Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Colorado Chronicles : The Highest City in North America

10,152 feet high in the Rockies lies the highest incorporated city in North America - Leadville, Colorado. A little more than 2700 people call this former mining boomtown and the-almost-capital-city of Colorado home. Today it seems odd that a town far-removed from the population center of Denver-Suburbs-Boulder could have been named the State Capital, but in the end The Mile High City won out as the seat of government in Colorado. With its Alpine altitude, Leadville has a very moderate, if not chilly climate. The average high temperature in July is a comfy 71 degrees, with the night time lows around 38. The coldest month, on average, in Leadville, not surprisingly, is January. The first month of the year offers up a median daytime high of 31 with the mercury plummeting to a nightly average of 3 above zero. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Leadville is home to the National Mining Museum , Ski Cooper ski area and is also designated as part of a National Historic Landmark District. As of this writing, there are over 50 buildings in town that date back as far as 1870. Speaking of relics of yesteryear, while in the area why not catch a ride on the Colorado, Leadville & Southern Railroad excursion?
Leadville, Colorado, the Highest Incorporated City in North America and a true small-town American West kind of place.

Maine Minutiae : Honeymoon Destinations for Glen and Mary

Earlier today my buddy Glen Chase posted on Facebook asking for suggestions for a nice place to have a wedding. He's getting lots of helpful ideas from many of his friends. As a public service (and because it gives me something to post), I am going to take Glen's request one step further and offer some potential honeymoon places for Glen and his betrothed, Mary. That's just how I roll, romantic fool that I am.

I will take into consideration locations that offer good food, shopping and lodging that don't cost an arm and a leg. Such as Bar Harbor. The Portland area has a variety of places for newlyweds. Glen and Mary would certainly enjoy the natural beauty and away-from-the-city location of Bear Mountain Inn. A simple Bing search turns up hundreds of places where the Happy Couple can enjoy the first days of their lives together.
I worked with Glen at Best Buy and can say that he is a fine young man, great co-worker and all-around nice guy (except for being a Celtics fan...haha). I wish Glen and Mary a long, happy and healthy future together.
With great admiration,
Toby, Three States Plus One

Texas Tidbits : Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center

The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is an $18 million facility located in Athens dedicated to the conservation and education about fish and fisheries in the State of Texas. Although TFFC is operated by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, it was built without State Funds ( that alone is reason enough to love the place). From the TFFC website : "TFFC houses a hatchery, laboratory, aquarium, and education center focusing on underwater wildlife in the state’s freshwater streams, ponds and lakes. It serves as home base for the ShareLunker program, which invites anglers to donate trophy-sized largemouth bass for research and breeding purposes. Annual visitation is more than 60,000. A third of our visitors attend with school and youth groups".

See that photo up there  ^^^? That's a 26,000 gallon aquarium in the theatre at TFFC. As you can see, that's a full-grown man in scuba gear in there feeding the fish. He's wired for sound and is able to take questions from visitors about the aquarium in particular or TFFC in general. I have seen this on several occasions and it's a very informative program. This huge fish tank is home to several species of piscatorial species, including (at the time I was there) a large mouth bass estimated to weigh 24+ pounds and a blue catfish at an estimated 44 pounds ! To top that off, this catfish was blind as a bat due to cataracts (true, but pun intended). Also on the property are a snack bar, gift shop and a pond that is stocked with rainbow trout during the winter and year-round with catfish. Rod and reels and bait are provided free of charge. The on-site museum is an awesome part of the facility with interactive displays and fishin' gear from days gone by. For more info, you can contact TFFC here.
The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is a must see not only for fishermen, but for the education they provide about fish habitat, etc, and how to conserve and protect these beautiful assets for all Texans.

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All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker