July 17 – Golden, Colorado

Oh what a way to start out! We had to move the RV twice in the same spot to dump our tanks. They were full in the morning and before we could shower, so we had to dump, then after the shower we had to dump again. The electric box wasn’t near the dump so it was a back and forth situation – but we survived.

Trip to Golden wasn’t too bad, all interstate, and one accident (other vehicles) that delayed us a half hour.

Arrived at Chief Hosa – yes that’s the proper name. Campground owned by the City of Denver, so not too fancy. Small campground with gravel roads and gravel sites. Hasn’t been mowed in a while and our location did not give us satellite TV, though good wifi. No full hook ups (we do have electric and water) so we anticipated moving (drive to dump site) and dumping every couple of days. We were shocked to see the fee to dump as $32 – wow! And to shower was 25 cents per two minutes of water.

The scenery around us is beautiful. We are at 7700 feet and noticed right away that the temp was so much cooler – enjoying that. Spent rest of day relaxing.IMG_1697

Monday started out at 59 degrees – nice!

Did try a bike ride – only 8 miles! The hills are tough at this elevation and I was a little winded. We will have to work on it. I can tell you the scenery was wonderful and the houses people build in the mountains are huge. A few for sale, but the price and size out of my needs.IMG_1698

I can shower with two quarters, almost did it in one.

Today was sightseeing day and we headed to Red Rock Amphitheatre. I had been there in 1988 with a youth group from church. I was impressed then but as much more today as we contemplated the size, the acoustics and the bands/people who have sung here. A big emphasis was on the Beatles in 1964 (tickets were $6 then) and I overheard one lady telling her kids that she was there and climbed the rocks and listened from above (those rocks are now barricaded – as usual the rules get tougher as time goes on).

Checked out the bands playing this week and we didn’t even recognize the names. Dolly Parton is playing next week but we will be gone.

We did shop at Kohl’s for a new throw rug (couldn’t find the color).

Then we headed over to the city of Golden to explore. We walked around town and enjoyed window shopping. There is a river (Clear Creek) that everyone seemed to be tubing down. It was interesting seeing so many people walking around town with bathing suits and tubes.

We did find Golden City Brewery (happy hour 11:30 to 3) and Mountain Toad Brewery in town and enjoyed one at each.IMG_1728

Tuesday we moved sites so that we are now satellite friendly. Haven’t been able to see any news or the convention. We could only get over the air TV (PBS only). Have you ever watched Korean news from Korea in English? Quite dull – not that the GOP convention is more exciting.

Rest of the day did small maintenance items – weather station not working – drawer slide is tight – DVR internet not working – Need to add speakers to the TV – Garmin GPS not charging – oh how all those things accumulate and I need to find time to fix them.

Wednesday is our big day – trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. Just like the National Geographic books I remember seeing as a young person. It was magnificent.

We took the dogs because it was an all day trip. We went in the west end (near Grand Lake) and exited at Estes Park. It was called Trail Ridge Road. Seeing the soaring mountains (still snow covered in July) was memorable. DSC_0052The park is clean and well cared for and not a lot of “stuff” to mess up the quietness of the area. It seemed so isolated from the rest of the world.

We drove to an elevation of 12,183 and this section of highway is the highest paved road in the US? The temp dropped to 60 degrees at that location which felt nice. The rest of the day in the park was in the mid 70’s.

We saw two herds of elk, some Marmots and chipmunks. Yes there were geese and birds too.

We didn’t do any hiking as they don’t allow dogs off of the parking areas. We need to come back and do some heavy duty walking.DSC_0044

Estes Park was a surprise as it was quite touristy. I have heard so much about this place (was expecting it to be more rustic) but it had a lot to do and see. We did stop at the WoodCut Brewery and have a beer and walked next door to get some Chinese food for dinner.

Thursday no sense sitting still when you are in such a wonderful area. We headed downtown Denver to explore. First stop was the paid parking lot (oh how I hate those) – $14 all day – not that bad.

We stopped at the State Capital Building and arrived just as the free tour was starting. It took about an hour and was quite interesting as we got to explore each floor with the guide. What was most exciting was the tour on the outside around the dome (4th floor). You could see Wyoming and all the mountains that surrounded the western border of Denver.

