Though the noted traveler said that "Grand Junction’s charm is limited to its delightful Main Street," Rick Steves liked him some "stately" Colorado Springs — not to mention Colorado's medical-marijuana centers' "happy pharmacy-style green crosses" — he wrote on his blog. (Steves was in town to share travel tips and bond with the local public television devotees, as a part of a national tour. See our preview here.)
Palatial-by-pioneer-standards Victorian homes line wide streets, recalling the days when the local mining aristocracy defined Colorado Springs’ high society while caring for “the deserving poor.” Chic and dressy for a Wild West town, it still feels uniquely chic and dressy today. But not too dressy. At my evening lecture — in the amazing Neo-Romanesque Shove Chapel on the Colorado College campus, packed with a thousand travelers — my host reminded me, “’Formal’ in Colorado means to wear some clean jeans.”
Working for Rocky Mountain PBS and the local public radio station (Classical 88.7 KCME-FM), I was set up in one of the nicest hotels imaginable: the Garden of the Gods Club Lodge. It’s part of a 480-acre estate given to the community in perpetuity in return for the promise that alcohol would never be served, sold, or consumed on the property. My room overlooked towering red rocks that glow in the morning sun and reminded weary pioneers of “Kissing Camels.” Walking in my bathrobe past grazing deer and spunky rabbits to the outdoor pool, I started my last day in the mountains by taking a dip and gazing through the steam at the radiant-red camels kissing at the foot of the Rockies.
Amusingly — or not, depending on if you were a sponsor — KCME's Brenda Bratton felt slighted by the original post, posting a snappy comment about the lack of credit (which was later corrected).
"It would have been nice to have been mentioned by name as was the other sponsor, Rocky Mountain PBS," wrote Bratton, adding: "It would [also] be nice if you could spend a little more time in Colorado to more fully appreciate its culture and people. Maybe next time it will be 20 cities in 40 days."