Posts Tagged ‘Denver’


Rooms With A View

Linda Burton posting from Westcliffe, Colorado traveling between Denver, Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico – I’m taking a break. Two weeks in the Colorado Rockies, in the autumn of the year. Expect no posts, beyond today, till I get to Santa Fe. I’m at son Mike’s and Brenda’s house, but they aren’t here, it’s just me and the cats. Yesterday I ate lunch at Rancher’s Roost Restaurant in a bowling alley in downtown Westcliffe. A cute little bowling alley; a spectacular view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range and the Wet Valley from the restaurant. As I ate, and stared, I thought about telling the owner to move the booths away from the windows so as not to block even one inch of the scenery. There’s one grocery store here, where I bought 21 bags of groceries today. I may not leave the house again till time to go to Santa Fe. Look at these pictures, and you’ll see why. The great room overlooks the valley and the mountain range; deer come near the dining room window to graze; we watch each other eat. Two bedrooms and two bathrooms with the same view; the kitchen too. Every room is perfect; why leave? Meanwhile, here are some straight facts on the area around me. » read more


What a Country!

My Pierre Friends Mel and Jason

Linda Burton posting from Denver, Colorado – It’s my last day in Denver, a day I’ll use to summarize. The Journey Across America is now thirty percent complete! That’s right; fifteen capital cities visited, enjoyed, and lived in. I’ve encountered some surprises that didn’t match my plan, such as temperatures over a hundred degrees – I thought I’d be far enough north to avoid that in August! But the Dakotas did me in: Bismarck 105, Pierre 103. And I didn’t plan for Alex Cat to nearly die on me, or to get sick myself, but hey, our bodies falter, every now and then; we’re better now. I had an interesting thought as I came east across the Continental Divide into Helena, Montana, capital city number eleven. It occurred to me that only nine capital cities lie west of the Divide, and I’ve now been to all of them. I’ve lived in Phoenix, Sacramento, Carson City, Salt Lake City, Boise, Salem, Honolulu, Olympia, and Juneau. And I’m amazed that so much of the land, and the resources, that make up our country is found in a rather small number of states. Think of it. » read more


Golden Arches

Linda Burton posting from Denver, Colorado – The minute I stepped inside I felt the golden glow. There was no outside light filtering in, but there was warmth and color in every direction. Does it represent the discovery of gold near Denver in 1858? Or is it intended to remind visitors of the abundant golden sunshine Colorado is so proud of? The shapes are pleasing too — curving archways to walk through; an oval opening in the main floor to peer downward, a shiny golden railing at the edge. And just above each architecturally pleasing turn is a stripe of red, yes, I remember, Colorado literally means “color red.” Move on to the grand staircase in the rotunda; “grand” is not an overstating word, it’s gorgeous with more impressive curves and golden shine; above my head is the dazzling dome. Murals in warm and earthy tones curve around this central room; the walls below are a reddish marble like I’ve never seen before. Too much to comprehend, I head for the Visitor’s Desk to get a brochure; it’s time to get some facts. » read more


Where You Can Bloom

Linda Burton posting from Denver, Colorado – “Bloom where you are planted” is a phrase we’ve all heard before. Today’s trends are busily reversing that age-old axiom to “Plant yourself where you can bloom.” Maybe it’s the high price of gas and the worry over fossil fuels. Maybe it’s the wear and tear of the daily commute, which can put you on a diet of Prilosec. Maybe it’s the longing for an Opie life, whistling as you walk to the fishing hole. Or maybe you’re a fast-tracker with an impatient soul, who wants things to happen now. Would you rather be doing than driving? According to a report by The Worldwatch Institute, 2007, for the first time in this country’s history the majority of our population lives in cities. The Baby Boomers (b 1946-1964) and the Millennials (b 1981-2000) are leading the charge; these are the two fastest growing demographics. The Millennials want a work-life balance in compact communities; 88% choose to live in an urban area. And the Baby Boomers have retirement in mind; they are thinking about having time to do things they’ve put off for years, so being close to those things is important. Denver is planning for all of that. » read more


Scaffolding, and Squirrels

Linda Burton posting from Denver, Colorado – Port-a-potties behind a chain-link fence were my first glimpse of the Colorado state capitol this afternoon, not a pretty sight. Snow and cold gone, warm blue skies lured me downtown; I turned right off Colfax and parked on Grant Street behind the capitol. Straight in front of me in the paved circular walkway was a statue of a Native American standing over a dying bison, surrounded by prairie grasses, it seemed. The dome of the capitol was encased in scaffolding, the lower part further sheathed in a blanket of white. On the left more scaffolding stretched from the ground to the top of the building, cordoned off by that chain-link fence. I’d heard about the renovation needs; the rusting iron and falling building chunks that had resulted in “hair-netting” the dome since 2007. So now it’s underway, a three-year, $17 million project. Camera in hand, I began to walk around the block, hoping to get a clearer picture of exactly what was going on. Scaffolding, and squirrels, were what I found. » read more


