Day 16: Mesa Verde to Red Rocks

We were glad to stay at the Rio Grande for two nights. It sure has been nice when we have somewhere to settle into for a couple nights. The kids watched a movie after we got back from Mesa Verde. The hum of the ceiling fans and window fan make wonderful white noise for sleeping. We got a later start in the morning than intended (surprise, surprise) because we were enjoying sleeping so much. We finally got downstairs for another Sheila & Don breakfast. The kids were thrilled to find that Winnie was in the living room this morning! Such an adorable little puppy.

We’d found our breakfast favorites and enjoyed bacon and omelets and waffles again, in addition to blueberry pancakes this morning. Delicious! The service isn’t quick, but it feels so homey and comfortable and delicious that you don’t even care.

On the road again, this time headed toward Denver. My brother, David (#3 Kuhlmann child & #2 brother), lives in Denver. The two activities we’d planned for and bought tickets for on this trip were the Grand Teton Covered Wagon Cookout and a concert and movie at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. Tonight was our night to meet David at Red Rocks!

Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO, is a gorgeous park with hiking trails and picnic areas, and is also the most beautiful outdoor concert venue you’ve ever seen. My photos don’t capture it at all. Even if you normally don’t click through on links, you should click on the Red Rocks links to see the beauty of this venue.

On this trip, we have trusted three data sources for our travel time: Mapquest, the Odyssey’s navigation system, and our estimates of stop times based upon our family’s patterns while traveling. We were a bit concerned that this combination might still lead to underestimating our total travel time each day we were traveling. Most of the time, it wouldn’t matter too much, but it mattered the two nights when we had tickets for events. We were pleased to find, over the three weeks, that our data sources served us well. We never felt rushed, but each day found our time estimates to be fairly true. Having gotten a bit of a late start from Dolores, we arrived only a half-hour after we had intended to arrive at Red Rocks.

The Red Rocks event we were heading to was part of the Film on the Rocks summer program sponsored by the Denver Film Society. Each Monday night, Red Rocks hosts a movie, as well as a few local bands. Doors open at 6:30 pm. First band at 6:40 pm. Movie starts at dusk, which is typically around 9:00 pm. Most people bring picnic dinners to eat in the amphitheatre.

We arrived at 7:00 pm, met David at the Box Office. Fortunately, we already had our tickets; the event was sold out: 10,000 people coming to see Goonies. The walk from the parking lot up to the amphitheatre might be considered a steep hike. What a view! The red rocks surround the natural amphitheatre. David had brought a picnic supper for us: sandwich makings, cold lemonade & enough popcorn for all. Thanks, David!

We had missed the first band, Princess, but enjoyed the next band, The Centennial, which describes itself as indie pop. The Centennial is a re-formulation of the band, Meese, including brothers Patrick and Nathan Meese, Patrick’s wife, Tiffany, as well as a few others. We enjoyed the band a lot, and it may have been the kids first big concert. Did I mention that it was a great setting?

After The Centennial played, there was a bit of stand-up and entertainment, including some presentations (video and in-person) by several not-for-profit causes. This seems to be the format for these events. Just before the movie, we enjoyed a Bugs Bunny short. Seriously, when is the last time you’ve seen Bugs Bunny? By the time the movie started, we had eaten dinner and settled into our popcorn. What a fun way to see Goonies! Hal and I had seen (at least part of) the movie before, but didn’t realize that it has quite a cult following. The crowd cheered for the good guys and booed the bad guys, and we had a very enjoyable evening. By 11:15 pm, we were on our way to David’s house in the Capital Hill neighborhood of Denver.

Thanks for the suggestion of heading to Red Rocks, David. We would have enjoyed the park under any circumstances, but had an especially good time at an event.

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1 Response to Day 16: Mesa Verde to Red Rocks

  1. Father Jim says:

    Hal and Jennifer–you’re not just creating family memories you’re calling up my own. We’ve been to both MV and RR. In fact we went to a concert at Red Rocks. Beautiful.

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