The Westword 2014 Denver Bucket List: #5-1
What are the hundred things everyone should do in Colorado before they die?
We've already shared Latest Word Bucket List picks 25-16 and 15-6. Now, here are the final five. Count them down below, and click to read the complete list, "100 things to do in Colorado before you kick it."
Buy a cowboy shirt at Rockmount Ranch Wear
Patriarch "Papa" Jack Weil opened Rockmount Ranch Wear nearly seventy years ago, down among the warehouses of what's now known as LoDo, on the edge of skid row and the buried roots of early Denver. He famously lived to 107, and continued to show up for work there until the end. Now led into the 21st century by third-generation Rockmount heir Steve Weil, this Western-wear corral has become a favorite of rock stars and celebrities, who show up for their close-ups in Rockmount's signature diamond-snapped, sawtooth-cut cowpoke regalia.
Here's a photo of the Arctic Monkeys at the shop with Steve....
...and here, Steve poses with Mark Knopfler:
But even regular folks can buy a Rockmount to call their own, from the same brick warehouse in the same old part of town.
Ride the 15/16 RTD bus routes -- all the way
Colfax Avenue, aka U.S. Highway 40, famous (or is that infamous?) for being the longest commercial street in the nation, is 26 miles of Colorado lore, from the rundown, neon-lighted motels that have welcomed tourists into Denver from both the East and the West for decades to the more recent clusters of artist communities and hipster hangouts stretched along its expanse. But you haven't known Colfax at its grittiest until you've cruised it by RTD bus, lurching from stop to stop with the hoi polloi, traveling from the edge of the plains at Chambers Road in Aurora to the blue foothills of Golden at Tenth and Washington.
Here are two more videos documenting a bus ride along Colfax:
Watch a Broncos game from the South Stands
Even during those years when the Broncos aren't nearly as good as they have been this season, it's no snap to get tickets -- and they're even harder to come by in the South Stands, where they're treasured by incredibly loyal fans who pass them down from generation to generation. No wonder, since being in the presence of this orange-and-blue crew is a lot like rooting alongside members of a family -- exuberant, passionate, occasionally insane members, granted, but family nonetheless. You'll never look at a Broncos game the same way again.
Here's a video tour of the stadium....
...and here's a clip featuring some prototypical South Stands excitement:
Join the Mile High Club -- without ever setting foot in a plane
To join the Mile High Club in most states, you need a plane ticket, a vacant bathroom and some serious moxie. In Colorado, all you need is a partner, and with that "Menver" nickname long since outdated, finding one isn't hard, no matter who you are. With an average elevation of 5,280 feet, much of Denver is fair game for high-altitude nookie -- but if you want to be precise about it, the city's official mile-high markers are a row of purple seats at Coors Field....
....and a plaque on the steps of the State Capitol....
Read the Thomas Hornsby Ferril poem at Confluence Park, where Denver got its start
Denver got its start when gold was found in the shallow Platte River, close to its confluence with Cherry Creek. Although that discovery was soon overshadowed by big strikes in the mountains, a tiny settlement sprang up along the banks of the two waterways in 1858, eventually turning into Denver.
Today, Confluence Park is one of this town's great amenities, a great place to go for a stroll, try out a kayak, or just watch kids frolic in water that no one would have dared venture into two decades ago.
And tucked away to the side is a plaque etched with this poem by longtime Denver poet laureate Thomas Hornsby Ferril:
Two rivers that were here before there was A city here still come together: one Is a mountain river flowing into the prairie; One is a prairie river flowing toward The mountains but feeling them and turning back The way some of the people who came here did. Most of the time these people hardly seemed To realize they wanted to be remembered, Because the mountains told them not to die. I wasn't here, yet I remember them, That first night long ago, those wagon people Who pushed aside enough of the cottonwoods To build our city where the blueness rested. They were with me, they told me afterward, When I stood on a splintered wooden viaduct Before it changed to steel and I to man. They told me while I stared down at the water: If you will stay we will not go away.
Click to read the complete list, "100 things to do in Colorado before you kick it."
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