We had an evening flight back to Chicago, and most of a day to kill in Denver. It’s possible we could have avoided spending the day in Denver and instead have had an extra day elsewhere, but that was not how things worked out.
There were two options to continue the nature centric theme – either go to the Denver Zoo or go to the Wild Animal Sanctuary. After a stop at the zoo, which we decided was too busy, we drove out to the Wild Animal Sanctuary.
The sanctuary was a relatively large expanse of grassland with an elevated walkway through the center of it. This allowed the rescued animals to live a semi-normal life while allowing people as close a view as possible of them in their ‘natural’ habitat. All the animals had a description as well as a background story panel. Most were confiscated from people who imported them illegally, having little clue or concern what kind of care such animals would require. The sanctuary also had some nice descriptions of the design that went into the spaces – such as the den entrances sloping up then down to form an air-lock of sorts to keep them warm in the winter.
After the sanctuary, we made another brief stop at the REI where Janet purchased an orange vacuum bottle, having recently observed its delightful capability to provide hot coffee 6+ hours after brewing. We deposited the remaining isobutane conspicuously outside the store with a note that said free, since such things don’t go on planes. Whether anyone actually claimed and used it, we will never know.
After a quick stop for dinner and one accidental extra loop of the airport to drop off the car, we got checked in for our flight home at sometime around 8:30, not sure exactly, but we got to Chicago at 12:20 after the hour time change (and, thankfully, the wings not snapping off the plane).