Estes Park, Colorado

Driving along US 34 East from Loveland to Estes Park (near Drake, Co) ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31365); New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken June 2, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Colorado, USA

Accessed from Loveland by Highway 34, Estes Park is considered a gateway for the Rocky Mountains and most notably the Rocky Mountain National Park. Located in Larimer County, the Town of Estes Park is a statutory town that is a popular summer resort and vacation hot spot. The town lies along the Big Thompson River and boasts a population just over 5,800 inhabitants (2010 census). The famous landmarks are the Stanley Hote, Baldpate Inn, Lake Este, and Olympus Dam.

Before the Europeans settled here, local tribes camped here – most notably the Arapaho Indians who lived here summers and called the valley “The Circle”. In the 1850s the Arapaho spent many summers camped around Mary’s Lake where their rock fire places, tipi rings, and dance rings can still be seen. They built eagle traps atop Long’s Peak in order to get war feathers. They established a buffalo trap here and used dogs to pack meat out of the valley. They also fought with the Apache here in the 1850’s and fought with the Ute when they hunted bighorn sheep here.

Whites and Euro-Americans first came to the area in the 1850’s as trappers, then the gold/silver prospectors arrived. The town is named after Missouri native Joel Estes who founded the community here i 1859. He moved his family here in 1863. Griff Evans and his family settled here in 1867 and acted as caretakers for the former Estes ranch. They initiated the tourism trade, building cabins for travelers and built the first dude ranch acting as guides for fishing, hunting, and moutaineering. The famous Irish nobleman, politician, and journalist Lord Dunraven settled here as well in the 1920’s. Albert Bierstadt was commissioned by the Earl of Dunraven to make a painting of the Estes Park and Long Peak area in 1876 and was displayed in Dunraven Castle. The young Anglo-Irish peer the 4th Earl of Dunraven and Mount Earl came in 1872 with Texas Jack Omohundro and decided to take over the valley for his own private hunting preserve. His land grab didn’t work, but he controlled 6,000 acres before he changed tactics and opened the area’s first resort – the Estes Park Hotel which was destroyed in 1911 by a fire. In 1873 English woman Isabella Bird explored the area with Rocky Mountain Jim (James Nugent) and wrote a memoir of their travels, featuring the area including their breathtaking ascent of Long’s Peak. In 1974 Rocky Mountain Jim and his neighbor Griff Evans argued and became rivals fighting over doing tours for tourists of the area. The arguments escalated until Evans blasted Jim in the head with his rifle shot gun. Evans traveled to Fort Collins to file an assault charge against Nugent but was arrested for first degree murder, put on trial, but was dismissed due to lack of witnesses of the shooting. He was acquitted.

ALex and Clara MacGregor arrived and homesteaded at the foot of Lumpy Ridge, building a ranch that is now a historic site. In 1874 they incorporated a company to build a toll froad from Lyons to Estes Park, which is now Highway 36 and was at the time the only road fit for pack horses. They used it to ring more visitors into Estes Park, some of which became residents building hotels and promoting tourism. Enos Mills in 1884 left Kansas and relocated to join family in Estes Park, and was integral to helping preserve nearly a 1000 square miles as Rocky Mountain National Park. This was successful in 1915. His brother, Joe Mills came in 1889 writing a series of articles about his experiences for Boys Life which were later published as a book. He and his wife returned to Estes Park to build a hotel called the Crags on the north side of Prospect Mountain. As the Rocky Mountains was deemed a healthy place to live with those suffering from pulmonary diseases, many came here and were catered to by the tourism industry and hotels, providing staff physicians for their care.

By 1903 a road was opened from Loveland through the Big Thompson River Canyon to Estes Park increasing access and bypassing the toll road. A auto stage route was established by 1907. Stanley Steamers were incorporated having Mr Stanley build 9 passenger steam busses opening a bus line from Lyons to Estes Park. In 1949 Olympus Dam was built providing local drinking water resources. In 1909 the Stanley Hotel was built styled in Edwardian opulence and became infamous when writer Stephen King stayed there gaining inspiration for “The Shining”.

in 1982 the town was severely destroyed by the failure of Lawn Lake Dam flooding the area. It was eventually renovated and improved, adding a river walk.

Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado. (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31369) Exploring Estes Park (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31373). New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken June 2, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)

Rocky Mountain National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31377); Estes Park (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31373), Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken June 2, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Rocky Mountain National Park
Estes Park, Colorado, USA

Located near Loveland, Colorado and Estes Park, the Park is bisected by Highway 34. The National Park is one of the best examples and playgrounds of the Rocky Mountains. In nearby Estes Park is the Stanley Hotel and Historic District which attracts many visitors from around the world at the gateway to the Rockies.

The Park is only 76 miles from Denver and it’s airport, making it a hot tourist location for the world. It is represented as the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and is nestled between the towns of Estes Park in the east and Grand Lake in the west. The eastern and western slopes of the Continental Divide run directly through the park with the headwaters of the Colorado River from the northwest. The park features mountains, alpine lakes, glaciation, wooded forests, mountain tundra all with a variety of wildlife.

