The Mile High City of Denver was once my second home. I stopped there after almost every trip from the Midwest or East during my business travel days. I even had a set of skis and boots in Evergreen, the toney western metro area of Denver. I would stop there and have my friends Bill, Vern, Ed, Kurt, Art, or John pick me up at the airport. Even the erstwhile mafioso wannabee, Arturo N. from Jersey was part of the plan. After a short evening of rest, we headed out to nearby Winter Park, Keystone, Arapahoe, or Copper Mountain for a day of skiing. We often hit the hot springs in Georgetown on the way home. They often threw me onto the last flight out in the evening back to the Bay Area. Those were the days.
I think the last time I was in Denver, I went to a Bruce Springsteen concert at old Mile High Stadium. Now, I am headed to Denver to see the World Champion SF Giants play the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in downtown Denver. I plan to see Saturday and Sunday games, before heading out to the Rockies (mountains) on Monday. I enjoy watching the Rockies’ star shortstop, Troy Tulowitski.
Denver sits on the eastern side of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Its official elevation is exactly one mile or 5,280 feet above sea level. The 105th meridian west of Greenwich passes through Union Station. Denver has a population of just over 600,000 as of the 2010 census. Denver was founded back in 1858 during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush. General William Larimer staked a claim and named the area for Kansas Territorial Governor, James W. Denver. Colorado Territory was established in 1861, followed by statehood on August 1, 1876.
A typical Denver sunrise
For me, Denver always represented cattle, cowboys, skiing, Coors beer, and party time. I spent many days and nights here in various stages of sobriety and inebriation. Often times, we got snowed in up in the Evergreen area. It was not uncommon to be forced to eat unusual combinations of food and drink, like beer with M & M’s. Bill’s log cabin home in Evergreen was party central, and a good jumping off point for skiing in the nearby Rocky Mountain ski resorts. I also learned to play chess when once snowed in. I got lucky and beat the champ!
Colorado is also the home of my very first ski race win, in fact, over at Aspen, so many years ago. I was the last one down in our section. The good skiers all went ahead. I felt I had no chance, but for the generosity of Rapid Robert, who taught me the finer points of racing. He told me that the best skier does not win, but the best RACER. I wonder if that old trophy is up in the rafters of our garage? I just remember my big smile at the awards ceremony.
Reminds me of Oktoberfest in Munich
I was often in Denver for business as well. Swedish Hospital in nearby Englewood was a client of mine. And I recall a great meatball sandwich joint called Fratelli’s. I also enjoyed a French place down on Colfax called “Tante Louise.” Other clients were in Colorado Springs, greater Denver, and Boulder. Needless to say, I was quite fond of Denver, and enjoyed my visits there. I once entertained the thought of moving there, when I was recruited by a large hospital mega-chain. I decided my liver would not survive the cold winters.
Actually, my California Zephyr excursion from Chicago in April, stopped here in Denver to attach a private coach car to the rear of the train.
And of course, I have changed planes here too many times to count or remember. The new airport is nice, but it is practically in Nebraska or Kansas! Kudos to Avis and Hertz for that move.
Sad epitaph: I looked online and found that Bill has been deceased for some time. He had a good soul, but with smoking, and too much alcohol, his days must have been numbered. On the flip side, I will look up his identical twin brother John, an Evergreen attorney. Interestingly, Bill was gay, John not. So much for the genetics argument!
Sidebar: I will not go this time, but it is a national park worth your visit.One of the highest national parks, Rocky Mountain National Park
is located in northern Colorado. The park’s 48-mile Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuously paved road in the United States, crosses the Continental Divide, traveling through the center of the park from lowland alpine meadows to its high point at 12,183 feet. The road, open in summer, offers many vista overlook points for admiring the scenery, observing wildlife, or taking photos.
With over 350 miles of trails, visitors can opt for a flat lakeside stroll or a challenging mountain climb. In addition, off-trail routes are available for back country hikes.