OT - Colorado Suggestions

Mrs. APFOW and I are heading to Colorado the end of next month to hang out at Red Rock, drink some beer, and see some sites. Neither of us have been to Colorado before. So, if you all that have been have any suggestions of things we should definitely put on our itinerary, please share. Thanks.

Edit: Should have added, the only thing in stone on our trip is we're going to see Trampled By Turtles at Red Rocks on the 24th. So, we'll definitely be around Denver, but we are renting a car to branch out and see as much as we can in the roughly 2 weeks we'll be there.

***EDIT***
Trip fell through because...life. If anyone is interested in some amazing seats (5th row, center, reserved) to a great band at Red Rocks on July 24th, let me know. dakerrjr@vt.edu

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Comments

Years back, Root Down was a really good restaurant. I haven't been there since 2010 though.

Great Divide and Avery brewery were ok.

There are some great hiking trails above Boulder near a train tunnel that cuts through the Continental Divide. But I can't remember what it was called.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Garden of the Gods isn't too too far from Boulder. A little touristy but good views of the red rocks and very very easy hiking. Definitely recommend Breckenridge brewery too. Excellent food and beer.

Vroom Vroom

The Agave Wheat at Breck Brewery is divine!

in Fuller we trust

Got on here to mention Breckinridge brewery. Their nitro vanilla porter is incredible, one of the best beers I have ever had. Really, really wish they sold it in the southeast.

Its owned by InBev now, so you will likely be able to find it in the fall/winter

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

If going to GotG (in the Springs) make a trip to Bristol Brewing. Good beers, in an old converted elementary school.

If you stay overnight, get breakfast at what's now called Urban Egg. Best, most consistent breakfast of anywhere I've ever lived.

Agreed with others that downtown COS is nothing special. Take a trip up to the Broadmoor and hike around. The grounds there are wonderful.

*stupid interface double-post* aka operator error

This was a favorite of ours: thefort.com

HTHokie93

I spent a lot of time in CO the past 3 years. MY favorite place to visit int he central CO area is Estes Park. Plenty of hiking, shopping, and my personal favorite was the whiskey place I ended up in. I have no idea what it was called. I got a flight of whiskey which was just 5 doubles and don't remember much of what happened after. I want to say it was on Park Ln across from the police station, convenient location when they're dishing out that much liquor.

Red Rocks is fun. Garden of the Gods is nice but as mentioned its touristy and gets busy. If your in Denver at all I'd take a few hours and hop the breweries they have a ton and they're all fairly close to each other.

(add if applicable) /s

Favorite whiskey place, eh?

If you find that name, please get back to me.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

I just put up probably the most investigative thing I've ever done to track this place down. So My memory was right it was on park ln but google had no distilleries there. So I went on Street View and found the steps I remember stumbling around and all that it had was a For Sale but I could make out the street number...then I googled that address and whamo.

SHIT. Guess they couldn't turn a profit over serving the fuck out of people. Mind you that this is their flight if I remember right it was $10. https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/dancing-pines-distillery-berthoud-2?sele...

Fall back plan Elkins Distillery. Not in 'downtown' Estes but right outside. Better views than this distillery, they're slightly less generous on the pours but still good whiskey.

(add if applicable) /s

That's a shame.

Nonetheless, I appreciate the effort.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

It was over 20 years ago when I was there, but Estes Park was beautiful. Highly recommend.

Not all that close to where you are going:
Vern's Place in Laporte. Enormous cinnamon rolls. The green chili is pretty good too. They also have a prime rib special that some folks seem to like.
The drive up to the Rocky Mountain National Park Visitor center is total worth it. You pass through Estes Park, which is the Colorado equivalent of Gatlinburg (tourist trap). But, if you're into The Shining, the hotel is there. Make a stop in Moraine park on the way up and check out the elk herds. There are a few stops along the road to the top with nice hiking paths. Don't leave the paths and walk on the tundra. It totally wrecks the tundra. Prime example of people destroying tundra was Pike's Peak. There were places on pike's peak that were nothing but mud.
If you're into sour/funky beers, Funkwerks in Fort Collins has a nice selection.

Green chili should be tried everywhere you go.

As was mentioned, garden of the gods is decent.
I went to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings (relocated, not a real location). It's cool, but you have to be ok with what it is and isn't. I'd like to go to Mesa Verde, but there were fires there last time I was nearby.

Rocky Mountain National Park is unbelievable +1

If you are consuming green chili make sure you Uber/Lyft

Rocky Mountain NP used to be unbelievable, but has been ruined for us because of overcrowding and a serious underfunding for park personnel and infrastructure. We visited back when it wasn't so crowded, though beginning during the Reagan years, underfunding the park was obvious and frankly lamented by park employees. Now, things have gotten even worse, in my opinion. We were there three falls ago, and the experience, combined with a couple of other NPs we visited, Arches in Utah in particular, led us to believe the heyday of our NPs is over. Overcrowding is the main problem, and it doesn't seem to matter what time of year you go anymore.
That said, if a hike and a drive are what you're looking for, the park does have some really cool stuff, not to mention the Fall elk breeding season which goes on despite the absurd crowds there to see and hear it. Estes is as described, but has it all in a really cool part of the country.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

"Get off my lawn mountain"

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

Maybe just don't jostle me on the overcrowded trail, how 'bout that?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

The parks may be crowded at times but are not ruined. "The National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst."

