Denver is an amazing place with breathtaking views. A view of the Rocky Mountains in the distance that surround the city is a site to behold.
Today started out hanging with my brother Bret, who is a film producer, writer, and director, as well as the lead singer for Halden Wofford and the Hi-Beams, a local honky-tonk, country band that has established roots here in this awesome city! Today, Bret was filming a commercial for one of the local businesses. Unfortunately, I was not able to take pictures to share with you just yet …. professional reasons, you know, BUT …. I did catch Bret hanging out with the breakfast crew before all the fun began!
After breakfast, I headed up to the small mining community of Idaho Springs, Colorado. This is a gem nestled in the mountains about 35 minutes west of Denver. After travelling up the long winding highway, and many pops of the ears thanks to altitude, I made it to this sleepy little town where all sorts of fun and cools sites await!
Walking up and down Main Street, you will find an array of shops and stores, with a big mix of restaurants to temp your fancy! You will even see an old fashioned Fire House signal hanging over the road! Make sure to stop in at the Visitor’s Center and take a walk through their heritage museum for more information about this wonderful mining town.
But my favorite place during this visit …. “Miner Decadence Chocolates”!! Here is where I met Connie Planck, who introduced me to some amazing dark chocolate made right there in the store. Everything from fudge, to peanut butter cups and chocolate covered cherries – you won’t be disappointed with the selection and delicious flavor that bursts out of these local treats!! And while she told me most people write about the chocolates, I must say that Connie was a delight to meet and was a very gracious host. If not for her, I may not have realized some of the sites to be found here in Idaho Springs! After further exploring the town, I had to stop back in and thank her! Check Connie out at www.veryfinechocolates.com. It also was cool to meet Daniel, a fellow Texan working in the shop with her, from San Antonio!
Back behind City Hall, you will find an authentic, Narrow Gage steam engine and car which was used to bring passengers to the small town, and was also an important asset to this mining community. And just a few steps away from it, you will find an amazing, paved pathway to follow, taking you down along the small river that runs through the town. Walking this pathway, you will see the beauty of the mountains up close, along with an authentic water wheel, which was used by Charlie Taylor to power a stamp mill along the Ute Creek for his gold mining operations. The water wheel was built in 1893, and was moved to its current place in 1946 as a gift to the mining community of Idaho springs by his estate. The small waterfall next to it adds to the beauty of this historical treasure!
Further up the pathway, you may even catch sight of white-water rafters out enjoying their adventure!! If it’s adventure you’re looking for, Idaho Springs certainly has plenty of that! You and your party can take a guided tour of the rapids by raft and experience the excitement of a most thrilling ride! But don’t worry – you’ll be perfectly safe while wearing your life jacket and helmet as you speed down the white caps produced by the rushing river!
From riding the rapids, to zip lining or hiking, there is plenty to see and do in Idaho Springs. Don’t miss out on this beautiful little town snuggled up in the beautiful mountains outside of Denver!
Rounding out the evening was an awesome visit to Lyons, Colorado to take in Halden and the Hi-Beams Honky Tonk band! A beautiful evening with the setting sun, behind the Oscar Blues Tavern, several locals in attendance had the pleasure of dancing the evening away to some great country music presented in the amphitheater there in the park! Halden and his band have been together for 15 years and have produced 5 albums to date – with a 6th coming out in July! Attend one of their concerts, and you will get the chance to meet these awesome musicians, who are no strangers to mingling with the fans!
A great time catching up with the band, Halden, and meeting several of their fans! Check back on Saturday as I will be following the band down to Creede, Colorado for the Creede 125th Birthday Celebration Festival! www.creede.com/creede-birthday. I may even try posting a video of the band in action if I can figure out how! Haha!
Tomorrow, we explore downtown Denver and visit the Denver Art Museum and Café!