Showing posts with label places. Show all posts
Showing posts with label places. Show all posts

Friday, July 09, 2021

Explore Denver by Trail

Every city has its secrets and Denver is no exception. Among Denver’s secrets are its miles and miles of trails shared by cycling, walking, rollerblading, and riding urban adventurers. Of course, not every trail is suitable for every conveyance—horses aren’t permitted in some places and rollerblades will suffer on unpaved portions—but all in all, there’s plenty for everyone, especially those who travel on foot.

Suppose you’re attending a convention in the mile high city. Day’s business done, adventure calls. You leave the Colorado Convention Center, cross Speer Boulevard, descend a few stairs, and you’re there. You’re now on the Cherry Creek Trail. Should you head southeast, you’ll pass through some of Denver’s older and more affluent neighborhoods. If you go all the way to the end of the trail, you’ll have travelled about thirty-nine miles. But by then you’ll be in Franktown, not Denver.

Heading northwest instead, you’ll soon arrive at Confluence Park where Cherry Creek meets up with the South Platt River. Heading north along the Platt you can go as far as 104th Avenue before the trail develops discontinuous portions. Heading south, the trail system will take you as far as Chatfield State Park. Trying to go this distance on foot isn’t quite practical. But, a bicycle can take you there if you’re fit and have the time.

The Bear Creek Greenbelt is a personal favorite. It runs from the South Platt River Trail through several parks, including Bear Creek Lake Park, and ends in Morrison. Bear Creek hosts a variety of water fowl. I once saw a night heron while cycling that path. I’d never seen one before and wondered what a penguin was doing that far north. (Since writing this in 2008, I've also seen a Malayan Night Heron, though in Taipei, not Denver.)


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Road to Mount Evans

We were driving up the bare, winding road that leads to the peak of Mount Evans. The passenger by my side was from another country, although her English was quite good. Looking at the granite boulders strewn all about us, I observed, “All this granite was imported from Italy.”

“Really?” she said before realizing that I was joking.

This wasn’t my first trip up Mount Evans. Although it’s familiar, it’s also unpredictable. It could be sunny, cloudy, or even snowing in mid-summer. You’ll probably see a marmot or two, but you may, or may not, see bighorn sheep or mountain goats.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Denver to Chicago by Plane and by Train

Initially I planned to fly both to and from Chicago. But, then something went wrong. Both tickets, spaced four days apart, were for flights from Denver to Chicago. Some days after booking the flights, but well before the flight dates, I realized my mistake: you just can’t fly to a city if you’re already there. I attempted to get a refund for the second ticket, but they said it was already too late. Even changing the flight date would cost more than the ticket had. Economy fares are great when they save money, but when their providers are unwilling to refund or exchange their tickets, they are no bargain at all. So, I lost $68.00 and Spirit Airlines lost both my custom and good will.

On the plus side, I was now free to rethink my return trip. I decided to take a train back instead, and I’m glad I did. Trains don’t go as fast as planes, but they’ll show you far more scenery. And, the clacketty-clack sound of steel wheels rolling on iron rails are soothing to the soul. The train rolled past fields of yellow grain and over the wide Mississippi River before entering that long tunnel called night.

Sleeping in coach is not as comfortable as is doing so in the sleeping car, but it is reasonably tolerable. Besides, I did not ride a train to be pampered. I rode a train to take a journey. In the air, there is little to see and even less to do. However, on a train, conversations happen and one experiences the solid land between here and there. Periodically, the train stops and one walks along the platform breathing the night air of a strange, and otherwise unvisited, city.

In Omaha, the train platform is old, dingy and dim, but in Nebraska’s capital, Lincoln, the platform stands outside a modern and friendly looking station. Just before dawn, the train arrived in Denver. It stopped several blocks from historic Union Station. When renovation completes in 2014, Union Station will serve as a regional transportation hub. However, for now a detoured stop is used.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tricks for treats

 Dogs did tricks for treats at Pets N’ Stuff in Lakewood today.

Surfing Findley took home a gift basket and bag of treats.

Meanwhile, a pair of potted pups arrived in bucket seats. Although the event was generally casual, a few of the participants “put on the dog.”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dog tricks

While vacationing this summer in Keelung, Taiwan, I learned that dogs could be taught new tricks.

For example, dogs can ride scooters. I saw one such rider on the pier at Bisha Fishing Port during the Dragon Boat races. The dog showed no inclination to steer, merely to ride.

Another cool trick is to let five dogs out on the hot roof of an industrial strength metal building. The dogs walk the roof’s periphery, barking at everything in sight, until they weary of the sport and one-by-one go back inside.

If nothing’s changed since I witnessed this amazing trick, the dogs can be viewed from an observation deck at Keelung Indigenous Cultural Hall.
As we picnicked at Lover’s Lake, one friendly canine befriended us. Soon he was enjoying morsels of barbecued sausages and pork. Not only was he our new friend, he protected us, too. Every time another dog approached, he growled, as if to say, “these people belong to me. Stay away.” Later, when all the meat had been cooked and eaten, he stopped growling at other dogs and played nicely instead. Apparently the trick was on us. He wasn’t a true friend. He was only interested in our food.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at A Taste of Colorado

Denver celebrates Labor Day Weekend with “A Taste of Colorado.” There is always a variety of food to sample, and handcrafts to yearn for. This year, swing band, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy appeared on the main stage Friday night. During their 90 minute performance, they played older numbers including “You & Me & The Bottle Makes 3 Tonight” and “Go Daddy-O,” as well as numbers from their new CD, including “The Jumpin’ Jive” and “Reefer Man.” The crowd went nuts.