Visit any park you can, you will be better for it.


These are just some of the awesome experiences I have been able to have with my wife and kids.

Your point is well taken, and I'd not refute it, but I can also attest that the experience isn't what it used to be, and some of that could be mitigated. You bet that the National Parks are treasures, but I wish they were taken care of more appropriately. I'm not talking one park, I'm talking several I visited in the last few years. We were camping, and and had several negative experiences so maybe that colors things somewhat, but we found that state parks were nicer, less crowded, and more well staffed and maintained, though obviously not so grand as the NPs.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Your point is valid too.

I wish the National Parks were fully funded too. Alot of the Mission 66 construction has been patched & patched again and is in dire need of reinvestment.

I do think that there are lots of guest at the National Parks with the desire to get a quick picture of an icon and they often are not there to enjoy the entirety of the space or the experience. They are often rude too.

Additionally the parks do have volume issues. Higher admission fees (as a deterrent to visiting the park vs funding projects) is a non-starter in my opinion. I think some sort of investment in planning with pre planned ticketing may be needed in some instances (similar to rafting the Colorado or climbing Half Dome).

I am glad you have enjoyed the National & State Parks and hope you continue to do so; I love seeing a VT logo on the trails.

Yeah, I could also have been a bit more informative in my rant. A quick Google check is pretty illuminating. Our NPs are currently about 11 BILLION dollars behind in maintenance and repair, and while visitation has increased almost 20% in the last five years, personnel have been cut 11%. This wasn't news to us. Acadia was so crowded last November (November!!) we couldn't camp because they'd closed more than half of the campgrounds and the others were full, and then found that we'd have to take shuttle busses to any trails because of the volume of people there. That ain't what we want out of camping and hiking in our National Parks. Uncollected admission fees due to lack of personnel to actually collect them at Yellowstone, trashed and unusable pit toilets and all night parties at Rocky Mountain because no rangers were on duty at night, fistfights over parking at Arches (yep, I saw one and narrowly avoided one myself) were among the negative experiences we ran into our last trip out. We've been camping out West since 1975, and while I can attest anecdotally to the negative changes this crowding and underfunding have produced, I can also say that it is causing us to sell our camper and look for another way to enjoy the Western experience. We Americans love our National Parks, but we're loving them to death and then letting our politicians ignore basic funding and staffing that would at least help mitigate some of the problems that are becoming the new norm. Political? You bet, but societal changes are part of the problem as well. So see them while you can, but if you want more than a postcard picture taken over a couple of dozen people's heads, you may be disappointed.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Agree with your points but for someone that has never been to RMNP go! It is still incredible

Yeah, you also have a point. If you don't know what it was like, and how great it can be, you literally don't know what you're missing, so you don't miss it. Things are different today, and it ain't going back to the way it was. Typical old man's lament, I guess.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

The exterior view of the hotel in The Shining is Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood in Oregon

In the Kubrick film, yes. The book and the mini-series that King was more involved with, are based around the Stanley.

The beginning of the Shining, driving to the Overlook Hotel, is along Going to the Sun Road in Glacier NP.

How long are you there for and assuming sticking to Denver area?

A Basin will be open on weekends through June 23 (and possibly July 4). Did that this past Friday (work happened to take me to CO for a few days) and it was incredible to ski there in June. Wore a Hokie T-shirt and shorts for the last hour or so.

If you haven't been, a day trip to Vail or Breckenridge is still worth it even without skiing (recommend Breck for that as it is closer to Denver).

Went by Avery - really liked it. It's fairly recently moved to a huge new location. 30 or more beers on tap. Really impressive and the ones I had were really good (but very popular so it gets packed).

CO Springs - Pikes Peak, Garden of Gods, Olympic training center.

Can't go wrong with what others have suggested. CO is incredible.

From the 18th to the 31st. Our primary goal is Trampled By Turtles show at Red Rocks on the 24th. After that, we are going to fit as much as we can in.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Jealous. A concert at red rocks is def on bucket list.

Always has been on ours too. Looking forward to crossing it off.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

LUCKY BASTARD. That's gonna be awesome.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

Damned well should be. We saw them at The Jefferson in Charlottesville and they blew the doors off, man. We couldn't pass on this opportunity.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

The Morrison Inn right outside of the ampitheater has killer mexican food, cheap happy hour, and live music on their rooftop. I just went there before a concert at red rocks a few weeks back. Definitely recommend.

