Tag Archives: Denver

Denver – What We Did Day 2

If there was one thing I was looking forward to when visiting Denver it was the hiking. I’m not a big, big hiker, but I do love being outdoors (to an extent; I’m not Cheryl Strayed in any sense) and I love seeing nature as it is: undisturbed.

I already knew that hiking in the Rockies was something we’d probably do so I came well prepared with shoes, clothing, etc. My over-zealous self also wanted to hike a summit trail. I knew this probably wouldn’t happen as the elevation game would be 2,000 or more feet. Doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you’re starting out between 8-10K feet, it is a lot! Amber’s husband Richard picked out an easy-to-moderate trail for us to do that would be about 6 miles round trip with a little bit of an elevation gain and still amazing views, water and seeing wildlife. SOLD.

We got up around 5:30/6 that morning ready to hike the Cub Lake Trail! We packed our backpacks with quick lunches of pb&j, granola bars, pretzels and plenty of water; my camera, extra clothing (light jackets); sunscreen; bug spray; band aids; hand sanitizer! The drive out to Rocky Mountain National took about an hour and a half and aside from a quick stop to take a picture of the foothills on the way to Boulder, we made some pretty good time and started the trail around 9am. We ended up extending the hike by about a mile so we could see the mysterious “The Pool” before looping back around and down to the car. I think we started around an 8,000-feet elevation or so and gained no more than 1,000. Round trip we ended up doing between 6 and 7 miles and it took us about 3 1/2 hours.

I can’t even begin to express how amazing and beautiful it was. We saw some elk, some cool birds, ridiculous views and overall, the hike was made better just talking to Amber about any and every thing. It was truly unforgettable. I think the photos speak for themselves!

Scenic overlook en route to Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park -- in the foothills before Boulder!

Scenic overlook en route to Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park — in the foothills before Boulder!

Trail head! We ended up extending to The Pool and looping back!

Trail head! We ended up extending to The Pool and looping back!

Start of Cub Lake/The Pool trail

Start of Cub Lake/The Pool trail

Made it to Cub Lake!

Made it to Cub Lake!

Cub Lake!

Cub Lake!

#SpartansWill <3

#SpartansWill <3

Elk!

Elk!

I already know that next time I visit them, I want to extend my trip so I can get some good elevation and summit hikes in. I mean, by the time I come back for another visit, they’ll have probably scaled Pikes Peak’s summit a few times! Regardless, this was probably one of my most favorite and memorable parts of the trip. If we’d had enough time, I wanted to see the Trail Ridge Road for some sweet views, but I’ll save that for next time! I can’t thank Amber enough for making the drive up there and showing me all the fun things to do in Estes Park including seeing the Stanley Hotel (the hotel based on The Overlook from The Shining). I would absolutely recommend this to anyone with a Denver area bucket list.

Have you done any hikes in the mountains? Any you can recommend?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Denver – What We Did Day 1

If anyone of you follow along my Snapchat or Instagram, you saw that I was recently in the Mile High City for a long-ish weekend trip! I visited my friends Amber and Richard, who just moved out there and they showed me a wonderful time. The weather was perfect, there was no humidity so my hair was doing cartwheels and I was surprised at how quickly I became acclimated to the altitude. While sorting through all the photos I took, I started thinking about how I wanted to deconstruct talking about this trip. So we’ll do it in parts, and this first part is all the fun things we did in Denver — most of which were F R E E ! !

Regardless of getting to bed late on Wednesday night, we were up and at ‘em by 6 a.m. on Thursday so we could take a walk around Sloan’s Lake and get some legit breakfast. Amber had told me that the folks in Denver are “Active City Denver People” (hence the hashtag #ACDP2016 in case anyone was wondering), so this trip wasn’t about to be one where I’d sleep in. This was fine by me; I tend to be my most energetic self in the mornings. Our plan for the day was to discover the city of Denver!

Thanks to Thrillist, I found this list on 40 Free Things To Do in Denver. Some of it is really silly, but some of it was actually pretty great. We ended up walking to the light rail station near their apartment and took that into Union Station – a beautiful refurbished train station.

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I loved how they redid the space in there and while we were there, we crossed off #28 – Take a selfie in front of Union Station.

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From there we walked to the 16th Street Mall, which is a pedestrian-only street kind of like that area of Times Square. And it was even like that: a lot of chain restaurants, shops, etc. and tons of people. While you’re there, you can look at the skyscrapers and cross off #25 – Find the cash register in the sky — a building shaped like a cash register. Not a whole lot to see on the mall, but it does offer a free trolley you can ride up and down the street. We ended up taking that and went to the last stop to walk to the State Capitol building in order to cross off #4 – Stand on the 13th step of the capitol building and you’re exactly one mile above sea level.

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After taking many pictures there because it was silly and fun, we headed over to City Park where the real action was. The NFL Kickoff Event was taking place since it was the opener for the NFL season of the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. Now, most people in most any city big with football are ridiculous football fans, but this was unlike any kind of fan base I’d ever seen. Granted this was a Superbowl rematch, but still. The crowd was huge! After a little weird series of incidents of how we got into the event, we were in and walked around for a while. There were all kinds of things you could do there: try on actual Broncos gear; pretend you were drafted and stand on stage with a team jersey of your choosing, and the big thing we did: stand in line to view and have a picture taken with the Vince Lombardi trophy. I’m not a Broncos fan at all, but I am a huge football fan in general, so seeing the Superbowl trophy was pretty sweet.

Walk-on for the Lions 2016!

Walk-on for the Lions 2016!

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After perusing the line of food trucks near the event and having a quick bite, and after clocking in over 20,000 steps we were exhausted and HOT (it was around 90+ degrees that day). So we took the bus back to their place and had some time to chill, walk their dogs, hydrate even more (PRO TIP: Drink a lot of water when visiting Denver since you’re in a higher altitude!) before getting ready for dinner at a legit farm-to-table restaurant where Amber made reservations. We also watched a bit of the game, which was kind of fun because they actually live about a 15-20 minute walk from Mile High Stadium!

Our night ended early though, because we had to be up early for our hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Stay tuned for that post coming up next.

When traveling or on vacation, do you sleep in or are you up early to start the day?