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.”
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.
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 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:
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.