President Woodrow Wilson declared the area a protected area with “The Rocky Mountain National Park Act” on January 26, 1915 and work by The Civilian Conservation Corps built the main auto route and Trail Ridge Road in the 1930’s. By 1976, the Park was designated as one of the World’s first Biosphere reserves. The park receives over 4 million visitors a yar making it the third most visited National Park in the United States.

There are five visitor centers located within and the park headquarters located at Beaver Meadows. The region that is the National Park was first utlized by humans when Paleo-Indians traveled along what is now the Trail Ridge Road to hunt for food. The most notorious tribes to frequent the area were the Ute and Arapahoe who hunted and camped here. Euro-Americans came in 1820 with the Long Expedition led by Stephen H. Long via the Platte River. By the mid-1800’s, settlers began coming to the area displacing the Native AMericans who primarily left by 1860 and others relocated to reservations by 1878. In the Summer Mountains, the towns of Lulu City, Dutchtown, and Gaskill were built by 1870 for prospectors searching for gold and silver. When the boom ended in 1883, many prospectors deserted their claims in the area. The railroad was built and reached Lyons, Colorado in 1881 and the Big Thompson Canyon Road (part of U.S. Route 34) from Loveland to Estes Park was finished by 1904. In the 1920’s, there was a great boom in the area, especially on the eastern slopes, building log cabins, lodges, and roads in the park.

Rocky Mountain National Park ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31377); Estes Park (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31373), Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken June 2, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Hooters

Hooters
~ Worldmide ~

Hooter’s is a chicken wing chain/franchise restaurant found worldwide. The food is good, service is slow, and has a tacky appeal. The focus on waitresses with “Hooters” in skimpy sports-style outfits is actually demeaning and lacks respect for women. The company publicly broadcasts their establishment is based on sex appeal. It is the end result of two privately held American restaurant chains “Hooters of America, Inc.” out of Atlanta, Georgia, and “Hooters, Inc.” based in Clearwater, Florida. The claim is the name “Hooters” is a double entendre off of its “owl” logo known for its “hooting calls” and American slang term for Women’s breasts popularized by Steve Martin on Saturday Night Live. They also operated “Hooters Air” an airline with normal flight crew, attendants, and scantily clad Hooter Girls on each flight.

Hooters discriminately hires only young attractive women whom they refer to as “Hooter Girls” with revealing tight outfits baed on sex appeal. They do hire men and women as cooks, hosts, busboys, and managers. Their older Employee handbook (2006) states “customers can go to many places for wings and beer, but it is our Hooters Girls who make our concept unique. Hooters offers its customers the look of the ‘All Amrican Cheerleader, Surfer, Girl Next Door’. Female employees are required to sign that they “acknowledge and affirm” the following:
My job duties require I wear the designated Hooters Girl uniform.
My job duties require that I interact with and entertain the customers.
The Hooters concept is based on female sex appeal and the work environment is one in which joking and entertaining conversations are commonplace.”

They offer a wide menu of chicken wings, hamburgers, steaks, seafood, appetizers, fries, and other sandwiches. They are also licensed for beer and wine, and in some cases a full liquor bar. They sell memorabilia such as t-shirts, clothing, souvenirs, and curios. By 2016 there were over 430 locations throughout the U.S., US Virgin Islands, Guam, Singapore, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Panama, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Russia, and one in the United Kingdom.

Hooters began in April 1, 1983 by six Clearwater businessmen – Lynn D. Stewart, Gil DiGiannantonio, Ed Droste, Billy Ranieri, Ken Wimmer and Dennis Johnson originally as a prank because they thought the idea would fail. THey built the first restaurant atop a former rundown nightclub they got at a low price. They opened the first restaurant on October 4, 1983 in Clearwater. In 1984 Hugh Connerty bought the rights to Hooters from the original owners as “Hooters of America” and sold franchising rights. In 2006, Hooters Casino Hoel was opened in Las Vegas. They later opened their first overseas location in Singapore.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Toys R’ Us

