An Asthma Mom in Golden, Colorado
Three hours of delays in the already-hectic Atlanta airport last night, and I’m more than happy to be home in Florida today, even now during hurricane season and the dead, dead days of a humid Gulf Coast summer.
Summer felt so, so different in Colorado, of course. How very strange to walk around in summer temperatures without feeling the very heaviness of the heat on my skin. And while I’ve never been out West during the cold months, I hear the ever-present sun and dry air mitigates the impact of heavy snows, though I imagine I’d miss the coastal smell of salt in the cool air.
In Colorado, I kept smelling cinnamon. My very first day there, I wondered whether a bakery sat nearby until I realized some tree–or maybe even the rocks and dirt–must be responsible.
Anyway, enough babbling and on with the photos.
Last Sunday, my plane got in during the afternoon, and I spent the rest of the day in Golden, *Where the West Lives* and home of Coors beer and Buffalo Bill’s grave. Originally called *Golden City,* it’s a little west of Denver in the foothills in the Front Range of the Rockies and–along with Boulder and Denver–started out as a mining camp during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush in 1859. I still can’t reveal anything, but I’ll possibly be making this place home before the year is out.
Clear Creek runs through downtown Golden. Eight-hundred feet of it forms Whitewater Park, a famous destination for kayakers. It runs down from the continental divide at the Loveland Pass up in the mountains, which was sort of an amazing geological fact to consider as I stood there looking at the water.
In the background, you can see Mount Zion with its Colorado School of Mines “M* logo.
Golden’s downtown grew up around the creek, since Gold Rush mining activity concentrated on it. Parks and green areas line the banks, and the bridges crossing the water feature large walkways.
Plus, a trail winds along the creek, one of many in this very walkable community.
Downtown Golden has a strong commitment to public art, mostly in the form of bronze statues with a Western theme. The art, the outdoor life, and the walkability appeal to me with their contribution to Golden’s overall quality of life.
One of my biggest complaints about coastal Florida? We have gorgeous beaches here on the white-sand Gulf Coast, so very few cities in this state grow and plan their communities in ways that focus on daily public life outside that drive to the beach. The reality is that most Florida residents, including me, don’t have the money for Gulf views. I like the idea of living somewhere with its own outstanding local features, ones I can see without a 30-minute drive.
Anyway, the art. This one in downtown Golden is *Cowboy’s Day Off* by Michael Hamby:
I love this one right next to Clear Creek, and I love its name, too: *Winter Wind on the Mesa* by Marie Barbera
Also in Golden: the Colorado School of Mines with its stellar science and engineering programs devoted to environmental stewardship, rock climbing on North Table Mountain, some of the world’s best mountain biking, and the Colorado Railroad Museum.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch. . . .
Here’s something you’ll never see my girls doing in the middle of the day in the super-heated Florida July:
Want further evidence that AG’s lungs loved Colorado?
There’s hope for this kid’s breathing yet.
Tomorrow, actual dinosaur footprints and red rocks. Right now, I still have to unpack.