Vroom Vroom

Will definitely check it out. You had me at killer Mexican, but then you kept going with the cheap happy hour and live, rooftop music.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

And Mexican food out West is seriously good, in general. Haven't enjoyed anything nearly comparable in my admittedly limited East Coast Mexican food experiences.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Red rocks is a spiritual experience

I was just there, as I was in Denver for meetings for a couple of days. (Don't know how I missed this thread.) Office photo challenge category for July is "rocks", so I figured, what better place? Amazing scenery. Too bad the show Thursday night was sold out, as I couldn't get to close, but what I could see on the walk up Will Call trail to the parking lot was enough.

P.S. I also learned that while Platte River Bar and Grill is a bit of a dive bar, their golden sauce wings are fantastic, and on Wednesdays, I can eat a whole lot of them at 50c/wing.

Heading back again in late Oct /early Nov, and any can't miss restaurant recommendations in the SW Denver area would be greatly appreciated. (I also agree at The Cow in Morrison after going to Red Rocks, nice gyro burger there.)

Edit: Wouldn't mind some advice on which photo to submit. 1, 2, or 3, or something else because these suck and I'm not a great photographer. (I have several others, mainly with some framing like a nearby fence but I didn't think they looked very good.)

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

Vail or Breckenridge

Lived in Vail, Breck is a better town.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

That's not really a comparison, I wouldnt classify Vail as a town.

If you venture to Colo Springs, you'd have to add the Air Force Academy to that bucket list. The Cadet Chapel is one of the coolest structures I've seen in person.

Having a conversation with you is like a Martian talking to a Fungo.

#JustinTime

Agreed. Forgot to mention that. Highly recommend.

If you get to CO Springs and have a decent level of fitness the Incline is a brutal job/walk/hike but is pretty fantastic. Go over to Manitou Springs and follow signs for Pikes Peak. There are steps that you hike at or about the beginning of the Pikes Peak hike. it's a direct route up and will kick your butt.

in Fuller we trust

That's actually the worst hike I think anyone could recommend to someone visiting lol. It's the least leisurely activity in the area and notoriously brutal. That's a hike you do when you decide you want to be hurting for the day after. You hike literally straight up an old rail car track. With at least one very well hidden false peak. If you're into fitness and hiking I'd say its a good hike but I hardly ever recommend it to people. Its a pita, there aren't a whole lot of 'break' points, its relatively short, the view isn't really anything compared to other hikes in the area.

https://www.pikes-peak.com/manitou-incline/

(add if applicable) /s

It is absolutely an @$$ kicker, but a right of passage of sorts to test your fitness and challenge yourself. At least for the squadrons I worked in.

in Fuller we trust

Weed and Shrooms are legal now so their is that

.

JP

Right?

I was in CO Springs last summer, I would not recommend the downtown area there. It's surprisingly quite abandoned-looking. The Olympic training center and Red Rocks are great though, and if you can make it up Pikes Peak without getting altitude sickness then do that too.

Also, on the way up to Pikes Peak, the Crystal Creek Reservoir is one of the more scenic places I've ever seen.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

If you go up towards Pikes Peak, go to Cripple Creek and go down into the MOLLIE KATHLEEN GOLD MINE. Its a working Gold Mine and you are lowered 1000 ft below ground in a mine elevator. It holds 6 people, but its small - if your claustrophobic, this part might not be for you. Once down its quite open and you walk through the mine and they show you the technical evolution of gold mining in CO. It sounds touristy but its really quite cool! When you're done you can go gamble in the Casinos in town.

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

I have done that, it was fun.

Town of Frisco is really nice. Small, old mining town feel and a lot to do.
Awesome brewery, Outer Range, and sweet main street. Another fun spot
on Main St. is Prosit. Big lake there too.

Rocky Mountain National Park is probably the most beautiful place I've ever seen. If you're not into hiking, just the drive up there is well worth it. Cool little town around there, Estes Park, is worth exploring.

Edit: I'll drink later.

Edit 2: if the Rockies are in town they have a nice park. Handful of sports bars (the best kind of bar) outside the stadium to pregame at.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

If you like sour beers, Black Project is a must.

Fort Collins is a nice area. New Belgium has a huge brewery there and O'Dell Brewing is a walk away.

RMNP is beautiful. The hike to Emerald Lake, passing Dream Lake, is beautiful. Mills Lake is another good hike.

If you're in Boulder, drive through the Canyon out to Nederland. There's pull offs and you'll likely see climbers along the sides. Upslope & Avery breweries are in Boulder. Go to the Dushanbee Teahouse too.

Boulder Canyon up to Nederland is a great short drive up to a quirky town. Once there, Indian Peaks Wilderness has a bunch off incredible hikes. Very nice Brewery is pretty cool, Sundance lodge great place to grab a bite.

