Tag Archives: denver

Go to a Wonderbound Performance

April 30, 2017

I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d be getting into when I accepted an invitation to Wonderbound from my friend Tanya.  The performance was a pleasant and interesting experience.

Wonderbound is a dance group that performs contemporary dance along with live music while sticking to three fundamental values – community, collaboration, and creation.

This month’s performance took place at DU with the hip-hop band Flobots, from Denver.  The lead singers sang and rapped while dancers moved around the stage in modern ballet style.  For two songs, the group even included the audience which was very entertaining.  The collaboration explored the “struggles between personal identity, community, individual freedom and collective power.”

I didn’t really focus on the deeper meaning, but simply enjoyed the music, dance and atmosphere.  The performance was quite good.  I’d recommend seeing them at least once.  If tickets aren’t in the budget, go see them at an open door rehearsal.  https://wonderbound.com/ ETB

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Enjoy a Wind Symphony in Denver

April 8, 2017

Saturday some friends and I attended a Colorado Wind Ensemble Concert.  The CWE collaborated with the Rocky Mountain Brassworks to present a unique show.  The two orchestras sat on separate sides.  Directed by their respective conductor, each played their own pieces, while they played the opening and closing piece together.  Each them both played Moorside Suite separately, so the audience could hear the difference.  I really enjoyed listening to the variance.  We were able to sit very close to the front, so we could see the musicians in detail.

symphony

I’ve lived in Colorado just over five years now, I have not heard of the ensemble or the band.  The CWE is in its 35th season!  The ensemble maintains an artistic residency at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and plays a six-concert season at a variety of venues around Denver.  Saturday night’s symphony was performed at the King Center on the Auraria campus.  The Venue was quite nice with good acoustics.  The CWE plays one more symphony this year called Worlds Away on May 20, 2017.  The tickets range from $5-$15. 

The Rocky Mountain Brassworks was formed in 1974 as the Colorado Brass Band and only played a few times a year.  It became the Rocky Mountain Brassworks in 1978.  The band uses instruments from the saxhorn family which produce a mellow tone.  Different instruments are used or excluded.  The tenor horn replaces the french horn and trumpets are excluded.  The Rocky Mountain Brassworks has two upcoming concerts, May the 4th Be With You featuring the music of “Star Wars” on May 4, 2017 and the 6th Rocky Mountain Brass Band Festival on May 20, 2017.  Tickets range from $5-$15 as well.  http://www.rockymountainbrassworks.org

I tend prefer the wind symphony over the regular symphony, so I was excited to find this concert on Saturday night.  It is also a nice way to enjoy the symphony at a reasonable price.  ETB

Loved Eldorado Canyon State Park

March 10, 2016

Rattlesnake Gulch Trail
Location: Eldorado Canyon State Park
Fees: Day Use = $8, Annual = $70
Website: http://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/Parks/eldoradocanyon
Elevation: 6,000-7,200 feet
Distance: 4 miles roundtrip
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset daily

Today I joined a meetup group for a hike in Eldorado Canyon State Park. I just had to get out as I don’t think I have enjoyed such glorious weather on an early March day in Colorado. The temperature was nearing 70 degrees beneath bluebird skies!

What added to the lovely weather was this spectacular park. I was pleasantly surprised by the landscape surrounding Rattlesnake Gulch Trail. We followed the 1.4 mile trail up to the ruins of Crags Hotel which burned in 1912 after operating for only four years. It’s hard to imagine this park used to be a resort, but in the early 1900’s visitors arrived by train from Denver to enjoy the hotel which even had an incline railway to transport guests in and out of the canyon.

From the hotel ruins, we turned toward the left and continued our climb along the loop that leads up to the railroad tracks. The tracks pass through two tunnels on the ridge owned by Union Pacific Railroad and continues through the Moffat Tunnel beneath the Continental Divide. Technically, we were not supposed to hike all the way to the tracks, but they were easy to reach. We were just mindful of train traffic…none to speak of while we were there.