Toys R’ Us
~ Worldwide ~

One of my favorite toy stores growing up, it is one of the only places to find the popular toys on the planet. It is a chain however that will be a historic part of the past as they are closing all of their stores this month and calling it quits. Lost to online markets or a sign of the times. They claim to have been destroyed by the mass merchant chains of Walmart, Target, and Amazon. Toys R’ Us began in 1948 from Charles Lazarus children’s furniture store the “Children’s Supermart” as an American toy, kid’s clothing, baby product, and video gamer retailer with headquarters located in Wayne, New Jersey. It was re-styled and re-invented by Charles Lazarus in 1957 to its modern manifestation. In 2015 they invented and new concept store called the “Toy Lab” in Freehold, New Jersey with interactive exhibits and ability to play with toys before purchase. Today (2018) it lasted over 65 years with over 800 stores in the United States, and over 800 in other countries. They expanded as a chain focusing on toys. In 1969 they gained their mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe that appears through the store and on its advertisements. They branched out to a separate facility chain know as “Babies “R” Us” which sometimes operates as a separate store or often combined with “Toys R Us”. In the past they experimented with other facilities such as Toys R’ Us Express and Kids R’ Us which went defunct. Toys R’ Us filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States on September 18, 2017 and filed bankruptcy protection in Canada. On March 14, 2018 they announced that all Toys R’ Us stores in the United Kingdom would close, then the next day announced that all the United States operations would close. They claim this is the best strategic move to handle their $5 billion in back debt, borrow $2 billion to pay suppliers for the upcoming holiday season and invest in improving current operations. The closures will not affect the Asian, European, and Australian stores. January 2018 they announced they would liquidate and close up to 182 of its stores in the United States as part of its restructuring. It then turned to completely shutting down all of the U.S. stores. April 21, 2018 the Irish rival “Smyths” store claimed it would purchase all the Toys R’ Us stores in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and will re-brand them. April 24, 2018 the Canadian division was sold to Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd for $234 million.

Rated: 4.5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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La Caretta Mexican Restaurant (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

La Caretta Mexican Restaurant
~ 35 Iowa Avenue, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909 ~

This popular Mexican and Cuban fare restaurant seems to be well liked and visited. As a delivery professional I’ve done several pickups there and it appears to be well liked. I have yet to try the place for myself, but on the list for restaurants to review. On occasion they have live traditional bands and entertainment.

Rated: Unrated of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Prospect Lake, Colorado Springs

Prospect Lake
~ 1605 E. Pikes Peak Avenue, Colorado Springs, Colorado ~

A beautiful water-sports popular swimming lake in the heart of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Popularized by the many offerings of Memorial Park and the YMCA Aquatic Center, this location is very popular with the locals for swimming, fishing, boating, water skiing, jet skiing, and water sports. The parks and amenities along its shores are very popular, including playgrounds, bath house, beaches, recreational trails, and picnic spots. There is also one wheelchair accessible fishing dock. Some boating requires licenses or permits, but both motorized and non-motorized boats may operate on the lake, including sail boats, canoes, row boats, and paddle boats some of which can be rented in the park. There is a 1.25 mile long fitness trail around the lake. At the official beach, which is roped in to protect swimmers from boating, offers a once a week opportunity to swim 6-8 pm saturdays beyond the ropes to the rest of the lake.

The lake is historic and man-made being originally built in 1890 as a reservoir for overflow irrigation water. It became a swimming lake in 1932. It was donated with land by General William Jackson Palmer along with other Colorado Springs parks upwards of 1270 acres to the City of Colorado Springs. Prospect Lake is part of Memorial Park. There is some dark history to the lake, including the fact that it has leaked massive amounts of water for over 50 years causing environmental issues for the city. This has raised much controversy as the lake has been drained in the past and contemplations of emptying it for good has been considered. The commission put together a $50,000 study to determine why it is leaking water. It is believed that the bentonite clay lining that was installed in 1953 on its bottom cracked when it was exposed and dried out in 2002 when it was purposely allow to dry up during the 2002 drought. Prior to that the lake had been annually pumped with potable water by Colorado Springs Utilities. The lake was refilled in 2003 with non-potable water and banned swimming that year. It is hypothesized that the water leaked through the cracks into an underground aquifer. leaking through the porous ground soil at the same pace throughout the years. Evaporation is also believed to be a major issue annually. The Parks office claims “it’s a birdbath with a crack in it”. The lake loses 392 acre feet or 128 million gallons of water every year, 54% through leakage and 46% by evaporation. 400 acre-feet of water costs the city $389,000. Theories state the city could drain the lake and install a bentonite liner over the other half of the bottom but that would cost several hundred thousands of dollars and would not solve the evaporation problem. Other solution would be the city building a well north of the lake in the aquifer that takes much of the seepage and pump the water back into the lake. They say “its just a major recreation area. We’ll put hundreds of thousands of dollars into ball fields … and when you think about Prospect Lake, it has that same kind of benefit” Richard Skorman, the Vice Mayor stated.

