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Where Is the Colorado Desperado? - Week 3

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Where Is the Colorado Desperado? 

See the answer to Week 2, then read the clues to guess Week 3.

Answer to Week 2 - Where was the Colorado Desperado? 

Fort Collins!

Fort Collins' historic Old Town district in the fall, with people walking along the street.

Fort Collins' historic Old Town district in the fall.

Photo by Richard Haro, Visit Fort Collins

Where was the Colorado Desperado this week?

Ophelia and Lariat Louise brought Jimmy and the crew to Fort Collins! There’s a rich history in this fun community, and it always offers a welcoming invitation to explore more. The city actually started as Camp Collins in a different place a few miles northwest from its current-day location. Named after Gen. William Collins and built to protect homesteaders in 1862, its location was short-lived. It was set up in what we know today as Laporte, along the Cache la Poudre River. A flood forced the move to its current location in 1864. 

This whole area saw a lot of French fur trappers from the 1830s through the 1850s, before opening up to homesteading. Their heritage remains alive in the names of many things in northern Colorado. Laporte, “the door” to the canyon carved by the river that opens into the lower valley where Fort Collins resides. Cache la Poudre, known locally as the just “the Poudre,” comes from these trappers storing their gunpowder along the banks of the river in the wintertime. In the mystery, Ophelia and Lariat Louise are storing the seeds they’ve stolen along the banks of the river just as the early trappers would have done. 

Fort Collins is also home to Colorado State University. Started in 1870 as Colorado A&M, the university changed to CSU in the 1950s as it continued to grow. CSU honors its heritage with Aggie Days, where the sports teams wear the former orange and green colors. The CSU mascot, CAM the Ram, also honors this heritage; it’s in the name! The large “A” on the mountain also represents the Aggies, not academic or “AFRAID” as we saw in the story. Each year students go up and re-paint the giant letter. 

The seeds from the story also come from the CSU campus. The National Center for Genetic Resources Prevention has been housed on the campus since 1953. Seeds and plants from all over the world are stored here, similar to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway. Fort Collins isn’t just known for the university! Old Town Fort Collins served as the inspiration for the design of Disney’s Main Street USA. In the 1950s, Disney sent scouts out all across the United States, and it was the buildings of Fort Collins that inspired the architects of Disneyland; they’re what Walt Disney thought really represented the Main Street he grew up and felt familiar with. Fort Collins is also home to great craft breweries like New Belgium, which started in 1991 and has the iconic beer called Fat Tire, which we get clues from with the bikes that the Bailey Baddies stole. 

Natural features also are a strong part of this great community. The horse teeth in the story refer to Horsetooth Mountain and many other things that drew their name from it, such as the reservoir that supplies the water for much of northern Colorado. It’s a great place to hike and bike!


Where Is the Colorado Desperado? Week 3

Where in Colorado is Jimmy hunting for Ophelia and the Bailey Baddies this week? Check for clues below. Learn more about Jimmy Maddo, the Colorado Desperado, and his Wild West adventures here. Let’s have fun and explore the places of Colorado digitally until we get to traveling again! 

Jimmy Maddo had a tip from a friend that Ophelia the Outlaw had been seen at the head of a caravan of large, flatbed trucks. The caravan of conniving crooks has been seen merrily driving out of Bailey for points—and crimes—unknown. In the two days since getting the tip, Jimmy had kept his eyes even more narrowly focused than usual, certain that some kind of heist was soon to happen.

    “Hey, Jimmy!” Opus shouted, bursting into the room. Opus was Jimmy’s faithful sidekick. “I dun gone to Bailey to see what I could find about why they needed them flatbed trucks. I brought us back some intel!”

    “Well, Opus, look at you! You went out searchin’ for clues. Whatcha do that fer?”

    “I didn’t wanna sit here no more, so I decided to be redactive and look fer myself.”

    “All them Bailey Baddies know you. How’d you fool ’em into talkin’ to you?”

    “Ah, t’weren’t nothing. I put on a different hat.”    

Jimmy nodded, recognizing simple brilliance when he heard it. “Well, whad’ya learn?”

    “Well, I went into the bar there that the Baddies like and listened to some of ’em talkin’ to each other. Ophelia’s havin’ a big bash at her hideout for the Fourth of July, and she wants to be all fancy, so she’s gettin’ some big gates to put on each side of the hideout, so when all their thievin’ friends arrive, they gonna walk through these gates.”

    “Well, now…you don’t need flatbed trucks to get a gate,” Jimmy returned, confounded.

    “No, Jimmy…they gonna be BIG gates. Like triumphal arches.”

    “Ophelia and the Bailey Baddies was drivin’ four trucks.”

    “That’s right,” Opus answered. “They gettin’ four big gates.”

    “Where in tarnation you gonna find four big triumphal gates?” Jimmy grumbled.

    “That ain’t all,” Opus continued. “Apparently Lariat Louise likes war trophies, so they’re gonna steal some big cannons. In the olden days, people liked to sit on the cannons and take pictures, and I guess people do it now, too.”

    “Four big gates, some big cannons,” Jimmy counted off on his fingers. “What else they gonna get?”

    “They gonna steal some paddle boats, and one of the Baddies said something about a ‘presidential fountain.’”    


“The Baddies have a lake?” Jimmy asked, a little dazed. His hideout in Mountain View was more modest, with just a birdbath in the backyard.

    “Maybe they fixin’ to. Then they gonna steal some famous statue from Dusseldorf or somethin’, something with a spear I think, and they talked about something ‘feral,’ but I didn’t quite catch that part. Honestly, those Baddies talk a lot.”

    “Dusseldorf, huh?” Jimmy finished, smiling grimly. “I know where Ophelia the Outlaw is going. There’s only one place in Denver where you gonna find four giant gates, cannons, a fountain from a presidential convention and all the rest. Come on, Opus. We gonna stop Ophelia ’fore she can even park!” Jimmy ran for the History-Mystery-Mobile.

    “Yeehaw, we gonna be angels!” Opus whooped, putting on his normal hat and racing close behind. It would be another triumph for Jimmy Maddo, the Colorado Desperado!

Where are Jimmy and Opus going to find Ophelia the Outlaw and the other Bailey Baddies?

Where is the Colorado Desperado?  C'mon back next week for the answer!