Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Conifer, Red Rocks and albino bison

Driving up to Conifer from downtown Denver was amazing; and to arrive at this unbelievable home filled with treasures from all over the world, a treat. It was like a museum tour going through each room, learning about the different items and the stories behind them. It reminds me of what I do when someone’s first been to my place, except that the most frequent response to “Where did you find that?” is “the garbage.”

I especially liked the story about the chandelier in the dining room. It had been in the home of the seller’s father and he was someone that played poker with the likes of Doc Holliday and Jesse James back in the day. How cool is that?!

Paula and I ventured out to tour the countryside and had an amazing brunch at this old inn, Historic Brook Forest Inn with a little spring in the back and gorgeous tiny rooms for small people above. It would be a perfect setting for a wedding. We had biscuits and gravy and Eggs Benedict. Apparently, the place crossed hands a few times and at one point, it was a hangout for Harley revelers. I can’t imagine with all the flowery fabrics and lace now, but I’m sure it was fun for hogsters too! The whole tour was an education. I learned about the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a public work relief program for unemployed men, focused on natural resource conservation from 1933 to 1942. I saw many of the oldest barns in Jefferson County and saw how settlement occurred in this part of the country (Paula wrote an amazing photo essay about this).

I saw an albino bull at Ron Lewis’ range, this nice man that lives near Conifer and operates a farm for folks to see wildlife and such. He also has a cool silver mine shaft in the back and gives folks that don’t want to be embalmed when they die, the opportunity to be buried in his cemetery in just a shroud and be one with the Earth. There’s also a peace memorial on the property.

Red Rocks was amazing. Paula explained all about the geologic phenomenon that is this park. The formations and inclines are stunning to observe. I can’t imagine how much fun it must be to see a show here. The amphitheatre was starting to fill up because Ween was playing the day we visited. There was much tailgating and the parking lot smelled similarly to Cervantes the other night. Paula and I had a discussion about the hippie kids and how odd it is to see them reliving or latching onto an era long gone. At the end of the drive around, we tried to find this garage sale and failed but it was not a lost trip because I got to see an incredible rainbow and Mt. Evans from the mountaintop.

We had also stopped to see a neighbors’ amazing wood carvings on his land. A dolphin, a bear, an Indian and he was working on a totem pole next.

Conifer is a little bit of heaven and I can see why Paula lives there. So remote yet so cozy and welcoming. Thanks a bunch for a great few days and I’m so glad I finally got to stay there and see the wonder of Colorado. I will definitely be back!

Radio highlights: Hall & Oates (Rich Girl), "Missing You," INXS, "Jive Talkin'," Sheila E., "I Wear My Sunglasses at Night."


Matthea said...

I love how excited you look about brunch!

Elizabeth said...

oh my gosh, it was sooooooooo good. you would have died. i heart southern food. my tummy doesn't but who cares about tummies.