2022-08-11 Denver Road Trip Day 1: Ogallala and Winning the Lottery


Today I’m waking up in Ogallala, Nebraska. Mostly because I’ve gotten to that point in my life that I can no longer stand to drive the 8 hours it takes to get to Denver from Omaha in one shot. Does that make me old? 

Probably. 

Normally when I write about my travels, I start on day 0, the first day of actual travel but I really wasn’t feeling like writing yesterday and I was also busy scrambling to get ready for the trip because I’d been putting that off for days. I just haven’t been feeling anything lately.

I’d love nothing better than to not have this piece of writing spiral into another sad-sack whine about being down lately. And I’m sure anyone who has read with any regularity is sick of it too. 

Anyway, so here I am on a treadmill at a holiday inn express in the very western part of Nebraska. There’s a huge amount of flat nothing out here. The landscape won’t get interesting until after we’ve crossed the border into Colorado. 

“We” in this case is my daughter Z and I. She’s still sleeping in our room upstairs. But she’s probably awake cuz we were both kind of waking up when I decided to hit this gym. It’s nice waking up with free breakfast and only like 3 hours of driving ahead today. It was a good decision to split the drive. Maybe I can convince her to do it on the way home too. 

Anyway, this is our last little hurrah of the summer before she leaves again for college, which is Monday. 

Today we’re driving to west Denver and she’s meeting up with a friend from California. That’s a long story and kind of incredible that they are both in Denver at the same time considering it wasn’t at all planned and Z thought she was going to be on vacation in Arizona. Yeah, Arizona is not Colorado. Ha! 

In truth, I’ve made this drive a lot. I can’t tell you how many times because it would take all day to try and think of it and just like bronchitis, nobody has time for that. 

Back in the “before times” I used to do this thing where I would always stop in Ogallala to buy a lottery ticket. Because how cool would it be to win the lottery and then for the rest of your life be able to say “I won the lottery in Ogallala!” 

It would be cool. 

But now that I’ve already won the lottery, it’s lost its appeal. 

I have no desire to buy a lottery ticket. I mean, what would I do differently with my life if I won? 

Quit my job? I did that.

Travel more? Mmmmmm…. Nope. 

Move somewhere exotic into a giant, crazy-cool house. Also no. I’ve made commitments and I’m stuck in Omaha.

But stuck is not the right word, you know. It’s really not. I already live in a giant, crazy-cool house with some really incredible people who love me and cats who also might love me and I don’t even have to work at a paying job anymore.

So, yeah, I’ve already won the lottery. 

There’s nothing seven little random numbers would buy me that would make any difference in my life. Which should be fantastic, right? 

So what’s my problem then? What’s with all the melodramatic despair?

There it is. The open door to the downward spiral. But I’m not going through it. Not today. 

What’s in Denver? 

The short answer is One Republic. Though Ryan and Zach tell me they won’t be arriving until tomorrow. “No time for a lunch meet up or even a coffee date” they tell me. Bummer. 

Fun fact. The band originally formed in Colorado Springs (so close to home) in 2002. That’s the same year my daughter was born so she’s the same age as the band. And since I’ve been hanging out with them this whole time, my daughter has too. We all go way back. 😂

They are a big deal now apparently, so we gotta do these road trips just to get a glimpse. Good timing though cuz we were in need of some late summer mother daughter time. We just need to hang on to the good road-trip vibes as long as we can.

When I mentioned the “before times” it’s not in reference to the pandemic. Though it kind of is because that all happened around the same time I won the lottery. It’s that whole lottery thing. Everything is different now. And it’s personal.

As far as this trip though, I’ve got other people in the Denver area too, though, so if it works out, I’ll be seeing someone while Z is at that meet up with her friend. Maybe. I kind of didn’t let people know I was going to be in town so they might not even be around.

We really didn’t anticipate this twist in the trip and I kind of didn’t know how I would feel anyway. Might not be in the mood to see anyone else. 

See there it is again. Another open opportunity to dive into the mood pool. Nope. Not doing it. 

I’ve already said too much. And I have to get going anyhow. Free breakfast waits for no man. 🙃

Peace and love from Ogallala, 

~Miss SugarCookie

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