Colorado Craziness : Winter has arrived

Life is full of endless possibilities. Explore your world.Ā 

Once we arrived at Aspen we noticed how slippery the roads were and were glad we could park it in the underground parking garage near the information center. We got our information and strolled through the town of Aspen.

We had lunch at 520 Grill, a below street level restaurant with tasty burgers !

After we filled our bellies my friend Sarah decided to give it a try on the slopes of Aspen Mountain, one of the most intense ski hills of the USA. Myself, who had bare to none experience decided to sit this one through. I did buy a Gondola Pass for the day, giving me access to the cool gondola that starts downtown Aspen and goes up Aspen Mountain to the Sundeck and its panoramic view. Definitely worth its money during winter.

AfterĀ I’ve sentĀ Sarah off to a good ride down the hill I enjoyed myself in the cafetaria of the Sundeck where I was treated with awesome views over the Rockies. The rideĀ with the gondola itself is already a treat.

After we had our fun in Aspen it was time to drive to our next hotel that was located in Silverthorne, another gateway along the I-15 to go to Breckenridge, another great ski destination in the USA which is slightly cheaper than Aspen.

On our last day full day in Colorado we left Silverthorne in the early morning to have some time in Breckenridge. Another cool spot for your typical fun in the snow. We tried out the gondola as well (which was free today) and headed to the base of the slopes. As much as we wanted to explore the ski hills, there wasn’t enough time to test the snow unfortunately.

We had lunch in Breckenridge before driving all the way to Denver where we would spend the rest of the afternoon.

Denver was a slight disappointment. Except for some governmental buildings and some nice parks I wasn’t overly impressed of the city. Maybe my expectations I’ve collected over the years were too high and I was just still overwhelmed with excitement of my trip through the Rockies.

After exploring Denver for a bit and even driving down to Colorado Springs we spent our last night in a hotel near the airport (also cheaper) before catching an early morning flight the next day. Luckily both our flights left on time this time.

Colorado Craziness : REDRUM

After a false start in Denver we were finally catching up to our actual road trip itinerary.

We left Boulder with a very good feeling although our stay there was cut short with a couple hours.

We drove up the mountains to Estes Park where we planned a visit to the famous Stanley Hotel (hotel from The Shining). We arrived there in the early afternoon with high hopes. Although the hotel is impressive and the setting is very nice, it’s also a little bit smaller than expected and close to the ‘city center’ of Estes Park.

It’s not this ‘in the middle of nowhere’ massive hotel than has been portrayed in the movie but still a cool place to visit when visiting Colorado. You can see the lobby, the bar, the staircase,… and they have special tours as well.

Worth a detour ? I would say yes !

After Estes Park we had a long drive through the Rockies to Glenwood Springs, the gateway to the ski region of Aspen. Hotels are WAY cheaper there than in Aspen itself. You can get from Glenwood Springs to Aspen with several bus services. An option worth exploring.

During our long drive through the snowy Rockies we passed through Nederland and along a very cozy bar/restaurant worth visiting called ‘The Millsite Inn‘. This bar is located along the beautiful Peak to Peak Highway, a beautiful scenic drive through the Rockies. We had a stop there and tried their delicious pizza dough. Definitely your best place to go in the area.

After a couple hours of driving and go pro videos we arrived in Glenwood Springs. We hurried ourselves to get dinner just in time downtown before resting our heads for the night.

The next day we had a nice drive from Glenwood Springs to Aspen.

Colorado Craziness : The False Start

Earlier this year I decided to go on a road trip with Sarah, my good friend from Ontario.

We had a blast in Moraine Lake last summer so we decided to continueĀ our fun times for a bit.

This time we decided to explore the American Rockies instead of her Canadian Sister.

Since Sarah was living back east in Ontario and I was still working in Vancouver we decided to meet each other in the middle (more or less) in Denver.

We looked up flights that were both (fairly) cheap for us and with the approximate same arrival time so we could start our journey at the same time.

Well of course that didn’t worked out.

Instead of arriving around 11 PM with a 15 minute time difference I strandedĀ in Denver at 3 AM while Sarah was having a couple drinks downtown Charlotte, NC.

How ?

Sudden weather changes.

It started off without any complications.

But soon enough that one flight from Seattle to Denver on the timetable started to get more and more delayed because of a snowstorm over Colorado. In the meantime Sarah was already on her way from Toronto to Charlotte, NC where she had her connection to Denver. But the plane in Toronto left with a delay because of another snowstorm in Ontario and she missed her connection and was scheduled for the next flight the next morning. But Sarah didn’t let it get to her heart and made friends right away and made the best of her night in Charlotte and went for a couple drinks.

Meanwhile my flight finally departed around midnight and I arrived in Denver in the middle of the night where I had to wait for Sarah for another six hours. I had some midnight food and found some sleep next to the bagage carrousel.

After spending more than 12 hours in airports before the trip even had to start Sarah and I were reunited.

We forgot about the bad start (that wasn’t that bad at all) and picked up the rental car. Because the weather forecast was not predicting this kind of weather we had booked a compact car for our trip but once we got outside the airport it was clear we would not get anywhere with this type of car in this kind of weather. We needed an upgrade but the only type available was an SUV. And that came at a high cost. It was all or nothing so we decided to get the upgrade after all.

Then we could finally start our journey and we set course to Boulder through the winter wonderland. Roads were still pretty slippery so we had to drive slower than we anticipatedĀ which resulted in a huge delay of our trip.

We arrived in Boulder by noon and had a great lunch at West Flanders Brewing Co. Boulder is a perfect place to stop for lunch or dinner and a small walk through Pearl StreetĀ on your way to the Rockies.

Our climb into the Rockies could finally start.