I am a mile high!DSC_0049

After the tour we headed south 7 blocks and found Lowdown Brewery and had lunch and a beer.

We then hiked over to the US Mint for another free tour. The officer at the gate asked for our reservation and I said the webpage said I didn’t need reservation. He indicated you are not getting in and that’s that! Later I realized I read about the Federal Reserve Money Museum and not the US Mint. Oh well, next time!DSC_0064

Over to the Library (and yes we hiked to it) and Brenda did some family research.

Now the Art Museum but after looking at the size and the number of floors (7) we both realized we would never make it through the entire building so we skipped that endeavor.

I love to try out public transportation in different cities (would do more if I stayed longer and could learn the system), so we walked over to the 16th Street Mall area (one mile section of downtown that has all stores and restaurants with wide sidewalks) and a free shuttle (electric bus) from one end to the other. We took the shuttle ¾ of the way and got out and walked back while window shopping.DSC_0068

As soon as we got off the bus, there was the Federal Reserve Money Museum and we were able to get in and tour the building. They had all the old money from the beginning of US money. Money printed to finance the Revolutionary War to present day. Did you know that there was a woman on the currency from the past? There was also a display that showed what $30,000,000 dollars looked like. It was a huge stack of $100 dollar bills.

We did find the Rock Bottom Brewery on the 16th Street Mall and had one for the road. Home we go!

Friday was Rich’s sight-seeing day as Brenda didn’t want to see some of the sights – so off I went!

First stop was Buffalo Bill Cody’s Museum and Grave. I admired Buffalo Bill as a kid and was one of the books I remember reading – so I had to stop. He is buried on top of Look Out Mountain and there was such a spectacular view from up there. You can see why he wanted to be buried there.

Going through the museum brought back the stories in the book of his Wild West Show and Annie Oakley. Enjoyed reminiscing on his life. Wanted to find my old holster and gun that I used to wear as a kid. I even downloaded his life story and I am reading it on the Kindle.

Next stop was Coors Brewery. Free tour and free beer – why not? When I pulled into the parking lot, attendant said there was a two hour wait – why not – free beer! Wait only took an hour and we on our way.

This brewery is the largest in the world for a single site plant. It was huge, it was 5 miles long and when I left the area, you could see it go on and on. The tour was different, they gave you a recording device and you listened to the spiel as you ventured through the building. Learned a few things about beer.

At the end was, you guessed it – free beer. In fact you got 3 – 8 ounce samples. I almost felt like a traitor drinking Coors (not that I am a Budweiser Specialist) – but free beer.

On to my next event and that was a Colorado Rockies Baseball game. One of my secondary goals while traveling is to visit all the Professional Sports stadium at least baseball. Got there early, at least what I thought was early and a line had formed to buy tickets. I got in it.

The line was for Rock Pile tickets (center field bleachers) and other tickets as well. Got to the front and someone had advised earlier in the line to buy the cheapest ticket and move around. I did and because of my age it cost me $1. It got me in the stadium and I got to watch the Rockies beat the Atlanta Braves.

Nice stadium and parking (made me miss Busch Stadium in STL)!

Saturday is move day, yes sometimes when you shift location (see Tuesday) you have to shift again. Someone had reserved the spot we were in and now we have to return to our original location. Since the people in our original site were not leaving early, I went for a bike ride.

Did 9 miles (hey the hills are high and the air thin). They are constructing a new bike trail parallel with the interstate and I rode that for a ways. Came to the ends and turned around. Should be great when they get it done.

Brenda had to go to the laundry mat as we do not have sewer service here.

After all the work, we headed into Golden (do like this town) and wandered the streets and looked for some refreshments and food. We found the Buffalo Rose, they were having live entertainment (blues) and we sat around and enjoyed the evening. It did rain on us but we were under cover on the patio.

Oh, while we were sitting there we received a text message that we are grandparents to a grandson – Amanda gave birth a week early, now to adjust the course our travels to get to Salt Lake City asap.

Sunday is off to Leadville, Colorado.

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