Urban Neighborhood Walk & Talk: Denver, Colorado

Recently, my wife and I accompanied our daughter, Eileen, to the Western National Roundup in Denver, an event hosted by Colorado State University.  The event was the national finals for various 4H events, where our daughter was participating in the national Fashion Revue.

For those unfamiliar, 4H is a U.S. based youth organization, whose goal is to help members realize their full potential.  Members can choose from a variety of arenas to help develop their skills and talents.  The Fashion Revue is for garment making.

It has been several decades since I was last in Denver so for all intents and purposes seeing Denver was new ground for me.  So let’s see what was waiting to be captured…

Since we are talking new ground, a 1961 Pontiac Bonneville convertible is new ground for us – well, at least one captured in the wild.  This Pontiac was found about a block off South Broadway.  Eileen visited a harp store nearby which is what led us to this part of Denver.

An employee in the harp store knows this Pontiac well.  He’s been keeping an eye on it for five or six years, having once seen the interior filled with snow as the top was down subsequent to a winter storm.

This Pontiac will hopefully receive a full-on CC at some point in the future.

Note the Taurus in the background.

The finds shown here were from about a six square block area with this 1984-ish Ford LTD being in the approximate center of the area.  While I cannot quantify why, I have always liked these Fox-based LTDs; they do a reasonable job of almost camouflaging their Ford Fairmont roots.  Or so it seemed to eleven year-old me when these came out.

This is another CC worthy find.

This house was being built across the street from the LTD.  While knowing little to nothing about architecture, it was obvious this house was distinctly different from the others in the neighborhood.

Most of the other houses appeared to have been built in the 1940s or thereabouts; this one is decidedly unlike its cohorts.

As I told my wife, I am intrigued with this style but not enough to build anything like it.

Editor Jim Klein told me to play the “Subaru Game” while in Denver.  To play, when one is at any signalized intersection, count the number of Subarus that are seen.  On the way to the harp store I hit my high score as there were nine at the intersection of Evans and Monaco.  This shot seems to capture the general vibe of the Subaru Mecca that is Colorado!

Naturally, one cannot forget about the rising popularity of Tesla.

Some rides are simply evergreen – or maybe white and green.  My contract with CC has a clause requiring any VW bus to be photographed and shared.  It’s a really unusual requirement but sometimes it can pay dividends.

How so?

This VW bus was parked about 150 feet north.  These two reminded me of a jigsaw puzzle I worked a while back – it was a grid of the fronts of various VW vans of all colors and decor.

The Rambler hubcap on the spare put a song in my head.  It won’t go away.

There was a surprise element among my findings on this brief journey.  Remember how I made note of the Taurus earlier?  This is why.

The Taurus and its sister Sable were remarkably over-represented.  The oldest of these are now 22 years old.

Another somewhat unexpected find was this Buick Century.  It seems somewhat appropriate as it’s the same color as a similar vintage Regal Jim Klein had and he lives just up the road.

Less unexpected for whatever reason is this International TravelAll.  Something tells me he isn’t driving it at night.

How often does one see a Dodge van based box truck?  Likely not very.

This is where our tour transitions as I was getting cold and tired of walking on ice.

I went back to the harp store.  This is only a sampling.

But, as is said on television, wait!  There is more!

The Western National Roundup was scheduled to have participants from 32 states, including Hawaii.  Eileen spoke to cohorts from all over the country.  Sadly, a winter storm in the eastern U.S. cancelled flights for some attendees.

With this many states in attendance, it seemed appropriate to see where people had traveled from – and what they had driven.  For reference, the hotel was on the northeastern part of Denver on Quebec Street.

This Chrysler Pacifica was from Connecticut.  Granted, it could have been a rental, however there were no telltale stickers and the obvious rental minivans were all the base Chrysler Voyager.  So I’m wagering this one is privately owned.

It was fun to see cars from stereotypically warm states covered in snow and grime.  This Audi Q5 was from New Mexico.

Arizona was the origin of this F-150.

A relatively clean Lincoln MKX had made the trek from Arkansas.

From somewhere in Oklahoma, a school district owns this Chevrolet Suburban.

This one-ton Dodge Ram came from North Dakota.  Part of the event involved livestock so I am wagering this Dodge Ram pulled a trailer to Denver.

Another publicly owned vehicle, to join the Suburban, is this Ford Expedition.  That logo on the door says “University of Wyoming”, proving Wyoming has much nicer university owned vehicles than does Colorado.  See that Chevrolet van in the background?  University of Colorado.

I rest my case.

Parked outside due to being too tall for the parking garage was a certain Ford E-150 from Missouri.  Driving a two-plus decade old Econoline from around 500 feet in elevation to over 5,200 feet all while running 75 mph uphill in cold weather provided some remarkable fuel mileage.

At least the trip back was downhill.

Eileen placed fifth, which is awesome.  She made both the pants and top.

After the awards ceremony we packed up the old Ford and headed east.  This rig does not act its age, which is a really good thing.

I hope you enjoyed this journey around two little snippets of Denver.