Posts Tagged ‘Denver’

Ready for vacation

June 27, 2014

Friday, 27 June 2014

From a couple days ago… At the top of 16th is a bridge over the railroad tracks. There is a sign:

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As to who might try to ride a bike on the stairs:

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By Friday, I had had more than enough of conferring, I bailed out about noon. About 75% of my colleagues had already bailed, so this was nothing special.

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Jacky and I wandered over to a nearby Mediterranean place for lunch, then went back to the hotel to be conscientious and do a few more work-related things. After some time, we went out strolling, through the university and eventually over to the Elitch amusement park. Just as we arrived in the vicinity, it began to rain, so we ducked under an overhang at Centennial park for a few minutes, then went on. Should have brought along jackets, but we didn’t expect more than sprinkles at most.

We thought we might find a brew along Platte street, but the only one that appealed was not yet open — that’s why it seemed quiet! Eventually we ended up at McLoughlin’s, where we found a table looking away from the TVs and watched it rain pretty hard for a while.

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When the rain let off, we went on down 16th. It began to rain again just as we got to the Tattered Cover bookstore. An excuse, as if we needed one. They mix new and used books, which is nice. What I especially liked is their machine that allows self-publication!

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Having once again outlasted the rain, we continued along the mall.

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What’s a puddle good for, if not splashing around?

We noticed a Mongolian Barbecue restaurant off on the side street, the kind of place where you load up a bowl with some of everything and they cook it up on a grill. Jacky had chicken from the menu, and we neither of us starved. All this hard work, and now we begin vacation!

Walking Denver

June 24, 2014

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

This conference likes to do editorial minutiae in the meetings, and it gets old fast. About 2, I gave up on the day and went out walking.

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The Denver conference center is just across from the hotel, and guess what they’re conferring about today! Good for them.

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Then over to the centralized government buildings center, where I didn’t pay $10 to see the Denver Art Museum, but did photograph a couple of the driftwood horses outdoors.

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Wandering with no particular destination. Some fairly attractive places around here.

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The doors to the cathedral were closed and had a locked kind of look to them. I didn’t bother to try to go in.

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It was pretty hot, so I thought I’d head north and maybe pick up the river trail to loop back into the Centrum. Eventually I found myself walking past Coors field, where a few employees were drifting in, presumably in preparation for a game this evening. I notice that parking is $14 here! What a racket!

There are highways here, leading eventually to freeway ramps. They fly over the railroad tracks.

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One part of the track area is used to stage Loks. The one in the far upper right was just backing into place as I arrived, but the four in the nearground were  being prepared to go out on a run, and were a lot closer anyway. So I stopped to watch.

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Notice the blue sign in front of the cab. Stop, it says on this side; safety first on the other side.

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Just ahead of the foursome, this deadman prevents possible runaway Loks from escaping their sandbox.

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There was quite a crew prowling around all over everything. Presumably checking fuel, lube, pressure, fittings, signs of wear, loose bits, you name it.

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I would like to get a day’s education on how they control Loks in tandem, not only how they get equal power from each but in particular how they make it fail-safe.

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Sign-off from the ground crew, he removes the safety first sign.

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Here’s the before (above) and after (below) of removing the deadman (flagged with the D sign) from the track.

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Free to go. I waited for a few minutes, but they didn’t roll. Presumably they were waiting for a clear way through to the freight they will be hooking up.

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Beyond the Lok staging area was a Diesel shop. I am reminded of the days of yore when Mike P and I would go to the shops in Lincoln of an evening. They’d let us wander around and see everything they were doing. Car shops, Lok repair, the hump.

One evening, we told them we were engineering students and asked if we could ride along in a switch engine.

Sure, they said. Would you like to take the controls?

Wow! Fast back-pedal! Sorry, we’re electrical engineering students at the university, not Lok engineering students. He apologetically kicked us off the train, said he wasn’t allowed to take people along.

A great adventure! I bet you could never do that today.

The highway bridge flew over the river, and there was indeed a bike path down there, but no way down. I looked at the GPS, which gave me no encouragement about maybe another nearby bridge I could reach. There was a bike path, but it just worked its way around the freeway ramps and headed on out into the boondocks. So I went back.

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By the time I reached Coors field, the crowd had begun to arrive, the sidewalk vendors were putting out their tee shirt and munchie wares, and I was just as happy to be going the other way.

(6.55 miles. Of course, as soon as I put the GPS track up on Google Earth, I see how I could have gone down to the river. Oh, well, next time.)

Denver

June 22, 2014

Sunday, 22 June 2014

On the 7:30 flight to Denver, arrived about 11. My boss was on the same plane; we shared the ride into the city, checked in at the Embassy Suites. Pretty nice room, expensive, but all of the hotels here are expensive.

I would like to get one of these baseball caps with a burnoose shroud that protects cheeks and neck, so I asked my smartphone if there was a nearby REI. Yes, it was a mile or so north-ish on 15th street. An excuse (if I needed one) to go out for a walk.

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Not a bad city. Fair number of people out, restaurants, pubs, some worthwhile architecture.

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REI is just north of the S Platte river at Confluence park, where Denver started out, some number of years ago.

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Pretty classy park, lots of people (and dogs) enjoying the day, enjoying the water.

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Shortly there will be some new art overlooking the scene.

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REI occupies this old warehouse, three stories, mostly open space. In comparison to the REI stores I have visited before, it’s enormous. Pleasant young woman steered me toward the triathlon department, where such caps would be, if they had any in stock. She thought they might be out of stock, and they were indeed.

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The REI building shares part of its space with a Starbucks, busy with all kinds of folks, but especially cyclists. There is a riverside bikeway that goes on much further than I cared to explore. There is a big amusement park here, enormous swing, waterslide, at least three rollers coaster and who knows what else. The riverfront used to be industrial dump, broken pavement, discarded railroad ties, abandoned vehicles, and such, with warehouses on the streets. Now it’s mostly parkland, and the warehouses have  become upscale loft apartments.

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Back in the city, I walked along 16th street, a mall whose vehicle traffic is restricted to bicycles and shuttle buses.

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Bicycles of all kinds.

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One block had several chessboards set up, a couple of which were in use.

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Pedicab entrepeneurs.

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Each of four or five blocks had a piano, most of which were in use. The talent ranged from minimal to not bad.

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But I eventually drifted to the end of 16th and around to what its posters proclaim to be a Pride festival. I had been noticing various forms of weird costume and make-up, and here’s where it all centered. I have no idea how to estimate the size of crowds, but I would be greatly surprised if there were fewer than 10 000 people here. Loud, crowded, but mellow. The smell of smoke was definitely not that of tobacco.

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Back to the hotel just as a few sprinks started. Got on the web and ordered a couple of burnoose sun hats for store pick-up at the end of the week.