As for cleanliness, the lake has potable water pumped into it annually and they have drained and refilled the lake a few years back. In former years, it has been “sketchy” due to patrons, general neighborhood concerns, and cleanliness but many of those issues have been tackled in current years. City Health officials state that even though swimming pools are rigorously chlorinated and tested daily, outdoor swimming lakes and beaches are not. There is no way to chlorinate, check chemical quality, use a filtration system or check turbidity. Even with swimming pools, a 2010 national study states that 1 in 8 pool inspections led to an immediate closure due to code violations. Pools can be closed in minutes with on the hour testing. Some pool operators go above and beyond, such as the YMCA at Monument Park including emergency response plans to deal with any unexpected issues involving recreational water illnesses (RWI) that can cause diarrhea, gastrointestinal, ear, respiratory, eye and would infections often caused by cryptosporidium, giardia, shigella, norovirus, and E. coli. The YMCA operates several city-owned pools and water features including Monument Valley Pool, Portal Pool, Wilson Ranch Pool, and Prospect Lake Beach in Memorial Park. The YMCA follos state Department of Public Health and Environment’s guidelines for natural swimming areas and testing. The beach is tested 17 times during the summer, collecting bacteriological water quality samples at least once every seven days and no fewer than 5 times a month, collecting water-quality samples at least 24 hours prior to the beginning of a peak-use period and within 24 hours after the end of the same peak use period such as before and after Memorial Day weekend.

Note: The safety of the lake is questionable even though it has a city operated bath house, swimming beach, and is a popular recreation spot in Colorado Springs. According to the local hospital, the water is questionable. My son, on Sunday June 10th, 2018 cut his toe on something sharp in the water while swimming, resulting in 4 stitches. Please be careful swimming in these waters.

There was an article about Sunken Treasure that was revealed in the lake when it was drained showing finds such as a metal skeleton of a 1960’s Volkswagon Bug, shot guns, rifles, knives, class rings, ice cube trays, a 45 rpm record, empty pull-tab cans, and jewelry. A local prospector with his Bounty Hunter metal detector has found 14 shotguns, handguns, and rifles since 2002 many with their serial numbers filed off. The Bug is believed to have been driven onto the lake when frozen one winter that fell through the ice.

Bibliography:

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Denny’s

Denny’s
~ Worldwide Franchise ~

Oh the memories growing up with “Denny’s”. It was a common hangout during my high school and college years. Late night, sitting for hours, catching up with friends. Even after college, it was a great location for after dancing/clubbing meet ups and place to sober up before heading home. This iconic table service diner-style restaurant chain is certainly an image of the American heartland and definition of American type food. It is called “Denny’s” or “Denny’s Diner” and consists of over 1,600 restaurants across the United States, including Guam, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Curacao, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela, Honduras, Japan, New Zealand, Qatar, the Phillipines, and the United Arab Emirates. It is famous for being open 24 hours, 7 days a week, year round except where required by law to be closed. They are open on holidays and late nights. They place themselves close to interstates, freeways, bars, and service areas.

A humble history spurring from a donut shop, Denny’s was birthed by Harold Butler and Richard Jezak as “Danny’s Donuts” in Lakewood California in 1953. In 1956, Jezak left the business leaving it to Butler who changed the image and concept from a donut shop to a coffee shop renamed “Danny’s coffee shops” operating 24 hours a day. By 1959 they changed their name to “Denny’s Coffee Shops” as another chain went by the name of “Coffee Dan’s” in Los Angeles. By 1961 they simplified their name to “Denny’s”. They became a franchise in 1963 and most of the locations today are franchise owned. In 1977 they introduced their very popular Grand Slam breakfast. By 1981 there were over 1,000 restaurants throughout the United States. They also absorbed many of the Sambo restaurants. By 1994 they became the largest corporate sponsor of “Save the Children” charity. Operating non-stop, 24 hours, many locations were built without locks and some are said to have lost their keys. With headquarters in La Mirada, California until 1989, they relocated to Irvine, California, then Spartanburg, South Carolina becoming acquired by Trans World Corporation in 1987.

They became notorious for the “free birthday meals” to anyone on their birthdates, but this only survived from 1990-1993 but was cut off due to over-use and abuse. They offer a free Birthday Build-Your-Own-Slam on a customer’s proven and tracked birth date. By 1994 they changed their theme, outlook, and decoration with a lighter color scheme. They were reviewed by the October 2004 Dateline NBC news story called “Dirty Dining” criticizing Denny’s cleanliness, safety, and operations pulling the health inspection records of over 100 of its establishments for a 15 month span totaling all of the critical violations that could lead to adverse effects of a customer’s health compared to Applebee’s, Bob Evans, Chili’s, IHOP, Outback, Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesday, TGI Friday’s, and Waffle House. They had the fewest violations averaging less than one violation per restaurant which they proudly boast is due to their successful model of their “principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points.”

However in 1934, they were damaged by their involvement in a series of discrimination lawsuits over food servers denying or providing inferior service to racial minorities from African Americans to Native Americans. That year, six black U.S. Secret Service agents visited a Denny’s in Annapolis, Maryland and were forced to wait an hour for service while their white companions were seated immediately. The 1994 class action lawsuit filed by black customers who were refused service, forced to wait longer, or pay more than white customers led to a $54.4 million settlement. In 1995 a African American customer in a Sacramento California location was told that he and his friends had to pay up front at the counter before ordering their meals, because, according to the waittress, said some black guys had been in earlier who made a scene and walked out without paying their bill, so the manager now wanted all blacks to pay up front. In 1997, six Asian American students from Syracuse University were discriminated upon late at night at a Denny’s having to wait more than a 1/2 hour as white patrons were served before them. After they complained to management, they were forced to leave by security, then afterwards a group of white men came out of Denny’s and attacked them, some beaten unconscious. Denny’s addressed this with racial sensitivity training programs for their employees and worked hard to improve public relations featuring African-Americans in their commercials. They made headway and was awarded in 2001 by Fortune Magazine to be the “Best Company for Minorities”. By 2006/2007 they topped Black Enterprise’s “Best 40 Companies for Diversity.” However in 2017, a Vancouver Denny’s made an Indigenous woman pay for her meal before it was served. The restaurant called the police on her after she left claiming she had a sharp-metal object in her pocket.

