You've got three tons of urban assault vehicle strapped to your back, but it won't get you to your remote mountain sanctuary unless you know how to use it. In fact, it won't get you out of a snowy King Soopers parking lot, either, unless you learn how to handle it on slick roads. Enter Medved Autoplex, which sponsors an ice-driving academy for its new Hummer owners. This winter, thirty gasoline-powered H2s took laps around Georgetown Lake as their drivers dodged cones and practiced emergency braking maneuvers, learning that any four-wheel drive turns into four-wheel slide on ice, even if you did pay sixty grand for the beast.


If looking sharp helps you be sharp, the U.S. Mint Police are the cutting edge. In October, the 450-officer force received the Best Dressed Police Department Award in the specialized-agency category from the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors. The uniforms, designed by Galls Inc. of Lexington, Kentucky, come in LAPD Blue, with long- and short-sleeved versions that can be worn with a tie or a turtleneck. Check out the Denver Mint contingent -- serving, protecting and styling while the newest statehood quarters clank off the presses.
If looking sharp helps you be sharp, the U.S. Mint Police are the cutting edge. In October, the 450-officer force received the Best Dressed Police Department Award in the specialized-agency category from the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors. The uniforms, designed by Galls Inc. of Lexington, Kentucky, come in LAPD Blue, with long- and short-sleeved versions that can be worn with a tie or a turtleneck. Check out the Denver Mint contingent -- serving, protecting and styling while the newest statehood quarters clank off the presses.


The morel the merrier! This year, the U.S. Forest Service is anticipating an influx of nomadic hunter/gatherers to the Western Slope, all in search of the prized morel mushroom. The fabulous fungi thrive in soils where lodgepole and ponderosa pines have burned, and depending on the amount of moisture they receive in late spring, they could be popping up in enormous numbers by May. At retail prices ranging from $120 to $200 per pound, the bounty of the earth is sure to attract professional morel mavens. But before you pack up your digging sticks and sniffing hound, know that the area of the Hayman fire is not likely to produce much of a crop: It's too high and lacks the right kind of trees.
The morel the merrier! This year, the U.S. Forest Service is anticipating an influx of nomadic hunter/gatherers to the Western Slope, all in search of the prized morel mushroom. The fabulous fungi thrive in soils where lodgepole and ponderosa pines have burned, and depending on the amount of moisture they receive in late spring, they could be popping up in enormous numbers by May. At retail prices ranging from $120 to $200 per pound, the bounty of the earth is sure to attract professional morel mavens. But before you pack up your digging sticks and sniffing hound, know that the area of the Hayman fire is not likely to produce much of a crop: It's too high and lacks the right kind of trees.

Best Corral for Decommissioned Grocery-Store Penny Ponies

T.D. Rowe/ ACE Vending Company

They shoot horses, don't they? The mechanical ponies that grazed for pennies near grocery-store entrances may well be moving from threatened animals to full-blown endangered-species status. For decades, the brightly colored "equus plasticus" has been sufficiently attractive to compel tots to hop aboard for a slow rocking and their first real taste of sheer boredom. Now, as shopping has become our national obsession, most retailers have found that they need to get kids out of the foyer and into the aisles, where they can badger their parents to make purchases. And so many mechanical penny ponies have been put out to pasture. Just north of downtown, the creatures are corraled, nuzzle to hock, in a chain-link enclosed yard to wait out that awkward time between obsolescence and valuable Antiques Roadshow treasure. Bring a camera: They're just waiting to be shot.

Best Corral for Decommissioned Grocery-Store Penny Ponies

T.D. Rowe/ ACE Vending Company

They shoot horses, don't they? The mechanical ponies that grazed for pennies near grocery-store entrances may well be moving from threatened animals to full-blown endangered-species status. For decades, the brightly colored "equus plasticus" has been sufficiently attractive to compel tots to hop aboard for a slow rocking and their first real taste of sheer boredom. Now, as shopping has become our national obsession, most retailers have found that they need to get kids out of the foyer and into the aisles, where they can badger their parents to make purchases. And so many mechanical penny ponies have been put out to pasture. Just north of downtown, the creatures are corraled, nuzzle to hock, in a chain-link enclosed yard to wait out that awkward time between obsolescence and valuable Antiques Roadshow treasure. Bring a camera: They're just waiting to be shot.


"If you build it, they will come" is a hackneyed Hollywood phrase that's sunk deep into the American lexicon; apparently it served as the mantra of the optimistic developers behind Coyote Ridge at Strasburg. For all you agoraphobics and urban dwellers, Strasburg is a sleepy little hamlet 35 miles east of Denver on I-70, where Coyote Ridge boasts single-family homes starting in the $170s. The four sunny models -- the Sunset, the Twilight, the Daybreak and the Sunrise -- would fit right into the happy suburban confines of Highlands Ranch, Aurora or Broomfield. Except, of course, that these are in Strasburg (hit Limon and you've gone too far). If you're sick of T-Rex traffic, the brown cloud and 24-hour grocery stores, you may have a home in Coyote Ridge, Colorado's best far-out example of urban sprawl. Or is it just far out?
"If you build it, they will come" is a hackneyed Hollywood phrase that's sunk deep into the American lexicon; apparently it served as the mantra of the optimistic developers behind Coyote Ridge at Strasburg. For all you agoraphobics and urban dwellers, Strasburg is a sleepy little hamlet 35 miles east of Denver on I-70, where Coyote Ridge boasts single-family homes starting in the $170s. The four sunny models -- the Sunset, the Twilight, the Daybreak and the Sunrise -- would fit right into the happy suburban confines of Highlands Ranch, Aurora or Broomfield. Except, of course, that these are in Strasburg (hit Limon and you've gone too far). If you're sick of T-Rex traffic, the brown cloud and 24-hour grocery stores, you may have a home in Coyote Ridge, Colorado's best far-out example of urban sprawl. Or is it just far out?


Sure, we miss having the airport close to the city -- but at least Denver got something out of the deal. Last year, the Stapleton redevelopment project received the James C. Howland Urban Enrichment Silver Award from the National League of Cities for its contributions to the urban environment. The old airport is being redeveloped into a combination of housing, shops, office buildings and parks, incorporating such elements of traditional neighborhood design as tree-lined streets, parks, front porches and old-time architecture, with 21st-century technology and sensibilities (including drought-resistant landscaping). And 21st-century capitalism: There was never a Wal-Mart on Main Street.

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