In a world full of guitar bands, it’s nice when a band uses brass to kick your ass. Besides they look great in their zoot suits.

Check out their web page for more about Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Second best

The world’s second tallest building is called Taipei 101. The second heaviest gold bar in the world is stored in Jinguashi. The tunnel through Hsuehshan is the second longest in Asia. Each of these second bests was a first in its time.

What is noteworthy is not that these once were the tallest, heaviest, and longest of their kind. No, what is noteworthy is that they are all located in Taiwan. This little island, and its even littler outlying islands, occupies an area of only 13,900 square miles. My own state, Colorado, occupies 104,091 square miles, roughly seven times Taiwan’s size. Colorado isn’t threatened by surrounding states, yet Taiwan faces frequent intimidation from mainland China. Perhaps the threat of invasion explains why Taiwan has achieved so much. Perhaps the explanation lies elsewhere. Regardless, Taiwan’s example is something to strive for.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Colorado Serves Up Tasty Blues

Stopped by the stage at 13th and Lincoln and savored some tasty blues. The Catfish Kray Blues Band played Saturday at the Taste of Colorado festival. Pictured are Catfish Kray (center) flanked by Greg Sage on trumpet and Joe Lilly on sax. Not shown are, drummer, Ari Rubenstein and vocalist Jesse Garland.

Monday, August 03, 2009

No Cow Town Now

I really take offense with people who say that Denver is just an overgrown cow town. Take for example, Dan Ostermiller’s sculpture outside the Denver Art Museum. It's pure culture—on par with the kind you'd find in some other stuck-up, over-blown, namby-pamby, big city. There are no overgrown cows in my mile-high city--just art, thank you. So there, you big apple, you.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Take two aspen and call a tree surgeon.

Colorado conifers have undergone major bark beetle infestation since 1996. Forests show ugly patches where the needles are diseased and red rather than healthy and green. Biologists claim some types of bark beetles are increasing because more can survive warmer winters. Due to climate warming, their range expands into higher altitudes and more northerly latitudes.

If you spend some time in the mountains, you can’t help noticing the degree to which spruce and pine trees are dying off. But you may not know that aspen are suffering, too. An article by Michelle Nijhuis in the December 2008 issue of Smithsonian, addresses the issue.

Foresters began observing aspen die-off in western Colorado in 2004. Although aspen bark beetles, borers, fungi, and diseases have all attacked the aspen, the underlying causes of aspen decline are high temperatures and draught, which stress the trees allowing them to fall victim to secondary causes.

It’s said that you can’t control the weather, but apparently people can, and have, influenced the climate. Global warming has begun, but perhaps it’s not too late to slow its progress. If we don’t, those beautiful mountain vistas may not be.
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tea and Tidbits

The stock markets on three continents plunged all week. But, on Saturday, Denverites went out for dim sum. It was high noon and the restaurant was packed—expected wait time—half an hour. Not bad business, and in a slow economy to boot. Superstar Asian Cuisine is not an overly large restaurant, and some people had to wait standing. Dim sum carts blocked the aisles between tables. All in all, the ambience was claustrophobic. But once we were seated, all that changed. After pouring the tea, the first dish arrived, and the mood changed. The restaurant may have been crowded, but our table was an island. And we had that island all to ourselves. The food did not disappoint. For the uninitiated, dim sum is small plates of toothsome morsels such as pork or shrimp dumplings, fried fish balls, steamed meatballs, stuffed buns and custard tarts. Servers offer dishes from their carts and you choose whatever looks appealing. If you always order sweet and sour pork in Chinese restaurants, dim sum is probably not for you—it requires a more adventurous palate. However, if you like to try new things, than try the chicken feet. There isn’t much meat on them, but they are good to gnaw on and the sauce is tasty. Superstar Asian Cuisine is located at 2200 West Alameda Avenue in Denver. Dim sum is served from 11:00 to 4:00 on weekdays, 10:30 to 4:00 on Saturdays and 10:00 to 4:00 on Sundays.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Doing the DNC. Taking it to the streets.

I checked out the delays and detours before I caught my bus. But, the guy next to me apparently didn’t. When we approached Colfax and Federal, encountered the road work detour signs, and went south, he began to complain. “There’s no way in hell, you’ll get across I-25 going this way, what the * are you doing?” he yelled at the driver. Then he changed his target, “If this guy expects us to vote for him, he can kiss my *.” He looked like an aging hippy—graying, long hair tied in a pony, earring, tattoo—all that stuff. But, there’s no telling, anymore, what a guy’s politics are just by looking at his demeanor.

I got downtown, did a lot of walking—but, hey, let the pictures tell the story

Over by the college, I came across some guys from the, "Temple of O," who were dressed up like the toga party in "Animal House". I can't guess their motive, but I have to agree—they are not worthy.

These guys have a lot to say about a lot of other people who are going to Hell.

She's not saying anything. Is she just sitting around, or is there something more going on?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday Vibes in Denver's City Park

A number of events are scheduled to occur in City Park during the week of the Democratic National Convention.

The Yoga Health Festival, taking place on August 24 and 25, starts the week off.

Today (Sunday), smells of incense and sounds of soft drums are in the air. No doubt, the atmosphere will be more politically charged as the week progresses.

But, today, peaceful vibes, are in the air.