Greetings from Denver, Colorado!

So I just returned from a Department of Labor conference in Denver, Colorado.  I tacked on a day at the end to do some hiking.  All-in-all it was quite successful.

After arriving, I took a stroll over to the state capitol.  It’s blue.  That was a bit surprising to me until I remembered that ours is pink.  All told, the Texas capitol grounds take up roughly four city blocks; the Colorado capitol and environs are downright cozy in comparison.  And there was a lot of construction going on there, but a nice building.

Colorado Capitol Building - Jul 14

Colorado Capitol Building – Denver, Colorado – July 2014

The hotel was around the corner from Denver’s 16th Street Pedestrian Mall, so I took my meals there.  The exception was dinner that I had at Row Fourteen Bistro and Wine Bar by the Convention Center.  Best meal I had in Denver.  The Bison Bolognese was fantastic!

Other than Row Fourteen, I ended up eating at Marlowe’s on the pedestrian mall.  Here’s some sights from their patio.

 

Rosemary Rickey - Marlowe's - Denver, Colorado - July 2014

Rosemary Rickey – Marlowe’s – Denver, Colorado – July 2014

 

Blackberry Old Fashioned

Blackberry Old Fashioned – Marlowe’s – Denver, Colorado, July 2014

Steak Frites - Jul 14

Steak Frites – Marlowe’s – Denver, Colorado, July 2014

Hari Khrishnas - Jul 14

Dinner Floor Show – Marlowe’s – Denver, Colorado, July 2014

On Friday after the conference concluded, I went hiking in O’Fallon Park near Evergreen.  It was an easy 30-minute drive from downtown Denver.  It’s located in the front range of the Rockies and has several trails you can hike.  I did the Meadow View Loop, the West Ridge Loop, and part of the Bear Creek Trail – about 7 miles altogether.  This is a real gem in Denver; I hope I have the opportunity to go back.

Vista - Jul 14

Vista – O’Fallon Park, Evergreen, Colorado, July 2014

Aspens1 Jul 14

Aspen Grove – O’Fallon Park, Evergreen, Colorado, July 2014

Mule Deer - Jul 14

Mule Deer – O’Fallon Park, Evergreen, Colorado, July 2014

Meadow1 - Jul 14

Meadow – O’Fallon Park, Evergreen, Colorado, July 2014

Snow Caps

Snow Caps – O’Fallon Park, Evergreen, Colorado, July 2014

River - Jul 14

Bear Creek – O’Fallon Park, Evergreen, Colorado, July 2014

Bee Balm - Jul 14

Bee Balm – O’Fallon Park, Evergreen, Colorado, July 2014

Cactus - Jul 14

Cactus – O’Fallon Park, Evergreen, Colorado, July 2014

Thistle Flower - Jul 14

Thistle Flower – O’Fallon Park, Evergreen, Colorado, July 2014

Meadow - Jul 14

Wild Flowers – O’Fallon Park, Evergreen, Colorado, July 2014

On Saturday, I spent the day at Castlewood Canyon State Park near Franktown, Colorado.  Since this is away from the mountains, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it has a lot of diversity.  It reminds me of Enchanted Rock here in the Hill County.  There were a lot of people, but it was easy enough to find some solitude on the more challenging trails.  I did the Dam, Homestead, Inner Canyon, Lake Gulch, and Rimrock trails – about 13 miles in all.

Canyon Vista

View – Castlewood Canyon State Park, Franktown, Colorado, July 2014

Creek

Creek – Castlewood Canyon State Park, Franktown, Colorado, July 2014

Dam

Ruins of Castlewood Dam (1890) – Castlewood Canyon State Park, Franktown, Colorado, July 2014

Gnarled Tree - Jul 14

Gnarled Tree – Castlewood Canyon State Park, Franktown, Colorado, July 2014

Lupines - Jul 14

Lupines – Castlewood Canyon State Park, Franktown, Colorado, July 2014

Tree Growing in Rock - Jul 14

Tree in Rock – Castlewood Canyon State Park, Franktown, Colorado, July 2014

Tree Roots - Jul 14

Pine Tree Roots – Castlewood Canyon State Park, Franktown, Colorado, July 2014

Water Fall - Jul 14

Waterfall – Castlewood Canyon State Park, Franktown, Colorado, July 2014

White Flower - Jul 14

Wild Flower – Castlewood Canyon State Park, Franktown, Colorado, July 2014