We’ve been in the Colorado Front Range since the beginning of August. The Front Range is an urban area in Colorado that is east and west of Interstate 25. It extends south from Fort Collins to Pueblo. This Front Range is where the majority of Colorado’s population lives. It was a shock when we headed south to this area from Cheyenne, Wyoming after being in lightly-populated areas on most of our trip this year.
Our first stop was the upscale and liberal city of Boulder. It is sometimes referred to as the Berkley of the Rockies. The city is at the base of the Rocky Mountains and home to the University of Colorado with a student population of 32,000. The Colorado Music Festival was being held here and we came to enjoy a couple of classical music concerts.
Bicycles rule in Boulder. Cyclists fearlessly zip through traffic on many of the well-marked bike lanes and paths. A recent pilot program called “rightsizing” was implemented on one of the busiest streets in the city. Four lanes of road for cars were reduced to two lanes for cars and two lanes for bikes. In my opinion, it created a traffic mess. Getting around anywhere in Boulder by car is tedious and I couldn’t wait to leave the traffic behind.
Our next stop was Westminster which is only 20 miles south of Boulder and 12 miles north of downtown. We parked at the Elks Lodge and used it as a base to visit downtown Denver, the Mile High City. We opted to take the bus downtown rather than drive the truck. It was a good decision. While is Denver, we enjoyed a two-hour historical walking tour of downtown. The walking tour gave us a better perspective of Denver’s history and a good feel of the city.
Westminster will be getting a light rail directly into Union Station in Denver next year. This should have a positive impact to the town of Westminster. One of the keys to this project is high-density buildings adjacent to the light rail stops. In Denver we have seen the results of high density buildings. There are usually retail stores on the ground level and apartment or condos on top. This allows the residences to shop and play locally.
There is a tremendous amount of construction happening in downtown Denver. It certainly looks like the economy has recovered here. On our other days, we cycled two of the greenway paths in Westminster.
We are now in Pueblo, Colorado sometimes referred to as “Steel City” or the “Pittsburgh of the West.” Pueblo? What the heck is in Pueblo? Curious? Well, you’ll just have to wait for our next blog!