Dinosaur Ridge near Red Rocks is fascinating if you are into fossils. Good spot for a couple of hours of walking.

http://dinoridge.org/

I dont know where you are going but here are my recommendations. In Denver, Black Project and Crooked Stave are great if you like sour beer. Star Bar, Falling Rock Tavern, and Good Zur are good beer bars. If you can find cheap tickets on stub hub, the Rockies have a nice park and its right in the city. Hi Rise is a good breakfast place. Denver has alot of good mexican food. Rocky Mountain Naitonal Park is great, as is Estes Park. Trail Ridge Road is awesome if your not scared of heights. If your going to be in or near Greeley, Weldworks is a really good brewery. Boulder is a cool town, Avery is there and Eldorado Canyon State Park is nice and has some good hikes. Casey Brewing and Blending and Hanging Lakes (hiking) are cool, both are about 2-3 hours west of Denver. Vail is awesome no matter what time of year.

Honest question: what's the deal with all the mentions of "sour beer"? Is it an in-state pushback against the tasteless drivel Colorado is so well known for...namely Coors?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Beer has its share of fads. The dominant fad in the US is obviously IPAs. The hoppier the better, in the opinion of the public (I don't share this opinion). In the last decade, sours have really taken off. Most of it is fad driven, and the sours are lousy. Most any idiot can produce a kettle soured beer. Chances are it's going to be one-note lactic acid and taste a little like that burp/vomit of stomach acid that sneaks into your mouth from time to time.
Other types of sours take longer, take up more space, and tend to be avoided by most breweries.
But there are breweries that dedicate space and time to specifically crafting good sours. In the mid-atlantic, it's really hard to beat what's being produced by Wicked Weed's Funkatorium. Egbert has mentioned he's done some Flemish Red's. I really want to get over to his brewery to try them, but an infant has eaten a lot of my spare time lately.
I think it comes down to when the brewery is willing to get paid. The good sours take a long time and extra space to produce. But, once produced, you can charge more for them. Same as people charging more for bourbon barrel aged product. So, you don't get paid as soon. Or, you take the other route, make regular beers and some kettle sours. Turn out product on a regular schedule and get paid faster. You can turn out more product and get paid as much or more than you would for the more expensive soured beer.

To answer your question about the mentions: Good sour beer is damn good and a very flavorful experience. The breweries dedicating themselves to it are worth remembering.

I'm not particularly fond of sours, but the Funkatorium is pretty cool and pretty good too.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

Thank you kindly for your detailed response. I'm ignorant in the world of beer, regardless of how much of the darned stuff I consume.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

If you like sours and are in the Austin TX area, go to Jester King. beautiful grounds

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

lil more detail, I like to split sours into 3 main categories

kettle sour - quick to produce, frequently includes a fruit element - uses lactobactillus or pediococcus bacteria to create the sour/tart flavor profile in the beer that is then fermented with regular brewers yeast (saccharomyces) . Berliner Weiss is a classic example. tend to be a 'simple' sour

mixed fermentation - regular brewers yeast (saccharomyces) & wild brettanomyces yeast (imparts funky somewhat sour flavors), which can be dosed in a steel fermenter or imparted by inoculated wooden fermenters (foeders). sometimes starts with a kettle soured base. not uncommon to have a secondary fermentation with fruit

wild fermentation - open-air tanks are inoculated by whatever is floating around in the air. breweries often leave wooden beams exposed to harbor yeast & bacteria, and have large doors or windows they can open to catch the breeze. not uncommon for a secondary fermentation with fruit. Traditional Belgian Lambics fall into this category

mixed and wild fermentation can be a crapshoot.. Breweries specializing in these styles can end up dumping 1/3 to 1/2 of a batch by the time they're ready to bottle/keg as the wrong strain of yeast or bacteria can get going and ruin the flavor. They also do a lot of blending of different batches to hit just the right flavor profile. As a result these beers tend to be pricier, but at the same time can impart much more of a local "flavor".

I'd strongly recommend the following breweries along with what has already been mentioned (Avery, O'Dell, New Belgium, Black Project)

Denver
Crooked Stave for their sours (make sure to try Nightmare on Brett and Silly Cybies)
Great Divide
TRVE - heard great things

Boulder
Sanitas - really good Black IPA
West Flanders makes a bunch of fun Belgian styles and it's right in the main walking strip

Fort Collins
Funkwerks makes some of the best saisons in the country. Definitely try their Nelson Sauvin saison.

I have also heard great things about WeldWerks for their hazy IPAs. They are in Greeley.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

A little place called Aspen..... Yes, it's a 3 hour drive from Denver. No, you will not be disappointed. Wear some VT gear, there are several Hokies in town. I lived there off and on for a bit and miss it like crazy.

Wherever you go, I highly recommend fly fishing somewhere. I can give you some suggestions if you would like.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Yep. If you're a fisherman and are in Colorado, you'll regret not having time, gear or inclination to fish the abundance of incredibly beautiful waters you'll encounter almost everywhere you go.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I have never learned how to fly fish, which is almost criminal because my cousin owns his own guide business in Alaska. Sadly, haven't had a chance to make it up there and haven't learned.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Don't need to fly fish to enjoy trout fishing. I fly fish for them when I have to, special regs and all, but I'm just better at catching them with a spinning rod in most cases, especially when we're talking big water. And yes, I'm a proficient fly fisherman, been doing it since I was a lad, but other than bream or smallmouth on popping bugs, fly fishing isn't my first choice. We all different.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Grew up trout fishing. It's the only fishing I usually have any luck with. Never fly fishing though. I love it, but haven't been in years.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

You are missing out on something that could potentially change your life, all for the positive. I say that with all seriousness.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Of that I have no doubts.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

"Some place warm, a place where the beer flows like wine, where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I'm talking about a little place called Assssssssspen."

"I don't know Lloyd, the French are assholes..."

Having a conversation with you is like a Martian talking to a Fungo.

#JustinTime

I'll just add that in NM, we've had a very good snow pack and the mountains got some late snows in April and May. Everything is running high and temperatures are staying low. By late July the run-off will have subsided and the fishing is expected to be excellent. I expect the same is true for CO as well.

Not the bagman VT deserves, but the bagman VT needs right now.

Go to a dispensary. Even if pot isn't your thing, it's still a cool experience.

Also, +1 for Boulder. Cool town, great hiking.

Twitter me

So I went out there on a motorcycle and would rank the parks I saw as such:

1. Grand Tetons, you probably don't want to make the drive to SW Wyoming
2. Rocky Mt National Park, awesome ranges, lots of park and wildlife, lots of crowds
3. Mt. Evans, higher than Pikes Peak, you can park at the lower station and hike the ridge to the top or you can drive to the top and hike the 200 ft to the peak.
4. Black Canyon in Gunnison National Park, on the Western Side of the state, but the drive over through all the mountains is nice. Some places of it are so deep and narrow they only see 33 minutes of sunlight a day!
5. Pikes Peak, its a ton of switchbacks so you can't really look around while climbing and the top is crowded and you don't get much of a 360 view like you do on Mt. Evans.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

I'm sure it has been said, but go through Estes Park to Rocky Mountain National Park. Park at Bear Lake and hike up to Dream Lake and then Emerald Lake (don't stop at Dream Lake, keep going to Emerald). It is awfully low-level in intensity and length and it has a huge payoff. Bring some warmer clothes though if you go up to Rocky Mountain National Park at all.

Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs is worth a visit if you get down that way. Manitou Springs is a cool little town right next to it. We grabbed lunch at a delightful brewpub (that had some beer from Lawson's Finest Liquids if that means anything to you) called Manitou Brewing.

If you are near Boulder and like beer, definitely stop at the Rayback Collective. By far the coolest place I have ever had a beer.

Quick plug for the Rayback Collective. Killer beer selection (sort of owned by nearby Avery Brewing I believe) and a "food truck park". Hit it if you're near Boulder and are thirsty

Manitou Springs is an eclectic and fantastic little town. Loved going there when we lived in C Springs.

in Fuller we trust

A bit of warning: If you go to one of the mountains, take warm clothes. It might be 85° at the bottom, but you're going to freeze your ass off at the top wearing shorts. Been there; done that. It was snowing at the top.

Solid advice. Haven't been to the Rockies, but I've been through the Alps, Mt. Rainier, and have had some temperature adventures with Clingman's Dome and Mt. Mitchell. That elevation will get after ya.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Seconded. We went in April of 2017. Hoodie, running shorts, and tennis were an awful idea to try and hike in. Makes for a good story and you still get to see some incredible views, but the snow on the higher trails get packed into ice and you'll inadvertently be sliding on your 50% of the way back lol

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

Just here to pile on the recommendations for Colorado Springs. Cool town. Definitely do Pike's Peak. After all, it is the mountain that inspired America, the Beautiful. ("Purple Mountain's Majesty" and all that.)

If you're pressed for time, I'd skip the Olympic Training Center there... not much to see. (Think giant YMCA with some placards.)

While you're acclimating to altitude, drink lots of water. It helps. Denver's not much different than Grayson Highlands at 5k ft, but The Springs is around 8k. And of course Pike's Peak is over 14k. Take it easy if you're not used to it.

Leonard. Duh.

I just want you all to know how much Mrs. APFOW appreciates the brewery recommendations that have sours. She doesn't care much for beer, but she does love her some sours.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

I dont know why'd you go to Aurora, but Dry Dock is a really nice brewery.

If you get out to southwestern Colorado, I would recommend the Durango-Silverton area. Durango itself is a nice small town with a fair amount of hiking and camping, but the highlight for us was the steam train ride through the mountains up to Silverton, an old mining town. We went in mid-summer and there was still snow along portions of the ride up. In one place, there was an avalanche which brought evergreen trees down close to the tracks. The cold snow dropped the temperature and the crushed evergreens gave the smell of Christmas in the middle of summer.

Ut Prosim Ad Dei Gloriam

My wife is running a race near there this weekend (Leadville). We're not sure if she'll acclimate in time for the race, but she's leaving tomorrow to get a few days there before the run.

