I got to the hotel in Fort Collins Sunday afternoon and had a very relaxing evening with wine and a great steak for dinner. Needless to say, I slept like a log that night. I was beyond tired after pushing hard for three days.
I'd brought along my knitting bag with a couple of projects underway, one of them this long sleeve sweater in beautifully soft baby alpaca yarn. It was nearly done...just a portion of the last sleeve left to go, so I finished it up Monday morning then soaked it in warm water and laid it out on a towel on the hotel room carpet to be blocked and to dry and then headed across the street to Sprouts to buy some fresh produce and a few other food items to have in the room.
|Sweater blocking on hotel room floor|
|Finished sweater, just needs to be blocked|
On Tuesday I went back across the street to a very nice Life-Style Mall area, to browse the shops and cafes a bit. There was a yarn shop there called the Loopy Ewe, so I stopped in and chatted with the staff and of course, could not get out of there without purchasing some Madelinetosh yarn. I've always wanted to to try this yarn, so it was nice to be able to see and feel it in person. A beautiful dark green DK wool yarn!
While I was there, I asked them to take a photo of me in my baby alpaca sweater so that I could get it uploaded to my Ravelry account:
Wednesday morning I didn't have far to travel....just down the road to Denver for the IBA InterNational Meet at the very nice Marriott Tech Center hotel. It's held every two years and this is the fourth time I've attended. It was held in Tulsa that first year I attended, in 2008. The event was moved to Denver for the next three Meets. In 2010 I rode my FZ6 on a Bun Burner Gold (1500 miles in under 24 hours) to get to the meet. In 2012 and again this year I drove my car. Many folks arrive by plane or by car, coming from all over the U.S. and the world to attend.
Three of us walked a short distance to an Indian restaurant for dinner Wednesday night, since there were no official plans for meals. The Meet really doesn't officially get underway until Friday morning, at which point our registration fee includes three buffet meals a day.
I really enjoyed some of the meads I had tasted while in Grand Junction a few months ago - even had a mixed case shipped to my son's house afterward - so I found a wine shop in the Denver area that carries those meads and made plans to drive over there for some tastings and for some lunch nearby. Friend Robert joined me for a delightful afternoon Thursday, spent eating middle Eastern food and then going to the nearby wine shop and tasting some of their own private label wines. Two cases of mixed wines, including some of those meads, found their way into my SUV. I'd brought a blanket to wrap around those cases, both for privacy and for some insulation against extreme temperatures.
|Friend Robert from Georgia had starter motor problems on his way|
to Denver, so ordered a replacement shipped to the hotel and
installed it right out front of the hotel entry
|Success! The new starter motor fixed the problem|
|Brooke from Tasmania...a delightful man and fun to discover|
that we had a mutual friend who lives in Australia
|Richard from Pennsylvania is a dead ringer for my brother-in-law!|
Richard participated in one of the very first Iron Butt Rallies back in the late 1980's
and was one of the Legends at the Legends luncheon on Friday.
|Robert successfully negotiating the cop cones course|
|....And Robert's first place certificate for the cop cones competition|
It's been great seeing so many friends and making new ones. By design, I managed to attend very few of the technical sessions, only attending the general sessions on Friday and Saturday mornings, sitting with a diverse group of folks at each of the meals, and staying out of any conversations that reeked of LD riding one-upsmanship. My greater enjoyment came from sitting in the atrium sipping a Starbucks and visiting with whomever walked by and chose to join me and chat for a bit.
I've learned not to get irritated when an IBA member walks up to me and assumes I'm a spouse or girlfriend and not a rider. The first time it happened back in 2008 at the IBA Meet in Tulsa, I was indignant. Now I just smile and correct them. All of us attendees can be picked out by the name-tag lanyards we all wear. What's not indicated is if we're a rider, a passenger, or simply a spouse/significant other. It's happened at every single IBA gathering and this year was no exception. A man I didn't know walked up to me in the lobby on Friday and asked me how the "Spouses" shopping trip and luncheon went. I said I had no idea, since I was not someone's spouse or non-riding "significant other" and therefore was not invited to join them. He looked at me with a confused expression on his face and then wandered off. Coincidentally, a friend had, just that very day, pointed out to me that I am so petite and feminine-looking that it was hard to believe I rode a motorcycle. Eggzactly!
Next on my itinerary are Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico.