National Geographic : 1951 Aug
198 Katllleen itevis Bronze Cayuses Buck and Bridle in Salute to Colorado's Mile-high Capitol Denver's seat of State government looks down on the Civic Center. A . Phimister Proctor's equestrian statues, Bronco Buster and On the War Trail, symbolize the old-time "wild West." From the capitol dome, on a clear day, a majestic backdrop of 150 miles of Rocky Mountains is visible. Outdoors-loving Denverites enjoy about 30,000 acres of municipal parks in near-by mountains. We hauled our sleeping bags into the ends of a steel culvert not yet installed. It gave an eerie ring to bedtime stories; but sleep soon overtook us, and we settled into its corruga tions like ditchwater. Physicists were using the Evans summit house for cosmic ray study. We talked with them briefly, then headed off for Mount Bier stadt, a mile and a half southwest. Evans and Bierstadt are linked by a fin of jagged rock. It looked as if we would have to dip far into the valley to avoid it, but we happened upon a little ledge high up where we could cat-walk across. We put up cairns that would guide others to the same starting point. Heading for Grays and Torreys Peaks, also west of Denver, we gave up camping to spend a night at silver-wealthy Georgetown's famous Hotel de Paris. The cashier's cage of massive mahogany filled one side of the high-ceilinged lobby. The dining hall and our rooms up stairs had Victorian furniture of the same solid elegance. The canyon that runs from the town up to its mines was too steep for a railroad grade. To gain the needed altitude, engineers put in a full circle of track called the Georgetown Loop. It climbed all the way around and finally overpassed itself on a high trestle. In the booming late sixties and seventies ore trains spiraled metallic wealth down into the town's coffers. Now a thinner but reviving trickle of wealth comes up from the hot prai ries in the pockets of atmosphere-hunting tour ists and fishermen. High in the hills near by is Central City. In its summer season visitors can stop at Teller House; have their tintypes made; and square-dance in the streets with Lloyd Shaw, nationally known expert on folk dancing. North of Denver, roads run from the mid dle-sized towns of one of Colorado's rich agricultural areas to the Rocky Mountain National Park.* Private inns and govern ment trails have opened its treasureland of lakelets, streams, and ice-eaten mountains. Clouds Make Longs Peak Sizzle Many plainsmen are introduced to the mountains here and make rugged Longs Peak their first high conquest. We found even its tourist routes were "big mountain." The old Enos Mills trail circled to the cliff-surrounded * See "Photographing the Marvels of the West in Colors," by Fred Payne Clatworthy, NATIONAL GEO GRAPHIC MAGAZINE, June, 1928.