If you're doing any kind of hiking, bring lots of water. The last time we were at elevation (a long weekend in Laramie, followed by a day in Boulder), we had grand plans for a day-long hike.

By the last morning, we ended up whittling that down to a really short out & back at Sugarloaf Mountain, a small trail just above Boulder.

A friend from Montana taught us our golden rule of hiking; "Trip twice, and you're dehydrated". (In practice; the second stumble anybody has calls for a water break).

Arriving a few days early won't really help with acclimating for 10k elevation. You need more like 2+ weeks at altitude to really see any benefits. The key will be taking it easy, very easy. And like you said, staying hydrated. Thin air really seems to suck the water right out of you. (part of the reason trees/plants don't grow above a certain altitude is they can't maintain their water content in the low pressure).

Is she doing the Full or Half Marathon? I'd love to do the Leadville Half one day as a capstone half marathon challenge.

I'll pass this along. She's out hiking at 9,000 feet today and feeling good.

She's doing the half. This is the first time she's tried one this high up.

I will second Silverton. It is a fantastic little town (much better in the winter as the skiing is absolutely outrageous), but the drive over it absolutely gorgeous. You'll go through Ouray (where they do ice climbing races) which is a pretty cool little town and the gap between Ouray and Silverton is nicknamed the Alps of America. Some of the most beautiful scenery you'll see.
Another fantastic option would be to go to Pueblo area and schedule up a rafting trip. The Royal Gorge has some terrific rapids.
If you head West on I-70 there's a little town called Idaho Springs that has some fantastic eateries. Beaujo's was our favorite post skiing stop on the way back to the Springs. For mornings going West from Denver 2 Brothers Deli makes wonderful breakfast burritos. There's also a Brewpub Tommyknockers that many liked (wasn't quite my jam).

in Fuller we trust

Anybody ever tried camping in any of these areas? Or have any suggestions about how to go about camping in any of the parks.

Here lies It's a Stroman Jersey I Swear, surpassed in life by no one because he intercepted it.

Camping out here often requires booking your campsite as much as 6 months in advance, especially if you're looking to stay in established campgrounds in or near parks. My wife regularly starts planning summer camping trips and reserving sites for us in December. It's ridiculous.

Class of '02. GO HOKIES!

Yeah it can be really hard to camp in parks in Colorado. I do far more of my camping in national forest areas off the beaten path just finding a good spot on the side of the 'road'. I also live a long ways away from people and so there's far fewer people in my area. I'd try to give you some ideas, but 'turn left past the burned out shack, go, like 10 or 15 minutes (or like 20-30 if you're driving 'slow') and look for a fire pit' isn't really going to get you anywhere.

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

New Sigline: lol it's football season.

1. Black Canyon of the Gunnison - do the hike down to the river.
2. Great Sand Dunes National Park - rent a sand sled in Alamosa, Blanca, or Hooper.
3. Rafting on the Arkansas River, either in Buena Vista or the Royal Gorge

Bring lots of money, leave it here, thank you for visiting.

Class of '02. GO HOKIES!

...brought to you by the CO Tourism Board.

JP

Sand Dunes is one of the coolest things in Colorado. especially if you can camp in the park (if you're there in the summer, you can't).

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

New Sigline: lol it's football season.

Going to Denver in August for a work conference, gotta remember to come back to this thread

Check out Great Divide Brewing on Arapahoe Street (favorite brewery in Denver) and Wynkoop Brewing on Wynkoop Street (first craft brewery in Denver).

Eat at the Thirsty Lion, right next to Union Station. It's my favorite restaurant in Denver.

Check out 16th Street. Free shuttles run up and down the street all day, but other than that the street is closed to traffic. Just shops and restaurants for about 16 blocks. There's the general touristy shlock, but also some really cool stuff. Overland Sheepskin Co. is very cool but pricey.

Get high. Preferably at the concert. Red Rocks is an amazing venue. It's even more amazing high.

DRINK WATER CONSTANTLY. Elevation will fuck you up. I feel parched the whole time I'm there. Also, because of the elevation, expect every drink you have out there to hit you like three.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

Will second all of the recommendations of Great Divide, my favorite brewery since I was in law school. Great space (talking about the old brewery, they have a new 'taproom' that I haven't been to) and phenomenal beer.

Strong honorable mention for New Belgium. Very large and developed, but on a summer afternoon their taproom is amazing. It's basically a fairly large city park with taps. They also treat their people extremely well.

If you can do the Rockies, it's a good outside drinking experience. We missed the O's being in town because Mrs. Lwyr had a big hearing the next week.

For outside stuff, my own, antisocial attitude is that the further south you go, the fewer the people are and the better the experience is. Like, south of Pueblo. I live about as far south as you can get in Colorado and right on the edge of the mountains. We live at 6k elevation, but I can drive to 10-12k in about an hour. The joke I like to make is 'down here you can go for a hike and not see a single other person for a whole weekend, outside of Boulder you can go for a hike, but you have to wait in line first.'

