Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Last Minute Tour of the State Capitol

Colorado's State Capitol Building in Downtown Denver was completed in 1901.
      Our sightseeing agenda was somewhat dampened by the late spring snowstorm and business and family travels, but the snow was all gone by Tuesday morning, and Valerie was looking to get one more sight under our belts before we head out for Kansas City tomorrow.  

The Capitol Rotunda
      A favorite tour of ours when in capital cities is State Capitol Buildings.  Valerie researched and learned we could not easily take the light rail without connecting with a bus, and that parking could be a problem during the week.  She began to look into touring the Denver Mint, only to find it was closed on Monday and Tuesday this week.  So, we printed off a list of parking options and took off for Downtown Denver and the Capitol Building, approximately a 20 minute drive from where we are staying.

View of the Senate from the third floor gallery.

Lots and lots of brass adorns the staircases and other fixtures.

      Without too much difficulty, we located a metered space that was actually marked handicapped and free with our temporary permit.  We walked a few blocks, our belongings were screened at security, and we signed up for an hour-long guided tour by a delightful and knowledgeable volunteer named Trish.  Free tours are available for walk-in groups of less than 10 people starting on the hour between 10-3 Monday through Friday. We had a small group of five, which was a really good size, both for hearing the tour guide and getting around the structure.

Photo of the old stairway up into the Rotunda is no longer in use.
The stairway we actually climbed.

      We learned a lot of the history of Colorado, it's prominent and key figures, much information about the Denver area, as well as the construction of the state's beautiful Capitol.  Legislature was in session, and we observed the House of Representatives electronically voting on bills, but the Senate was apparently on lunch break or in recess during our visit.  Here's a link if you're interested further information or photographs: https://www.colorado.com/articles/colorado-history-colorado-state-capitol-denver.

A glimpse of the original stained glass from the back side on the stairs.

      It's a bit of a climb up into the rotunda, but well worth the spectacular views of the city and Rocky Mountains in the distance from the circular outdoor walkway.  On our way out, we stopped on the 13th stair of the West Wing which is marked with the official location of the 'Mile High,' after which Denver is nicknamed.  Tired and hungry and wanting to get ahead of rush hour traffic, we headed home to our two little Shelties.

Looking west from the Rotunda, the City and County Building with the Rockies in the background.

The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception undergoing renovations to the east.

State Flag and rock back from the moon

      Rain is predicted for tomorrow and it's turned a little colder again.  George discovered the replacement windshield wiper we purchased at Camping World is the incorrect part, so he did his best to repair the failing one until we can return it for the one we need.  We have our audio book all ready to play to help pass the time on the road.  We'll plan on driving two days to arrive in Kansas City.

Official Mile High Marker on the 13th step of the West Wing

Colorful car ride home.  
      Whatever the dogs do when we're away, it apparently tuckered out our little Zara.  At least the bed should be nice and warm for us.    Look out, Kansas City -- Here we come!

Good-night, Princess Zara!


  1. That was our first capitol tour we ever took.

    1. It's a real beauty! Not many Capitols will permit you up in the rotunda like this one.