Denver Gorilla Run Takes Streets of Denver Oct. 26

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Denver Gorilla Run

Denver Gorilla Run

On October 26 the streets of Denver will be inundated with gorillas – thousands of them!  The 10th Annual Denver Gorilla Run is Saturday Oct. 26 with more than 3,000 people in gorilla suits running a 5K to benefit the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The cost of the race is $99, which includes a full gorilla suit (available in different sizes). Participants from each of the nine previous races are being encouraged to dig out their suits and show up to help re-set Denver’s current Guinness World Record for a gorilla run with even higher numbers.

As if gorilla suits were not enough, racers are encouraged to dress up the suits, so there are gorilla families, gorilla bands, gorilla blonds…old gorillas, young gorillas and even Hawaiian gorillas.

After the race there is a gigantic block party for everyone in the city with food trucks, craft beer, and bands, all in front of the Wynkoop Brewing Company, Denver’s oldest and largest brew pub.

Denver Gorilla Run

Denver Gorilla Run

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Turning Tragedy Into Triumph: The Estes Park Memorial Observatory

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A piece of an asteroid could soon be captured, by a man who was surprised he graduated from Lakewood High School. “I was voted most likely to end up in jail. It was just too much fun to not study,” laughs Mike Connolly. After he slid through high school, Connolly’s father drove him to Fort Collins to apply at Colorado State University. But his GPA wasn’t strong enough for admittance. “They told my Dad ‘Your son might go to college, but it won’t be here,’ ” remembers Connolly. “But I wasn’t discouraged because my Dad looked at me and said ‘Failure is not an option.’”

Packing his bags for Sterling, CO, Connolly took core classes at Northeastern Community College. It was during this time that Connolly faced the first of many unexpected losses, that of his sister to leukemia. Although devastated, Connolly used the experience to fuel him forward, studying harder during this difficult time. “It was a time of stopping, and seeing I could go right or left. I decided to take the right road,” says Connolly.

With a strengthened G.P.A. and renewed determination, Connolly was admitted to CSU and graduated three years later with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Fresh out of college, he took a job at Martin Marietta (Now Lockheed Martin) in the 1960′s, to work on the Titan Missile as a thermal engineer. During his career, Connolly worked on many memorable projects including the famed Apollo Mission and the Magellan, a spacecraft created to take radar images of Venus.

 

 

Carri Wilbanks With Mike Connolly of the Estes Park Memorial Observatory

Carri Wilbanks With Mike Connolly of the Estes Park Memorial Observatory

Throughout his career, his engineering projects fed Connolly’s fascination with astronomy, a passion that he passed along to his children. “I remember nights where we would all lay under the sky looking at starts and planets for hours. I love the stars and I loved showing them to my kids,” says Connolly. He never could have imagined that they would not be sharing moments like this forever. In 2005, Connolly suffered yet another devastating loss, that of his son, Thomas, and daughter, Christian, who passed away in a tragic motorcycle accident.

With wife, Carole, and daughter, Michelle, the Connolly family honored their lives through the construction of the  Estes Park Memorial Observatory. “I really like this place. Even though you have to compete with XBOX,” Mike says jokingly as he opens the 16-foot dome housing a telescope that can see 400 million miles into space.

Modeled after the Little Thompson Observatory in Berthoud, the dome rotates using a motorcycle chain that is driven by two oversized garage door openers. The telescope, which sat unused for 10 years inside a closet at Estes Park High School, now brings a clear vision of stars, planets and the moon to any level of astronomer.

Now retired, Connolly still works as a contracted Thermal Engineer. Right now, his attention is focused on the Osiris-Rex project. The mission: to capture a piece of an asteroid to help determine its composition. The spacecraft is scheduled to launch in 2016, reach the asteroid in 2018 and come back to earth in 2022. Whether through the observatory, or his work in space exploration, Connolly continues to share his passion for astronomy and bring each of us closer to the skies above.

The donation based Estes Park Memorial Observatory is open to individuals as well as school groups. So head on over, Mike Connolly would love you to introduce you to the sky you live under everyday.

 Estes Park Memorial Observatory

1600 Manford Avenue

970-586-4045

 

Carri Wilbanks With Mike Connolly of the Estes Park Memorial Observatory

Carri Wilbanks With Mike Connolly of the Estes Park Memorial Observatory

 

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Exploring Boulder, Colorado

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CatchCarri.com is bringing you the unique  flavors of Boulder, Colorado. This majestic town, just over 30 minutes from downtown Denver, offers plenty to do and see. Come along as we explore everthing from the outdoors, vibrant foodie scene, and the bustling Pearl Street Mall.

Dushanbe Tea House

@TeaDushanbe

Dushanbe Tea House

Dushanbe Tea House

Built by hand in Dushanbe, Tajikistan this tae house was disassembled, crated up, and sent halfway around the world to be rebuilt in Boulder as a symbol of friendship.

