Thursday, December 12, 2013

RECAP - DESTINATION: COLORADO

Red Rocks - Photo: HSA

Colorado is Adventure Paradise...

In our last post, Destination: Colorado, my girlfriend, my son, and I embarked upon an extremely long road trip from Corpus Christi to Denver CO.

As with any road trip, it had it's pitfalls. We started out early Saturday morning. Since an arctic front had blown into Texas, we had the rare opportunity to drive South Texas roads that were covered in ice. Originally being from Albuquerque, I was fortunate enough to remember how to drive in these conditions. We drove for 10 arduous hours, not making near the headway that we should have. Ice, holiday traffic, and a 40 MPH headwind slowed us considerably. Around 5:00PM we had to settle in at a cheap hotel in Plainview TX for the night. Rooms were full at all of the better hotels due to the road conditions, so CHEAP was all we could find. I spent most of the night sipping on wine and worrying if I would contract lice and bedbugs...

The next morning we awoke early and got back on the road.

MORE STORY AND PHOTOS AFTER THE JUMP
As we wound on down the road, making the distance between Plainview and the New Mexico border at a snails pace, we finally broke free onto clear roads and a chilly 20 degree temperature.
The rest of the drive was great until we hit Colorado Springs CO, where the snowflakes were falling fast and were as big as leaves on a tree. But finally we made it into Denver where we settled in to our reserved hotel and watched the second half of the Bronco game before retiring for the night.

Monday, my girlfriend and I went grocery shopping early as we were having our Turkey dinner on Tuesday instead of the traditional day. Afterward, she showed me and my son around Denver. We did a lot of window shopping at REI and some local places, looking at adventure gear... I'm sure she wanted to pull me out of those stores before my Christmas wish list became too long.

On Tuesday we had our feast. Our 1 bedroom suite had a small kitchen with no oven, so my girlfriend, ever the improvising chef, was able to bake 3 pies and all the sides in a turkey roaster, and then the turkey too. I must say that the feast was magnificent!!! Everything turned out perfect and we found a way to seat 9 people in the room for the festivities.

El Dorado Canyon - Photo HSA
 Wednesday took us on our first day of outdoor adventure. We made our way from Denver to El Dorado Canyon State Park for a little hiking.

Due to the fall flooding in the area, we were not able to access all of the areas we would have liked. but we still had an excellent day hike and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Afterward, we made our way up to Boulder Canyon for more hiking and scenery. It was a great day to be in nature as the sun was shining, the air was crisp, and the temperature sat at a nice 35 degrees.

Photo - HSA
The following day, which was the traditional Thanksgiving day, we embarked on another great hike at the world famous Red Rocks... This was quite beautiful as the mixture of mountains and desert meet for a genuine feast for the eyes.

After hiking the trails, we climbed the north steps up to the amphitheater. For those who have never done this, it is quite a climb... being acclimated to sea-level, it makes breathing quite hard at this altitude. I did fine though... until I made the climb a second time... then the altitude sickness kicked in. My head was pounding, my lungs were screaming, and my stomach was queasy. 
Things were better after I hydrated myself and snacked on a little salty food.


Photo - HSA
After the Red Rocks/Dakota Ridge hike, we went back to the hotel where wine and hot tubs were on the agenda for the rest of the evening. Come morning, we would be heading out toward the big mountains for a trip to see some friends staying in Silverthorne.

On the road from Denver to the mountains, I witnessed the beauty of the area. My girlfriend was gracious enough to drive so I could take in the sights and wonders of  the Colorado landscape.

We stopped in Breckenridge for a bite to eat and then headed on to Copper Mountain to meet up with some friends on the slopes. We partied down on Friday night and then set out in a chilly 12 degrees Saturday morning for the 2 day drive back to Corpus Christi.

It was an amazing trip... full of adventure, hiking, and family gathering that will reside in my memory for the rest of my life. I am truly blessed to live the life that I do and to share it with the great people around me!

With all the potential for Hiking, rafting, mountain biking, climbing, skiing, and more... I really REALLY want to get back here soon!


My son and I at El Dorado Canyon

My amazing girlfriend and I at El Dorado Canyon

Frozen Stream at El Dorado Canyon

The slopes at Copper Mountain