Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Colorado's Capitol at Denver

We thought we’d do something different today.  Another state capitol was within day trip distance, so we headed north to Denver.  Besides a great opportunity to get out of the house, we also saw it as an opportunity to save a couple days later on.  We had planned to stop in Denver, but with this delay in Colorado Springs, we may not have the time later on.  So, in order to bypass Denver and still take in the capitol, we went today.

What a marvelous building.  It’s design is, like so many other state capitols, similar to our nation’s capitol.  The inside is very ornate, though perhaps not as much so as Oklahoma City.  There is a lot of brass, stained glass, and Colorado rose onyx marble.  The dome is covered with gold leaf on the outside, so there’s no stained glass.  However, the builders made up for it by putting stained glass in nearly every window on the second and third floors.

We signed up for the tour, of course, but were a little disappointed.  Tours start every hour on the hour and we were there for the 11 o’clock tour.  As is the case in most capitols, the tours are led by volunteers.  Some guides are better than others.  Initially, we were excited about our guide.  He was an elderly gentleman with eleven years experience as a capitol guide.  We were all set for a very knowledgeable presentation.

First off, we got a late start.  The guide had run late returning from his previous tour and needed a break.  Then, it turned out that we were to be accompanied by a group of Nepalese, one of whom was somewhat of a dignitary.  The guide felt compelled to wait for this group of men who were late for this tour.  They finally arrived and we got started.

As it turned out, the guide was very knowledgeable, but he was also very slow--of walk and of speech.  The Nepalese got distracted and eventually left the group, but the guide didn’t realize they were completely gone.  He thought they had been delayed or taken a wrong turn between the second and third floors.  We waited forever for them to show up, which, of course, they never did.

Our late start and delays resulted in being off “tract” in relationship to the other tours being conducted at the same time.  There were no less than 9 elementary school groups touring the capitol today.  With all those school children and the legislature being in session, the capitol was one busy place today.

In addition to the regular capitol tour, there is also a dome tour.  One of my readers highly recommended this tour and it was my intention to do it.  However, I thought it best, in my delicate condition, to pass on that one today.  As it turned out, the dome was closed.  They didn’t offer an explanation, but we had seen scaffolding on the outside and perhaps there is come construction, repairs, or cleaning going on.

We have now visited 23 of the state capitols.  If we ever do get to leave here, we’ll bypass Denver.  We’ll be back, I’m sure.  It’s on the way to a whole lot of great hiking.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for tagging along.

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