“Colfax slid by, one of those commercial clusterfucks that predate the Eisenhower highways. Nothing on the street, ‘the longest in the west,’ is or was ever fashionable in a way you’d recognize on the coasts. The bars run from ironically dingy to legitimately sordid as you drive west from Capitol Hill and a series of cut-rate motels appear, cluster, and then dominate the roadsides: Big Bunny, White Swan, Westway. Then there’s a big mall and a couple of breastaurants and then nil: scrub. The mountains signal the introduction of the non-human world. They’re covered with sun as I come in. They are aurous. Then as soon as the sprawl peters out it recommences: a couple of car dealerships and a Staples and you’re in Golden. You switch to Route 6, then left and halfway up Ingenuity Peak (not very high) and you can see the sanatorium from the road.
“There are under a dozen buildings, most of them circular, window-filled, the best with views of the urban meander beneath the hill. It’s the kind of place you can’t look at long without imagining the way it used to be, the white-clad consumptives in mustaches and parasols, shuffling among pavilions, stealing their last kisses in the tunnels they had to use in winter, remarking on one another’s high color.”