Golden, CO was base camp for our visit to Denver, Boulder, Ft. Collins, Estes Park, Black Hawk and Central City, where we explored both new and old stomping grounds (Ron), had great food, gambled a little, and visited old friends. Golden surprised us as a wonderful little foothills western town, home of Coors Brewery, and some great places to eat.
Golden had some fun places to eat including burgers at Atomic Burger, a lunch on the patio of Sherpa House and cultural center (Nepal, Tibetan and Indian food), and we enjoyed the really good pizza and salad bar at Woody's. We utilize an I-Phone app called "TV FOODS" to find many of unique places as we travel, along with Trip Advisor and Yelp.
Denver is the Capital of CO and the largest city in the state. Located in the South Platte River Valley, Denver is on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Denver is nicknamed the Mile-High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile above sea level, making it one of the highest major cities in the United States. Union Station includes the historic terminal building, a train shed canopy, a 22-gate underground bus facility and light rail station. A station opened on the site June 1, 1881, burning in 1894. The current structure was erected in two stages, with an enlarged central portion completed in 1914. The Station has become a historic landmark and a vibrant space for staying, eating, gathering and shopping.
Boulder, CO (Ron's hometown in the late seventies) is the home to the University of Colorado. Boulder is located at the base of the foothills (the Flat Irons) of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 5,430 feet above sea level. The city is 25 miles northwest of Denver. Pearl Street became a pedestrian street while Ron lived here and is now a favorite area of downtown. No visit to Boulder would be complete without a visit to the "Sink" an institution for generations on The Hill near CU. A favorite of "Triple D" and after a visit by President Obama a pizza he ordered was named "POTUS"! And some pictures of houses Ron lived in. We visited with Alan Webster (an old friend Ron grew up with in Lloyd Harbor) and Karen while in Boulder and Elsie Tabor in Ft. Collins.
After our visit in Ft. Collins we traveled up the mountains to Estes Park, gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. A popular summer resort and the location of the headquarters for Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park lies along the Big Thompson River. Estes Park landmarks include the Stanley Hotel, which Stephen King used as his imaginary hotel in the "The Shining". Ron owned a small condo at the Estes Park Chalet near Mary's Lake that partially burned down in the eighties. Today the burnt section has been rebuilt and is now a well known lodging and mountain wedding venue. Elk blocked our route a few times and were feeding on the golf course.
The canyon roads in the mountains to Estes Park, Black Hawk and Central City were not only hair-raising, white knuckle drives but also very beautiful. Gambling was approved in the mountain towns of Black Hawk and Central City 25 years ago. While these Gold Rush mining towns still have much of their original flavor they have really changed with the addition of casinos in the narrow valley.
Alan Webster came from Boulder to visit and we enjoyed Mike's famous Paella Valencia while watching the '3rd battle' of this year's Presidential Debates.
As you can tell from our pictures we experienced wonderful weather in Colorado. It was usually a crispy, cool 40's during the evening and nights, we had glorious sun and unseasonable 70's and 80's during the day. We hope it continues as we traverse the Rockies and the Continental Divide heading to Glenwood Springs with visits to Aspen, Snowmass and Penny natural hot springs (a clothing optional old hippie haven!) near Carbondale before getting to Grand Junction later in the week.
Our RV Adventure
Here's a record of our travels as we explore the USA. Blog posts are listed by month in descending order.