I traveled to Colorado to visit a friend at the end of last month (January). It was a great time but I wish I had more time to stay out there!
The trip started out with a few bumps… As we were leaving Marquette to drive to Milwaukee to catch our flight, I noticed a banging noise coming from underneath my car. My entire exhaust pipe fell off and was banging on my axle. Luckily Midas in Marquette was very nice and fixed it for $25. I was pretty stressed out and it happened at 5pm, so we were very lucky to get it fixed, and for so cheap!
We stayed with one of my friends in Milwaukee and left very early in the morning to catch our flight. Nic and I were on the same flight to Denver, but then he continued on to Salt Lake City to stay with his friends out there.
I have known my friend Amanda since my Junior year of college and we have been great friends since. She was actually one of the people that helped Nic and I start dating. She moved to Colorado a couple of years ago and we stayed in contact. I was so lucky to have someone out there to visit.
Amanda’s sister, Lindsay, picked me up from the airport because Amanda was working that day. I joined Lindsay and her 2 visiting friends on the amazing car ride up to Breckenridge, where we stayed for the night. We planned on going snowshoeing, but there wasn’t really any snow, so we wondered around town and hiked the trails near the ski hill. Amanda joined up later in the evening. By that time, Lindsay’s friends and myself had come down with some nasty altitude sickness. I actually passed out in the elevator! We took a trip to the Oxygen bar in Breckenridge and that seemed to help me a little bit. The other girls did not have as much luck and they had to call a doctor at 11pm to come to our hotel room. It was a very informational and strange experience. They were given oxygen and a series of shots and medications.
The next morning, Amanda and I split from the group and drove to Vail to go snowboarding. I got a 1/2 off ticket from a friend which made it much more affordable. There wasn’t very much snow in Vail. Some spots on the mountain had dirt and it wasn’t groomed, but we had a great time. My thighs were burning from riding the cat runs all day! My overall experience at Vail was ok, but I don’t think that I will go back there. The atmosphere was a little too ritzy for me and the ski runs were so crowded. The views were awesome though!
That night, Amanda and I stayed with one of my mom’s friends, Kathy, in Eagle. Eagle is a cute little town in the middle of all of the ski resorts. We visited with Kathy and her boyfriend and went to a cool local brewery, Bonfire Brewing.
Amanda and I headed back to Denver the next day. My overall impression on Denver: Urban sprawl, highways, desert, new cars. The highway drive from the mountains into Denver was really pretty, but once we got into the flat lands, I was sick of being on the highway. Everyone has new cars and they drive so fast! the houses and suburbs were as far as the eye could see, and that seemed very strange to me. I expected Denver to be more condensed.
Amanda took me to visit her mom’s house in Castle Rock. We took the dogs on a little hike in the desert and she showed me some places that she goes on her time off. The area was very dry and reminded me a lot of Arizona. the grazing cattle and mountains in the background made for some great pictures.
That night, Amanda and I met back up with Lindsay and her friends. I also got to meet Amanda’s new boyfriend, Michael. We roamed around downtown Denver and had a great dinner at Appaloosa Grill. I got to finally try some authentic green chili (vegetarian) and it was awesome. After dinner, we went to the Denver Colosseum to see the national rodeo. It was my first rodeo and it was a good time. I wasn’t a big fan of how they poked and prodded the animals to get them to buck, but the atmosphere was fun. I really like the synchronized horse “dancing”.
Colorado was overall, a great time and I can’t wait to go back. I think I will be back in the warm months so I can do some hiking!
Here are a couple videos from the rodeo: