Denver and the Rocky Mountains

Aspen trees in the Rocky Mountains

Last week I went to Explore DDD (which I would highly recommend) in Denver on Thursday and Friday, joined a tour to the Rocky Mountains on Saturday, and explored Denver on Sunday.

Content of the conference aside, even the view from the venue was pretty amazing:

View of Denver buildings with Rocky Mountains in the background

Sadly the weather was pretty poor on Saturday for the Roucky Mountains visit, and there wasn’t lots to see out of the lookout 12,000 ft (~3600m) up:

Photo of Matt trying to see a view, but all there is outside is fog

Denver is a cool city, figuratively and literally. It’s quite high, almost exactly one mile above sea level. The Colorado capital building is in Denver; the stairs out the front have a plaque to show which one is exactly one mile above sea level, but measurements kept getting more and more accurate, so there are actually three plaques!

A few random facts from the visit:

  • The trees with yellow leaves in the picture above are aspens, and they actually grow in clumps all connected via a common root system
  • Denver convention center is the 13th largest building in the world
  • The Broncos (the Denver NFL team) have sold out every home game for the last 23 years
  • If attacked by a black bear, fight back
  • Up high, where the trees can only grow for a few months a year, a tree thats 2-3 inches thick might be 80 years old
  • A building that’s part of the Denver art gallery contains no right angles
  • The eagle atop the Denver local government building was made by someone who hated the mayor who planned the construction of the whole building. Apparently you only see eagles with their wings in that position when they’re a) about to take off, or b) defacating
  • In Denver, 1% of every public construction project must be set aside for a public art installation nearby the building
  • The Denver mint makes coins for China
  • This art piece was meant to be for a primary school and was trying to make a statement about the perspective of children (the horse atop the chair is actually a full size horse). However, the school didn’t like it and it ended up at the library. Another installation at the convention center pokes a bit of fun at this piece.
  • ‘Iseewhatyoumean’ is the name of a huge blue bear who’s always trying too see what’s happening in the Denver convention center, and is consistently voted the favorite public are installation

Despite the weather it was a fun weekend, I’m looking forward to going to Explore DDD again in 2018.