I love Cripple Creek and Blackhawk. They're both like a crappy Vegas in the mountains. If you want to throw dice, the Brass Ass in Cripple Creek is my favorite spot.

Old sigline: I've been cutting back on the drinking.

New Sigline: lol it's football season.

I live out here now. I'd recommend a few things, some of which have already been mentioned, going North to South.

Fort Collins
I love this town, and the old town area is pretty cool. New Belgium and Odell Breweries, The Silver Grill Cafe for breakfast, The Mayor of Old Town for a great selection of beers on tap. Great hiking by Horsetooth Reservoir, and of course this is the front door into Rocky Mountain National Park.

Mount Evans
This is known as "Denver's Mountain" - it presides over the city, is one of the taller "14ers" and you can drive most of the way up if you're not into a daylong hike.

Denver
Coors Field for a Rockies game is a must. Root Down (French mentioned it) is good, and there are a lot of nice places to eat/drink in nearby Larimer Square. Breckenridge Brewery in Littleton is a nice place to go for a meal and Breckenridge Beer.

Colorado Springs
Garden of the Gods, the US Air Force Academy, the US Olympic Training Center and Pikes Peak are all cool. The Broadmoor is a great resort. There's a restaurant in north Colorado Springs across I-25 from the USAF called "Till Kitchen" that is money.

There are so many breweries all over the state that make good beer. You really can't go wrong. And there are a ton of hikes that you can take regardless of where you are. They are all so beautiful.

Druckenmiller the shotgun snap, fakes short, fires it deep into the end zone it is....caught! It is caught for a touchdown by Jermaine Holmes with 47 seconds left!

+1 for Mount Evans drive or drive/hike. Just be aware that the drive can be a little unnerving - 14K elevation, no guardrails and someone coming at you in the middle of a two-lane road.

Also, if you visit Estes Park, please don't try to touch or ride the elk. It happens.

Class of '02. GO HOKIES!

There are idiots everywhere. The following story is about a Japanese tourist but I'm sure there are plenty of examples of other nationalities (including Americans) equally idiotic.

My family and I went to Yellowstone. Buffalo are very common in the park as are the signs that warn everyone to not approach the buffalo. As we were stopping at a place to eat lunch, a tour bus pulled in. Out of the bus poured a crowd of Japanese tourists at the same time that a small herd of buffalo came wandering through the parking lot. Immediately, one of the older (50's?) ladies in that group started to chase a cow and her calf to get a close-up picture, Pretty soon the cow and calf were doing a slow gallop away from the "crazy" Japanese lady who was running as fast as her little legs could carry her while chattering excitedly. It was humorous and scary at the same time. All I'm thinking is, there is going to be a new menu item at the local IHOP if that buffalo turns around.

Ut Prosim Ad Dei Gloriam

You highlighted a lowlight that has been going on for years, nationality not exclusive. Our first trip to Yellowstone back in the late 80s, we spotted a few cars pulled off near the park and a big bull moose feeding on the side of the road. I'd never seen one, so we pulled over for a picture or two ourselves. We were done with that and just admiring the big fellow when this dumb ass pulled in, stopped his truck in the middle of the lane, jumped out and ran up to the moose, getting maybe 5 feet from its rear end. He then started whistling and yelling at the moose to "turn around for me". When that didn't work, he picked up a stick and threw it at the moose. Moose turned around and glared at the guy, giving him the picture he didn't deserve, then just ambled off. We were holding our breath and a couple of folks gave the guy a ration of shit, which he did deserve. He paid them back with a double fingered salute and a hearty "fuck you" as he got back in his truck, with Texas plates. Not a Japanese tourist in sight.
Fast forward to two falls ago and Acadia National Park. I went from the parking lot to the visitor's center for information. Lots of steps and a broad walkway, but jammed with people. On my way back down, I was literally forced off of the walkway two times, both times with contact, by large American women walking several abreast and in one case, commenting on the number of Japanese tourists around and wondering why they didn't just stay in their own country. What a world. And yes, I know you weren't picking on the Japanese as you said, and were just relating the story, but what a world.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I may have read the intent of your comment wrongly but I had hoped I caveated my original comment in such a way that individuals / people groups would not be offended. If anyone was, I apologize. That was not my intent nor, for that manner, is the apology intended to be politically correct.

The foreign nationality did have a bearing on the story, in as much as, languages and customs cause barriers. I have been overseas enough to know that American-style "common sense" isn't in other places. For example, don't step on any money in Thailand or you can end up in jail (the king's picture is on all the money and to step on the money is considered highly insulting and is a worthy of serious jail time) - at least that was true when I lived there. In certain foreign countries, Americans are officially advised to leave the scene of an accident and get to a safe place because "crowd justice" can be deadly to the American - no matter who was at fault.

So calling out a warning might not have worked because the lady might not have understood because of the language barrier. If she had turned away from pursuing the buffalo and then the animal turned around to charge her while her back was turned that would be bad juju. Finally, if I had insulted the lady in some manner, I ran the risk of being another rude American.

