Colorado Trip, Part 2

The next morning, Wednesday by this time, I had to get up early after a day of travelling, for breakfast and a poster session.  Luckily, I did not need to be at my poster until the second half of the session because I went to a couple of posters, and the got really tired.  So, I went out in the hallway and slept on a bench for a while, until it was my turn to answer questions.  Some industry employees came up to my poster to ask about my technique that I use to study protein misfolding and aggregation.  This went on for two hours off and on, and somehow I managed to make it through that session before lunch was served.  The three of us there attended the early afternoon podia sessions.  There was a coffee break mid afternoon, but I went up to the room and slept.  Getting up to the room left me breathless due to the high altitude.  I became curious, as I did not get breathless when I was in Oregon, where they also have mountains.  Later on, I looked it up, and it appears that Breckenridge has an elevation of 9-11,000 feet, while the highest point in Portland is only 2,000 feet.  We went to dinner, which was fancy appetizers and beer.  We then attempted a nature hike, but turned around after 20 minutes because of the high elevation that we were at.  We took some pictures and called it a day.

The next morning, we had breakfast and attended more podia.  It was diung the mid-morning coffee break that we decided to start driving back to Omaha.  One guy wanted to see Chimney Rock, so we planned our route for that.  We had a 13 hour drive ahead of us.  We drove down the mountains to Denver, before turning north and stopping in Fort Collins for lunch and gas.  That would be the last sign of civilization and anything attractive for the next 4 hours.  Once leaving Colorado, the mountains began to fade away, and were replaced with dry hills with the occasional rock or tree when we were driving through Wyoming and the Nebraska panhandle.  We got to Chimney Rock around 5:00 PM when the visitors center was just closing.  It was around 105 degrees outside at that point, and it was dry, compared to the 60 degree weather up in the mountains earlier that day.  We then stopped in Bridgeport to use the restroom before moving on to North Platte, where we stopped for gas around 9:00 PM.  The time zone changed around this point, and it was sunset.  From North Platte on to Omaha, it was my turn to drive in the dark.  I had to drive in a downpour of rain before we stopped in Grand Island for a late dinner.  We were hoping for something quick at the truck stop.  However, the Subway was closed, so our only option at that point was to eat at the diner.  By the time we left, it was 12:30 AM, and we did not get back into Omaha until 3:00 AM.  I was pretty much jetlagged again for the next three weeks, and I was busy moving out of my apartment and into a house, but that is for another blog post.

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