Delegating Denver #46 of 56: South Dakota

Page 2 of 2


Most South Dakotan Denver Neighborhood: University Park

Most South Dakotan Bar: Sharp's Roadhouse 6496 Colorado Highway 2 Commerce City, Colorado A perfect balance of East River rock-n-roll and West River country biker to bring the delegation together. And so near to the delegate hotel!

Most South Dakotan Restaurant: Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs On the 16th Street Mall at Arapahoe Street A dog for every day of the week (Alaskan reindeer dogs, Louisiana red-hots, Southwest Buffalo dogs, German white-veal brats). The line at the hot dog cart on Wednesday must mean it's pheasant sausage hot dog day. And, for dinner:

Potager 1109 Ogden Street Eating at Potager is like eating in a Paris bistro located in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Fransisco — and all right in the heart of Denver, which is like an oversized Rapid City, South Dakota.

View larger image

Best Day Trip: 14,067 (Mighty) Mo Mountain Seven hundred twenty quartzite markers, each about four feet tall and weighing 800 pounds, are spread one-half mile apart to demarcate the border between North and South Dakota. This restless westering urge, completed in 1892 to distinguish two new states from one territory, is completely at odds with a natural boundary that splits the land and people so clearly. The Missouri River should have been used to divide an East Dakota from West Dakota. The Mighty Mo, as the locals call it, separates South Dakota into the East River and West River regions. East is centered in Sioux Falls, west is centered in Rapid City, and their rivalry is as old as the hills. Fear not, however, for nothing demonstrates separation anxiety better than the Rocky Mountain geology of central Colorado. From the delegate hotel, take I-70 west to southbound I-25. Take the Hampden Avenue exit and turn right onto westbound U.S. Highway 285. It is 130 miles to Buena Vista. Once there, turn right (north) onto U.S. Highway 24, drive for fourteen miles and turn left onto Chaffee County Road 390 (at Clear Creek Reservoir) and continue ten miles up to the ghost town of Vicksburg. The trailhead is across the road from the scattering of historic cabins that remain of the silver mining town. The well-maintained trail climbs up Missouri Gulch to Elkhead Pass. Stay left when the trail splits just past the old miner's cabin at timberline. From the summit of 14,196-foot Mt. Belford, Missouri Mountain dominates the view to the west. To the north, Mt. Elbert rises twice as high as South Dakota's 7,242-foot Harney Peak. On a clear day, 28 of Colorado's 56 "fourteeners" can be seen from this spot. Look around and note that the area is littered with quartzite — not in the form of an imaginary boundary, but as ancient Precambrian fragments pushed up through thousands of feet of the Earth's crust and into the sky when the young and restless Rio Grande rift sliced its way north from the equator, tossing Colorado's tertiary salad with magma and ash flows blazing. Proving once again that neither stone fences nor geology can keep things apart when the forces of nature keep bringing us back together. -- Kenny Be

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sean Cronin