In Denver, this was pride weekend. I was invited to walk in today’s parade as part of the Employees of the State of Colorado group, which I did. It was good fun. I got to meet the governor, wave a sign, and get in a nice walk on a nice day.
Here is a photo of Brooke and me, in front of some others in our group. We met up at Cheesman Park before walking out behind a state trooper patrol car that was decorated with rainbow stripes.
After we started moving, we then had to pause just outside the park for about 20 minutes until the parade actually began. Here is the group behind us, Rainbow Alley. The Celebrate Pride sign in the middle of the photo shows the State of Colorado’s new logo, modified for the rainbow theme.
The parade ended at Lincoln and Colfax, and we then went to the festival going on in Civic Center Park. Brooke spotted a tent of people from CSU so had to stop for a photo op, as a proud alum. I kept my mouth shut, being a wise CU alum.
Also, I didn’t take a photo but we were surprised to see my cousin Nashira, who just returned from college two days ago, and is working at NARAL for the summer. She and one other young woman were running the NARAL booth at the festival. I told her how proud I am of her.
Another tent we found was for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. It’s my favorite museum and I’ve been a member for decades. So we had to get this photo.
According to my iPhone, we walked 4.3 miles. That includes walking to the start of the parade, walking in the parade, wandering around the festival, and walking home from the end of the parade.
After they cancelled my flight, they automatically booked me on one leaving Tuesday morning. Tuesday? There’s no way American can get me to Denver any sooner? Well, a couple phone calls later, I’m going to get back to Colorado today after all! Barely. Hopefully.
I met the famous fantasy painter Larry Elmore today. We were both waiting for the same late airport shuttle and then rode together on the bus. I got to talk to him for 30 or 45 minutes, about everything from cars to meth to air travel to retirement to the draft. He’s 70 and says he’s never retiring, because he wouldn’t know what to do other than paint.
A couple of the locals at the game convention said I need to check out Cowboy Chicken, a restaurant with really good rotisserie chicken. And I needed a walk and had a three hour gap in my schedule. So I walked here.
My order: “quarter white” with green beans, okra, and a glass of ice water. It’s pretty good. The place is a little more fast food-ish than I expected. And their use of Texas cowboy-ness in the decor is a little excessive (like a lot of things in Texas). But I like the food.
I’m in Irving, Texas for a small four-day gaming convention called North Texas RPG Con. I attended last year and it was fun enough I came back. The convention is at the Westin hotel by the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, so it’s easy and pretty cheap to get to.
I arrived early this afternoon and got in two games so far. One was Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG and the second was a tournament game of a DCCRPG variant called Umerica, which is mostly modeled on the TV show “Thundarr the Barbarian” and related fantasy and sci-fi shows of the 80s.
I got second place in that second game. Here is my medal and my award-winning character, named Diana Ross.
The back of the medal reads “2019 NTRPG TOURNAMENT – BLOOD BATH AT ALLSVIL”.
Someone has made 12 fraudulent charges on one of my Visa credit cards since May 31, including buying 6 airline tickets on Allegiant Air, renting U-Haul trucks several times, and staying in a couple hotels.
Now, of course, the bank has canceled my card and are sending me a new one that’ll arrive Monday or so. What a hassle.
Brooke and I drove to Durango for a long Memorial Day Weekend. We left Thursday afternoon and got back to Denver Monday evening. We had a lot of fun on the way and on the way back, but had an especially big day on Saturday May 25, 2019. That was the day we visited Sand Canyon, which I’m about to tell you about.
Sand Canyon is a canyon in the far southwest corner of Colorado, located in the Canyon of the Ancients National Monument. It’s a tributary of McElmo Creek, which is a famous drainage containing hundreds of ruins where ancestral puebloans once lived, around 800 years ago. I’d never been there before, but Brooke’s father Whitey had hiked the canyon about 20 years ago and recommended it. So we made a day trip from Durango.
The area where we hiked is just to the north of the small mountain range that make up what people generally call Sleeping Ute Mountain. In the photo above, the highest peak is Ute Peak (also sometimes called Ute Mountain, and also sometimes called Sleeping Ute Mountain). That makes up the shoulders of the sleeping Ute
There is a trail that goes from one end of Sand Canyon to the other, and both an upper and a lower trailhead. The whole thing is about 6 miles each way, but I knew I didn’t have a 12 mile (round trip) hike in me, especially one with a big elevation gain at the end. So we parked at the lower trailhead, hiked about 2.5 miles in, had lunch, hiked back out, and then drove to the upper trailhead.
The lower trailhead is by far the most popular, and they’ve recently had to add a second parking area down the road some, but we got there early enough to get a parking space in the original parking area. The hike follows a bench along the rim of Sand Canyon where there are a number of ruins.
The first ruins we saw was the high wall above. At the time, I just thought it was out there all by itself, but I later learned there’s much more to the story. This was just part of a small village that was abandoned all at once after its people were massacred.
After those ruins, it’s another mile or so before the next one, then there are several more tucked into alcoves on a bench that the trail follows.
That night, I did some reading online about where we’d just been, and I learned that there was once a pueblo where a few dozen people lived very near the lower trailhead. They call it Castle Rock Pueblo. It had even been excavated by the Crow Canyon Research Institute back in the 80s and 90s. We were right there and didn’t realize we were in the middle of a little village. Some photos from the 1890s still exist of the ruins, and you can see that in the 100 years between when the photos were taken and when the research started, most of the building blocks had disappeared. The researchers say they were used as easy building material by the early white farmers who settled in McElmo creek to build houses and other buildings from, and many of those buildings still exist today.
On the whole day hike, I didn’t hear a single canyon wren. That was weird, I thought. Where are they?
That afternoon, on the way to and from the Sand Canyon Pueblo site at the upper part of the canyon, we did some geocaching. It was Whitey’s first time.
Today I voted again. Denver had our 2019 city election on May 7, 2019, but several races were so close that we had to do a runoff. So we have another election scheduled for June 4. But we all vote by mail here, so you can send in your ballot whenever you want.
The mayor’s race, the clerk & recorder’s race, and city council members for 5 different districts (I’m in District 10) had to be redone because so many people ran the first time around that nobody got a majority of the votes. And we also have Initiated Ordinance 302, about whether or not the city government should be allowed to approve a proposal for Denver to host a future Olympics Games without a general election on the matter.
I originally thought maybe I’d just sit this one out, but last night I decided I should vote after all. So today I dropped off my ballot. Wanna know how I voted? Probably not.