Cheyenne has not gone softly into the night. We got up early enough to visit the Cheyenne Botanic Garden before we got on the road. It is located north of the Capital – and what a good thing we decided to make the visit! It is part of a complex that includes a lake, community gardens, trails, playground and sports field, as well as a train museum. Thursday morning sure had a lot of activity humming around, even at 8:30AM. The squirrels are amazing tame and don’t hesitate to beg for food. There was one squirrel that made me feel very badly that I didn’t have anything to give him.
All told we spent about an hour walking about the gardens and the path around the lake. Finally, some REAL exercise! We also discovered that the neighborhoods north of the capital are pretty ritzy – a really nice section of town, and nothing like the sad impression you get when walking through the downtown area. Ironically, both are on the same side of the (railroad) tracks.
Littleton, Colorado is a suburb south of Denver, and it’s where my good friend Gale lives. Fortunately it is only a two hour drive from Cheyenne. It certainly felt like we passed through the looking glass when we headed south on I25. The scenery changed almost immediately (but not the fact the construction is on that road, too). Big sky country, but now with mountains in the backdrop. At first it was slow going because of the town traffic. But after it became more rural, the road opened up and away we flew down through Denver.
What a sight on the approach to Denver! It pops right up into the sky. In no time at all we had picked up Gale and were on the Metro Link to downtown Denver. The Metro is extremely convenient, with frequent trains. Once you’re downtown, there’s a free trolly that rides the 16th Street pedestrian mall. Can you guess that we visited the Capital Building? The Brown Palace Hotel is a very opulent place with a majestic feel to it. Very exclusive, I might add – and you have to call a year in advance to book a table for the Christmas Tea Service. I was happy just to look.
Wells Fargo has a small museum with coin and other artifacts from the stagecoach days. We also toured the interior museum at the Denver Federal Reserve Bank. By then we were starving, and had gotten on the trolly to check out the restaurant selection. We ended up at the Paramount Cafe, which touted 36 kinds of local beer, as well as originally serving as a theater in “the day”. The beer was good (Left Hand Milk Stout), the food nothing special. Guess you had to have a tattoo and spiked hair to appreciate it better. Still, my lamberger was good and the coleslaw was made with a lemon vinaigrette, so I can’t complain.
On the way home we stopped off at Tipsy’s, a mega liquor store, and bought some Colorado Native, my favorite Coors beer, which is only available in Colorado.
To say we were tired at the end of the day is an understatement. The Blue Moon was in full display, and quite the sight to see. We had fun visiting with Gale, and all too soon it was morning and time to get on the road again. Next we’re off to Albuquerque, a full seven and a half hour drive.