Hot! The Long Road to Denver



My summer travel plans shifted like everyone else’s with the economy. Instead of escaping to Ireland to avoid a few days of Arizona’s summer, I opted for a few short trips to visit old friends.

I landed at Denver International with no agenda other than to see my best friend from college and get a sampling of Colorado. Given my past experience with public transportation, I should have known the bus to downtown would give me my first glimpse at the city.

I was in stay-cation mode and in no rush when I looked at the options into town from DIA. Aside from shuttles and taxis, the less expensive mass transit options are few. The light rail does not run directly to the airport. There are convenient skyRide buses that spin off to different corners of the city. They cost $8. Then there is one city bus that costs $2. From that you can connect to other city routes.

I waited for the 169 as the skyRide shuttles passed me by. When it arrived, the driver told me I could connect to the 15 for a direct ride to downtown. She dropped me off 15 minutes later near an empty field at the far end of Colfax road. After a short wait, I boarded the 15 bus and started the long ride to Denver.

We passed dirt fields and prairie dogs raised their heads to sniff the air. We passed working class neighborhoods and a colorful working girl took a seat next to me. We passed liquor stores next to ski-lodge shacks turned into Starbucks. We passed gentrified neighborhoods on the edge of the business district. And after more than an hour, we passed the State Capitol building.

The trip had taken nearly as long as my flight, but I had arrived in downtown Denver just in time for happy hour.

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