|Marshall Pass, William Henry Jackson, 1899|
Boulder was a liberal den -- a veritable Berkeley of the Rockies -- with a great university radio station that I listened to as I drove into the mountains on my way to the Northwest. I remember listening to Cat Stevens before the reception faded out, although I suppose John Denver's Rocky Mountain High would have been more appropriate. I wanted to cut through the mountains and took US 34 out of Boulder toward Roosevelt National Forest. Unfortunately, I ran into a road block not far from Estes Park, as I climbed to well over 7500 feet. Even in summer, snow had closed the road and I had to turn back, and take the interstate.
|Colorado represented as a "white virgin" in this|
allegorical painting in 1876
When Territorial governor John Evans had the votes a year later, Johnson was now President and he placed emphasis on readmitting the Southern states, not admitting new states, particularly those that would bring more Republicans into Congress. As such, Colorado found itself caught up in the battle of Civil Rights, with a fierce fight over Congressional votes. Johnson may not have been able to block the 1866 Civil Rights Act, but he was able to block both Nebraska's and Colorado's bids for statehood.
It would be ten long years before Colorado gained the favor of President U.S. Grant, who admitted the state on August 1, 1976. Colorado became known as the Centennial State, resulting in this unusual flag. The country also found itself united again as Grant had pulled federal troops out of most of the Southern states, allowing for local rule again.
|Leadville, ca. 1890|
Colorado is literally split in half by the Rocky Mountains. Despite being dubbed the "Mile High City," Denver actually sits at the base of the mountains. Boulder is situated up the slope from Denver and looks down on the sprawling metropolitan center. At one time, Denver had attracted the beatniks in the 1950s, as Kerouac described in his short stopover in On The Road, but Boulder was a much more appealing place to hang out at the time I visited.
|Mesa Verde, Gustaf Nordenskiold, 1891|