The rest of my week in Denver was also awesome. My cousin, Will, picked me up on Friday afternoon and brought me to lunch. There, he told me about how much he loves bacon and how he cooks it all the time, once he discovered how easy it was to make bacon. The amazing part is that his love for bacon is pure and not contaminated by pop-internet-hipster culture. He didn't even know about "press button, receive bacon". This is because he hasn't had the internet for the past 5 years because he literally lives on a granite pluton.
Oh I tried to explain to him LOLCats and how pictures of cats with funny sayings are taking over the internet, but he didn't get it. Can you imagine life without Caturday? Or basement cat? Or ceiling cat?
Then he showed me his new house in the city he purchased and gutted. He's going to completely redo and rebuild the inside of the house. It's quite the project but I think it will be fun.
Then we did what I've been wanting to do all week...we went hiking! He thought I was going to die I was breathing so heavy...but I assured him that's just me, the weakling. We got to see an amazing view of the town he works in and the surrounding mountains.
For dinner Will played music with a friend at a cafe while I watched, ate food, and drank the last of the Hoptober fest. I had a gorganzola cheese linguini pasta. At first I was a little disappointed because the sauce was kind of thin, and then I ate a cheese clump and it was amazing! It was so salty and delicious with a great texture. That pasta won me over! The place we were at was in the mountains, but really full of people. Everything was hand cooked and as healthy as they could get it (organic, local, etc.).
The next day Will made sausage biskets and gravy for breakfast. I've never made sausage gravy before, but now I know how. :) We then hiked around his property/on the pluton.
He lives next to what is probably miles of exposed granite pluton. It's stereotypical granite too, pink k-spar, large plagioclase feldspars, lots of quartz, and some biotite. It was perfect for a granite. The foundation of his cabin and coal house were made of giant blocks of the granite. I wish I had so much granite laying around I could build a house out of it! He showed me a pegmatite vein, that had meter large quartz and k-spar/plag feldspar mix chunks. I think something happened in the formation of the pegmatite that caused the potassium feldspar and the plagioclase to form as one mineral instead of separating out as two. I think I remember learning that that can sometimes happen, but I can't remember what it's called.
In the end, we pushed boulders of pure quartz down the hillside to see the pure power and force of them rolling. Geologists who grew up in the mountains and out west love to roll boulders down the hill like that. Geologists from the east don't. I think it's because they don't want to ruin anything or mess with the rocks b/c outcrops like that are rare to non-existant in the east, while western geologists take the boulders and outcrops for granite (PUN) b/c that's all they know. That's my theory anyways. I feel bad about rolling the rocks down the hill, but then I see them rolling and how powerful they are, and it's totally worth it.
That night we went to a bar in Denver where his band had their CD release party/Halloween show. I dressed as a landshark. I taped teeth to the hood of my CMU hoodie and made a fin of cardboard and duct tape. Sometimes people thought I was dressed up as a CMU student if I let my hood down. And I guess they were right, I hadn't showered and was wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt, and I was drinking. That pretty much describes me while at CMU. I think everyone I met at the bar was from Michigan, I kid you not.
Will played until 2 in the morning with his band, Steak Trout Revival, and they rocked the bar with their bluegrass music. They also played the ghostbuster's theme song, bluegrass style. Awesome.