Colorado: Denver, Boulder, & Golden
Day 127: Scottsbluff, NE > Denver, CO
Woke up, sipped on some coffee, and got on our way. Eager to get into Colorado, we put miles behind us and were to Fort Collins by noon. I went straight to the dispensary and John went straight to bed. We relaxed for a few hours in the park – drained from our epic adventure across the Midwest. When John awoke, he had work to do on this website and hunkered down at the Harbinger coffee shop. I walked aimlessly through town and finally settled in at Tasty Harmony for a New Belgium beer and a salad. I read our new Utah parks guidebook in the afternoon sun. Before I left, a couple next to me engaged in conversation about my travels. They were vanlife hopefuls, and we chatted about the joys of our journey. Two days later, they called to tell me they had decided to sell all their stuff and make the move into a van. I love knowing that we’re inspiring others to hit the road. When John finished his work, we cruised down to Denver where Nick Amoroso and his wife Jillian invited us to watch a movie on their comfy couch. We flopped into the cushions with relief, and stayed through 1.5 movies. We slept outside their house in our cozy van.
Day 128: Denver, CO
We woke up in Nick’s neighborhood, and had a leisurely morning… (click below to read more)Click here to Read More of our vanlife diary
I drank a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks & we snacked on oatmeal, bananas and dried blueberries. Then, we drove to the Red Rocks Amphitheater for a hike in the hot sun. I so wish there was a show here this week that piqued my interest. My soul craves a good boogie. Alas, I’ll indulge my heart in a quick workout instead. Running up the amphitheater steps left me breathless just the same. John and I hiked the Trading Post trail & were inspired by our first glimpses of Red Rock that will color our route for the next month. After a good sweat, we drove back to the city and spent an hour in the REI to stock up on supplies for the hiking ahead. Afterwards, we went to see my friend Kayla at her brewery Little Machine before having dinner al fresco at the Thirsty Lion in Union Station. The weather in Denver is impeccable this time of year. After dinner, we drove back up to Thornton to take an intro climbing class in preparation for our trip to Utah next month where we hope to conquer the slot canyons. We learned new tricks at the Rockin’ Jamin’ gym & then went back to Nick’s house to watch the first presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. We slept in front of Nick’s house again.
Day 129: Denver, CO
Another Wednesday, another workday. This one wa special because I got to work at the Rocket Fuel office. My new computer arrived at 10AM, and I had a lunch meeting with one of our AE’s at Sasa sushi where we ordered chirashi & all sorts of yummy rolls. John called my 15 times during my last meeting of the day… I guess he found a bottle of Whiskey at Rocket Fuel. When I left the office, I found a very intoxicated husband. I tried to sober him up before dinner with Allie & Geoff, but it was no use. We met them at Finn’s Manor in the RiNo neighborhood in town. It was a cool street food collective with outdoor seating and good vibes. Next, we went to Epic Brewing Company where John tried to get a 25 beer sampler…I had to cut him off. Finally, we went to Riot, but instead of connecting with my cousins, I had to take John home. I went to bed sorry to have spoiled some quality time with them. We slept on the streets, but i woke up 10 times thinking that we were getting towed. Not the best night.
Day 130: Denver, CO > Boulder, CO
I woke up pretty upset with John and let him sleep off his hangover while I went to an adorable coffee shop called Crema for cold brew and wifi. We spent the morning working, but eventually had to move to the coffee shop right across the street called Ink for power outlets. Around 12, we got in the van and drove to Boulder for a change of pace. We strolled Pine Street first to get our bearings and indulged in some sweets from Rocky Mountain Chocolates. Then, I grabbed a blanket and our Battleship game for a few hours in Central Park. We found a spot on the creek and relaxed. After John beat me by one move in battleship, we went to the Public Library and checked out a few guide books for the road ahead. Then, John saw a fish in the creek and was inspired to get a Colorado 5 day fishing license. He fished the evening away while I drank dirty martinis at Johnny’s and wrote in my journal. John returned and we went to the Fjall Raven store party for the Adventure Film Festival. There was a band, free food & free hats! We had such a fun time mooching and enjoying the crowd. We ended the night back at Johnny’s Martini Bar where we chatted with some locals and breathed the night air. When we arrived back to the van, we had a planning call with Kat and Brandon about our upcoming trip to Moab. There is always something new to look forward to #OnTheRoad.
Day 131: Boulder, CO > Golden, CO
Woke up to a van with a dead starter battery, Not wanting to deal before caffeine, we went over to Ozo coffee for more cold brew and a few emails. Once back to the van, John flagged someone down for jump as soon as he took the cables out of the car. We were back in business! After a quick stop at Trader Joe’s for supplies, we headed to Chinaqua Park to hike the Flatirons up to Royal Arch. It was a steep two miles up to the top, but the fall colors made it worth it. The aspens were in full fall foliage and boasted yellows, oranges and reds as we climbed. Back at the van, we had a picnic before driving out to Golden. John went to fish Clear Creek while I did laundry and worked on the blog. We played Pokemon that night in Golden & the whole town seemed to be playing with us! I’ve never seen anything like it. We walked around town and got frozen yogurt before sleeping outside of the Community Center. It was a good day.
Day 132: Golden, CO
We woke up early at the Community Center and drove into denver to meet John’s cousin Roger who he hadn’t spoken to for 25 years. Rocker and his girlfriend were kind enough to take us offroading in their 4WD Dodge truck up at Kanosha Pass. The aspens showed off for us as Roger pointed out all the best spots for Elk hunting in the winter. John and I had no real experience with hunting, and it was eye opening to hear his passion for the sport and respect for nature. It was also cool to get to know a new cousin in the backseat of his truck. We chatted the day away as we drove. After the dirt roads turned back to pavement, we ate delicious BBQ from Mason’s High Country restaurant. It felt like home cookin’ and we snarfed it down. We drove through South Park and made some jokes about who killed Kenny & then got back to our van. John and I drove back out to cleer creek and I wrote while John Fished. He caught his first fish on the fly rod! Victory! We slept in the van after playing Yahtzee & drinking delicious Double Brown ale at the Mountain Toad Brewery. There was a nice cat in the bar.
Day 133: Golden, CO > Denver, CO
Woke up and went straight back out to the creek. John is in relentless pursuit while he has a 5 day permit. The fishing fees have been too high state to state, but Colorado’s $20 deal was right up our alley. With no bites and the sun rising, we switched gears after an hour and set our sights on Table Mountain. Now that I’m belay certified, we’re ready to do some outdoor top roping. Table Mountain had a hundred different beginner routes to choose from between 5.5 and 5.8. John spent some time getting us safely anchored, while I took my shirt off and sunbathed in my sports bra. The September sun was warm against those rocks. We both took a turn on the wall, but choose a route with a tough crux and decided to call it a day. We’re taking it slow and learning as we go. After climbing, we ate a late lunch at the Sherpa House, where the serve up a phenomenal Nepalese Buffet. The restaurant is decorated with traditional design. Prayer wheels and flags are everywhere. After lunch, we made a quick stop at my coo-worker Julie’s house before driving to the 7Twenty board shop for the release of Travis Rice’s new snowboarding film, The Fourth Phase. They had a projector in the parking lot where we sat in lawn chairs under the stars. After the movie, we went out with some of the skater kids to the bar across the street. John couldnt resist singing Karaoke and crushed his rendition of the Backstreet Boys’ “I want it that way”.