Okay, I know, this is ridiculously late. I am sorry. I have no real excuse aside from ….life ….. so here goes.
This week was a productive week for doing things on this ever-expanding list of tings to see and do in Denver / Colorado. Seriously, I need to put a stop to adding to that list one day. I’m not expecting any day soon.
So work was work. It was a week full of meetings again. The weeks highlight was getting the first draft of a major report out to the client. Sure, I don’t get to talk to or send it, but the job was done. It was satisfying to finish that up. The guy who is taking on this pursuit as a ‘stretch assignment’ really needs to learn some stuff about why we get contracts signed and how to talk to clients to impress on them the importance. He also would not have got the report done without me, no way. I hope (but doubt) that he realises that. On the positive side, Mark knows it, so winning. Mark wanted me to drop the report so I could help him with more stuff, but I just couldn’t do it, I could see it all falling in a heap. So I didn’t. The rest of my week was basically spend on Fargo stuff.
Friday was my flex day and I had a mission: to see Rifle Falls and Hanging Lake in winter when its frozen. That was a full on fail, but the weekend was a nice trip and fun anyways. So Friday we drove up to Glenwood Springs, three hours west on the I-70, with two stops along the way. The first stop was at Vail. I hate Vail, seriously, it is an absolute nightmare to navigate in a car. Sure, I guess you’re not supposed to drive around the place, but they don’t tell you that when you get there, there are no signs, etc, you just drive around looking for the place you’re trying to get to and hope that you can find it…then you can’t find it so you realise you should park in the visitor parking….then you have to try and get from there to the destination. Apparently its easy according to the lady at the distillery. So our goal was the 10th Mountain Division Distillery. We got there, eventually, after much frustrations for Rhiannon, darned google wanted me to drive down a one way road, then I went the next road, but it didn’t go where it should have due to another unmarked one way road. Erk…. Right – so we got there, we had a few tasters, then Earl bought a couple of bottles that we liked. The place is named for the 10th Mountain Division who were elite soldiers in WWII because they were good at survival in the hills and skiing etc. Apparently they had bases in and around Vail back in the day. America honouring war – again. So after our purchasing I thought we were about ready to head off, how wrong I was! Earl and the bartender got totally nerding out…I mean absolutely totally nerding out…about the solar system and life on other planets, and the formation of stars and how earth is in all sorts of trouble one day. I just sat there and giggled for the ten odd minutes….they loved it!
So we eventually found our way back to the car and got on our way again. Our second stop off was to wander into Hanging Lake. I’ve read that it is amazing in winter when it and the falls are frozen. Its been much too warm for it to be frozen still, so it overall looked very similar to last time I was there. There were again many people. And a whole lot of them we had a good giggle at, they were thoroughly ill prepared for the iciness of the path, you see the path was frozen but the lake was not. Thankfully Earl and I were nice and prepared, we had our microspikes and yaktraks, so we had no issues on the walk. I think it was easier for Earl with his microspikes, his dug into the ice a bit better, mine just gripped pretty nicely. There were people wearing sandals! Fools.
That little misadventure done and we headed in to Glenwood Springs and checked in at our hotel. I was a little worried about our hotel because it had all sorts of advertising about ‘this is a very clean place’, and thankfully it was actually a clean place. It was full of older folks sitting along the front porch having a pre-st paddys day tipple. I sat down on our chairs and took off my boots when the chap by us started chatting with me. It culminated in some food recommendations that were right on point. He was also a Bourbon enthusiast, to the point of being a part of a facebook group called Whiskey-Bourbon-Scotch-Enthusiasts. I think Earl and I both joined the group after our very lovely chat. Dinner, at his recommendation, was a BBQ joint. That was perfectly yummy, though the restaurant itself was a little yuppy. A yummy dinner later and we headed off to the local hot springs. They were quite nice hot springs, about eight different pools of varying sizes and temperatures. We had a good soak for an hour or so until we were both absolutely wiped out, those hot springs really do sap energy!
Saturday we had a decent sleep then hunted down our own breakfast option, the 19th Street Grill. It was penned as being a local haunt, and it didn’t disappoint. The food was on point, the coffee was about as good as we seem to get here, the service was good enough…heck we went back on Sunday morning. So after our breakfast we headed to Rifle Falls, a nice 45 minute cruise away through a fun little road. The area looks astonishingly dry, but also really quite pretty.
Some of the history of the place…the place has been a tourist destination since the late 1800. The first cabins arriving in 1883. But it seems the three falls you see now, as lovely as they be, are not natural. There used to be one until they put in a Hydro power plant back in 1910.
After that meander we headed back to Glenwood Springs for lunch and to regroup for the afternoon. We visited another place recommended by our neighbour, the taco joint that doesn’t have the word taco in the name, nor does it sound Mexican… Something like scratch and hatch *shrug* we decided that we’d go for a cycle up the Glenwood Canyon so after eating we headed up to the bike shop. Nope, the weather was so perfect their entire stock was already out, except a tandem with tassels. Earl vetoed the tassels. So option two was the adventure park. They have an alpine roller coaster that was gravity run and great fun! I got this snap on the way back up.
Great fun!! Then the next on the list, vapour caves. This is where the hot springs feed into some caves, basically a natural sauna. They say it’s 125 degrees, whatever that is, it felt hot! We spent about an hour there in two shifts in the caves. Super awesome, I do like that better than the hot tubs. Dinner, after a shower, was at a place Earl has been to before. It was pretty decent, a little yuppy (though Earl called it foody) but decent. To home to see the sunset, which was uneventful, and sleep!
Sundays plan was bail and breakfast. So that’s what we did. After another review of the local breakfast options we settled on the same again, 19th St diner. It was good the second time too, though the service wasn’t as great.
The next step was to head in home. We decided that we could go for a walk from the east end of the canyon for a little way. Discussing along the route we decided that 1.5 hours was about the go. So that’s what we did. It was a beautiful walk, that canyon is astonishing. Of course the beauty is somewhat marred by the silly roads, but me being me, the roads simply add to the things I can look at and appreciate! I suspect Earl learned more about bridges than he’d ever thought he’d want to know. We were on our way back when we saw this huge plume of dust. We got a little closer and it turns out that on a Sunday morning the local council was street sweeping the path. Sure the path was in desperate need of such attention, but on a Sunday morning? That seems like one of the least efficient times to be doing it, overtime anyone? The bloke stopped and tried to give us a serve about ignoring the path closed sign (which we did) but we passed him off and just kept a wandering. Thanks to his stopping we didn’t get absolutely covered in dust!
Finally done with that long stroll, it was all flat, we headed on home. On the way we stopped at Da Rivah, a Louisiana themed bbq joint in Idaho Springs. People have been telling me I have to visit there since about this time last year. I have to say I was less than impressed. Maybe their weekday food is better than weekends, or maybe hunger really is the best sauce (the people recommending it were based up there doing a job for a while, so I can imagine they were hungry), maybe we ordered the wrong things, but I really wouldn’t rate the fish nor the BBQ. It was a thing on the list of things to do though.
So this weekend I managed to tick off:
- Glenwood Canyon Adventure Park
- DaRivah in Idaho Springs
- Rifle Falls