Colfax Avenue runs east-west through Denver, Colorado and is an approximately 26 mile journey from the eastern plains through the heart of the city westward to the base of the mountains. Starting out as US Highway 40, it was the main entry into Denver from the east until the interstate highway system displaced its welcoming role. The vestiges of that motor age are still evident in the aging signs that dot its length. Once known as the “wickedest street in America”, Colfax is pretty tame these days as the muffler shops and fast-food outlets slowly display the decaying motor inns and diners, vice and violence.
Starting from the eastern edge, you can get ready for your trip to the West by dressing the part
as the city of Aurora, on the eastern edge of Denver welcomes you to the region with the hazy mountains in the far distance
As you move closer to Denver, the establishments are a bit more respectable
even as you pass the exit for the airport
on the way to the urbane sophistication of the city
Of course there are not many of the older places left as you get closer to downtown Denver, the speculative real estate market has no patience for keeping these aging, low-density dinosaurs around for long. As you pass through Denver headed west you are welcomed again, this time by suburban Lakewood.
The path is in sight of the Rocky Mountains now, the legendary West unrolling in front of you with its requisite cowboys
all the way to the end of the trail
to the sagebrush and mountains beyond
Not exactly the “street of dreams” or the “miracle mile”, Colfax is more of a passage than a destination. After traveling west across the vast expanse of the midwest, Colfax rises up, trying to desperately slow down the traveler and provide whatever rest and relaxation, flesh and goods and liquor the remaining journey may require.