash both vehicles Monday, too, but the water pump was broken and the campground didn't have enough water until too late in the day.

In the middle of all of this, we did take one break to ride our bikes one last time to New Belgium Brewery for a tour. All this time here, and there were still activities left undone! The tour showed us that not only is New Belgium environmentally conscious, but as an employee-owned company they are very employee-oriented. Some of the fun things: gardens and picnic tables outside for lunch breaks or mental breaks; a rock-wall to expend energy; a stainless-steel circular slide that you can jump on from the second floor and end up conveniently at the time-clock with lots of speed; every one-year employee is given a fat-tire cruiser and encouraged to bike to work.

After the tour, or in our case before the tour, you can try a four-sampler platter. They have one beer category called a "pilgrimage beer", which means you have to make the pilgrimage to the brewery to drink it. It is not sold or available anywhere else. They change pilgrimage beers every 3-4 months and email customers with the update to come make the pilgrimage. An employee, not the brewmaster, gets to create this specialty beer. Very cool. So Andy was brave enough to try the Liquid Center Surprise, which has chamomile in it of all things.

Andy was also brave enough to try Lafoile. This is a sour brown ale that is aged in a 20' tall, old cabernet wine cask for 3-4 years to make it realllllly sour. The first word out of Andy's mouth was "disturbing" (after a pucker-face), but he finished it and 'didn't dislike' it at the end. Must be an acquired taste. Lafoile apparently has a huge following. But at $17 for a champaigne bottle, it's a little pricey for a bottle of beer.

Ok, we're preparing to pull up anchor here. We'll be in Ft Laramie (thanks for the recommendation Bobby - we're looking forward to this), which is in Lingle, WY. Then we'll go to Hot Springs, SD from there. We're planning on visiting Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary and Wind Cave. Then we'll go north a little ways further into Black Hills for more fun - Custer State Park, Jewel Cave, Mt Rushmore, etc. Talk to you, soon (I think)!

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