Bales of fun to be had this fall

Column by John Akal
Posted 9/22/21

Well, fall is officially here! I always love the changing leaf colors, cooler temperatures and earlier sunsets. I also like the holidays that happen in the Fall, particularly Halloween. As I have …

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Bales of fun to be had this fall


Well, fall is officially here!

I always love the changing leaf colors, cooler temperatures and earlier sunsets. I also like the holidays that happen in the Fall, particularly Halloween. As I have mentioned before, my wife sort of makes a career out of that one. She’s an artist and while a lot of other artists put their efforts into making Christmas sales, she’s one season ahead of them making funny little skulls that light up, haunted houses and spooky jewelry. Once October hits, she heads into her costume room (yes, she has an entire costume room, not just a closet) and wears something different every day or night she goes out with her wares to sell. All of her costumes have some kind of name too. It gets a little confusing for me around here when she starts asking if she should wear her “Sponge Bath Betty” outfit or the “Voodoo Magic” one. Yeah, she’s got about a hundred of these.Keeping track of what all of them are is kind of mind boggling.

Of course, one of the big things for Halloween is ghosts. I think I have one here in my house. If you own a computer of any kind, you probably think you have one too. Last week, for no apparent reason, the keyboard on my laptop, which is where I do most of my work including writing this column, started typing all kinds of crazy characters. Half of the letters didn’t work, others started typing multiple things, and a couple of them made the whole screen disappear and reappear in some random way. I used my phone to research what the problem might be, tried everything to fix it, rebooted a dozen times and nothing worked. It was just stuck in goofy mode. I finally gave up after hours of “troubleshooting” and resigned myself to having to take it to the computer repair place. The next morning, I got up, decided to give it one more try and the thing was working just fine. I didn’t do anything else, just sat down at the table and tried to type something. It was all back to normal. Yup, must have been ghosts or spirits. I like that explanation better than jumping to the conclusion that I’m just a computer idiot.

But, looking at the overall picture, the biggest thing Fall is all about is that it’s the end of harvest season. That means that all of the produce has grown and the hay has been bundled for the season. That’s why big pumpkins, dried Indian corn and corn stalks as well as hay bails have become a part of the season’s décor. And with hay bails comes another traditional fall activity… hay rides.

The rides started more than a century ago when farmers would be pulling wagon loads of hay into the barn from the fields and progressed into a recreational activity people would do for fun. There are all kinds of variations associated with them like haunted hay rides, cider tasting hay rides, and pumpkin patch hay rides but here in Golden, we have our own version every year.

Yes, It’s time once again for the Golden Hayride Beer Tour and this year it promises to be “ bigger, better and beerier” than ever before. It’s happening on Friday and Saturday nights starting on Saturday, Sept. 25 and continuing every weekend throughout October.

For $50 at 6 p.m. you meet at the Colorado Plus 49 Cidery & Pub, located at 1100 Arapahoe Street here in Golden. You sample a beer and some of their fancy French fries there, then climb onto the back of a flatbed truck with hay bales for seating and drive on to the next stop, where you sample another beer, then back onto the truck and on to the next stop. And so on. The truck will be stopping at Golden City Brewery, Barrels & Bottles Brewery at Camp George West, Coda Brewing, The Golden Mill, Miner’s Saloon/Brick Room, Goosetown Station and The BC Underground. It also includes a slice of Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza and a cupcake from Gold Mine Cupcakes. New this year, you also get a cool swag bag with lots of local discount coupons, a souvenir Beer Tour cup and a pretzel necklace.

Due to the fact that this is a beer tour, it should be obvious that it’s for adults over 21 only, not a family event. You will need to order tickets in advance and it sells out quickly. You can do that and get more information at Don’t forget to dress warm, it’s fall.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at


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