September 5, 2019: Falling Away

I know, I know. Two days into this Halloween Die-ary, and I completely dropped the popcorn ball for September 3 and 4. But it’s not because I lost steam or spirit or any other “s” word. I was just traveling for work, and I couldn’t find any Fall. That simple. This is what happens when I leave New England.

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Virginia, D.C., and Maryland. On Thursday, it was things to do in Denver when you’re dead tired. I knew the trip was coming, but I didn’t worry about it as far as this die-ary went because I knew from experience that these trips can enhance and even define the season sometimes.

Business trips during previous seasons have taken me to Los Angeles, where I got to see the Tim Burton exhibit. In Berlin, I documented every trace of Halloween that I could find (plus descended into a courtly crypt, found the cemetery where the Brothers Grimm are buried, and side-tripped to the Czech Republic to see the Bone Church). Heck, even a trip to D.C. during the first Halloween Die-ary in 2017 nabbed me a pumpkin donut.

And while I knew that this particular business trip would have little, if any, downtime, I figured I could still do a Halloween scavenger hunt, keeping my eyes carved for any traces of Autumn or Halloween I might pass in these lands that are supposed to be sharing the same September with me. Kind of like I did on this business trip to Atlanta during last year’s season.

But in three days across three states and a district, I didn’t see a single frame of Fall. Not a store window decoration or a fall cocktail on a menu. Heck, the temps in Denver were above 90 degrees. Of course, I didn’t go out looking for it (I didn’t even have time to watch a scary movie in any of my hotel rooms), but I thought I’d at least stumble across something I could photograph and rhapsodize about for 400 words.

During my day in Denver, I tried a little harder by making plans to eat at a death-themed restaurant built inside an old mortuary. It would have been the perfect place for my thirty-seventh Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead joke of the day and a great fit for the season. But it was closed during the hour we had to eat before heading to the airport. I still ended up at a strange restaurant for dinner, though, one called the Buckhorn Exchange, which has been on my OTIS Map of Oddities for a while. But it’s more Hunting Season than Halloween Season.

I did at least end the day and the trip with a monster sighting—a giant blue demon horse with glowing red eyes. It’s called Blue Mustang, is nicknamed Blucifer, and it killed the artist who made it. I’ve told you about this beast before.

I mean, I would have liked him better with a headless rider on his back, but I’ll take a blue demon at this time of year if I can’t have a black and orange one.