The re-caps of Colorado continue! Click here to see where I left off.
What I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post is that Greg and I got a couples’ massage later in the afternoon after we hiked the 14er. We both get deep-tissue on a regular basis (every two weeks) because we know how important it is for muscle recovery- especially when you work out at the rate that we do. This was our first experience of couples massage though- just meaning that we were in the same room, side by side. The therapists asked both of us what type of massage we liked and we both said “Deeeeeeep tissue. Beat me up.” And man- these ladies didn’t mess around- it was hardcore deep tissue! But, we both knew how great it was for muscle recovery and were so exhausted from the hike that we both almost fell asleep (which is not easy to do when you’re getting deep tissue!)
Anyway- on to the next morning. We both woke up kind of sore (even though the massage did help a lot), especially in our calves! It was kind of weird- I’ve never had super sore calves from hiking before, but then again, I’ve never hiked for 8 hours up to 14,000+ feet. We decided to take a break from hiking and take it a little easy (he he) and planned to rent bikes in Breck and ride the bike path down to Frisco to rent kayaks. We got engaged while kayaking in Frisco (during a bike ride!), so we thought it would be a fun, timely thing to do. We had the bikes for about four hours, and figured that would be enough time to ride, kayak and grab a bite to eat in between.
The path to Frisco is about 10 miles from Breck, and it’s mostly downhill. However, there are a few steep hills, and I was definitely feeling them! By the time we got down to Frisco, I was already tired! We walked over to the kayak rental place and discovered that they were all booked up! I would have really liked to kayak, but honestly- I wasn’t that upset about it. This gave us more time to just walk around the town and relax and enjoy a leisurely lunch. We still walked down to the waterfront for a little bit- it was a beautiful day!
We got engaged right out there.
For lunch, we went to the best restaurant in Frisco- the Butterhorn Bakery. If you’ve been to Frisco, you know what I’m talking about. I ordered a 1/2 sandwich and salad combo, which was delicious.
I had to resist buying one of their delicious cookies that are the size of your head, but definitely snagged a few of the sample bites.
We walked around town a bit, and I went into my favorite store, Rivers Clothing Company, and got a steal on a PrAna shirt (YES!) and made a new friend
By 1:00, we figured that we better head back up to Breckenridge, since our bikes had to be back by 2:00. My quads were not looking forward to biking 10 miles back uphill, but had to put my game face on.
And really- the view is extraordinary along the bike path… just mountains, trees, and nature’s beauty. I definitely took mental snapshots the entire way and tried to live in moment for as long as I could!
When we were about halfway up the path, dark clouds started to roll in… and then it started to rain. This actually helped though- it made me pedal a lot faster, and it was kind of fun! By the time we got back to the bike shop, we were soaked!
It was raining pretty lightly by that point, so we decided to just walk around Breck any way and shop around (I was determined to buy a shirt that listed all of Colorado’s 14ers!). I did find my shirt- and was tempted to get this one too, because I just think it’s hilarious.
(I did buy that one in the background with the Colorado flag… I can’t help myself!)
While walking around Breck, we stopped into a little wine shop and did some tasting.
The labels were pretty hilarious (the one on the right reminds me of Magic Mike)!
I also made a new friend (hi, Crystal!) that happened to live in Virginia! She was there on a solo trip and just exploring the area with no real “set” plans- how awesome is that!? (We also immediately followed each other on Instagram… because we’re cool.)
We headed back to our hotel a little later to shower up and get ready for dinner. We had decided that this would be our “fancy” dinner out, and researched a few menus in town. Our first, second and third choices were all booked up, and we ended up going with our fourth choice- Modis. It ended up being fantastic! As soon as I saw the corn pancake appetizer (with local goat cheese mousse and housemade jam) I was SOLD.
For my meal, I got halibut that was crusted with salt + vinegar chips. Normally, I am completely anti-breading on any type of seafood, but this was just a light crust on top and was phenomenal.
We shared a dish of vanilla housemade ice cream (yes!) and called it a night.
On Thursday morning, I woke up bright and early and headed over to the hotel gym. It was actually pretty impressive!
On the other side were a few pieces of cardio equipment, including several spin bikes! My plan was to do a short workout, since we had a hike planned for later in the morning. I wanted to run through a few Bodypump tracks (to stay fresh!) and run a quick mile on the treadmill. We had signed up for a 5k in Denver the next day, and since I am not used to running in the altitude, I figured that it would be a good idea to run at 10,000 feet (that’s the elevation of our hotel!) so that running in Denver wouldn’t be as bad… good plan, right?
It actually wasn’t so bad! I felt pretty confident about my high-altitude-running abilities for the next day, even though I certainly wasn’t intending to break and records.
After my workout, we ate a quick breakfast, packed up our things, and said “bye” to Breckenridge. Even though I was really sad to leave Summit County, I was excited for the second half of our trip. We had a lot of great things planned over the next few days!
