Today’s eventual destination was Fort Collins, Colorado. The closet airport is Denver and the easiest way to get between the two places is via a bus that takes just over an hour. However as the bus is commuter-orientated it doesn’t start until 4pm, leaving a few hours to pass in Denver. This would normally be fine as Denver is a pleasant enough city to have a stroll around. It was too hot to walk around all afternoon so I called into a bar for a drink. Soon people from the outside patio began to come indoors, saying that there was a shooting happening about six blocks away. I was sitting at the back of the bar and with loud music playing I was oblivious to the police cars flying past outside and a SWAT team assembling. Colorado is one of the most laid back places I’ve ever been to but for some reason it is prone to mass shootings. In the past the Columbine school and Batman cinema incidents have both occurred nearby. Understandably people were nervous. Using the power of the internet it was being reported within the next hour that the scene was secure. According to the news the gunman entered an office building and shot his estranged partner before killing himself. The lady later died. Walking to the bus station was a bit chilling. There were helicopters overhead, streets were taped off and police were swarming all over the place.

Ft Collins may seem a bit of a random place to go. It doesn’t even feature in the Lonely Planet USA guide. When I last visited Colorado I really liked the vibe and have already visited the obvious places of Denver and Boulder. My mate Parksy has lived in Ft Collins and recommended it. When I found out that it also has a highly regarded hostel, that was enough for me to go. So far I’ve stayed in large hostels that can sometimes be impersonal and smaller hostels that although are a bit more homely, they can be lacking in facilities or cleanliness. This one was of the smaller variety but absolutely spot on in pretty much all you could want. It’s a great setup in a converted house that’s beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean. It’s like staying in someone’s home. Kelsey owns the hostel and she’s incredibly hospitable. At first I found it hard to believe that someone could be so genuinely friendly but she kept it up for three days. Kelsey and her boyfriend seem to have good thing going on here. They live in the basement while about 15-20 people pay them £25 a night to stay in the house. Good luck to them though as it’s a lovely place.

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