Number Eleven: Colorado

It pays to be sociable in high school. Doré made contact with two classmates from Red Bank Catholic, class of 1966, who have lived within 25 miles of each other for the last 30 years and didn’t know it. We had lunch in Boulder; I had no idea what they were talking about most of the time. (What’s a ‘Casey’?) However, Diane (Kinsella, high school name Dufford) gave us her bedroom in Arvada (suburb of Denver) for three nights and her condo in Breckenridge for two more and Bill (Father Breslin) bought us lunch. I don’t know why.

Only two walkers among the four of us. To quote Gerri Sell, long time South Minneapolis advocate for unpopular causes, “There are two kinds of people in the world: those with mobility limitations and those temporarily without mobility limitations.”

Three bike rides on three different days on three different trails and we still didn’t quite make it to 50 miles for Colorado. In our defense, this part of the country is having one of the hottest summers on record and the elevations on the trails in Denver and Boulder were between 5300 and 5700. Breckenridge (actually Frisco) was over 9000. Thus far, we have avoided all wild fires, hail storms, and earth quakes. None of the highways in California closed until after we were through with them; the one hail storm didn’t amount to much; and the earth quake in Nebraska was the day after we left.

Part of our Boulder Experience

Serious bikers from around the world seek out Boulder for biking; I’m pretty sure they aren’t looking for the same experience we were. Slopes that look to me to be too steep for skiing are certainly too steep for biking. Or so I thought. We didn’t bike those trails. The only changes in elevation for us were the underpasses, which had flooded recently or currently. We only got in eight miles on a very hot afternoon after a very ample lunch.

Denver has a good art museum that happened to have an exhibition of Jim Howard, a fashion illustrator from the 50s into the 80s. Doré’s mother was also a fashion illustrator in the 40s into the 50s; her career ended about the time Howard’s began. Her work, the little that survived a flooded basement, looks very similar.

Jim Howard became well enough known that he was eventually able to exhibit work under his own name. He continued illustrating until photography took over; Irene Doré continued until Susan was born. Other differences include Howard worked for four decades, not one; he worked in New York, not Chicago; he worked for Saks, not Fields; he illustrated into the 80s, not the 50s, and he was male.

Breckenridge is in it’s off season, I guess. The only snow was on distant peaks and not much of that. Still it was a very pleasant place to spend a few days, although the biking is challenging. We would have made it to 50 miles in spite of the temperature and elevation but the mountain got in the way. (See upper left diagram and it starts above 9000 feet.)


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