Downhill slope: The Silver Plume Saloon

If you leave Loveland when the lifts grind to their halt for the day, then you might be able to sneak back into Denver just before the main brunt of rush hour. But not if you stop for beers at the Silver Plume Saloon. 

There's no one at "The Plume" but the two of us and a guy who's working simultaneously as a prep cook and a bartender. We order PBR drafts -- $1.50 during this lonely happy hour -- and I take a look around as I drink. Signs and stickers read "If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains, then you're lucky enough" and "Relax, you're here" and "I [heart] Head."

The barstools and tables and chairs are a mishmash from numerous eras as is the building itself, with century-old remnants like the ornate back bar and several layers of quizzical architectural history. On an exploratory loop, I check out the rocing chair by the fireplace, the cavernous back room (featuring a stage and a pool table), and the back patio, as well as the old melon crates of classic-rock vinyl and the fist-hole on the men's room door that may well bear the signature of Puff Daddy.

A couple of old guys come in and grab seats at the far side of the bar. "It's just us," they announce to the bartender as he brings them the usual.

Glasses empty, we leave and head towards I-70. I leave you with one final question: Who the fuck is tagging the stop signs in Silver Plume?

Silver Plume Saloon,  510 Main St., Silver Plume, 303-569-2553.

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