An August 2003 trip
to Colorado by Composthp
Quote: We had only a few days in Colorado and not much of a means in terms of transportation. We managed to spend a day in Boulder and Denver, shop till our heart's content at Flat-irons and take in the Rockies on a personlised tour.
Make friends with the locals. They are friendly and certainly possess a wealth of information, including some off-the-beaten routes and suggestions.
Restaurant | "The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse"
The restaurant offers fusion ethnic cuisine and of course a wide variety of tea. We ordered their specialty ice tea and an appetiser. The food was fresh and certainly unique in taste. Service was impeccable--certainly a dining experience not to be missed.
For more information, go here
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 23, 2004
Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
1770 13th Street
Boulder, Colorado 80302
Attraction | "Georgetown loop Railroad"
We managed to catch the last train ride at Georgetown. The train arrived on time with much fanfare, smoke and whistling. It was like stepping back into history. We were pleasantly surprise when Sid managed to negotiate with the engineers to allow us to sit next to them up front. Needless to say, we were the envy of all as we excitedly made our way there. It was a memorable, albeit deafening, experience for us. The loop traverse through canyons, past Clear Creek at various points, through Aspen and pine forests and of course, the famous Devil's Gate Viaduct. For those with more time, passengers have the option of hopping off at the Lebanon Silver mine for a guided tour (reservations required). The total time for a round trip with a short stop at the Lebanon Silver mine was about one hour.
Both stations have decent facilities and sells trinkets and souvenirs. There is also a little museum at Silver Plume for train enthusiasts.
How to get there:
Take the Interstate 70 and exit at 226 for Silver Plume depot
Or #228 for Old Georgetown Station at 1106 Rose street.
Tickets (round trip):
US$15.50 per adult.
US$10.25 per child (3-15 years)
For more details, go here
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 23, 2004
Georgetown Loop Historic Railroad
1111 Rose Street
Georgetown, Colorado 80444
The market is open every Thursdays to Saturdays, from 8 - 12noon (April to October). It is located along the 13th street, next to Central park. A mere 5 minutes walk from Pearl Street mall.
Boulder Farmer's Market
1900 13th St.
Boulder, Colorado 80302
For more details, go here
Molly Brown House Museum
1340 Pennsylvania Street
Denver, Colorado 80203
There is a free Zip shuttle service that brings shoppers around the three shopping areas. It runs daily from 11am till 7pm at a 15-minute intervals.
Sid, a huge burly Santa Claus, arrived on time at 9am. We drove through the Flat Irons, past the town of Boulder, and finally headed for the mountains. Sid had decided not to head for the national park: "Too many tourists" he groused; we agreed promptly and settled for a surprise.
Our first stop was at a mill site once owned/owned by the Wall Street gold extraction company. Sid gave us a brief history lesson and a description of the gold mining process here before we were off again, passing very small towns (population: 4), driving on dirt/gravel off-the-map roads, stopping en route to admire a quaint log house named "Summerville" and at various vintage points for breathtaking photo shoots of Pike's peak and the surrounds.
Near midday, we stopped at a lovely picnic spot with an outdoor chimney for BBQs and beautiful panoramic views of the surrounds. This used to be a popular picnic spot with the locals. According to Sid, this spot was accessible by train in the good ole days and locals would catch the early train, hop off, have fun, and hop back on the train again at the end of the day. The rail tracks are gone and there’s a dirt road in its place, but it is still a perfect picnic spot popular with locals. Alas, we did not managed to spot any bighorn sheep, although we did catch a glimpse of deer and the odd squirrel.
For lunch, we opted for a nearby casino town. For just a mere US$6, we had a delicious steak and potatoes set lunch at one of the casinos. Meals were set deliberately cheap and service was reasonably fast. The aim was to encourage gamblers, well, to continue gambling. Many of these towns had retained its original Victorian buildings as early settlers were from England, while new buildings blend in with the old. It was almost like walking into a Western movie set, if you ignored the modern vehicles.
We were soon on the "Oh My God" road, so named as the drop-offs could be over 1000' in elevation. It reminded us of the Great Ocean road of Melbourne, Australia with its twists and turns through pine and Aspen forests. The only difference was the many abandoned mines and mills that dot the mountainsides.
In all, it was a relaxing, entertaining day for us as Sid regaled us the local tidbits, gossip, and stories throughout the day. The journey back took us through Clear Creek Canyon, another scenic route and we arrived back to our hotel, in time to catch a spectacular sunset. The total costs of the tour, including car rental, was about US$150 per person.
Tips when travelling to the U.S.:
1. Pack as light as possible and avoid checking in your bags, particularly if you are going to make several flight transfers. Space bags are particularly handy.
2. Wear comfortable sneakers or flats that can be easily slipped on or off. You will appreciate this when you stand in line in Customs. U.S. immigration law requires everyone to remove their shoes and coats before crossing the scanner. You might want to keep those "holey" socks at home to avoid embarrassment at immigration.
3. Bring lots of loose change and small notes. Tipping is required and expected in most places, usually 10-20% of the bill.
4. Most recently, all visitors to the United States are required to undergo photo and fingerprint scanning. If you do not want to miss your flight, make sure you are at the airport at least three hours for international departure and two hours prior for domestic flights.
5. If you bring your laptop, you will be asked to boot it up. To avoid such delays, keep your laptop at home and opt for a PDA and a flash-drive.
6. We flew via AA domestically and were surprised that we were required to purchase headphones on board (that taught me not to take in-flight headphones for granted). Peek into the seat compartment in front of you first to check if anyone had left theirs behind (do you really need a pair on a short flight anyway?). If you decide to purchase one on board, be sure to carry it onto your next flight.
We got through immigration quite smoothly actually. Our flights were also mostly on time. My only grouse? The food served on board was palatable at best.