Saturday, June 21, 1986
Today we met Mike and Ryan at 8:30, and together we took the free bus down the 16th Street mall to Champs Street. We walked over to 18th Street to LaPeep, a big brunch restaurant. I had a skillet breakfast with home fries covered with steamed zucchini, onion, mushrooms and peas in a melted cheddar cheese, and topped with two fried eggs. Very good. Kent had a Spanish omelet with a spicy hot salsa. Ryan had blueberry pancakes, which were in a pile with blueberry sauce poured over it, and whipped cream in a circle around; looked like a pie. We walked back to 16th Street and caught the shuttle back to the hotel. We got Mike’s car and headed off into the mountains again. We took US 70 and worked our way into the Rockies, going through the Eisenhower Tunnel that is 1-1/2 miles long. The tunnel cut through the Continental Divide, so all the water flowed west once we got through. We drove through the mining town of Dillon, now a resort area in a wide flat glacial valley. Noted the many bicyclers on the bike paths. We continued on to Breckenridge, which looked like a ski resort town. Through other mining towns, then stopped at a junction for drinks and ice cream for Kent. In the general store, Kent saw a fishing bell and wondered what it was for. The proprietor explained that you set up your fishing pole, attached the bell on it, then you can fall asleep!
Next we went to Hoosier Pass, where we parked and put on sweaters (it was breezy) to take a hike. We followed a dirt road up to the tree line. It was a chore, as Kent got his headache, and I got my pinched feeling in the bridge of my nose again. But the scenery was fantastic as we headed up towards snow!
|Mount Hoosier Pass|
|Kent and Ryan|
|Mount Hoosier Pass snowbank|
Magnificent views into the valley. Even Mike could feel the altitude; not enough oxygen in the air to let his contact lenses breathe. We crossed a ridge and found some snow where Mike slid down on his bottom. I had to change film, and the last of my sprockets broke off. I had to figure a way to thread in new film. Found a piece of Scotch tape that did the trick. The boys have been able to use nature’s restroom. At one point they found a man-made one for me. We followed alongside a stream for a ways, and came to a stream junction.
We had been snacking on Japanese crackers, and dried corn and peas. When we got back to the car, Kent and Mike sneaked a gummy bear snack in the front seat.
Kent and Ryan fell asleep as we drove back down the mountain, passing Alpine pastures, then the plains to head north to Denver. Passed near Red Rocks, but couldn’t see the Amphitheater. We again passed Buffalo Bill’s grave, etc.
Stopped at a grocery store to purchase ingredients for dinner and went to Mike’s house that he shares with two apparent slobs. Ryan gave me a complete tour of the house while Kent and Mike called their parents. We made and ate dinner of grilled steaks, with salad and iced tea. After cleaning up, Mike drove us back to the hotel.
After Kent had a nap, we took the bus down the 16th Street pedestrian mall. Found a Haagen Dasz ice cream place on 15th Street. Near the Tabor Center, there were a lot of punks and street musicians. Also horse-drawn carriages. Took the shuttle bus back to the hotel.
Sunday, June 22, 1986
We went to look for breakfast at 8:30, but nothing was open. We ran out of time as we had to meet Mike at 9:15. He drove us to a Burger King for a quick bite, then headed towards the airport. I had thought the plan was to go to the Denver Museum of Natural History and see a movie on the giant IMAX screen, then after lunch we would go to the botanical garden. Instead we headed to the Denver Botanic Gardens, and sat in the parking lot to sit and wait. I was totally in the dark, until Mike told us to go in ahead with Ryan, while he waited for his girlfriend, Beth. Aha!
|Denver Botanic Gardens map|
|Oenothera howardii/Howard's Evening Primrose|
|Gypsophila sp/Baby's Breath|
|House in the neighborhood|
|Ryan helps Uncle Kent figure out|
they are in the Landscape Demo Garden
Kent and Ryan caught up with us at the Rock Alpine Garden which was very specific to different areas. We entered the Alpine House, with a few banks of high-altitude plants, but no edelweiss!
|Four Towers Fountain|
|Water lily pool|
|Tropical Garden pool shadows|
|Kent and Ryan in the conservatory|
We left the gardens and Beth followed in her car to have lunch at Zack’s. They were having a private party today, so we went to the classy Racine’s. Had a spacious corner booth and paintings on the wall were available for purchase for $1,800-$2,000! Mostly landscapes. Ryan had brunch, more blueberry pancakes. Kent had a club sandwich and I had the three-cheese grilled sandwich with a dill pickle and fries. Kent had pasta salad with his meal. Mike had a California omelet, and Beth had a spinach salad. Beth then had to go to work, and the rest of us went to the tremendous City Park. Found our way to the Museum of Natural History, where Mike bought an annual membership and I went as his guest.
|Museum of Natural History ticket|
Kent needed to get to work, so we left at that point. Outside the museum Kent was caught hugging a woman in public, and a girl “fined” him a donation to a meals program. She asked for $3 and Kent complied.
Mike dropped us off at the hotel. We readied for dinner with the president of BIF and sales reps, and their wives. Cocktails were to be served in the hospitality suite at 17:00. At 18:30 they would leave for dinner at the Wellshire Inn. I joined the crowd later in the suite to be introduced to key people, and then we were divided up for rides to the restaurant. We went with an elderly couple from Los Angeles. Arrived at the Tudor-style restaurant set in a golf course and were taken upstairs to a private dining room holding about 25 people at three round tables. The sun was shining directly into the faces of some people, so Kent went to troubleshoot with the femme maître d’, and she brought in shades that had to be thumb-tacked over the windows. White and red wine was served along with ice water. Rolls and butter in the table were passed around when the salads came. There were bowls of French dressing on the table. Our pre-ordered entrées (choice of steak or chicken) arrived, Chicken Oscar that was surprisingly good; a chicken breast stuffed with crabmeat. It came with rice pilaf and carrots ‘n’ peas. Dessert was a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a chocolate g-clef on it. Coffee was offered. There was a little talk, but things broke up fairly early. Some folks were still suffering from jet lag, or altitude. Kent signed for the dinner bill, about $800! We were driven back to the hotel.
Monday, June 23, 1986We took the 16th Street bus down to Lawrence Street to Bear Buns for breakfast, getting the $1.25 cinnamon rolls. They were hot from the oven and huge; six inches across and 2 inches thick! The sweet icing was globbed on top. I could only eat 2/3 of the bun. After we returned to the hotel, Kent had business, and I walked over to the Civic Center to get photos of the Art Museum and the U.S. Mint.
|Denver Art Museum|
I returned to the hotel, and Kent and I got off different elevators at the same time in our floor!We took the bus down to Lawrence Street again, but this time turned right to 19th Street to find Sakura Square, a commercial shopping building with import type stores. This area is supposedly the center of Japanese culture in Denver, but the neighborhood didn’t look any different.