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Denver, Colorado

I thought that the snowy conditions in Yellowstone were a freak and that normal summer conditions would be resumed as soon as possible. Nope. In fact over the next day or so they got worse! Although the snow was restricted to the higher elevations, the tornados, flash floods, and general misery on the roads spread down from Wyoming and South Dakota into Colorado, and of course I got stuck in it. Throughout the day the weather warnings had become more regular and more strongly worded, so by late afternoon all they were saying was “Everybody get off the roads, you’re all going to die”. Of course I ignored these pleas – as well as being immortal I had a baseball game to get to!

Warwick's Roadtrip Photo Colorado

Storms tend to clear up pretty quickly in the mountains, so although it was pouring with rain only an hour before play was due to start the Rockies expected the game to go ahead as planned. In the end they were right, and after only a half hour delay to get everything ready. It turns out that the weather wasn’t too bad; last week a game was affected by sleet, and the week before a game was cancelled due to snow. No wonder the characters in South Park are all dysfunctional - everyone in Colorado has to put up with these weather conditions every year.

While I was listening to the radio to see if the game was going to be played or not, the only thing that the pair of broadcasters could think of to talk about were the different things that were the official ‘state’ icons of Colorado. They went on about their state flower, their state bird, their state fish, and then one of them came up with the fact that Colorado has a state dinosaur. I’m sure he was making it up and his co-presenter wasn’t having any part of this wind-up. Anyway, they went on for ages discussing the merits of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Stegosaurus, before finally getting back to the point and announcing that the game was going ahead. I had no problem at all turning the radio off and heading to the stadium.

Warwick's Roadtrip Photo Colorado

Coors Field, sponsored by the local brewing company, is another new stadium, built in the same style as the ones in San Francisco and Seattle. It is in the middle of downtown, with excellent views of the Denver skyline over the top of the main stand and the Rockies over the top of the bleachers. I bought my cheapo ticket ($4 for a seat in the ‘Rockpile’ – a bargain!) and bought a mild chicken burrito from a dodgy looking stall outside the ground – much cheaper there. After getting inside I discovered that my burrito had a large ‘X’ written on the packaging. And then IK discovered that the ‘X’ was there because it was a super extra spicy chicken burrito. It did tingle a bit, but I was hungry and could always put the toilet roll in the fridge later on!

The stadium itself is huge. The thin air in Denver means that a baseball goes a lot further than it does at sea level, so in order to compensate they made the playing field bigger. Of course this means that when you’re sitting in the bleachers the players are like well-dressed ants below you, and you’re so far away from the action that you can’t actually see the ball when it’s being thrown and hit. Still, who cares about the game – the view was cool!

I was watching this game in my 49ers hat, and while I was wandering around the stadium somebody actually said “Boo, 49ers fan, boo”. Excellent. It’s about time American sports started giving a hard time to fans from rival teams rather than respecting their right to wear whatever teams stuff they want!

Although the game was being played, a few innings into it the drizzle started coming down again. I wasn’t particularly bothered who won the game, and didn’t fancy getting extremely cold and wet (as opposed to just ‘very’ cold and wet that I was at the time), so I decided to call it a night. By the time the game actually finished, I was a hundred miles on my way to Kansas.

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