June of 2017, eight Denny’s in Colorado Springs and Pueblo, Colorado were immediately shut down because the franchise owner failed to pay close to $200,000 in back taxes as well as $30,000 in sales tax from the previous year. Many of these employees also filed that their accounts were not paid, received bounced checks and paychecks not arriving on time. The IRS came in and closed the locations, seizing property, and no advance notice given to its employees for the closures, leaving many without work or preparation for the losses. The franchise owner fled the state of Colorado.

Rated: 4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Memorial Park (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Memorial Park – Prospect Lake
~ Memorial, 1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave. Colorado Springs, Colorado ((E. Pikes Peak and Hancock Aves) ~
~ https://coloradosprings.gov/parks/page/memorial-park ~

In the heart of Colorado Springs is a beautiful multi-use park offering outdoor recreations to all sports enthusiasts and a great place for outdoor family gatherings. It features tennis courts, recreational lake with swimming beach, multiple baseball fields, an aquatic center, bicycle velodrome, ice skating center, basketball courts, volleyball, and multi-use sports fields. For families it offers playground and picnic areas with reservation spaces available. The Park embraces much of the shores of Prospect Lake and features a 1.25 mile fitness trail around the lake for walking, jogging, and hiking. Prospect Lake also features fishing, swimming, boating, water skiing, and jet skiing space. The Skate Park is Colorado’s second largest skate park at 40,000 square feet with competition-size space features for inline skaters, skateboarders, and BMX bikers. There is no cost to use these facilities. Prospect Lake also has a official beach and bath house and two fishing areas with docks. The sports center has an administrative office, three baseball/softball fields, 15 football/soccer fields, 12 tennis courts, and the YMCA hosting an indoor poor, fitness room, social/play room, and swimming lessons. The park features tribute and memorials to soldiers, guards, and military service. There are also horseshoe courts, multi-play courts, three playgrounds, restrooms, public telephones, vending machines, concessions, three trails: prospect lake fitness trail 1.25 miles, criterium trail at .6 miles, and perimeter jogging trail at 2.2 miles.

Review – I am very impressed with this park and love the lake. However, the lake is very murky at times and according to the local hospital its cleanliness is questionable, although they offer a official swimming beach and areas. My son on 6/10/18 was swimming in the lake and cut his foot on something sharp on the bottom of the lake floor requiring 4 stitches, so please be careful and aware. The indoor swim center hosted by the YMCA is laden with rules, often shutting down / interrupting swim time for ‘safety breaks’ and have some outrageous restrictions in play. Not to mention use of the pool is very high priced and oriented towards wealthier clientele. The staff are not very friendly or positive, and the overall experience is just not enjoyable. We have not used the bath house as it is often closed leaving swimming beaches and use around other parts of the lake leading to more unsafe conditions.

Rated: 3.4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions visited last 6/10/18. ~

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The Explorer (August 2013 to Present)

“The Explorer”
2007 Ford Explorer – Eddie Bauer Version, V 8

From 2013 to present, this vehicle has been the magical steed taking Sir Oisin Rhymer, Sir Leaf McGowan, Sir Thomas Baurley, and his family around North America on various travels. It has driven completely around the United States at least twice. It has been in 38 of the states (USA) and Canada. It pulls the Techno-Vardo to various festivals, travels, and camping trips.

The Explorer – 2007 Ford Explorer, Eddy Bauer version, 8 cylinder. Tales of a Delivery Driver: Chronicle 28 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken May 21, 2018. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=39039. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2018. Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography. More info about Colorado Springs: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31051

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Little Nepal (Colorado Springs)

Little Nepal Indian Restaurant
~ 1747 S 8th St, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80905 | Phone: (719) 477-6997 | lnepal.com ~

One of Colorado Springs finest Indian restaurants who are notorious for their amazing buffets. Located off 8th street, traditional style and decor – friendly service worth the wait. Tibetan, Nepalese, and India cuisine. Delicious and spicy. Wide assortment of offerings. A must visit for any Indian food connoisseur …

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Wings 2 Go (Colorado Springs)

Wings 2 Go (Flatiron’s)
~ 2540 Tenderfoot Hill St,
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906 | Phone: (719) 576-2540 ~

Un-disclosed Wings to Go at the counter within Flat Irons restaurant, this service is featured primarily with Uber Eats. The rest of the restaurant is dine in hearty American grill fare featuring fish tacos, steak, and pizza. I have yet to try “Wings 2 go” but I’ve heard they are pretty good. Not yet reviewed.

