Max Spends a Day in Denver

Max’s recent road trip included a few days in Colorado, one of our favorite states. Although we had not specifically planned to visit Denver on this trip, we found ourselves in nearby Boulder CO and thought it would be fun to make a day trip to the “Mile High City.”

MAX and AJF Broncos

This is probably as close as we’ll ever get to seeing the Broncos at home. Max gave the grass two paws up.

The AJF insisted on a stop at Mile High Stadium, home field of the Denver Broncos football team.

Real football, not that footsie-footsie stuff that goes on forever without any score and the players wear short pants and drop on the turf if touched by a strong breeze.

It’s “Mile High Stadium,” not “1.609344 Kilometers High Stadium.”

‘Murica, heck yeah.

T and Max Broncos

Max reminds us that at the Maltese Stadium, the bronze animal statues are much smaller and fluffier.

The AJF’s affinity for the Broncos reflects her fangirl worship of Peyton Manning, the Super Bowl winning quarterback for the team for 4 years before he retired after the 2015 season.

The AJF has been a Manning fan since his days at the University of Tennessee and throughout the 14 years he played with the Indiana  Colts before going to Colorado. I’ve noticed she seems to form long-term relationships.

Unlike many major sports venues which require fans to commute to the boondocks, this stadium is  in downtown Denver so it was an easy hop over to our next destination, Confluence Park.

Confluence Park a1

Max dipped his toes into the river. Actually, we carried him out and put him in the shallow water from which he retreated at incredible speed with eyes full of malice.

Confluence Park was named for where Cherry Creek and the South Platte River join. It’s said that dogs all over Denver demand that their leash-holders take them to the park to run on the grass, walk the paths, swim in the river and roll on the tiny, sandy beach.

The park is enormously popular on weekends and is adjacent to the world’s largest REI – the famous outdoor products store founded in Denver.

I told the the AJF this must be a wildlife preserve. She asked why. I replied, “Because parking is a bear.” :snorf:

Conf Park

Safe from the mighty river and resting in his stroller.

Confluence Park is in a neighborhood called Lower Downtown or “LoDo” that was the site of the original settlement of Denver back in the “gold rush” days of the late 1800s. The area went through a significant redevelopment phase in the late 1980s and continues to gentrify its 19th century brick warehouses.

Larr Sq

Larimer Square is not dog-friendly!

A dog can work up an appetite at Confluence Park so a lunch stop was planned for Larimer Square.

This compact area is the Mile High City’s oldest and arguably most historic block.

The buildings along Larimer Square have been converted from their former use as warehouses to upscale restaurants, some with big name chefs, and lots of frou-frou boutiques.

I mean, the merchant association describes itself as, “…one of the nation’s most significant collections of regionally exclusive and chef-owned restaurants.” Sheesh, no brag there, eh?

Unfortunately, despite the many outdoor patios and attractive al fresco dining spaces, this snooty place is decidedly dog-unfriendly. Max was forbidden to set paw upon their precious turf so we never got to try out the fancy food places.

(In general, Colorado is a mixed bag when it comes to dog friendly establishments. I’ll be blogging on that subject a bit later.)

By mid-afternoon we were ready for a scenic drive and set our sights on Red Rock Amphitheater which is about a 15 minute drive west of Denver. The use of this natural amphitheater for public performances dates back to the early 1900s.


Small dog, big red rock. On the plaza at Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Red Rocks is an open-air amphitheater that seats almost 10,000 and boasts superb acoustics due to its structure and the characteristics of the surrounding, uh, red rocks which are impressive in scale and shape.

The amphitheater is part of a city park and it is surrounded by hiking trails which we ignored entirely because they included uphill sections which are against the Malt’s philosophy of life. In fact, he develops a rash when he hears the word “hike.”


The amphitheater looking east to Denver while Max looks north.

Pretty much everybody in the music heap, in all genres, has played Red Rocks as part of its summer concert series. Many live recordings have been done there, too, in order to leverage the acoustics.

Coors price

I didn’t want to buy the brewery, just one beer.

While I was impressed with the site, the views, and the rocks themselves, I was horrified that the amphitheater management had the audacity to charge so much for beer.

