12 Dec
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
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Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (49 posts)
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

2 October 2012

Hitting Denver

27th September 2012

Our journey back to Denver has been through small town America. Very small town America. “Population 135” read the sign on the way into one scattered cluster of tumbledown clap-board shacks and rusting mobile homes, and I’m fairly convinced the sign was over-estimating. Move away from the handful of tourist spots or cities and the states of Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota are essentially an endless wilderness of prairie, some of it pegged out as vast cattle ranches. The only towns that survive are ones like Torrington, where we stayed last night, that happen to be on a railway line and a fairly big road. The whole town smelled of cow, and every other vehicle was a huge cattle truck. The only recommended restaurant in town still couldn’t do a decent burger.

To their great delight my parents and brother were woken every hour of the night by the trains, which insisted on tooting their charming whistles as they passed the hotel. Next morning we dragged our car the rest of the way back to Denver.

Denver itself strikes me as a typical American city, i.e. not really designed for walking around. There aren’t really any pedestrian spaces; squares, plazas or parks are in short supply. The “heart” of the city is supposed to be the pedestrianised 16th Street, described as a shopping precinct. Well, at my count 16th managed about twenty shops, which is fairly poor going for a mile-long street. Nearby Larimer Square is described as having lovely boutiques. It does. All six of them.

Concrete jungle. It really is the perfect description of an American city.

Lest I end on a downer, I have to big up the bar recommended by the girl at our B&B. Falling Rock is heaven for beer lovers. Sure, Americans serve all their beer too cold, but this joint has more than a hundred beers on tap and none of them are Bud, Miller or Rolling Rock. I had a smooth and easy pint of Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout while Maureen enjoyed a 9.5% Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti with a stonkingly big taste. We swapped frequently. You see, Denver is the beer capital of America, and on the evidence we found in Falling Rock this part of the USA has actually worked out what good beer tastes like. Definitely a saving grace.

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