These past couple of weeks have been crazy trying to get homework assignments finished and turned in while still trying to make the most out of Denver. Last weekend was filled with sitting in coffee shops for hours on end finishing papers and presentations that were due last week and this week (after all homework is important).
One of the things I had to do this semester was get “cultural hours” – exploring new cultures through museums, restaurants, and events in Denver. I only needed a couple more hours, so I decided to go to the Colorado History Center. The Colorado History Center is a museum that is pretty close to where our housing is, and it was raining on Friday a few weeks ago so it was not possible to do anything outside for a long period of time. I definitely could have spent more time looking at the exhibits and reading the information about the different cultures and history of Denver, but I also needed to finish some homework, so I only stayed for about three hours. That gave me enough time to walk through all of the exhibits and really read into about two of them. The one that stood out to me the most was their Sand Creek Massacre exhibit. If you have never heard about the Sand Creek Massacre, it happened in 1864 and centered around the Cheyenne and Arapaho Native American tribes. The US government sent troops in at dawn and killed 230 men, women, and children. This exhibit showed the reality by telling the stories of people from the US army as well as people who experienced the massacre and what they experienced. There were original handwritten letters from US soldiers writing back to command saying they would not participate in the horrific actions they were being told to perform, and stories from Arapaho and Cheyenne chiefs, very few of which survived.
These types of stories are not told in history books very often, and when they are, rarely does it ever show the full story or damage of what occurred. It is important to go to museums like this to truly understand what the United States has done to acquire the land we have today and to recognize all the people who were killed simply because of the land they lived on.
On a more positive note, the weather was really nice for a couple weeks which meant it was perfect to go to the park and hang out, have a picnic, or go for a walk. Denver is a huge city with so many parks and I am grateful to live really close to one of them that has a trail around the outside and plenty of grass area to sit and people watch. Last Sunday a few of my housemates and I went and had a picnic dinner at the park and hung out for a while before the start of the week to enjoy the weather because the next day it snowed. We got to see a ton of dogs, and I am not a dog person, but some of them were super sweet. That is the one thing I actually enjoy about Denver – the dogs here are very well trained and rarely, if ever, do they jump on you or bark. Props to all of the dog owners in Denver who know how to train their dogs well!
For our last weekend in Denver, we went to Rocky Mountain National Park. This has been on my bucket list of things to do since the beginning of the semester, and I was told many times by people at my internship that I had to go. We had waited until the end of the semester hoping that the weather would be nice and we would have clear skies to see all of the mountains. Well, that was not the case. It was snowing and about 30 degrees outside. But it was still very worth it, and unbeknownst to us, Saturday April 22 was free admission day because it was the start of National Park week. It was also Earth Day, although that was not the reason it was free, but that made it even nicer! We decided to do the Emerald lake trail because that had been the most recommended by all of my co-workers and other people I had talked to. We did not bring a map with us which was fine until we started doing the Haihaha overpass, which is a trail that goes over the mountain. Thankfully someone turned us back the other direction, so we did not hike the entire trail thinking it was short. Emerald lake would be a gorgeous place to be, especially in the summer when you can actually see the lake! Not to say it was not pretty with the snow, but it was covered in snow so there was really no way of knowing that it was the lake other than the fact that everyone said it was.
Thanks for reading, until next time,
Aurora Franzon 2024