Let’s just call it a brief diversion from the Broncos for a couple of hours. That’s the way it is with the folks in Colorado even when the Rockies are making a run in the playoffs. The truth is 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.
Hell, Brian Dawkins and the Broncos play the Patriots here on Sunday afternoon to give folks time to get over to the ballpark in relative warmer weather.
That’s because a “front,” as they like to say out there, is moving in quickly and that means temperatures are going to drop to a high of 30 degrees as quickly as it takes for a room to get dark after flipping a switch. Saturday night’s game should be breezy, and snowy and bone-chilling cold, though OK for a ballgame. After all, if they deemed the weather good enough to start Game 5 of last October’s World Series, a little cold shouldn’t bother anyone.
But that happens out here 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 Park 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.
So if you’re going to Denver and can’t get tickets for the game (it’s sold out, I presume), 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 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:
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 four 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 Park 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.
Better yet, stay indoors out of the cold weather and find a warm spot and watch Pedro dial it up. That’s what I’m going to do.