Life is too short, and any chance to spend time with our kids is special. We intentionally landed in the Denver area this past week to be with our son, Ian and his partner, Adam to explore and celebrate Ian’s 30th birthday. It was oh so much fun, and went by all too quickly.
Golden and Clear Creek
Brad and I landed in Golden, staying at the Clear Creek RV park, a quaint campground along the banks of Clear Creek right in our back yard. The small park is run by the City of Golden, and sits at the dead-end of 10th Street, an easy half-mile walk to the adorable town of Golden, and the infamous Coors Brewing Company.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to take the brewery tour or even take in the Holidaily Brewing Company (all gluten-free for those of us intolerant!) during our visit. Next time.
The photo below is of the walking/biking path that surrounds and winds through Golden. The path offers 24 miles of quiet beauty, from prairie grasslands to mountain views. Much of the path winds along Clear Creek. We spotted the Bighorn sheep off of Welch Ditch trail, a short hike that is primarily a climbers access point.
Ian and Adam joined us for dinner at the Sherpa House in Golden. Word of warning: medium Masala is hot!
Our adventures in Denver included two places Ian had yet to visit, and a deli that is a regular-go-to.
When I discovered that Margaret Brown, otherwise known as The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and her husband, J.J. bought and lived in this magnificent home in downtown Denver, I just had to go. Although Margaret is famous for having survived the Titanic sinking, her life story is filled with many chapters of adventure and experiences as a suffragist, philanthropist, and actress. It was a thrill to explore their family home, together, as a family.
The self-guided tour was interesting, but the museum’s website is a researcher’s dream. I loved this quote I found, which I think sums up Margaret’s life and my personal philosophy perfectly:
“I am a daughter of adventure. This means I never experience a dull moment and must be prepared for any eventuality. I never know when I may go up in an airplane and come down with a crash, or go motoring and climb a pole, or go off for a walk in the twilight and return all mussed up in an ambulance. That’s my arc, as the astrologers would say. It’s a good one too, for a person who had rather make a snap-out than a fade-out of life.”
-Margaret Brown, aka The Unsinkable Molly Brown, as told to the Denver Post, August 9, 1923
Ian, Brad and Adam in front of the Margaret Brown home, one of several Blackamoor sculptures in the home, with a note about the museum’s attempt to discern how to respectfully display and provide historical context to the pieces. Check out this informative article on this art here.
When I had the opportunity to join Ian and Adam for lunch while in Denver back in April, they treated me to the Levin Deli, Wine Bar and Bakery. The restaurant features delicious deli sandwiches, including gluten-free options for me. It was so fun to go back again and share this yummy spot with Brad too!
We had a great time exploring the beautiful History Colorado Center, which sadly, put the Ohio History Center to shame. Beautiful and informative displays and exhibitions, including a heart-wrenching account of the Sand Creek Massacre.
In 2000, letters were discovered in Denver, written by Captain Silas Soule, which reflected his refusal to participate in the massacre. The images brought forth in his writing brought tears, right on the heels of the Hamas terrorist acts in Israel.
On a lighter note, the exhibit, Winter Warriors, shared the stories of the 10th Mountain Division of World War II. The displays include touching mementos and photographs gifted to the museum from family members of the elite skiing veterans.
I was reminded of Ski Soldier: A World War II Biography, written by our Claire’s Day friend, Louise Borden. The story shares the account of Pete Siebert, who joined the 10th Mountain Division when he was just 18. Pete came back to the States severely wounded and questioning whether he would ever ski again. With the help of his fellow ski soldiers, Pete went on to not only hit the slopes again, but founded the ski resort in Vail.
Guanella Pass and Georgetown
Go back to the quote from Margaret Brown earlier in this post, and you’ll get a sense of what I was feeling as I drove the 22-mile Guanella Pass southwest of Denver. I was a little anxious about driving the pass, especially with the light snow that fell overnight. It didn’t help that several vehicles turned around right at the beginning, daunted by the steep roadway. But, I carried on as captain of this adventure, and our Jeep Grand Cherokee handled the tight curves and high embankments like a charm. I drove up and back (and up and back again) on the switchbacks, over the 11,669 pass to amazing views of Mount Blue Sky and Mount Bierstadt. The photo below is only half way up.