Greeley, Colorado

IMG_0960Weld County Seat, Greeley, was founded in 1869 and named after Horace Greeley editor of the New York Tribune where he popularized the term “Go west young man”. Horace came to the area during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush. The population is a couple kids short of 100,000.IMG_0952Impressive courthouse across the street from Lincoln Park where I saw law enforcement roughing up some homeless dudes before lunch. Greeley began as Union Colony, an experimental Utopian community based on temperance, agriculture, education and family values. I was here at 11:00 so I guess the clock is broken.IMG_0950I wish I had been documenting all the statue of liberty’s I have seen at courthouses, it seems to be a popular gift to local boy scout troops. James Michener went to College here and got the inspiration for his novel Centennial, from the town history and Colorado Region. Roy Lewis Norris, serial killer, was born here as well. It was hot and stifling so I did not spend much time in antique stores. Most people directed me to the sister store of the burger joint I went to in Ft. Collins so I opted for the second popular Fat Albert’s.IMG_0956Fat Albert’s is attached to the Wells Fargo bank.IMG_0955Fresh pressed beef with a nice selection of condiments and toasted bun, an excellent burger. I really like the potato skin sides, deep fried potato halves with a gob of sour cream.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

IMG_0930Routt County Seat, Steamboat Springs is home to about 12,000 residents and known internationally as a winter ski resort destination. Founder  James Crawford arrived in 1874 and his family arrived two years later. For 5 years the Crawford family where the only permanent residents. Ute Indians hunted this valley in the summers.  U.S Army forcibly removed them from the area in 1879 and they were sent to a reservation in Utah.IMG_0932Routt County Courthouse, looks right on the main drag. The region was originally inhabited by Trappers and Miners. The area is home to natural hot springs, early Trappers would hear the “chugging” of the springs and thought a Steam Boat was coming up the river.IMG_0935Pretty cool ski jump stuff across the Yampa River from town. Originally skiing was the only method of transportation during the long winters. In 1913 Norwegian Carl Howelson moved to town and introduced ski jumping. Carl also started the Winter Carnival which is still going strong.IMG_0938I spent a good amount of time walking around town and only found one thrift store. Most shops where geared toward rich visitors, which I am not. I was pointed towards about three different cheeseburger options so I chose the one with the same name as the guy who brought ski jumping to the are in 1913. I don’t know if Carl’s Tavern was named after Carl Howelson or not.IMG_0942I was promptly greeted by enthusiastic staff and had my choice of seating. The menu was loaded with lots of burger options and a vast array of beers. Everything looked good, I decide to go with the “Sleeping Giant”. Fresh pressed beef topped with pulled pork, cheese, coleslaw, pickles. IMG_0939The Sleeping Giant was an explosion of flavors that exceeded all my expectations. I thought the pairing of tangy pulled pork, with calming effect of coleslaw and homemade sweet pickle of some kind put this burger and bun over the top.IMG_0944Rabbit Ears Pass on the approach to Steamboat Springs. I thought Steamboat was a pretty cool town full of friendly people. It reminded me allot of Boulder just with more Gluten, and less Homeless panhandlers.

Golden, Colorado

IMG_0867Jefferson County Seat, Golden. Founded 1859 during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush, actually named Golden City at the time. Golden City was the capital of the Territory of Colorado until it moved to Denver in 1867. About 20,000 people live where the west lives.IMG_0874I have been driving past the back of this building and always thought it was a church or mosque or the like. Turns out the people of Jefferson County have made quite an investment to ensure proper punishment of wrong doing. The Jefferson County Courthouse is just a part of what looks like several buildings of incarceration on an actual 18 hole golf course.IMG_0851I guess they make some beers here but I was impressed to learn Golden is the birthplace of the Jolly Rancher.IMG_0865The OldIMG_0856Mixed in with the new.IMG_0855Clear Creek runs through the middle of town, lots of neat brass sculptures around but I thought these fish were cool.IMG_0863Golden has some neat antique and second hand stores but I was unable to find any keepsake. I did receive allot of input on cheeseburger options and they were all Bob’s Atomic Burgers.IMG_0868Every day is a roll of the dice. I walked into Bobs at 11:15 because I was warned a couple times to get there early, I saw what looked like coffee filters with labels on them. I could see (kinda, I did not have my glasses on) it was up to me to fill out the order form for my burger. By the time I figured out the system a guy turned in his party’s request for 14 assorted sandwiches. I remained positive because this place is cool, I turned in my order and was pleased to find out that instead of me giving them my name, they name me.IMG_0869I was the Genie, but I heard other cooler names.IMG_0871The staff rose up with the big order before mine, but since each sandwich is made fresh I ended up waiting awhile for my burger, fresh pressed patty, Monterrey jack, tomatoes, lettuce, and jalapeno bottle caps? on a delicious fresh bun. The burger was cooked to perfection, I thought I got fries with that but guess its separate. A learning experience that has me ready the next time I am in Golden, because I will definitely be back !