Rated: ___ of 5 stars. Currently un-rated. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Urban Steam (Colorado Springs)

Urban Steam Coffee
~ 1025 S Sierra Madre St, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903 | (719) 473-7832 | urbansteamcoffee.com ~

A off in the warehouse district, hiddem gem of a grunge style gear head hang-out. They offer drinks, cocktails, panini, creative waffles, salads, sandwiches, and of course coffee n’ espresso. WiFi … chill … and sometimes busy. Limited parking. Very laid back.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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On the Border

On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina
~ https://www.ontheborder.com/ ~

A massie chain of Tex-Mex cuisine that can be found throughout the world with numerous locations in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea. They began in October 1982 in Dallas, Texas. I’ve dined there many times and is one of the more popular chains to me that I enjoy. Great food, good service, and a social environment.

Rated: 3.75 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Old Chicago

Old Chicago Pizza and Tap Room
~ https://oldchicago.com/ ~

A national chain run by CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries, Old Chicago has a presence of over 60 restaurants in the United States covering 22 states. They have even franchized another 36 additional locations separate from CraftWorks. They focus on the pub-like experience of a tap room with craft beer as a specialty for the last 40 years since 1976 as a bar, restaurant, and brewery with an Old Chicago style and decorum served with pizza. The pizza parlour theme with classic pinball games and arcade, was brewed by friends in Boulder, Colorado enhancing the chain with additional old school charm and style. It’s not just about the beer and pizza though. Its a place for dates, family night, kids, meetings, friend gatherings, and social occasions. The dishes are quoted to be phenomenal, although I have yet had the chance to review the restaurant. The multi-brand outfit CraftWorks has dual offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Broomfield, Colorado.

Rated: ___ of 5 stars. Not yet rated. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines
~ Worldwide: https://www.flyfrontier.com/ ~

I’ve had the pleasure of flying Frontier many times – the price makes it affordable means of travel, although if you’re luggage bound, it may not be your best choice – as they knickel and dime everything with this airlines. That wasn’t always the case, before the airline wars and indentured servitude, Frontier like all airlines once offered free luggage, free snacks, free beverages, and went out of their way to serve you. You just can’t find that with airlines any more, so the choices out there – this is a good one for the economically minded. However, they cut corners everywhere they can in order to pass on the savings to the customer. I once returned my car at Sea-Tac around 2 pm, and had to sit in line to check my luggage for 4 hours until the courtesy desk opened before they don’t open it until 2 hours before departure instead of having a desk where people can come for service normal airport hours.

They bill themselves as a ultra low cost airline carrier that has headquarters in Denver, Colorado. They are the 8th largest commercial airline in the United States flying to over 80 destinations in America, and 6 international destinations.

Rated: 3.5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Park Inn By Radisson Shannon Airport

Park Inn by Radisson Shannon Airport
~ Shannon Airport House, Shannon Industrial Estate, Shannon, Co. Clare, V14 N763, Ireland | Phone: +353 61 471 122 | https://www.parkinn.ie/airporthotel-shannon ~

A luxurious (for Ireland) Inn located 2 km from the Shannon Airport that will give its patrons a good rest before and after their flights. I’ve had the pleasure of staying there a couple of times during flights to and from the United States to Ireland. It is also 13 km from the Bunratty Castle and Folk Park bringing tourists to the area. The rooms are bright, airy, and spacious – they offer free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, business desks, coffee making, and some rooms mini fridges. They also have a breakfast buffet offered for a surcharge. A casual restaurant, cozy bar, ad gym are also offered to patrons. They have free parking as well.

Rated: 3.75 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Fazoli’s

Fazoli’s
~ U.S. Chain – visited Austin Bluffs Plaza | Cheyenne Mountain Shopping Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado | https://www.fazolis.com/ ~

A national American Italian fast-food chain with drive-thru and sit in dining, the first restaurant was opened in 1988 in Lexington, Kentucky. They offer fast, fresh, Italian influenced food. Currently they have over 213 locations across America. Popular with their spaghetti and meatballs, Fettuccine alfredo, lasagna, ravioli, pizza, submarinos sandwiches, salads, and bread sticks – they offer a good selection of food. I’ve tried many of the dishes and am impressed. One of my favorite fast food chains as they are much more healthier option than the burger shacks.

Rated: 3.5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Saigon Grill (Colorado Springs)


~ 337 N Circle Dr, Colorado Springs 80909, Colorado | saigongrillfortcollins.com | (719) 635-0720 ~

A unique family-owned roadside Vietnamese restaurant in eastern Colorado Springs offering Vietnamese food, wine, beer, and cuisine. I have yet to try the restaurant, but have done deliveries for them – they seem to be very popular and well liked. They are always friendly and hospitable with a cute playful kid managing the operation. They are said to have modern interpretations of classic dishes using the highest quality and fresh ingredients.

