The small town of San Luis in southern Colorado is steeped in history – but that’s what you’d expect from the oldest town in the state. Enjoy a taste of old-time San Luis from two of its most-cherished chefs.
Like mad scientists tucked in the heart of Pueblo, Solar Roast Coffee’s founding brothers, David and Mike Hartkop, run the only commercial solar-powered coffee roaster in the world. We toured the Hartkops' downtown coffee house from the dining room to the behind-the-scenes storeroom where a "Helios 5" roaster prepares beans for 100 percent organic cups of joe.
We find the most interesting things when we get lost. In Strasburg on the Eastern Plains we stumbled upon Russ Engelbrecht's collection of 60 John Deere tractors strong, or maybe 460, if you count all the toy tractors - and the remains of the world’s first center-pivot irrigation system.
Like most people enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Tim McKernan was celebrated for his achievements in NFL stadiums. Unlike most, he never wore shoulder pads or a football helmet. In fact, he didn’t really wear much of anything except a cowboy hat and cowboy boots – and a barrel, emblazoned with the logo of his beloved Denver Broncos.
There are many campgrounds in Weld County, but only one of them played a lead role in one of the pivotal moments in human civilization. That would be Missile Site Park, which has 12 campsites, restrooms, an RV dump and a decommissioned nuclear missile launch facility. Ruben Montiel led Colorado Life on a tour of the decommissioned site.
With an incongruity seldom found outside the realm of dreams, a pink Spanish colonial edifice rises up from a strip mall on Colfax Avenue in Lakewood, a mile west of Denver. Its 85-foot bell tower, seemingly borrowed from an old church in Puerto Vallarta, casts its shadow on a shopping center’s nondescript neighboring storefronts. This is Casa Bonita, a Mexican restaurant that has been making the surreal real since 1974.
Denver’s old train station took on a new life when the Crawford Hotel opened last year. Using the hotel as a base camp, people can explore Denver, or simply explore Union Station’s shops and restaurants – and perhaps enjoy a cocktail from bartender Hunter Byrne at the Cooper Lounge.
Dalton Trumbo was a prolific writer, doing much of his work while sitting in his bathtub. An accomplished novelist, his first book, Eclipse, was based on his hometown of Grand Junction, where the Mesa County Public Library still has a first edition.
It has become something of a tradition. Every five years, a certain Denver newspaper will call the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce to ask why the town insists on mispronouncing its name – why do locals call it BEW-na VIS-ta rather than BWAY-na VIS-ta?
Randi Levin shares recipes from her cookbook, Baking at High Altitude.
Everybody knows that Santa Claus’ workshop is at the North Pole, but where’s Santa University? In Arvada, it turns out. The Noerr Programs, the Colorado company that provides Santas to 225 shopping centers in 38 states, hosts Santa University annually at its Arvada headquarters.
“Where the West Lives” is Golden’s motto, but come December, it might as well be “Where the West Meets the North Pole.” Santa Claus must be neglecting other towns, because he seems to spend an inordinate amount of time in Golden.