Craig, Colorado

IMG_0810Moffat County Seat, Craig, was incorporated in 1908 and named after one of its original financial backers, Reverend William Bayard Craig. Craig is home to about 10,000 people making it a good sized community in the most north west county of the state.IMG_0788I was pleased to be joined by my first honorary co-host, my Niece Zoe. Here she is messing about in the ruins of the train depot. We came across the original sign from the depot in the foyer of the county museum, top photo. IMG_0813I will say I was impressed with the Moffat County Courthouse, a modern look and the first Courthouse where I noticed a “welcome” on the label. A carved wooden coal miner in front paying homage to the coal miner’s and large coal power plants in the area as well as the annual “Whittle the Wood Rendezvous” . The town is full of wooden carvings.IMG_0843We saw Moose, Elk, Deer and Antelope mostly in the Rocky Mountain National Park on the return, but Craig is known as the Elk hunting capital of the world.IMG_0801and one mountain lion.IMG_0844We went to a few junk stores and came across this tobacco tin, I gave $5.00 for it. My research shows it being from the 20’s and selling for about $20 so I am pretty excited about it. We talked to several people about cheeseburger options and received a few different suggestions but Dad’s was the winner.IMG_0831It sounded like Dad’s had not been open long but it seemed to be busy and had outside seating which is generally my preference. The service was excellent, when I asked for a kick ass cheeseburger our server asked if I wanted fries or onion rings with it. IMG_0826This was one kick ass cheeseburger, fresh beef served medium rare as ordered, fresh lettuce, onion, tomato, mushroom’s, swiss cheese, the kind of pickles I like but not really sure what they are and, I believe, a potato bun. Fresh cut french fries seasoned just right. An awesome burger in a town filled with cool wooden carvings. On a side note, I am learning a little about light, this photo is a result of being under a red umbrella in the sun.

Trinidad, Colorado

IMG_0761Las Animas County seat, Trinidad, was incorporated in 1876. The area was first settled because of its proximity to the Santa Fe Trail in the early 1860’s. The area received its first real influx of immigrants when coal was discovered in the area in 1862. IMG_0757Las Animas County Courthouse, seems to meet all the courthouse criteria. IMG_0750August 7th 1902, a few years before my moms birthday, there was a mine explosion 6 miles north of Trinidad killing 13 miners. This disaster was the impetus for several mine strikes relating to the poor working conditions. This memorial, 18 miles north of Trinidad, is the location of the Ludlow Massacre (I believe referred to in Walsenberg post) in April 1914. Very well done memorial on the location with maps and stuff so it makes sense. IMG_0759A lot of train stuff in town, IMG_0763as well as good solid business models.IMG_0767I enjoyed the architecture in town and talked with a few people about Trinidads growing art scene. Most people don’t realize that this area was actually the location of the first rural artist commune known as “Drop City” established in the 1960’s by some college art and film students from Kansas and CU Boulder.Once again I was unable to find a trinket that suited me, although the selection was excellent, the prices seemed to be at a premium. I was also tired and cranky. Anyway it sounded like there was two choices for the cheeseburger.IMG_0778Last week Nipple Mountain, this week Double D’s. I am beginning to sense a theme for southern parts of the state. Trinidad was known as the “sex change capital of the world” with Dr. Biber conducting about four procedures a day. I wasn’t sure where to enter that fact so there it is. The service here was awesome and selection great, I heard from a couple people to try the “420” burger so I did. I wasn’t sure if that meant it had marijuana on it? or I had to be on it?IMG_0769Still not real sure about the “420” label on this burger but it was awesome! It seems that the closer to New Mexico, the more chile’s are incorporated into everything. I was expecting a more mild chile in this application, but I was wrong. This thing was built with excess in mind, everything fresh, piled on about a half pound burger patty. Excellent service, amazing burger in an awesome town.