Day 43: Denver to Colorado Springs

A fairly grey and cool day with some light rain here and there. I won’t complain since I’ve had fantastic weather nearly every day on this trip. However, I understand that it’s supposed to rain non-stop all day tomorrow here in Colorado Springs. We’ll see if they got it right. If it’s ridiculous, I guess I’ll just start the trek home early. Well, not really early since I’m probably a day and half behind and have a LONG way to go.

I was glad I missed out on being back in NYC on 9/11. That’s always such a depressing day. I didn’t notice a minute of silence this morning in Denver if there was one. I avoided the news on the radio today, too. What more can be said really.

I found a fenced legit dog park in Denver today for the dogs to stretch out. Nik was delirious to be running again after being cooped up for a day and a half. Even Fixie, who’s been pretty bored and sulky lately, was happy to be doing tricks for cheese today. Grip is staying in shape retrieving — still very active and fit for an 11 year old. Grem saw some squirrels running around outside the fence and was busy trying to figure how to get at them. She finally got her body halfway under the fence and I quickly snagged her and hooked her up. I had a lot of other dog parks on my list today but skipped them when I read “natural barriers”. Yeah, right — like split rail fencing and brush would be enough to keep my hunters in. “Natural barriers” sounds more like “critter nesting areas” to me. I’ll be happy to be back home in Prospect Park where the squirrels know better than to come down from the trees before off-leash ends at 9am.

One disappointment — Lakeside Amusement Park was closed. Only open Fri-Sat-Sun and this was a Thursday. This is my second attempt (four years ago it was closed for the season). A lot of old neon, some funky rides and a carousel that I really wanted to see. Some day.

One surprise — I stopped at the Air Force Academy to hopefully see the interior of the Chapel. Last time, it was closed to the public on Sundays (I think that was the day). This time, there was majority security at the gate. They had to inspect the van while I took the dogs out. Asked lots of questions. In 2004, I just drove right in. Also, you had to park much further from the chapel. They almost didn’t let me in saying the visitor center closed 20 minutes ago and the chapel would therefore be closed. I begged to let me in to take exterior shots & they gave in to that. When I got there, the door was open! A couple people inside playing guitar and chatting. They didn’t question me so I grabbed my photos quickly. A breathtaking place — glad it worked out!

Time for the photos. Just about everything here was from Denver or suburbs unless otherwise noted. The Lakewood Heritage Center had some fun stuff (the diner and the barber shop appear at the Flickr stream tonight). The also had this neat sidewalk with representations of signs (most of them gone):












I’ve been seeing a lot of old Sinclair stations in CO. I think these pumps are old and have been retrofitted with new pump handles, etc. They have a real 1970s robot look to me. But maybe they are newer than that?













A contemporary sign but nicely done:









The Lakeside Amusement Park Tower, sigh — I’ll get into that place someday:













The former Federal Theatre. I’m not sure what it’s being used for now. Behind the Art Deco era marquee is evidence of a much older building:







I love the way this motel integrated the sign and building:










I don’t think I’ve been to a zoo in 15 years or more. I have a hard time supporting caged animals, etc. I know, I know, they’re deeply involved in conservation and all that now. But somehow, it’s still animals confined in small spaces with humans gawking. To the Denver Zoo’s credit, the place was very nice and I saw lots of personnel at the exhibits making copious observation notes about their animals. In my mad dash to the carousel that I just HAD to see and was the sole reason I reluctantly forked out the $12, I couldn’t help but take a quick glance around. All the animals seemed to be eating – which made me hungry.













These hornbills were grooming each other. I don’t know if it was a parent/child, husband/wife or just buddy/buddy thing:









These cheetahs seemed a bit unhappy to me. They were in a big, naturalistic enclosure but pacing back and forth all along the fencing. Maybe they pace in nature but I doubt it. Maybe they were just waiting for the delivery of dinner. I’ll reserve judgement since I really know nothing of cheetahs or zoos really.













I’m glad that there are places like this when the need arises (from Colorado Springs):






And, in closing, another bit of signage from Colorado Springs. This place was really busy — covered with paper signs and the bulbs and neon working nicely:

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