We stopped in Golden to hike at Mt. Galbraith. I had seen this trail many times on our way to hike at Golden Gate Canyon State Park in the past, and always thought it looked like fun.
The hike was great! It was pretty moderate, with a very gradual elevation gain, and a little over 4 miles. However, it was very hot, and the sun pretty much beat down on us the whole time! We were definitely noticing just how different the temperature is when you leave the mountains (it had been around 70˚ in Summit County, and was 100˚ in Golden!).
I want to live here:
This hike went up to about 7,000″ and it was funny how easy that seemed after hiking Grays and Torreys!
After our hike, we grabbed a quick lunch in downtown Golden, and since we were there, we decided to head over here:
Greg and I had done the Coors Tour a few years ago, and remembered that it was pretty cool (even though neither of us are big fans of Coors beer…)
Eh, it was okay. I guess it’s not a tour that you need to do more than once. And, it was PACKED. We did have someone take a photo of us in the tasting room though- in the same spot where we had one taken two years ago!
Two years ago:
We left Golden and headed to Broomfield to check into the Omni Interlocken resort… which was completely ridiculous. Seriously, check out their website and look at the photos. I’ve never stayed in a place like this before- it was definitely a resort! Greg got a great deal on Priceline and it ended up costing about $80/night. Everything about the hotel was awesome, but this was definitely my favorite thing:
I probably had 10 gallons of cucumber water while I was there.
After getting cleaned up, we decided to head into Boulder (which I can now conclude is definitely my favorite part of Colorado) to hit up Avery Brewery.
We’ve been to Avery 4 times, but had never eaten there. I remembered from visiting in May that their food menu was pretty impressive and that nothing cost over $10. I also remembered Heather and Laura raving over the sweet potato tots, so we had to order those.
Holy mama- the order was HUGE! If I had known that they would be enough to serve as entire meal for Greg and I, we wouldn’t have ordered entrees! I got a salad that came with hummus and chicken on a skewer and Greg ordered a sandwich.
Wow- the food at Avery is just as good as the beer! (It’s actually made by the catering company across the street.) I usually have no problem being a member of the clean-plate club, but this meal kicked my ass. I barely made a dent in it!
Plus… I had to save room for dessert.
I had remembered going to Boulder Chill before, and topped off the night with some soft-serve.
Normally, I’m all about having a little bit of the “real” thing, rather than some low-fat imitation… but this yogurt tastes just as good as any full-fat version. It’s sweetened with Xylitol and has 8 calories per ounce. So, an entire cup of yogurt is 64 calories. Works for me!
On Friday, we woke up bright and early and headed back into Boulder. First stop: breakfast at the Whole Foods on Baseline Drive! I discovered the oatmeal bar there when we were there in May, which is always the perfect fuel for hiking at Chautauqua!
Going back to Chatauqua was kind of emotional. The last time I saw this lawn, we were boot-camping on it for Blend!
I’ve always really loved this place, but feel and even stronger connection to it now. We decided to hike the Royal Arch trail, which was the same one that a group of 70+ of us hiked together back in May!
I remembered that the last time I hiked along this trail, I was talking to Callee pretty much the whole time on the way up. I miss her! Luckily, Greg was pretty good company.
We reached the arch (which is a pretty amazing natural rock formation, don’t you think?)
And were actually able to get some photos as the top this time, since it wasn’t quite as crowded
I definitely felt like I was on top of the world!
We made our way back down, got in the car, and made a short drive over to Aurora to eat lunch at the Oskar Blues Liquids and Solids restaurant. This place was AWESOME- I loved all of the beer decor!!
After lunch, we headed over to the Tasty Weasel/Oskar Blues Brewery (which is just down the street).
Greg had met up with one of the Oskar Blues reps at one of his beer club meetings, and he gave him the contact info of the Tasting Room manager, Garret, who we were told would take good care of us. And he did indeed! Garret gave us a private tour of the facility, which looks like an amazing place to work. We spotted several bikes (the owner, Dale, is an avid mountain biker)
and of course… lotsa beer everywhere.
They even have Skee-Ball!
Can I please work here??
The coolest part of the tour was when Garret grabbed two cans of Dales Pale Ale (my favorite OB beer) fresh off the line- right after it was filled (and before it had the top put on!)
Doesn’t get much fresher than that!
I wanted to taste all of the beers, but it was already 3:00 at that point… and we had signed up to run a 5k in Denver at 6:30. At this point, I already had 1.5 beers in me, and knew it wasn’t a good idea to have any more! So, we just loaded up on a few merchandise items, including this awesome bike jersey for Greg.
We left the brewery and headed back to the hotel to get ready for the race…. to be continued!!
Oh! Before I forget (again!): the winner of this month’s KIND Giveaway is:
Congrats, Tess!! Please email your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll let you know any other information I need!