As the day waned, we toured a few other spots in the city including Sloan’s Lake Park, the second largest park in town and site of the largest body of water in Denver.

They have annual dragon boat races there, an event that was described eloquently by my good friends Sam and Elsa McDonald in their Tales from the Ranch blog which you can read right here.

We also did a short drive through some of Denver’s most expensive residential areas and admired the homes. As the AJF remarked, “You know, except for the house prices and the fact that we hate winter, we could live here.”

Nailed it, hon.

To end the day we returned to our La Quinta accommodations in the nearby town of Louisville and then wandered over to Murphy’s Tap Room and Grille where we enjoyed some tasty pub grub and I quaffed a couple of locally-produced Nitro Milk Stouts in honor of an enjoyable day in Denver.


We never felt crowded on the dog-friendly lawn area.

Murphys 2

They offer exactly the right number of draft beer choices. Epic, indeed.

20 replies

    • It’s un-American! The strange part is that Coloradio seems to have more pet dogs/square foot than any other state. Bikes, dogs and Subarus…the place crawls with all three but the doggos are treated as pariahs in so many places.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Restaurants which don’t admit dogs…beer at eye watering prices….Denver is decidedly off my wish list even if anything would get me to enter a U.S. airport ever again.
    Max is amazingly tolerant….though I would like to have seen the expression after his encounter with water….
    And I did notice the football comparison….American football players? The great Norman ‘bite your leg’ Hunter would have made mincemeat of them….

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve previously proclaimed an extreme fondness for cricket so any comments you may make about sports are already tainted. Fruit of the poisoned tree. Max can be a very hateful little fellow when forced to do something he dislikes. In this case, his cold and bitter side was on display for hours after the river incident.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner in the “Bravest Person in Texas” contest! Supporting the Texans can get you hog-tied in some Texas towns, notably Dallas, but wearing a Broncos jersey? Get a rope…


  2. Who could blame her for fangirling over Peyton? I can almost see the low humidity significant collections in your images. That huge red rock (jinx–only minutes ago I was listening to a Red Rocks Worship song) only enhances how I feel about mountains and large stones; it seems as if they would fall upon me at any minute. Yikes! But double yikes to highway robbery/rape prices for domestic SWILL! Ugh. That is not “Merica. That is a dictatorship. I would have downed three Nitro Milk Stouts just to make the point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thing about the Milk Stouts is that are so filling! Like having a meal in a glass, but soooo good. Colorado seems to have more craft beer places than anywhere I have ever visited including Oregon which thinks it’s the craft beer king. OK, maybe Germany has a higher brewer density per resident but in the States, CO is the way to go! $9/Coors is an offense against humanity.


  3. You managed to get to Red Rocks in 15 minutes from Confluence Park? Whaaaat? Sounds like you might have taken a helicopter; commuting in the Mile High is becoming an Olympic sport that requires a good 30+ minute commitment to just about anywhere.

    The AJF has good taste in football players, Peyton REALLY is a good guy though I think this season will be at best, a(nother) rebuilding year for the team.

    Thank you for the shout out; we’re so sorry not to have gotten to meet you all in the furs. But the next time you’re in town, know there’s a beer (or two) with your name on it just waiting for you (them) courtesy of the Spoos.


    • It was a Sunday and traffic was okay, not great but not horrendous like we experienced on weekdays. Red Rocks was only 16 miles per Dr. Google and maybe we took a bit longer than 15 minutes but it seemed kind of quick. When we were in Estes Park we waited that long just to make one left turn onto the road into Rocky Mtn Nat Park. It’s all those Subarus driving around out there! Keep that beer cold, we’ll be by one day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a pity you didn’t get to meet up with the McDonald clan. From where I sit all the way off in Australia, hard to believe you didn’t run into each other. I liked the look of that Red Rock Amphtheatre. What an experience.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    • I should have called Monika but we are always so worried that we may impose on someone or interrupt their plans or just be a pain in the derriere that we seldom contact friends when travelling unless, of course, the point of the trip is to visit the friends. I would like someday to meet those guys. We visit Colorado every couple of years so, maybe.

      Liked by 1 person

All comments are welcome, so speak! Speak! Good dog.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.