With splashy baseball stadia debuting in Houston, San Francisco and Seattle, Coors Field looks ever more elegantly understated. And so do the Rox, who rolled out several new uniforms this season. The team retired its boring gray road togs for ones with purple pinstripes that are equal parts color and class. An alternate home and road jersey, in deep purple, is as visually powerful as any Larry Walker blast to the upper decks. After last season's devastatingly ugly "21st century" jerseys, these new threads give hope that even if the Rockies can't pitch well, they can play with style.

Second-best name for the new football stadium

Qwest Stadium

Assuming we have to make peace with the fact that we're going to be whores about this, let's find us a good john. What better incentive than guilt? The state's Public Utility Commission will soon consider the proposed merger of Qwest and US West, and there ought to be plenty of complaints about local telephone service. So what about a creative settlement deal? Colorado officials approve the merger, Mile High becomes Qwest, and Qwest ponies up $100 million in taxpayer relief. Everybody goes home happy.

Readers' choice: John Elway Stadium/Mile High Stadium II

Second-best name for the new football stadium

Qwest Stadium

Assuming we have to make peace with the fact that we're going to be whores about this, let's find us a good john. What better incentive than guilt? The state's Public Utility Commission will soon consider the proposed merger of Qwest and US West, and there ought to be plenty of complaints about local telephone service. So what about a creative settlement deal? Colorado officials approve the merger, Mile High becomes Qwest, and Qwest ponies up $100 million in taxpayer relief. Everybody goes home happy.

Readers' choice: John Elway Stadium/Mile High Stadium II

Some people walk in and look at the Komodo dragons at the Denver Zoo and shrug, not realizing they may never again see lizards -- living dinosaurs with darting tongues and unblinking, beady eyes -- like this in a lifetime. It's the kids who know, though, and they're fascinated by the four monstrous Monitors, who rarely move but can cause quite a ruckus when they do. Eeek!
Some people walk in and look at the Komodo dragons at the Denver Zoo and shrug, not realizing they may never again see lizards -- living dinosaurs with darting tongues and unblinking, beady eyes -- like this in a lifetime. It's the kids who know, though, and they're fascinated by the four monstrous Monitors, who rarely move but can cause quite a ruckus when they do. Eeek!
You don't bump into a sauropod every day, which makes this monster discovery, made by Denver Museum of Natural History volunteer Billy Kinneer during a 1997 museum-led excavation in the Cedar Mountain Formation near Arches National Monument in Utah, all the more extraordinary. Though the remains sadly lacked a skull, Kinneer found enough bones to establish the 120-million-year-old skeleton as that of a previously undiscovered species with a giraffe-like stature, who apparently palled around the prehistoric canyonlands with such fetching playmates as Utahraptor and Gastonia. Written up officially earlier this year in a French journal, the suspected leaf-eater was named in tribute to late museum volunteer Carol Weiskopf.

You don't bump into a sauropod every day, which makes this monster discovery, made by Denver Museum of Natural History volunteer Billy Kinneer during a 1997 museum-led excavation in the Cedar Mountain Formation near Arches National Monument in Utah, all the more extraordinary. Though the remains sadly lacked a skull, Kinneer found enough bones to establish the 120-million-year-old skeleton as that of a previously undiscovered species with a giraffe-like stature, who apparently palled around the prehistoric canyonlands with such fetching playmates as Utahraptor and Gastonia. Written up officially earlier this year in a French journal, the suspected leaf-eater was named in tribute to late museum volunteer Carol Weiskopf.

The sign at the parking lot calls Stevens Grove a "picnic area," but "paradise" would be more like it -- at least as far as dogs are concerned. Below the Chatfield Dam, trails wind lazily beneath groves of grand old cottonwoods around a couple of gentle ponds, with plenty of sandy spots that are perfect for beach romping, kong fetching and dog paddling out to the cattails. A field stretches out to the west of the ponds, its hardy sage, buffalo grass and milkweed unfazed by packs of flying-disc chasers. It's not a bad place for humans (or, if you're from Boulder, "pet guardians"), either: The mountain backdrop makes for dramatic sunsets, and nobody minds when a stranger's wet dog shakes off at their feet -- everyone's friendly in that anonymous way, where you know the names of all the dogs and none of the people. Just don't wear white.

The sign at the parking lot calls Stevens Grove a "picnic area," but "paradise" would be more like it -- at least as far as dogs are concerned. Below the Chatfield Dam, trails wind lazily beneath groves of grand old cottonwoods around a couple of gentle ponds, with plenty of sandy spots that are perfect for beach romping, kong fetching and dog paddling out to the cattails. A field stretches out to the west of the ponds, its hardy sage, buffalo grass and milkweed unfazed by packs of flying-disc chasers. It's not a bad place for humans (or, if you're from Boulder, "pet guardians"), either: The mountain backdrop makes for dramatic sunsets, and nobody minds when a stranger's wet dog shakes off at their feet -- everyone's friendly in that anonymous way, where you know the names of all the dogs and none of the people. Just don't wear white.

Chatfield State Park
There are plenty of lakes and wetlands around the metro area where you can watch birds, but Chatfield State Park is still the biggest, best place to see the most varied array of feathered friends. Watchers have recorded more than 300 kinds of birds there, from migrating loons, hawks and warblers to rare tanagers and thrashers to the permanent residents like house finches and red-winged blackbirds. "People get real excited about some of these," says Ann Bonnell, a volunteer with the Audubon Society of Greater Denver, adding that Chatfield has "real diversity because it's on a migratory crossroads." And now that the Audubon Society has moved into temporary digs there (before it moves into a more permanent facility later), the baffled birdwatcher can sign up for a walking tour or a class to learn the difference between a sparrow and a swallow.

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