Of buffaloes and boulders

Column by John Akal
Posted 7/7/21

Well, we had a fairly close to normal Fourth of July weekend this year. It was great to see people out and about doing the things that make Summer fun. I totally got in the spirit and actually bought …

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Of buffaloes and boulders


Well, we had a fairly close to normal Fourth of July weekend this year. It was great to see people out and about doing the things that make Summer fun. I totally got in the spirit and actually bought a new barbecue grill, fired it up and then remembered that I’m not really the king of the grill ... like a few other people I know. But I did manage to get some hamburgers cooked before the charcoals went out. At this stage in my life I celebrate a the little victories.

But, as I started looking forward to more of our Golden annual summer events being up and running again, I discovered that one of our town’s biggest festivals has been canceled once again this year. I’m talking about Buffalo Bill Days. Unfortunately, due to the uncertainty surrounding the Covid situation months ago, when all of the details had to be planned, they weren’t able to look into a crystal ball and know whether circumstances would allow it to happen this year.

But, in the spirit of keeping it alive and on the community’s radar they are holding a Buffalo Bill Days Virtual Market Place. Just go to www.buffalobilldays.com and you can check out links to some of the vendors that would have been at the festival if it was able to take place this year. There are also a few other activities there to take a look at as well.

I’m kind of bummed out about that because after more than 60 years of going to it, I finally actually look like Buffalo Bill when I have a cowboy hat on. Long gray hair, Van Dyke beard and everything. I was all set to pose for selfies with people on the street.

Oh well, I guess I could just put on the outfit and go downtown and wander around, but if it’s not Buffalo Bill Days, I’d just look like some kind of crazy old man with delusions and an identity crisis. I think I’ll just wait until next year.


I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we have a lot of geologists living here in Golden. There’s the ones that teach at the Colorado School of Mines, the ones that graduated from there and still live in town and others that just live here because … I guess they live here because Golden rocks! I know I have 4 of them living on my block alone. Heck, the lead guitar player in my band Nightwolf is a geologist too.

Well, this weekend offers a couple of opportunities for you to take advantage of both the geologists and the geology of the area with a two events happening on Saturday, July 10.

The first one is Geology in the Parks where you can check out one of our local volcanoes. A volcano? Here in Golden? Yeah, we don’t refer to them as volcanoes much anymore. We just call them Table Mountains. But, about 65 million years ago there must have been a lot more excitement surrounding them because they are partly made up of lava flows. So, if you would like to know more about that, be at the North Table Mountain Trailhead, at 4788 Hwy. 93, between 8-10 a.m. There will be a geologist on hand to tell you all about it. Then you can hike up the trail and see everything from a new perspective. This one is free and you just drop in, no registration is required.

The other one happens between 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Triceratops Trail where you can walk with a geologist as they point out the various dinosaur tracks and fossils in the park. I’ve been on this one and it is well worth the $15 fee they charge. These guys have a wealth of information, show you things you would totally miss if you just went there on your own and give you a picture of Golden back when it was a rainforest. Before the buffaloes. Or Bill.

For more information and to register go to www.dinoridge.org/triceratopstrailwalkingtour.

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 jaimaging@aol.com

John Akal, Buffalo Bill Days, geology, Colorado School of Mines, Golden Colorado


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