Rated: ___ of 5 stars. un-rated. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Hacienda Villereal (Colorado Springs)

Hacienda Villereal
~ Colorado Springs, Colorado 80916 | Haciendavillarreal.com ~

A popular Mexican restaurant in Colorado Springs, I have yet to try the establishment but seems to be fantastically reviewed by its patrons. They call their cuisine “Mountain Mex” in like comparison to Tex-Mex, New Mex Mex, etc. They take Mexican food and give it a Rocky Mountain twist. A festive restaurant, colorful and exciting, embedded into a small strip mall. They have unique food and drinks, over 40 tequilas to choose from. Definitely on my lists of places to visit.

Rated: ___ of 5 stars. un-rated. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Motomaki (Denver)

Motomaki
~ http://motomaki.com/ | Denver, Colorado ~

A popular sushi, roll, and bowl outfit in Denver. Appears pretty popular. I have yet to review but its on my list.

Rated: ___ of 5 stars. (currently un-rated) ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Tuk Tuk Thai (Denver)

Tuk Tuk Thai
~ 8000 E Quincy Ave, Denver, Colorado | tuktukrocks.wordpress.com | (303) 988-5885 ~

I have yet to review this restaurant, but it appears to be very popular in Denver. I have done deliveries for the establishment. As a fan of Thai food – it is high on my list of places to try. Tuk Tuk offers a mix of Thai and contemporary fare including sushi.

Rated: ___ of 5 stars. (currently unrated) ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Tacos Rapidos (Denver)


~ 2800 W. Evans Ave. / +1 303-935-0453 |
Denver, Colorado ~

I have yet to try this drive-thru Denver phenomena, but it appears very popular in the city. They now have two locations. I’ve done deliveries for them. They offer early morning, all day, and late-night Mexican food 24/7 for the Denver crowd. Very popular with late night after clubbing crowds, the restaurant seems to be taking off. They have walk-in and drive-thru services, a large menu, and low prices. In 2011, Westword readers voted it the best 24/7 Restaurant.

Rated: ___ of 5 stars. (currently un-rated) ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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McDonalds

McDonald’s Fast Food Chain
~ https://www.mcdonalds.com/ ~

As a child, my parents and school system were captivated victims of the advertising brainwashing of this corporate fast food giant. I myself have fallen into their lure many years of my life, and still victim of the addictive taste of their food. Just like most parents, a quick simple failing nutritious meal for their kids, I was taken to McDonalds at an early age. I remember a school trip to a farm making the industry look wholesome and local, taken into a set-up building where they showed us kids how to flip burgers, gave us special hats, and made us want to grow up to be a burger flipper for them. As a kid, McDonalds excited me. I have had the same issue having exposed my son to them – and its a hard habit to break, an addictive drug is their food, that captivates billions of people around the world. The Expose “Super Size Me” shows the dangers of the restaurant chain and how brainwashed the world has become.

But is it truly dangerous? it definitely has its delicious appeal. It wasn’t always a corporate giant. They of course like all businesses chase after money. They wanted success and they got it. The restaurant was started in 1940 by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald with its founding in San Bernardino, California. Not a surprise right? California. That home farm experience I attended in school was in upstate New York in the 70’s. They were already en route to world dominance by that point.

With humble beginnings, McDonald’s started out as a hamburger stand. It turned into a franchise in the 50’s when Ray Kroc in 1955 talked them into starting a franchise, opening the fist one in Phoenix, Arizona. The owners were suspicious at first and were originally reluctant to the expanding ideas. Kroc purchased the chain from the brothers, and moved its headquarters to Oak Brook, Illinois, and then global headquarters to Chicago by 2018. Since the campaign to turn to franchise, extreme advertising and promotions, world dominance across the Great Pond happened relatively quickly. Today McDonald’s is the world’s largest restaurant chain by revenue, boasting over 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries.

McDonalds sells a variety of sandwiches from hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, fish sandwiches, french fries, soda, milk shakes, wraps, desserts, cafe items, coffee frappacinos, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Since the 1980’s they have been attacked for their world dominance, menu, food quality, and unhealthiness of their food. Since then, they have made annual changes to their menu to address the concerns promoting a healthier option line. They are also the second largest private employer in the world next to Walmart.

