The bus repairs put a... huge dent in my budget, BUT I am going to work in New Orleans... a few states away. After the bus was repaired, and I was about an hour away from Denver and the bus broke down again on the side of the highway. That fix was easy and covered by the shop, but I still had to backtrack to Denver. My mechanic was so kind, he put me up at his house for free that night and fixed the bus in the morning. He and his wife bought me dinner and breakfast the next day and just showed unconditional kindness. After that I got some much needed family time.My cousin, his wife and kids (2 year old and 5 year old boys) live in Colorado Springs. That was a lot of fun. I had a fantastic time playing like a kid, being with family and seeing Colorado Springs, which is sooooo beautiful. I got to check out Garden of the Gods and some Cave of the Winds with my super brave 5 year old cousin. I was sad to leave all these wonderful friends and family members. I did have a gorgeous drive south through all the orange and yellow trees, I visited the largest Sand Dunes in North America, and camped in small towns and the middle of nowhere, all the way down to New Mexico.
During my time there I stayed with Claire on a farm outside of Denver and got to experience a more rural area, helped harvest veggies and learned about farms. I got to do my first corn maze with Claire and her daughter, which took us about 40 minutes and lots of debating. I also got just as much excitement inside of Denver visiting an old friend downtown, exploring on my own. I also met an awesome couple at a beer festival with a full sized bus they were living and traveling in! In the middle of downtown Denver! Meeting other school bus folks outside of burning man was exciting...
Crossing into Colorado was... exciting and stressful. The bus transmission was definitely on its way to the transmission graveyard. I had contacted with a wonderful woman named Claire through helpx.org to stay with her in exchange for working about 25 hours a week. I used this site before and did a work away in Scotland. She is a world champion Tibetan Terrier breeder, and I helped her with her dogs and all the cute puppies! While the bus was in the shop (unfortunately getting a whole new transmission), she kindly lent me her car, cooked for me and just was full of awesome stories about her working as an archeologist in Israel and more.
Of course I really enjoyed my time in Boulder. I did the Arches hike and some other hikes around the Flatirons. I met an awesome guy my age named Quinn at the Laughing Goat, while he was working. He generously showed me around beautiful Boulder and even took me to a party. Boulder is rad. I seriously loved it, but it's so refreshing hanging with a local, let alone someone I can get into deep talks with about life, art and what it really means to be happy.