The idea for today’s adventure came from a friend who mentioned the Sports Authority Field at Mile High stadium gives tours to the public. I thought that is something different! Football is America’s favorite sport and there is always so much excitement here in Denver when the Broncos are playing. Having never been able to afford to go to a Broncos game, I figured the next best way to see this 14 year old stadium is through a guided tour. The Sports Authority stadium caters to other sporting events as well, such as the lacrosse team, occasional college football games, and most recently the Guinness International Champions Cup (soccer). I learned all sorts of interesting things about this stadium; some I think a devoted fan may not even know about.
Image courtesy of Sportsauthorityfieldatmilehigh.com
The first one: have you ever noticed the stadium is in the shape of a horseshoe? I didn’t! If you look at this picture, you can also see the older Mile High stadium before they tore it down in 2001. The new stadium allows for more space, but oddly enough there are the same amount of seats (about 76,000). They included more restaurants, bathrooms, and club level suites and they also wanted the seats to be as close to the field as possible.
The tour starts out in the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. There were a lot of interesting things in here, but I didn’t get much time to look around because the tour was starting. The tour started out with a chock-full of information about the history of the stadium. I learned it cost $400 million to build, which $300 million of it was paid for by the metro Denver area taxpayers. You’re welcome, Broncos!
Inside the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame
Lately I have been feeling in need of some cultural inspiration so I asked Ok Google, “What is the most popular museum in Denver?” Google told me it is the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, rightfully so, but I have already been there twice this year so I decided to go with the second most popular choice: The Denver Art Museum. Yikes. Art. Sounds like a snoozefest! But I figured it has to be the second most popular museum for a reason, so to Downtown Denver I went.
The building outside alone had my curiosity sparked. There were interesting sculptures, a bridge that connected two large buildings, and the architecture was unique as it was designed to resemble “geometric rock crystals”.
Anytime there is a Chihuly glass exhibition in town, people come swarming. And that was no exception this weekend at the Denver Botanic Gardens. If you aren’t familiar with Chihuly glass, the best way to describe it is: exquisite, large blown glass structures of various shapes and colors that almost look like their own species. It was hard being amazed with the urban oasis around me when the glass structures were so prevailing.
See what I mean? Just wow.
I learned lots of tips on this weekend’s adventure and I am eager to pass this information on to someone who hopefully will learn from me and enjoy it at it’s maximum enjoyment capacity. First of all, I am the type of person who will do something regardless if I have an adventure companion or not. I’d like to think I am independent and can enjoy doing things just as much by myself. I was completely wrong this time. There are so many interesting displays that I really missed having someone there to point things out to. So even if your friend complains, “Really, plants?” you should drag them along anyway.
Another tip is to go really early or much later in the day. I went at 2:00pm and it was so bright out and there were so many crowds of people that I didn’t get too many great pictures. And it was hot! When I left around 5:30pm, it was perfect for capturing vibrant pictures and there was a nice, cool breeze. The crowds were also dwindling down by that time. The park closes at 9:00pm so that should be plenty of time to peruse through the gardens. Also, don’t go on the weekend. (Unless you really have to!) At first I turned it into a game by finding the best way to dodge around people, but towards the end, I was getting really hot and annoyed. Especially when learning the person holding everyone else up along the path was because she couldn’t walk in her high-heels. (Tip: Don’t wear high-heels)
I was thrilled last weekend to finally venture for the first time to a couple of the most popular mountain towns in Colorado; Frisco and Breckenridge. They are located about 70-80 miles west of Denver and it took about an hour and 15 mins to get out there. I went on this trip with my main squeeze, Dylan, and we met with his family later and stayed in their condo for the night. The drive of course was scenic as cascades of water from the snowmelt poured down off the bedrock along the highway. I wish I was able to get a picture of the waterfalls, but they are those blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of moments.
Our first stop was in Frisco. Frisco is a charming town located next to Lake Dillion and it offers a lot of things to do nearby for the outdoor enthusiast both in the summer and the winter. There is a Main Street with bars, restaurants, and shops and things so we headed towards that area. When we got there, the streets were jam-packed with people and we could smell the aroma of smoked meat. As it turned out, there was a BBQ challenge taking place in which over 70 BBQers were competing to win the coveted title of “Grand Champion”. By the time we got there around 2:30pm, most of the popular meats had already been sold out. And no, they weren’t handing out free samples, unfortunately. They did, however, have a very entertaining New Orleans funky jazz band performing, called Rebirth Brass Band, whom I just discovered are 2012 Grammy winners.
It is officially summer and that means Denverites are finally able to abandon their dwellings they’ve spent their first half year avoiding bipolar climate conditions. Today was pleasantly warm so I decided to pack a lunch and bring Owen the Labrador with me on a hike that I’ve heard is beautiful and only about 45 minutes from Denver. If you have never been to Maxwell Falls, you need to! It is located in Conifer, a cute little ranch town, off of highway 285. The drive up was beautiful as you pass through the Red Rocks and other scenic forestry. I decided to go with the Upper Trailhead because I wanted to do the Cliff Trail Loop which is 3 miles round trip so I figured that would give me an adequate workout for the day and also hit all the major sites. The trailhead was not hard to find at all, as there is great signage and a very obvious parking lot.
The hike starts out beautifully with much lush greenery and you can hear the flow of the creek alongside as you walk along.