Rated: 2.5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Enterprise Car Rental

Enterprise Car Rental
~ www.enterprise.com | Customer service: 1 (855) 266-9565 ~

Enterprise has become one of my favorite and most preferred car rental agencies as of late (2018) since they have become more convenient, efficient, and hospitable. I still book my rentals using services like Kayak and Priceline rather than their web site directly. They have a local counter down the road from me so can’t more convenient than walking distance. I almost rented a car from them last month while dealing with my own car troubles, but i figured out my issues. They guy at the desk however was very helpful. Recently I flew into Sea-Tac airport, and went to the rental car agency hub – it was very streamlined, no discrimination with debit cards (i gave up credit cards over 10 years ago) as long as I had return flight details. They didn’t even run a hold on my card so I had access to my funds. Good price and booking was streamlined. I was sent down to the 4th floor where another agent helped me pick out a vehicle, dried to downgrade or upgrade my vehicle from a mini-van to something he thought was more suitable (which was a bit annoying) and of course tried to up-sell all sorts of insurance packages and add-ons (annoying but frustratingly expected). No long contracts, simply hand app print-out, drive through gate, check out, and that was it. The vehicle was in great condition and was pristine. A great trip around the Olympic Peninsula, i was quite content. They did a fantastic job! Rated: 5 of 5 stars. April 2018: ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Park DIA

Park DIA
~ 25200 E 68th Ave, Aurora, CO 80019 | Phone: (303) 288-7275
Denver International Airport – Denver, Colorado ~

A relatively new parking facility outside of Denver International Airport (DIA), it is close, affordable, economic, pleasing, and curb to car service most of the time. Covered or un-covered parking, your choices based on length of stay, weather, and convenience is your choice. They also have an awards program. 2017-2018 I saw $6.95/day prices to park when I’ve needed the services. Pull in, park, and usually there is a shuttle bus waiting on you. They give you a card to remind your car location, they take you to departures, and its an easy experience. Coming back, walk to the pickup location across from the baggage claim/arrivals doors and you’re set. The driver collects your card and actually tries to drive you up to your vehicle. If your battery is dead or car won’t start they are supposedly set up to assist. My choice place to park when flying out of DIA.

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Quiznos

Quiznos Sandwich Shop
~ WORLDWIDE ~

A step up from Subway, Quiznos is a fancy sub-shop chain that you can find throughout North America. It is the second largest submarine shop chain in North America, just behind Subway. It is a franchise that is based in Denver, Colorado and specializes in toasted submarine sandwiches. It was founded by Jimmy Lambatos in 1981 and now has over 5,000 restaurants throughout North America. Today it has over 1,500 domestic locations and approximately 600 international sites. (2018)

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Piccino Wood Oven Pizza (Littleton)

Piccino Wood Oven Pizza
~ 5350 S Santa Fe Dr, Littleton: Denver, Colorado 80120 ~ piccinopizza.com ~ (303) 794-2100 ~

This restaurant has not yet been reviewed. I have done a few deliveries for the establishment, and customers seem dedicated, enthusiastic, and happy with the service. Piccino’s is a wood over pizzeria as well as a contemporary chain for order-at-the-counter pizza and pasta shop with some tap beers and wine available.

Review: ___ stars out of 5. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Ice and Refridgeration (Technogypsies)

When travelling, refrigeration becomes a major issue. Having a cooler, electric fridge, or ice chest is the way to go. You can get ice from almost everywhere, and it ranges in price from free to costly. When staying at hotels, they may discourage you from filling up your ice chests from their machines, but there are ways around that. The cooler bags are great because they are flexible and can conform to the tiny opening meant only for ice buckets from the room. Fill up your bag there or do the tedious method of filling up the room bucket and poor into your chest.

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Ramada Inn (Centennial Airport – Denver)

Ramada Inn (Centennial Airport)
~ 7770 S Peoria St, Englewood/Denver, Colorado 80112 ~ (303) 790-7770 ~

A cost effective hotel located just outside of the Centennial Airport south Denver. Staff is friendly and helpful. Outside of kids running down the hall hotel is pretty quiet and restful, no airport noises. Comfortable beds, free cable, clean rooms, electric working. Restful. A wonderful breakfast buffet with a large selection of cold and food breakfast stuffs available. Drink cups are small though. Ice machine on the 2nd floor was broken during my visit. The 2nd floor even numbered rooms circle around a gravel roof-top with open access to the room’s windows, from debris on the roof it appears people have hung out on it – meaning its a security issue for the rooms as i found my room window unlocked. Would be easy for thieves. I did receive a prank call most likely from a young guest during the night, that was annoying. Hotel is aged in some parts, and brand new in others. oddly there is spacing between the bottom of the room door and the hall, not being very private. It was a comfortable stay none-the-less. No fridges or microwaves in the rooms. WiFi is good and clear, no password.

Rated: 4 stars out of 5 Visited 3/31/18-4/1/18. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Baker Street Pub and Grill


~ 8101 E Belleview Ave, Denver, Colorado 80237 ~ (303) 577-2790 ~
~ places.singleplatform.com ~

This restaurant has not been reviewed. I have done a few deliveries for the establishment and it seems popular, busy, and smells delicious. Located in a shopping plaza near Denver Tech Center, this Pub is a British-themed chain offering pub grub and draft brews, live music, and has a beautiful patio.

Rated: ___ of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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not all who wander are lost …