Downhill slope: The West Winds TavernEXPAND
Photo by Eric Peterson

Downhill slope: The West Winds Tavern

A dry goods shop in the 1880s and a saloon since 1907, the West Winds Tavern in Idaho Springs is a longtime locals' joint that's not unfriendly to outsiders, at least not as unfriendly as the Pagosa Bar. Looking a cross between a log cabin and a cave, there are pool tables and graybeards galore.

Other odd touches catch my eye as I savor my apres-Loveland PBR draft: a Homer Simpson doll riding a dildo behind the bar and murals of buoffant-topped rockabilly chicks on the wall, their faces obscured by Halloween masks in February.

Dr. Phil is on the TV and no music plays on the jukebox, an somewhat disconcerting combination.

"I'm kind of a hermit," says a guy down the bar.

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