I had the chance to head to Colorado for work and since I have never set foot in the state, decided I needed to take full advantage. My wonderful friend quickly hopped on board to go with me for the weekend before work started, even though it would a quick one, because she loves Denver. I was a little disappointed that it snowed pretty much the entire weekend – a wet, gross flurry. There were a few breaks, and it definitely affected our potential outings, but don’t worry, we still had a great time.
And let me just say that people in Colorado are the nicest I have ever met. Every hotel employee, restaurant host and server, drivers, park staff, random strangers – all insanely, genuinely nice. Drivers don’t fly 20 mph over the speed limit and they actually stop for pedestrians.
Despite the weather, we made good use of our time. We got in late Friday so just went straight to the hotel. Important travel tip: the light rail was recently expanded to the airport, so you can take that from the airport to downtown. We did not know this, so we rented a car (the airport is about 25 miles outside the city) but ended up not really needing it. Oh well! We are both morning people and on eastern time, so we were up early on Saturday with nowhere to be until 10am, so we did make use of the car to hop over to Voodoo Doughnut for a nutritious breakfast. Delicious. Cash only. Go early to beat the lines (at 6:30-7ish it was empty). We got ready then hopped on the free 16th Street mall ride bus to Coors Field. We took the stadium tour (still snowing) which was really cool (to me at least). Fun fact of the day – there are heaters under the natural grass field to trick the grass into thinking it’s warmer than it is to make it turn green. What?! After that we met some of my friend’s friends for brunch, then spent the afternoon hitting up some fun brewpubs and bars.
Garden of the Gods
Work was in Pueblo, CO 2 hours south of Denver. It was a cute little town, but we were working. Luckily we finished training mid-day on Wednesday and I was staying that night back in Denver to fly out the next morning. The weather cleared and was perfect by Monday (didn’t wear my jacket again after Sunday) and I was itching for some outdoor activities. I drove back through Colorado Springs and made a little detour to Garden of the Gods. It’s more touristy and not ‘hiking’ per say, but talk about beauty. Breathtaking views of the Rockies, incredible rock formations. Instead of driving up, I did do the short “hike” from the visitor center up to the paths, and climbed a little on some of the rocks to just sit and take it all in. Definitely recommend this, especially if you only have a little time to spare and are in or going through Colorado Springs.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Like I said, I am a morning person and am a sucker for sunrises. So I set my alarm nice and early on Thursday morning and drove over to Red Rocks Amphitheatre in the dark. Red Rocks is a completely natural, open-air amphitheater – the only one in the world. There were already a few people there working out when I arrived and the sun was just beginning to paint the sky with it’s colors. I walked around, down to the bottom of the theater, back up to the top, scoping out some good photo spots. Despite the warmer weather all week, it was cold and windy up at the amphitheater, but luckily I had put my sweatshirt on. To get the blood flowing, I ran some of the steps on my way back up and quickly lost my breath. And I’m not completely out of shape. Definitely a good workout. Anyway, I found a good corner at the top and watch the sun slowly rise behind the stage with downtown Denver in the distance. Pictures do not do it any kind of justice, but I tried. It was incredible and nothing but the simple work of God reminding us that there is true beauty remaining in the world. Definitely want to get back to Red Rocks for a concert sometime.
I had a great trip, even the work part went well, and I definitely recommend a trip to Colorado, especially if you enjoy the outdoors. I will definitely remain on my list to return to for more outdoor fun and beauty.