There were some things I needed to take care of at Zing, and after some thought I decided it would be best to do it in person. I planned a trip to Colorado, and contacted some friends to see if I could drop in to visit. It’s a long drive– made even longer by stops for charging and meals– but I feel like long road trips aren’t a big deal when I can set the car to steer itself. I left early on Wednesday and drove 17 hours, enjoying the scenery as I rolled down the interstate.
The fun started on Thursday when I dropped in on old friends, and enjoyed some fond memories of my home for seventeen years. I had lunch with part of the Zing crew, which was great. I talked them into Cheba Hut, my favorite sandwich shop on earth, where I savored my Midwest Best:
Then Nick and I headed over to Zing’s office, which we had to clean out prior to ending our lease. It’s been a great office for over a decade, but the team is working from home, so there’s no sense continuing to pay rent. Although the guys took all the equipment they wanted, there was still a lot left in the office. A lot. We nearly filled a dumpster with keyboards, mice, network switches, cables, power strips, old furniture, worn-out chairs, and the like.
It was sad because a lot of this was useful and working, but these days you can’t even donate electronics to schools or libraries. We simply didn’t know what to do with it. Both of us took a lot of things with us, saving them from the dumpster. I ended up with a dozen monitors and bags full of cables and adapters and keyboards that I thought I might be able to put to use or give to people who need them. My car was full of stuff.
As I finished cleaning that evening and turned out the lights for the last time, it was a bittersweet moment. I spent a lot of time in that office, and it’s a really nice space.
But it’s time to move on. The Zing logo remains on the door (although probably not for long).
I’d planned to play ultimate in the Longmont league that evening, revisiting the field and friends after four years. I even had a team who said I could join them! But alas, it rained most of the day and the games were cancelled.
Friday dawned, and I headed down to Boulder for an indoor ultimate game. Along the drive, I was treated to a view of the Flatirons. Boulder is such a pretty city, and even things like driving down the roads there brought back fond memories.
I haven’t played indoor ultimate in four years– in fact, I’ve only played one game of ultimate at all in those four years. To be honest, I wasn’t really in shape for it. Hiking and biking and spending time on the lake is a very different form of exercise than sprinting for 90 minutes! Luckily indoor games involve a lot of on-the-fly substitutions, and I was able to take frequent breaks after a few minutes of hard play. People had heard I was going to be in town, and several of them came out for the game just to school me on the field. We had a good crowd, and a lot of my old friends.
Then it was time to head down to Denver. Although I miss a lot of things about Colorado, traffic on I-25 isn’t one of them.
I spent several hours talking with a couple of friends about starting a company to develop a video game. It’s a cool idea, and something I wouldn’t have considered. We did a lot of planning and brainstorming, and now I’ll need to sit down and figure out how I can contribute.
On the way back to Longmont, I was treated to a nice sunset over Longs Peak.
The next two days were filled with visits and get-togethers. I attended church in my old congregation (which has changed a lot, although many of the families are still around). I played board games with my little group of gamers. I enjoyed a sandwich at Snarf’s, my second-favorite sandwich shop on earth. I made some surprise visits. I looked at all the things in the town that have changed– a lot of new apartments, some new stores (including Costco!), and the loss of Nicolo’s, my favorite pizza place. Despite all the changes, though, the heart of the city is the same and it was fun to see it again.
Monday dawned, and I left before the sun was quite above the horizon. It was another long drive, but I took the opportunity to stop in Billings on my way through to visit another old (as in, 92 years old) friend. It was great. There were many hours of interstate, but the views were grand.
I finally arrived back home after midnight, tired after a long drive but full of happy memories.
To all the people I saw, and even to those I didn’t get a chance to catch up with, thanks for your friendship over the years. Farewell for now…