Nightshift Commute Part 1: Catching the H Line into Central Denver

Working the night shift is something I have talked about in previous posts on my personal blog.

I work at the Denver Art Museum. For awhile, we used to contract with a partner institution, Clyfford Still. Due to unforeseen circumstance, one of the former employees at CSM quit and left nearly 3 months worth of swing and night shifts unfilled. Today, rather than talking about the shift itself, I will dive briefly into the commute that it took me to get there.

General Logistical Information

Usually, it would take between 45-54 minutes to get to work by using purely the lightrail. During the winter, it would be closer to 54, as I would have to cross treacherous snow on I25 and Evans or deal with my own lethargy at the time. When spring began in April, I would transition to riding my bike on a more consistent basis, but that story is for another time.

Given that I had to be on post by 10:00 PM, I would usually take the 8:45 or 9:00 PM train so that I could get into Central Denver with time to spare and time to grab groceries for the next day.

To get home, I traditionally would take the morning 0 bus to the Union Station Lightrail, taking the E or H based on how fast the bus made it to the station. A few times, I would walk to the Theater District Convention Center if the weather wasn’t too treacherous/if I got out late.

Experiences

On the way into work, it always seemed dead on the train. Unless there was some big Sunday night event going on downtown, I would usually person in the train car, with possibly one or two other people heading into nightshifts with me. This allowed me to listen to several podcasts on the way in, including HowStuffWorks, Welcome to Nightvale, and a random smattering of self improvement podcasts. My favorite that I can recall was an episode of HowstuffWorks that I listened to attempting to explain the popularity of Scooby Doo, a cartoon that, despite what modern audiences think, seemed “out there” in the 1960’s.

After work, the 0 would be packed with the usual crowd. A man with a large laptop bag, a student making her way to an early class, and a smattering of workers headed for presumably southeast Denver and the suburbs. At one point, the driver recognized my face, with me realizing that our shifts overlapped fairly regularly.

Reflection

Riding the train and bus into town was very much a “crutch” of sorts until I could get my bike completely fixed up in mid-April. Now that I have a now mountain bike with commuter tires, I try to ride everyday, whether I have work or not. That being said, my night commutes into work were often a time of solace, where I could be alone with my thoughts or the words of podcasters thousands of miles away from me.

In my next blog, I will be talking about what my commute was like when I started riding my bike into work, and partially discussing how it positively my physical, emotional, and mental health to a small degree.

 

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