Kelly and I were fortunate to be able to spend a week exploring Colorado this month, mostly around Boulder, Vail, Glenwood Springs and Steamboat. It was a great chance to visit some family in the area, see some different landscapes, hike/bike/raft/etc., and just generally enjoy life at 8,000 feet above sea level. Apparently there's a lot more of the state than one can see in a few days, so I expect we'll be back again soon. Some photos and notes from our trip follow.
Vail is like Disneyworld (but cuter) for people who want to be able to pick up an expensive handbag or some sushi right after they get off the slopes, with everything laid out just so for the optimal outdoorsy tourist experience:
Even the gondolas that take you up and down the mountain have wifi:
But it was a great launching place for a bunch of outdoor activities:
Pro tip: when whitewater rafting, it's good to keep your eyes open and mouth closed. (I also highly recommend the folks at Whitewater Rafting LLC for your trip.) I had to wash the river water out of my mouth with some local beer:
We encountered a dining phenomenon coming back from the hot springs in Steamboat that I hadn't seen before, a "grill your own food" restaurant. You pick out the meat/fish/kabob/whatever, they give you some basic instructions, and then you pay for the privilege of standing over the hot grill and hoping you don't mess it up:
Something in the cost/value ratio doesn't quite work out in my mind, but it was still a hoot.
Boulder was also a lot of fun, and we started that visit off with an evening of bat population counting led by my cousin:
Getting ready to track bat activity, at Shanahan Ridge near Boulder, CO. pic.twitter.com/cYCh0MQUyn
— Chris Hardie (@ChrisHardie) July 15, 2014
It seems that marijuana legalization might save the newspaper industry, as there were full-page, full-color ads for pot in all the local papers we saw:
But in a place that has cycling accessories in vending machines, what do you expect?
Mostly, our brief experience in Colorado was just one stunning outdoor landscape after another, and I hope we didn't ever take them for granted:
You can see all of my published photos from the trip on Flickr.