Day 14: Done with Denver (part 4)

Another good weather day.  I tidied up the remaining things I had to shoot in Denver.  Very time-consuming stuff with traffic, one-way streets, and construction.  But… done!  Although I’ve been here before, I really got to dig in this time.   I easily have more than 500 shots from Denver alone to add to the website this fall.  Or winter.  I’m serious backed up at this point.

The dogs got some grassy parks in the morning.  A somewhat scary fast-moving river later.  And an incredible undeveloped area — maybe 50 acres? — with hundreds, if not thousands of prairie dogs.  Since it was somewhat fenced, and I knew there was not a chance of my dogs catching anything, I let them rip.  The prairie dogs were unfazed — chattering away and popping just underground when the dogs got close.   An “after” shot:


A few more of the “lesser” signs on Colfax — I’m already feeling nostalgic:


This was not my finest work.  I had crammed way too much onto the map — but it all worked out okay.  I cross stuff off as I shoot things so I’m sure not to miss anything.  There’s also the “list” that goes with the maps that plots things out in order of the most efficient route.  Also check things off there so as to not miss anything.  If you’re curious about the madness of my methods, click on the link at the righthand column of pages for “how-to plan a roadtrip”.


This statue is at the Denver International Airport — which is way, way far away from the city.  Truly one of the most hideous and inaccurate statues I’ve ever seen.  Huge, too.  There’s no way you can even approach it – which is pretty poor planning & placement.  You have to pull over on the superhighway on the left hand side and pray you don’t get a ticket for doing so — and don’t get into an accident pulling back out.


In Littleton, I found what must be one of the oldest Taco Houses:


More rabbits!  This one in Greenwood Village.  Practically tame.  He/she let me get about five feet away and didn’t look the slightest bit worried.  I’m glad the dogs were far away in the van.

I ended the day at Lakeside Amusement Park in Denver.  Every time I’d been to Denver before it was off-season and closed.  So I was determined to get there finally.    This time of year, it doesn’t open til 6pm on weekdays.  But that was just as well since I wanted to see stuff by day and the neon at night.  I think dusk is actually the best time to shoot since you still get shapes and lighting and silhouettes of people, etc.

First, a couple of the vintage ticket booths:




And there are lots of fun rides, of course.  This is not the crazy Six Flags type place with gigantic, high-tech coasters & all that.  It’s truly a vintage, fun, nostalgic, old-fashioned park.  Everybody was having a great time.  I’ll include one ride shot — I’m partial to rockets & spaceships:



And now for some neon and ambiance:



And so.  Lakeside was the perfect way to bid farewell to Denver.  Tomorrow, it’s on to Boulder and eventually south to (or near) Colorado Springs.

10 thoughts on “Day 14: Done with Denver (part 4)

  1. Terrific day of shooting! omg, is that a bird on the mane of the blue horse? That gives one the scale…huge indeed. I guess it’s for the NFL team . Kind of looks possessed lol!

    the night time shots are particulally good !

  2. That horse statue is truly hideous (IMHO) and I had to scroll back up after Paper Doll pointed out the bird that I missed the first time. Yikes that horse is huge!

    On the other hand- I’m completely swooning over Lakeside Amusement Park – what a sweet little place, and I love the neon and the fonts, the old timey rides etc. Retro Roadmap here it comes!

    As an aside, I can relate to your weather woes- I decided yesterday that I would shelve my Saturday chores and go out Retro Roadmapping, and have awoken to a grey and gloomy morning. No fairsies! Hoping it burns off.

    Continued safe travels DJS!
    Mod B

    • Oh yes — Lakeside is just a wonderful place. They open at noon on weekends. Mobbed with people I’m sure all the time so hard to get shots.

      I should mention that I have heard that they are not photographer-friendly. They’re worried about folks making a buck over their place. So I took heed to the warning and shot pretty much like I always do: FAST without much fuss. When I asked the attendant at the carousel if I could take some photos (it was closed for structural repairs), she said “let me see your camera” — and knowing obviously not much about cameras, with the lens scrolled in tightly, she said “hmm. I guess it’s ok. Did you register it when you came in?” Huh, what? But she let me go. I was looking over my shoulder the whole time but didn’t have a problem.

  3. What highway has the best overall vintage stuff still left(motels, eateries, gas stns) ? Sounds like Colfax ranks up there?

    • Well, Colfax is the longest street in America or something like that. It’s old Highway 40 so it’s like big city Main Street. Fun stuff remains but LOTS has been lost and continues to deteriorate. Colfax used to be neon nirvana — not so anymore. So yes, loads of stuff (signs, batwing Sinclair stations, some restaurants) all the way from Lakewood to Aurora. That’s about 17 miles. So yes, you can just drive one end to the other of Colfax — but I would suggest doing much more than that. Probably only 10% of the photos I took of Denver were on Colfax. Lots of great stuff on Broadway and elsewhere. I recommend putting together a list of stuff and make a map so you can maximize the number of stops & not miss great stuff.

    • Lakeside is truly special. I can’t think of any other parks that compare. Not that I’m a big amusement park go-er myself — but I wind up going to a lot of them just to shoot carousels and kiddie rides.

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