We circled the loop and detoured off the path in a few places to admire the snow-covered continental divide before we headed back down to the parking lot. The creek that ran along the road to the parking area was also lovely. I really liked this park…so much so, that two days later, David and I took Toby for hike in another area nearby the park. ETB

Click to access EldoradoAreaBrochure.pdf

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mountain goat keychain sideview

The Denver Zoo by Day and Frasca and Hotel Boulderado by Night

February 14-15, 2016

Denver Zoo
Address: City Park
Website: http://www.denverzoo.org
Hours of Operation: Winter Hours, 10-4 daily
Fees: Adults $13, Seniors $11, Children 3-11 $9, Children Under 2 – Free

Frasca
Address: 1738 Pearl St., Boulder, CO
Website: http://www.frascafoodandwine.com
Phone: 303-442-6966
Hours of Operation: Dinner Only, Closed Sunday

Hotel Boulderado
Address: 2115 13th St., Boulder, CO
Website: http://www.boulderado.com
Phone: 303-442-4344

For Valentine’s Day, we decided to do something different. After playing tennis at City Park, we stopped in at the zoo. We thought it would be nice to visit on an unseasonably warm day this winter. Loads of other folks thought the same thing, though with the sun behind the clouds, our 1.5 hour visit wasn’t as warm as we expected.

Neither David nor I are big zoo fans, but given it’s less than a mile from our house, and I haven’t been for the four years I lived nearby, I thought it was time. I believe the Denver Zoo focuses heavily on rescue animals like the rhinos without horns which is good. Having said that, I’d prefer animals to have a larger more natural habitat.

Our first stop was at the cafe for lunch. After that, we made a quick loop passing by mountain goats, lions, tigers, giraffes, monkeys, polar bears, grizzlies, peacocks, elephants, and more. Occasionally, we go indoors and enjoy the heat, and then we’d keep strolling.

After visiting the zoo, we headed to Boulder and checked into Hotel Boulderado which opened on New Year’s Day in 1909 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Little did I know, my distant cousin, Erin, was working at the front desk! It was fun to see her.

IMG_3882

We had an early dinner reservation at Frasca and enjoyed a lovely meal…scallops, lobster pasta, halibut, steak, and chocolate dessert. After dinner we stopped at the hotel bar for a night cap. It was a nice evening!

I thought I would have more pictures on Monday as we planned to enjoy the holiday snowshoeing near Nederland, but the snow was coming down sideways! Since I don’t like the cold, we skipped that and took a leisurely drive home. ETB

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Sunflowers website

Snowshoeing Fern Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

February 6, 2016

Fern Lake
Location: Rocky Mountain National Park
Fees: Day Use = $20, Weekly = $30, Annual = $50
Website: http://www.nps.gov/romo/index.htm
Elevation: 8,165-9,503 feet
Distance: 8-9 miles roundtrip

My friend Jim organized another snowshoe in Rocky Mountain National Park. He does so about every other week, and it is nice to be able to tag along. Our group of five met at the visitor’s center before entering the park around 8:30am. We were in the parking area and walking down the road to the trailhead around 9am.

To start our trek, we only needed our micro-spikes as the snow was somewhat packed down, but as we gained elevation the snow thickened. The last mile, from the falls to the lake, was somewhat steep as we switch-backed up the mountain. David led the way and toward the end had to break trail.

Eventually we arrived at the snow covered lake. The whipping wind directed us to a rock shelter for lunch as it was too cold to enjoy the lake view for more than a few minutes. Lunch didn’t last much longer. With our fingers and toes numb, we hustled down the mountain.

About half-way down, we warmed up. We got to some beautiful rock formations and decided to switch back to our micro-spikes as the snow didn’t seem that deep. We probably should have stuck with our snowshoes. The softening snow caused us to slip around the rest of the way down. Over all we enjoyed 8-9 miles of snowy exercise. It was nice to get outside in the sun, despite the wind! ETB

For David’s map and corresponding pictures, click here: map of our hike

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mountain goat keychain sideview

Snowshoe Butler’s Gulch

Butler’s Gulch
Location: Between Empire and Winter Park on 40
Fees: None

Useful Website:http://www.findhikingtrails.com/butler-gulch/

December 6, 2015

Today, David and I decided to snowshoe Butler’s Gulch. It is located off 40 between Empire and Winter Park. We left at 9am without any ski traffic so it was a nice quick trip, maybe 1-1.5 hours. Many cars were already at the parking location as the area is popular for back country skiing.

