Sunday, February 19, 2017

Wild turkeys, Red Rocks, and Buffalo Bill in Denver

Continued from this post.

Jeff had a couple of clients in the Denver area, so I went with him. If he had his choice, I would go with him every week. 
It was a big change of temperature from Atlanta to Denver. 
Jeff's first client was in Parker, so we drove south to our hotel. The plan was for me to drive him to the place of business in the morning and then I would be free to explore until it was time to pick him up in the evening and drive up to Evergreen to the next client. So the next morning I threw on some clothes and off we went. The route did not go as expected. We wound up some windy roads into the hills. It was a residential area and we wondered how we were going to find a manufacturing plant up in those hills. This is what we found when we reached the address.
Wild turkeys.
And deer.
And some very nice houses. 

Jeff called the client and apparently she had written her home address on the client form instead of her place of business. So we hot-footed it back to the hotel, I took a quick shower and packed my bag and off we went. To Evergreen. Same address as the second client.
Life seldom goes as expected. 
Jeff had been in the area and done some exploring on previous trips, so he suggested I visit Red Rocks and Buffalo Bill's grave. I decided on Red Rocks first and set off up the freeway. It was only a few minutes' drive and it was easy to tell when I got there. 
Red Rocks. 

I parked in the lot above the amphitheatre. I kept stopping to take selfies in front of the magnificent rocks but nothing did them justice. And then I saw the amphitheatre itself. 

It is a marvel of engineering, set right into the rocks. Concerts have been held at this venue for over 100 years. The amphitheatre was built between 1936 and 1941 using labour and materials provided by the CCC and WPA. So many famous bands and artists have performed here that it boggles my mind: The Beatles, Jethro Tull, Jimi Hendrix, John Denver (of course,) Carole King, The Carpenters, The Grateful Dead, U2, Coldplay, just to name a few. Jeff's favourite concert DVD of Piano Guys takes place at Red Rocks and many other bands have produced concert albums here. 
This photo isn't mine, but it gives you an idea of the majesty of the place.

I think it's kind of amazing that this whole place is open to the public. It is frequently used by people for exercise. The venue seats almost 10,000 people and a flight of 380 stairs on each side of the seating provides a natural site for athletic types to show off their cred. The woman in the blue tank top was squat jumping up the seat levels. Crazy. 

There she goes!

The view from the stage.

Carrying on down the steps and past the stage, you approach the hiking trails, which are 6,280 feet above sea level. 

The Trading Post Trail is only 1.4 miles, so I thought I would give it a go, in spite of the elevation. I surprised myself by thoroughly enjoying the solitary walk. There were a few fellow travelers, but for the most part I was the only human in sight and I was okay with that. It was a gorgeous day, warm and with the occasional cloud flurry, and I walked with my mouth open at the magnificence of the scenery. 

The trail starts to lead back to the beginning. I was a bit hot and thirsty but reluctant to leave.

I went back up to the amphitheatre a slightly different way and was glad that I hadn't seen this before I started my walk or I may never have continued.

This time I walked up this man-made path. 

Up the stairs this time. These are not included in the total of the 380 stairs by the seating.

And there they are.
Up we go!

I was a smidge tired after all of that stair-climbing and rock-clambering, but the day was yet young so I drove to Buffalo Bill's grave on Lookout Mountain. This overlooks the Rocky Mountain foothills and the Western plains, where Bill Cody spent many happy times.

Cody died in Denver in 1917 while visiting his sister. He had told his wife that he wanted to be buried up on Lookout Mountain, so he was buried here June 3rd, 1917. His wife, Louisa, was buried next to him four years later. There is some controversy on the subject, as the good people of Cody, Wyoming also claim that he is buried on Cedar Mountain, just outside his home town. It's an interesting story if you care to follow the link. Their foster son, Johnny Baker, was so worried about the feud between the two towns that he reburied the Codys under a ton of concrete to discourage any possible theft. 

The weather took a turn for the worse by the time I got back to the car so I went back to the hotel until it was time to pick Jeff up again.
That night we drove all the way up to Fort Collins to visit with some dear friends.
The next day I took late checkout and was completely slothful. It snowed overnight so after I checked out I sat in the lobby by the fire until it was time to leave.
I rather enjoyed my little break from the norm.
Now I want to see a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Another jaunt for The List.

1 comment:

  1. WOW! What an amazing trip. Your photos are beautiful. I can't imagine jumping like that woman, but you did climb a lot of stairs. I loved the battleground photos too. Bob and I are also avid Battlefield visitors.