Snow on the Rose

Linda Burton posting from Denver, Colorado – “I want fall!” said the young woman in the waiting room. “We always get short-changed.” All of us were in temporary warm-clothes, grabbed hastily due to a 40-degree temperature drop that blew in like the Big Bad Wolf Wednesday night, huffing and puffing. It was 83 degrees when the DebateFest began at 3 PM on the University of Denver campus; DU students were sprawled on the lawn in short sleeved shirts. At 5:30 the wind began to blow, and within minutes the outdoor newscasters covering the Obama-Romney debate were covering themselves, wrapping neckscarves in a double fold and hanging on to their mikes. Those TV images were a signal to me that it was time to get the flu shot, so Thursday morning I headed for the clinic. That’s where the young woman sat, complaining about the weather. A tall and tan and ruggedly handsome man walked in and sat down near us; a folded bandana tied around his head; manly boots on his feet; a mountain-man image come to life (we later learned he fought fires in the summer and plowed snow in the winter). “I had snow at my house this morning,” he announced. “It was 26 degrees.” I asked him what the elevation was; he answered “8,700 feet.” Snow? I certainly wasn’t prepared for that. But hey, he’s at 8,700 feet; that won’t happen in town. Or so I thought. This morning, the red rose outside my window was layered with white. Snow, on October 5. Snow, on the rose! » read more


Just Take Them One At A Time

Linda Burton posting from Denver, Colorado – Charles Kuralt, in his book Charles Kuralt’s America, referred to New York City as “a large city composed of tiny, personal neighborhoods.” After I read that, I stopped being intimidated by big cities and learned to enjoy them as a lot of “small towns” that happen to be sitting side by side; its residents distinct, and perhaps competitive, like the small-town football rivalries I grew up with. So I intend to explore Denver neighborhood by neighborhood, with the help of a great publication I picked up at the Colorado Welcome Center. It’s the 2012 Visitor’s Guide, and it devotes twelve pages to the various neighborhoods of Denver, with the all-important highly detailed MAPS. And nicknames! There is LoDo (Lower Downtown, I get it); and RiNo (couldn’t figure that one out, it is River North); and even LoHi, which is a commercial area on the lower side of the Highlands. The Guide even has a section on the “trendiest” neighborhoods, which I’d suppose is a subjective opinion; nevertheless I find myself eagerly reading about all of them. Take “Cool-fax.” What in the world is Cool-fax? » read more


It’s Debatable

Linda Burton posting from Denver, Colorado – Everybody is talking about the traffic. Big city news teams always devote a lot of time to talking about traffic congestion, road closures, alternate routes, and commute times. It soothes, or creates, commuter anxiety – how long will it take me to get to work? Or more importantly, how long will it take me to get home? It’s usually the weather that causes kinks in the routine, but this week in Denver the Secret Service is the slammer-jammer that gets the blame. It has called for the shutdown of a portion of the freeway (Interstate 25!) on Wednesday between 5-10 PM, which is causing some employers to excuse employees early, IF they will be impacted by that closure. What is all the hullabaloo? A Presidential Debate at the University of Denver, the first of the scheduled debates between incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney. And just as it happens when a city hosts the Olympics, or some other highly significant event, people are alternately grousing about the hassle, and preening at the national attention. Is it worth it? » read more


Art At Heart

Linda Burton posting from Denver, Colorado – I’m in Denver now, just a hundred miles south of Cheyenne, and the cats and I are settled in, ready for new discoveries. I’ve left the Cowboy State for the Colorful State, according to the Welcome signs, although I saw nothing but brown hills where I-25 brings you in. I left a hotel with roofers hammering madly overhead and endless trains across the street for a hotel with an inner brick courtyard and roses blooming by my window. Freeway traffic got heavy as I approached big-city life; I traded wind and trains for roses and traffic, I chuckled to myself. The highlight of my day was a stop about halfway between Cheyenne and Denver, in a town with the lovely name of Loveland. Also called “The Sweetheart City,” one of Loveland’s claims to fame revolves around the little Cupid guy that flies in sometime in February; that would be Valentines Day. Want to mail a Valentine to someone special with a hand-stamped message of love on the front and a postmark of “Loveland”? Loveland has been re-mailing Valentine cards and love letters for more than 66 years now; they come in from all 50 states and more than 100 countries around the world. It’s the largest program of its kind in the nation, and here’s how it works. » read more


Minty Fresh

Linda Burton posting from Carson City, Nevada – It’s green, and sports the number “1.” It looks imposing, tucked there in the corner of the Nevada State Museum; obviously important in the scheme of things, I think. I’m in the Mint section of the Museum, surrounded by stories of assays and mining and the minting of coins in Carson City, coins with the CC mintmark. The Carson City Mint had a relatively short existence, producing coins between 1870 and 1893. Built during the mining boom, the mint was closed when mining production declined. But that was not the end for No. 1, I learned, she wound up producing coins bearing the Philadelphia “P,” the San Francisco “S,” and the Denver “D” – what a story this turns out to be!  » read more