Friday, September 16, 2011


After spending most of our time so far in the in the mountains, it was time to head for the flatlands and spend some time in the city.  We have been staying at Clear Creek RV Park, owned and operated by the city of Golden while exploring the Denver area.  Clear Creek flows though the center of the city and has been developed into a whitewater park.  From our RV we can watch both kids and adults float down the river.  The river has been re-engineered by the placement of rocks to maximize the thrill of floating down the rapids.  The creek is also the venue for kayak races at times of high water.

Along the river walkway and in town are numerous sculptures of a wide verity of subjects.  This is just a small example of them.  It's a great place for a stroll, bike ride or a power walk.

We spent sometime in Denver, touring the US Mint and the State Capitol.  The mint tour was just ok, but we really didn't get to see too much of the operation.  At the State Capitol after passing through security you are pretty much on your own, free to wander around exploring the house and senate chambers, hearing rooms and up into the dome.   With the legislature out of secession, the place was pretty empty.

As a fan of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network we sometimes like to look up one of the restaurants featured on the show and enjoy a meal.  In Denver we had six places to choose from and decided on Stubens in Uptown.  So we walked from downtown to Uptown and put our name of the waiting list.  If a restaurant on the show wasn't busy before being spotlighted on the show, it will be afterwards.  Stubens is in a converted gas station/garage, was packed during the lunch hour.  Luckily we didn't have to wait too long and we were soon seated in the outdoor patio.  Here's the episode featuring Stubens,

Cathie had the Philly Cheese Steak which was huge, while I opted for the Cayenne Etouffee with crawfish, shrimp, andouille and dirty rice.  The walk uptown and the wait were worth every minute.  The food was delicous and filling.

Since we're not burning calories by hiking in the mountains, a bike ride was in order.  The Denver area has over 500 miles of desinated bike trails which are paved and seperated from roadways.   As an example you can ride from Golden into downtown Denver, a distance of 27 miles, without riding on a street or road.  I didn't make it all the way to downtown, but managed a 36 mile round trip on the Clear Creek Trail.  For the most part thet trail stays in desiginated open space parks from Golden to the Platte River.  The Denver area governments have really invested in these bike paths as they are well marked and maintained.

If you are in Golden, you have to take Coors Brewery Tour.  Your are picked up in a company bus from a central parking lot and taken onto the factory grounds.  After your ID is checked to make sure you can sample the product, you are given a audio guide for the self guided tour.  You see just some of the operation, but the audio guide explains the whole process.  Of course the best part of the tour for most is when you get the free samples.  Coors limits the amount you can drink to 3 tall glasses!  Since I don't like beer it was not an issue, but for some, 3 glasses just might put you over the legal limit.  As we left I half expected to see the local police waiting to make a couple of DUI arrests.

Oh yeah, Coors makes a big deal about the water used in the making of their beer. The water comes from Clear Creek which flows from the Rocky Mountains. Clear Creek is not really very clear, and while we were camping next to it, we watched people swimming, rafting, gold panning and wading in the creek. In addition, just about every one allows their dog to swim in the "Pure Rocky Mountain Waters", up stream from Coors Brewery.

No comments: