The 1987 marker indicates where the Humpty Dumpty Barrel restaurant, “Colorado’s first drive-in,” once stood. It’s owner, Louis E. Ballast, supposedly created the cheeseburger on this site in 1935. To bolster the claim legally the monument notes: “The Cheeseburger trademark was registered by Mr. Ballast on March 5, 1935.” Tipster Mark Turner reminds us that Louisville, KY’s Kaelin’s has a “1934 menu to substantiate their claim as the birthplace of the cheeseburger.” But do they have a stone marker?
Trail Ridge Road – (US-34) passes through Rocky Mountain National Park between Estes Park and Grand Lake, crossing the Continental Divide at 12,183 feet above sea level. Colorado is also home to the highest paved road in North America. The Road to Mt Evans off of I-70 from Idaho Springs climbs up to 14,258 feet above sea level.
The World’s first Rodeo was held on 4th July 1869 in Deer Trail just east of Denver. Every January Denver hosts the worlds largest Rodeo called The National Western Stock Show and Colorado Springs hosts the State’s oldest annual rodeo, the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo.
The Dwight Eisenhower memorial Tunnel between Clear Creek & Summit counties is the highest auto tunnel in the world. Bored at an elevation of 11,000 feet under the Continental Divide, it is 8,960 feet long. The average daily traffic through the tunnel exceeds 26,000 vehicles.
Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is the home of the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool, Spa of the Rockies and Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge. The historic thermal springwater has been drawing visitors from all over the world since 1888. A favourite spot of former president Teddy Roosevelt.
In 1859, John Gregory discovered “The Gregory Lode” in a ravine near Central City. Within two weeks, the Gold Rush was on and within two months the population grew to 10,000 people all in search of their fortune. It came to be known as the richest square mile on earth. Continuing on the gold rush theme the world’s largest gold nugget in the US was discovered in state buildings in Denver.
The Royal Gorge Bridge is a tourist attraction near Cañon City, Colorado within Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, a 360-acre (150 ha) amusement park located along the edge of the Royal Gorge around both ends of the bridge. The bridge crosses the gorge 955 feet (291 m)[note 1] above the Arkansas River and held the record of highest bridge in the world from 1929 until 2001 when it was surpassed by the Liuguanghe Bridge in China. The Royal Gorge Bridge maintained the title of the world’s highest suspension bridge until the Beipan River Guanxing Highway Bridge was completed in 2003, also in China. The bridge remains the highest bridge in the United States and was among the ten highest bridges in the world until 2012.
The Colorado Rockies are part of the North America Cordillera, which stretches 3,000 miles from Alaska through Western Canada and the United States, into Northern Mexico. The centerpiece of this dramatic uplift are the peaks over 14,000 feet or the ‘Fourteeners’ as they are affectionately known by climbers.
The world’s largest flat top mountain is in Grand Mesa. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views stretching from valley floor to the mesa top as they tour the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway (highway 65), which winds past picture postcard scenes. Fruit orchards, vineyards and fluttering aspens fill the landscape as the byway climbs to 10,000 feet.