To be clear, intelligent people can do stupid things regardless of place of birth. (To place an intended light hearted spin on this whole discussion), after all, there are people in Texas who like the Cowboys; people in New York that root for the Yankees; and people in other parts of the world that think soccer is really football.

Ut Prosim Ad Dei Gloriam

No, no, I didn't mean you to feel that you hadn't been clear in the introduction to your story. It just reminded me of several stories and complaints I've heard recently and triggered my recollections. Please accept my apologies for not making that more clear. Stupidity doesn't know national boundaries.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

We are good. I added a leg for you.

Ut Prosim Ad Dei Gloriam

When I was in Yellowstone the Buffalo were pretty active and herds were all along roadways. It was a great up close experience, if you are in a car. I was on a motorcycle and all of the people parking in the two lane roadway to get pictures left me and my compadre blocked in and quite vulnerable. We had a few come close enough I was debating whether or not to put the stand down and flee on foot. When we finally got up the road to a parking area to get some pictures of our own, a ranger vehicle pulls in and immediately begins to command the morons to get back away from the herds informing us that this particular herd had a lot of what they called "frustrated teenage males". We were lucky they weren't trying to mount the dang bikes in the middle of the road.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

I grew up in Boulder, and currently live there:

The Dark Horse in Boulder for a burger (classic college dive)

Pearl Street Mall in Boulder for a stroll and a meal at any sidewalk patio you think sounds good (just ate at Riff's last night and it was good), then walk the boulder creek path for the evening by the Boulder Library

The Grand Lake side of RMNP is a lot less busy, and a lot more wildlife (not spooked off by the Touristas like yourselves)

It's a long drive, but the Great Sand Dunes is a wild experience, and you can sled them :)
Any Ski Town in the summer is fun to ride bikes and fly fish and hotels are usually pretty cheap in the offseason (Breckenridge, Winter Park, Vail)

FOSTERS: Australian for defense

Moved out from Arlington a few years ago, here's some of my favorites and most have been mentioned previously:

For hikes, tons to choose from but I would hike in Boulder and Rocky Mount National Park. Chautauqua is great area and suggest Flatiron 1&2 (hard but short, go until you see the snow capped peaks off the back side). RMNP is super busy so just be prepared for shuttles and make an entire day of it, start early. I recommend trail ridge road and
bear/dream/emerald lake (moderate ~6 mi) or
sky pond (harder ~8 mi). Stop in Lyons and have a beer at the original Oscar Blues.

Boulder is great for food and beer as well Jax, Kitchen higher end options but tons to choose from and the mall is worth walking to see the street performers, etc. just walking around the creek is beautiful and the drive up the canyon is nice. Eldorado Canyon is a nice quick stop to see some crazy cliffs and climbers. Would recommend staying in Boulder and can easily get to Estes/RMNP and Red Rocks. Morrison is neat little town and good place for pre-concert meal.

Golden is neat as well and the Coors brewery tour is worth it. Other favorites breweries of mine are Oscar Blues (restaurant in Boulder), Crooked Stave, Liquid Mechanics (my watering hole), Avery, Odells (Ft. Collins).

Break and Frisco are great as well and summer activities are now open. Would definitely rent a bike there and could ride from one to the other. Fairly flat ride and pretty easy.

Buena Vista is farther but worth it (Eddyline brewery) and could make a quick stop in serious old mining town of Leadville.

Also, consider going north. Rushmore is about 6 hours (easy drive, not like I95) and you could also see Badlands, wind cave and Devils tower.

Haha consider going farther west, can get to Moab in 6 hours as well and Arches and Canyonlands are incredible. Rent 4x4 from the Moab Cowboy and/or rent mountain bikes and go to Slickrock.

We have a friend who lives in the Denver area. He does improv. You could go heckle him on our behalf.

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

Na, the best thing to do is when they ask for input from the audience give them terrible suggestions. Then they dont know what to do.

HokieEnginerd wants to go see our friend perform but not tell him we are there and heckle him. Then he wants to yell out something that nobody else would know to see how our friend reacts when he realizes that it is us.

2 time Longwood grad married to a Hokie.

Bring a rolled up newspaper or something that squirts water to keep him inline.

It's a long way from Denver, but I have a buddy who just got back from Mesa Verde National Park (not far from the 4 corners area) and it's absolutely stunning. Well worth the drive, from the looks of it.

“You got one guy going boom, one guy going whack, and one guy not getting in the endzone.”
― John Madden (describing VT's offense?)

This is a really cool area. Whenever someone comes to visit Colorado I try to get them through the whole state. It is crazy how wildly different the north east plains are from the central to north west mountains to the southern plains to the south west cliffs. It takes a long time and a lot of travel/driving though. Usually no one spends time in the north east. its a lot of wind farms and corn so you could skip that part and just imagine.

(add if applicable) /s

Posting this because apparently new edits to thread topics don't show in the tracker.

Long story short...can't make the trip. Need to get rid of tickets. Info above.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD