Top: Denver downtown
On our tour of the United States, we have visited the nation’s capital in Washington D.C. We have visited many a state capital. If the intermountain West has a capital, Colorado would be it.
Continuing the regional personality, Colorado has more land (8th largest) than people (22nd largest). But there is a certain urban vibe to Colorado that distinguishes it from the other pioneer-type states. Its wide open spaces. It’s one of America’s most vibrant cities. It’s Rocky Mountain High, Colorado. We can’t wait to show you!
Colorado is bordered by Wyoming to the north, Nebraska to the northeast, and Kansas to the east. A portion of Oklahoma provides the southeastern border. New Mexico bounds Colorado to the south, Utah to the west, and Arizona to the southwest, at the Four Corners.
Colorado has two airports with an international designation, though one dwarfs the other. Colorado Springs Airport carries about 658,000 passengers a year. The most popular destination is Seattle. Mighty, massive (and way the heck and gone out of town) Denver International is the hub of intermountain travel and one of the nation’s largest airports. Almost 26 million passengers pass by the rearing horse with the red eyes at the airport’s entrance every year. The most popular destination is Phoenix.
Colorado State Capitol Building in Denver
Actors: Tim Allen, Zachery Ty Bryan, Douglas Fairbanks, and Lon Chaney
Military/Politics: Scott Carpenter, Homer Lea, and Ouray
Entertainers: Ted Mack, Eugene Fodor, and Ralph Edwards
Writer: Gene Fowler
Athlete: Jack Dempsey
Weird and Wonderful Facts about Colorado:
The world’s entire supply of “Beulah Red Marble” went into the building of the state capital building in Denver. It cannot be replaced and is, in the truest sense of the word, “priceless”.
Colorado turned down the chance to host the 1976 Winter Olympics, fearing the cost, pollution, and congestion it would visit on Denver. No other city has ever declined.
The highest point in Colorado is atop majestic Mt. Elbert, in Lake County. It stands 14,440 feet above sea level. The lowest point is along the shores of the Arikaree River on the Kansas border.
On June 3, in Fruita, the town celebrates Mike the Headless Chicken Day. In 1945, Farmer L.A. Olsen cut off Mike’s head in anticipation of a chicken dinner. Mike lived for another 4 years without a head.
Denver lays claim to the invention of the cheeseburger. The trademark for the name cheeseburger was awarded in 1935 to Louis Ballast.
Colfax Avenue in Denver is the longest continuous street in America.
Katherine Lee Bates wrote “America the Beautiful” after being inspired by the view from Pikes Peak.
Hundreds of thousands of valentines are re-mailed each year from Loveland.
Dove Creek is the “Pinto Bean” capital of the world.
Deer Trail hosted the world’s first rodeo, July 4, 1869.
Let’s Take a Trip Through Colorado:
Singer and one of the voices of his generation John Denver described it this way. “I was born in the summer of my 27th year. Going home to a place I’d never been before.”
He was talking about Colorado. We’re going to take a trip through Denver’s Colorado. On the way, we will travel through Denver, Colorado. See how that works?
We’re going to start in Steamboat Springs. We could have selected any of about a jillion ski resorts. But Steamboat is open and welcoming during the summer months, as well. If we were here in the winter we would ski some of the best powder in the world. In the summer we will ride the gondola to the top and hike some mountain trails. Great views of Steamboat are available any time of year.
In the car for the road trip of a lifetime! That sounds like hyperbole, but driving from Steamboat to Estes Park covers some unmatched beauty and sightseeing. The trip of 137 miles will take us 2.5 hours. But it will be an afternoon to remember and we will pass through Arapahoe National Forest.
Famous Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison.It is a rock structure near Morrison,Colorado,10 miles west of Denver,where concerts are given in an open-air amphitheater.
When we get to Estes Park we will check into Coyote Mountain Lodge for $89 a night. Tomorrow, we’re riding an aerial tram!
The Estes Park Aerial Tramway is a European style tram that takes riders high above Estes and the surrounding mountain countryside. At the top, we will feed the chipmunks and enjoy lunch.
Back down and in the car for the run to Denver. On the way, we will pass through Boulder, home of the University of Colorado. A hotspot of progressive thought, CU is a great school for those who wish to make a difference.
When we get to Denver we will stay at the Days Inn Downtown for $93 a night. Big cities are expensive and this is a good option.
Up early the next morning. We have at least two things to accomplish today. First, we are going ways out of town to Morrison. That’s where we will find Red Rocks Amphitheater. Obviously, Red Rocks is at its best when a concert is underway. But the natural setting is a joy to witness even when the place is empty. Red Rocks is a unique site where the prairie meets the Rockies. They shake hands and say, “Let’s make something special.”
Steamboat Springs, town in Colorado
We will look around and have lunch at the Ship Rock Grille.
Back to Denver (we’re only about 20 minutes out of town) for a little nightlife. We’re going to the Bovine Metropolis Theater. The Bovine is a small theater in a historic building astride downtown Denver. Tickets are plentiful and the cast and staff do a great job entertaining the folks who show up. Good food, good views, and good laughs. It has been more than a good day.
The next day we’re off for a little Christmas shopping. What? Christmas? It’s summer, you weirdo!
It hurts my feeling when you call me weirdo. I prefer “Bogus Boy.”
Anyway, we are going to the base of Pike’s Peak to Santa’s Workshop in North Pole, Colorado. It’s 365 days a year of Christmas for the whole family. This enchanted family theme park has something for every member of the family. We will meet Santa and his elves. Then we can ride the unique Christmas Tree Ride, and swing through the sky on the Enterprise Space Shuttle. The older kids will want to fly through the sky on the Aerial Tram. The younger ones will love the miniature train. All in all, there are more than two dozen family-friendly rides.
Pike’s Peak – Beautiful Garden of the Gods
Gildshire’s best trips across the states always include a day the kids will remember forever. This is the place for that very experience.
Back in the car for one last climb to the sky. We are going up Pike’s Peak! The 19-mile journey to the summit begins 15 minutes west of downtown Colorado Springs. When we get to the top we will look at the view that inspired song and poem alike. Look to your right. You will see the headlights of a car. By the time that car would cross out of your view to the left it will have traveled 400 miles. How cool is that? Obviously, no one has the patience to watch it happen. But, how cool is that, anyway?
Pike’s Peak is one of the great pinnacles of the Rocky Mountains. And it is a good way to end our trip. We hope you enjoyed the magnificence that is the Great State of Colorado.
Next up: Oregon.