Thursday, June 19, 1986
Picked up Kent at BIF at 15:45 and drove to the airport for a 16:57 flight to Chicago. The plane was to be 20 minutes late. Heard a “Mello Cleanah” being paged and wondered if it was a name or profession. Later saw a kid with a Mello Cleaning Co. uniform.
We took off a half hour late. On this United flight we had headphones and a snack. Arrived in Chicago at 18:40, 19:40 local time, which was 40 minutes late. Our 19:00 flight to Denver left a half hour late. We had seats 18E & F, but they weren’t by the window, they were in the middle of the center row on a wide body DC-10! Headphones again, and dinner. Arrived 10 minutes late at 20:40, 22:40 our time! Mike and Ryan were there to meet us, and drove us downtown to the Radisson Hotel. We checked in and took the mirrored elevator to our room on the 19th floor. Had a soda, showered, added Colorado to our list, and fell asleep.
Friday, June 20, 1986
Awake at 7:00, but it was 5:00 local time! Got up at the local 7:00, and looked out our window to see snow-capped mountains on the horizon.
|View of mountains from the hotel|
Walked down to the 16th Street pedestrian mall running the length of downtown. Nicely landscaped with buses passing frequently. Free shuttle service with stops at every corner using special buses by MCR-Vetter with the driver on the right side and a carpeted over engine behind him. Sort of like an airport shuttle bus, but with plastic bucket seats. We stopped at Goldie’s Deli to buy muffins and juice or coffee, and ate breakfast sitting on a bench on the mall. A couple girls came to sell us their Awake magazine for 20 cents. Kent bought one, and we found there are no more free Watchtowers! We continued down the mall, seeing bag people, and one guy with a shopping cart full of bags, plus others tied to hang off the sides. A line of people tailor-sitting waited at a Ticketron-type place. Most of the women wore sneakers to work. We saw a tower building that had three windows squared with a clock on top, juxtaposed to the mall. We entered the Tabor Center, a greenhouse-looking shopping mall with exclusive shops and an area of ethnic fast food.
|Tabor Center clock|
|Colorado State Capitol|
|16th Street mall with RTD bus ticket automat|
|RTD bus stop and bus|
We went to the Blue Bonnet Café for lunch. We had a short wait to be seated for our Mexican meal. I ordered El Burro, which turned out to be a huge beef and bean burrito covered with an eye-watering salsa. Kent had a combination with a burrito, a guacamole taco, and enchilada. Plus the usual nachos and salsa, and iced tea. Mike had a special, and Ryan had a burrito and fries! We stopped by the hotel to drop off the liquor. Then headed to the mountains.
We could see storm clouds with rain and lightning in the distance. Suddenly we were in a storm ourselves, and torrents of water came down. The road became a momentary river, but then it was over. I jokingly asked if we could see the Silver Bullet from the Coors beer commercials, and Mike pointed out the brewery in Golden, Co. We took the highway to Clear Creek Canyon and followed that up right into the mountains. Clear Creek was the site of the first true gold rush in 1859. Wonderful scenery. You could see the out-takings of several mines, even up the hillsides. You spotted the out-takings before the hole of the mine. A few are still in operation, and a few are tourist traps. We ended up in a parking lot high above Central City and walked down into town. Passed an old steam locomotive.
|Opera House steps|
|Tamiko & Kent (photo by Mike)|
|View down on Central City|
|Ryan and Tamiko (KSS)|
|Remnants of a mine|
|Confluence of streams at a "rest stop"|
|Alpine Garden view|
|Kent, Mike, and Ryan in the Alpine Garden|
I had a bloody-nose feeling and Kent had a headache; effects of the high altitude. We were at 20,000 feet. We decided to head back to Denver. We passed Buffalo Bill’s grave, a Mother Cabrini Shrine, and the flying saucer-shaped house on a hilltop that was used in the movie “Sleeper.”
It was 18:00 when we were dropped off at the hotel. After Kent took care of some business, we walked down to the Tabor Center for dinner. Kent had a Greek falafel pocket and I wanted a quiche, but the line was too long. There was no line at the Japanese booth, but the girl had to cook too, so I still had a long wait. After window shopping, we went to check out The Larimar restaurant to which Kent was sending some business colleagues. He also asked a guy at a shoeshine stand where Off Larimar was located, as someone had just asked about that place, too. After checking that out, we walked along 15th Street to the hotel. A little seedier than 16th Street!