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  • Writer's pictureJoe

The Mile High City

But, it really began in Denver. It was September 22nd, 2015, more than a year and a half after my Austin trip. I got to work that day to discover that the installation of new carpet would prevent any real work from being done that day. I decided to take the day off, and, upon leaving the building, noticed the capitol beckoning. I had lived in Denver for 10 years at that point, and had never visited before.

All that glitters is gold.

The Colorado Capitol was completed in 1894. It was built on a 10-acre parcel of land donated by Henry C. Brown, the man who built the nearby Brown Palace Hotel. If I remember correctly, the building used up the world's entire supply of Colorado Rose Onyx, a pretty pink marble quarried near Beulah, Colorado. Hope nobody else needs any ever again.

Rose onyx.

Being in Denver, the Colorado capitol bears markers on its outside steps marking 5,280 feet, one mile, above sea level. The fifteenth step is engraved "ONE MILE ABOVE SEA LEVEL." However, in 1969, a marker was installed on the eighteenth step after students from Colorado State University re-surveyed the elevation. Whoops. But, then, in 2003, it was surveyed again, and the thirteenth step was determined to be the most accurate measurement! Colorado State University was stripped of all state funding and the offending students were arrested and thrown in jail. Not really.

If you're gonna make mistakes, just don't engrave them in stone.

Honestly, your smart phone can probably give you a more accurate measurement.

Just as in Texas, the capitol tour was lead by an adorable senior citizen volunteer. Her name is sadly forgotten to me, as I had no intention of ever blogging about her, but she was kindly and informative. We got ascend to base of the dome, recently having been refinished in gold leaf. In true Colorado fashion, the view was spectacular.

The West is the best.

It was near the end of the tour that I realized I could ignore the call of nature no longer. I found a men's room. What struck me as I entered-noticing the wooden door with the hand-painted letters "MEN," the tiled floor, the marble sinks, brass fixtures-was the old-world extravagance. "Damn," I thought, "what a fancy place to poop." As I sat there hoping with every ounce of my being that no one else would enter for the next 15 minutes (as always), I remembered my trip to the Texas capitol. I remembered pooping there, too. That's when it all came to me. I accepted the divine mission the universe had laid at my feet. I resolved to poop at all 50 state capitols.

Spoiler alert: get used to dome pics.

And I never even imagined this blog. Who knows what will come of this journey. Travel Channel series? Preparation H Totables endorsements? Book deal?

Time will tell.

Next stop, the City of the Saints, SLC.

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