Do or die in Denver

Clint HurdleThe Coloradoans are having fun. As a brief diversion from the Broncos for a couple of hours, the folks in Colorado are chirping about how great their Rockies are. The entire state of Colorado pretty much shuts down whenever the Broncos play, and they are known to take hardcore sports participation to a degree that Philadelphians… well, don’t. But that’s just the way it is when the county due north of Denver is home to more than 60 people who were in the last Olympics.

And yes, they are chirping. They’re chirping like crickets near the lake on a hot summer night. In making some arrangements to pay some visits in Estes Park over the next couple of days, I informed folks that as long as the series was in full throttle I would be busy in Denver.

“So you will be around Saturday night and all day Sunday, huh?”

Yep, they’re really confident about the Rockies chances. Actually, so are the Rockies.

“We believe we’re going to win every game,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’ve been playing in the loser’s bracket for a month.”

There is some hope for the Phillies fans, though. For instance, the Phillies are 8-2 in their last 10 road games and the Rockies are just 11-7 in games at Coors Field when the wind blows harder than 10 mph. According to the weather forecast,

Still, the Rockies have won 16 of their last 17 games and are 8-3 in the last 11 at Coors. A “front,” as they like to say out there, is moving in and that means temperatures are going to drop 30 degrees as quickly as it takes for a room to get dark after flipping a switch. Saturday night’s game should be breezy, though OK for a ballgame. But if there is a Game 4 on Sunday night it’s likely that the temperatures will be a touch warmer than freezing. There’s even a chance for a few snow flurries, too.

But that happens out there all year round. In fact, I remember a time a few years ago when it was a comfortable and sunny August day with temperatures in Estes in the mid-80s. But after a short drive up Trail Ridge Road we had to pull over because it was snowing and hailing too hard to negotiate those tricky mountain roads.

That was August.

This was July in the relative low altitude of Denver:

So if you’re going to Denver and can’t get tickets for the game (it’s sold out), go check out the El Chapultepec, a bar a block or two away from Coors on 1962 Market Street. It’s one of those holdovers from the pre-gentrification Denver where Kerouac and Cassady along with Sinatra and Bono have been seen having a few while eating authentic Mexican food from paper plates and listening to jazz from the stage. The music is what that really drives folks in, they say.

El Chapultepec is a little trendier than it used to be, but it doesn’t look like it from the outside.

See how close it is to Coors:

map to El Chapultepec

Other than that, my wife has stopped in the Chop House for a pre-Coors lunch. She still talks about the salad she ate there two years ago.

For those looking for the old Denver of the Beats, there are tours to take.

Or, if you want to really see the mountains, drive the 60 miles up to Estes to the Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a Swiss-inspired little town where the elk out-number the people. Plus, Stephen King stayed at the stately Stanley Hotel for inspiration for The Shining.

Speaking of horror stories, did everyone see all those bugs swarm onto Joboa Chamberlain in last night’s Indians-Yankees game? Wow. That was almost like something out of Hunter Thompson, only in his case he was fighting off low-flying bats.

There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge.

Oh yeah, Ian is ALIVE!

I’m on the way to Denver and will make posts here during the game just like in Philly… I’ll check back from Coors.

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