We parked on the side of the road and made the short walk to the trailhead. The first three quarters of the trail through the trees was packed snow, so we only needed our microspikes to climb 1,000 feet or so over the 2 miles. We enjoyed pleasant skies until we left the forest. Once we stopped for lunch out in the open the wind picked up.

There were several ski paths from our lunch area. We weren’t sure which to take to get to the old mining equipment. I was already chilled, and knowing that this hike is a “century” hike for wildflowers (meaning there are 100 kinds), I didn’t mind turning around. In fact, for some reason, in the winter I never mind turning around. I think it is because there are only trees and snow to see. Of course, the snow covered view is lovely, but I like all the different wildflower colors better!

So turning back after a nice snowshoe will only incentivize me to return in the summer to complete the trail, as normally I don’t like doing the same trail twice. I look forward to seeing all the wildflowers and the mining equipment in the summer!

20151206_141944 beth david

After our hike, we stopped in Empire. We’ve driven through the tiny town a dozen times, but have never stopped to investigate the five restaurants and two shops. The atmosphere at Lewis Sweet Shop looked the most eclectic from the outside. It didn’t disappoint. It offered burgers and sweets along with live music. It was fun!
ETB

Root for the Rockies!

August, 2015

The Rockies
Location: Coors Field, 300 Blake St., Denver, CO 80205
Website:http://colorado.rockies.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=col

Fees: $4 and up

While the Rockies are last in their division, it is still fun to enjoy one of America’s past-times, a baseball game at Coors Field, especially when ticket prices start at only $4. While the Rockpile perhaps isn’t the most comfortable seating with bleachers, it is generally out of the direct sun, so the weather is quite pleasant.

The stadium is nice with lots of options, and if you are willing to walk 10 blocks or so, the parking is free. Better yet, ride bikes to the stadium and grab a bite to eat at the surrounding restaurants for a fun night out! ETB

Play at PalletFest

August 30, 2015

PalletFest
Sculpture Park (Denver Performing Arts Complex)
Website: http://www.palletfest.com/

Fees: Free or $35 VIP tickets
Hours: Yearly, Saturday 10am-10pm, Sunday 10am-5pm

PalletFest is Colorado’s first Upcycling Festival. This yearly event took place at Denver Performing Arts Complex’s Sculpture Park the last weekend of August. While VIP tickets are available for $35, the festival may also be entered for FREE which is what I would recommend unless you would like several alcoholic beverages.

Vendors displayed all their products using materials that are sometimes considered trash like bottle caps and pallets. Bands played as festival goers walked on stilts, walked through a pallet maze, played cornhole and connect four with “upcycled products”, hula-hooped and burned initials in pallets.

It was fun to stop by for a few hours to try something new. ETB

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fall colors website

The Big Wonderful

August 29, 2015

The Big Wonderful
26th and Lawrence
Website: http://thebigwonderful.com/

Fees: $5 donation
Hours: Saturday 12:30-7:30

The Big Wonderful, located at 26th and Lawrence, is an outdoor market and beer garden in Denver, Colorado. It takes place every Saturday from 12:30 to 7:30 and features a variety of vendors and food trucks along with live music.

I rode my bike to the Big Wonderful and met some friends to peruse the venue. It was a warm day and toward the end of summer, so it wasn’t too crowded. In fact, it would probably be more fun on its opening day, as I don’t believe it runs all winter.

Regardless, we were able to get a snack and a drink and “window shop”. Pampaw offered tastings of their hot sauce which was quite good, and Pickett’s let us taste their ginger beer which can also be used for cooking. We only stayed a few hours as it was a quiet day, but for a $5 donation, it wasn’t a bad place to try something new. ETB

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maple leaf website