1770 13th St Boulder, CO 80302

(303) 442-4993

Pearl Street Walking Mall

@DowntownBoulder

Boulder, CO

Boulder, CO

1942 Broadway #301 Boulder, CO 80302

You will find several shops and restaurants along the pedestrian walking mall. Ready for a fun fact? Each year, around 15,000 tulips are imported from Holland and planted the the flower beds lining the walkways. Make sure to take note of the historic buildings, many of which were built during the gold mining days in the1880′s.

St. Julien Hotel & Spa

@StJulienHotel

The St. Julien Hotel & Spa is beautiful, elegant and classy. After checking in, enjoy live music on the terrace, check out the fitness center which even includes a 60 foot indoor lap pool or head to the spa where some of products used in treatments are made using the hotels herb garden. Cruise the town after checking out a cruiser with the hotels bike share program.

900 Walnut St Boulder, CO 80302
(720) 406-9696

Chataqua Park

Whether hiking or biking, Boulder offers more than 200 miles of trails for outdoor enthusisats.You can find everything from steep trails for those who really want to get their heart racing and quads burning along with trails that cater to a more leisure pace. At Chataqua Park you will find a range of hikes- including hiking to the FlatIrons and Royal Arch- so beautiful it’s fit for royalty!

900 Baseline Rd Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 442-3282

Salt Bistro

@SaltBistro

Contributing to Boulder’s vibrant foodie scene, you will find Salt Bistro. With a focus on the farm to table movement, you will notice fresh, local and handmade cuisine you can feel good about eading.

1047 Pearl St Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 444-7258

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Cirque du Soleil’s “Amaluna” Takes Stage in Denver

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Cirque du Soleil has pitched its enormous blue and yellow tent in Denver for its newest big top production, “Amaluna.”

The show features some of the most inventive acrobatics, aerialists, jugglers, elaborate costume design and electric music. And for the first time in a Cirque du Soleil production, uneven bars take stage.

Amara Defilippo is one of the performers flying from bar to bar. Coming from a collegiate background to stage is a challenge she embraces. “In college I was only competing a few times a year. Now I am doing ten shows a week. Which is very demanding on the body but so much fun because you are performing in front of a new audience every night.”

Cirque du Soleil's "Amaluna" Takes Stage in Denver.  Yannick Déry Costumes: Mérédith Caron © 2012 Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil’s “Amaluna” Takes Stage in Denver. Courtesy: Yannick Déry Costumes: Mérédith Caron © 2012 Cirque du Soleil

Another twist for the show- it’s not only about women and dedicated to women, it’s a show mostly of women. Seventy percent of the performers are women and the band is 100 percent female.

Performers deliver plenty of hold your breath kinds of moments. Whether by showcasing incredible strength, balance or daredevil moves, you will find members of the cast continually break bounds.

For tickets: Click Here. The show runs through August 25.

Carri Wilbanks with performer, Amara Defilipp

Carri Wilbanks with performer, Amara Defilippo

Fun Facts:

  • The tent takes 8 days to set up and 3 days to take down
  • In 1984, 73 people worked for Cirque du Soleil. Today, the business has 5,000 employees worldwide, including more than 1,300 artists.
  • All 120 of the cast and crew of Amaluna represent a total of 17 countries:
  • A total of 65 trucks transport close to 2,000 tons of equipment that Amaluna carries around.
  • Cirque Du Soleil: Amaluna.  Yannick Déry Costumes: Mérédith Caron © 2012 Cirque du Soleil

    Cirque Du Soleil: Amaluna. Courtesy: Yannick Déry Costumes: Mérédith Caron © 2012 Cirque du Soleil

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Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Opens New Portion of the Caves

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The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is showing off new portions of the cave that have been closed to the public until now. A 50-minute tour inside the Historic Fairy Caves winds through incredible formations including cave bacon, soda straws and cave popcorn. Also expect a stop at Exclamation Point where views overlook the Roaring Fork Valley. While you are on the mountain, also check out the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster, Giant Canyon Swing and Soaring Eagle Zip Ride.

Carri Wilbanks with owner of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Steve Beckley.

Carri Wilbanks with owner of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Steve Beckley.

Cave History: When tourists first started visiting the caves 118 years ago, the only way to the top of Iron Horse Mountain was by foot or horse and carriage. The steep hike didn’t curtail excitement to see the natural wonders deep inside the mountain. Still, there wasn’t enough hype for Glenwood Springs City Leaders to invest in the caves. After the owners of the cave passed away, the caves were neglected. The entrance crumbled and electric wiring and lights were broken and removed. The only people visiting were vandals and cavers curious to explore the magnificence.

Inside the caves at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Inside the caves at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Steve and Jeanne Beckley also visited the caves in 1992, after a decade of persuading the owner to allow them inside. “I sent out so many letters hoping we could take a look. Many were returned to sender. The owner at the time wasn’t even reading my letters! But I kept trying and bugged him enough that he finally let us come check it out.” After purchasing the caves, their dreams were realized and they opened the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in 1999. Now 14 years later, the two enjoy sharing the caves and park with travelers from across the world.

Fabulous tour guides provide 50 min tours inside the fairy caves

Fabulous tour guides provide 50 min tours inside the fairy caves

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park 

51000 Two Rivers Plaza Rd.
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Phone:(800) 530-1635
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