Colorado New Year’s 2014

Colorado is an awesome place. The place has everything you could want in a place to live. Awesome nature, great food and local beers, lots of friendly young people, delicious coffee, a health conscious community, a thriving tech community, an affordable cost of living, and a million other things. It’s easy to see why part of my girlfriend’s family moved out there. And I’m happy they did because it gave me the chance to visit this beautiful state. This was my third time out to Colorado and the trip was as awesome as always.

Hiking the range near Boulder
Hiking the range near Boulder

Hiking and getting into the mountains in Colorado is a must. The Rockies are beautiful. A quick drive can often get you to one of the many gorgeous trails. It’s nice to venture into the woods and take in the beautiful scenery.

Hiking in the Rockies
Hiking in the Rockies

Stopped by the National Center for Atmospheric Research just to check it out. The weather exhibits were pretty fun but the supercomputer setup they have there is remarkable. It was nice to see the gear humming along. I saw this signed photo which was tremendous.

Seymour Cray, the father of supercomputing
Seymour Cray, the father of supercomputing

So far we saw some tech, some nature and hung out with some cool people. But we were in need of some delicious local brews. They were provided by Front Range Brewing Company, a quick walk from the house in Lafayette. The sampler is recommended. Eight small samples packed with flavor. Then we went off to Odd13 Brewing for more bites of Colorado food and local brewed beers.

One of the many awesome breweries in Colorado
One of the many awesome breweries in Colorado

The next day included some frisbee golf. Frisbee golf is an activity that is very Colorado. It’s slightly different than what you might be used to. It’s outdoors. It’s a bunch of fun. Frisbee golf is just regular like golf. You start far away. Then you toss your frisbee and try to get it into the basket in the fewest throws. I witnessed a tremendous attempt from B-Large. He’s standing to the left of the next picture and threw it all the way to basket on the right of the picture. It hit the basket but didn’t stay in.

B-Large is a wizard of the disc
B-Large is a wizard of the disc

After frisbee golf we had to make a quick stop at Left Hand Brewing. The Nitro Milk Stout is one of my favorites, so I was pumped to grab this in person. It’s amazing how much better beer is when you get it at the brewery that it was brewed at. Many times better than when you get it at your local liquor store.

Nothing beats a beer at the brewery
Nothing beats a beer at the brewery

I decided to show my thanks to my girlfriend’s family by cooking up some of my signature cioppino. It’s kind of hard to beat an assortment of scallops, king crab, shrimp, clams and mussels in a spicy tomato broth with a nice piece or two of garlic bread.

Cookin up some cioppino
Cookin up some cioppino

The next day we went off to Steamboat Springs. The ride out there was gorgeous. I was pretty happy to grab this shot of a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep that was chowing down right along the road.

Sweet Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep
Sweet Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep

The ride offers stunning landscapes.

I heard about plateaus but never seen one before
I heard about plateaus but never seen one before

Eventually we made our way to the town of Steamboat Springs. It looks like a great place to carve up the fresh powder, but we spent our time checking out the shops in town. We actually grabbed some po’ boys at a New Orleans restaurant called Sunpie’s Bistro which was an unexpected surprise. We spent the day strolling through town.

My love and I
My love and I

After we were done strolling through Steamboat Springs we went to Strawberry Park Hot Springs. The hot springs provide quite the experience. Strip down in the freezing cold into your bathing suit and hop into the pools of hot water. It’s interesting because if you dip your head under water and then keep it above water for a short period of time, the water on your hair will freeze due to the below freezing temperature of the outside air. There is a really hot pool and a lukewarm pool, and another pool that is has incredibly cold water.

Strawberry Park Hot Springs
Strawberry Park Hot Springs

After the hot springs we freshened up for a night out. The rest of the night was spent trying to keep warm, hustling around Steamboat Springs from place to place. Supposedly we just missed the guys from Duck Dynasty who visited a liquor store a couple minutes before us which made sense because they were in Steamboat Springs at the time.

The next morning we woke up, grabbed some good breakfast, strolled some more of the town, and then hopped in the car for our return back to Lafayette. The drive was once again beautiful, with gorgeous scenery along the way.

Back to Lafayette we go
Back to Lafayette we go

The rest of the night was spent hanging out at the house getting ready for our trip to Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the New Year’s Eve festivities. Red Rocks is open for visitors for free at any time when there is no concert. A lot of people use the steps for various exercises, which as I would imagine is very effective.

Center stage at Red Rocks
Center stage at Red Rocks

The top of Red Rocks provides a nice view of Colorado. You can see the tall buildings of Denver in the distance. Looking out from the top will provide you will a stunning view. The red rock provides a beautiful contrast to the blue sky, the white snow, the dark pines, and the faded grass.

From the top of Red Rocks
From the top of Red Rocks

The area around Red Rocks has some beautiful trails which are worth the trek. The scenery around Red Rocks is gorgeous.

Even without a concert it's worth a visit
Even without a concert it’s worth a visit

New Year’s Eve was spent in several places. Stopped by a friend’s house party. Then went off to a place in search of food. None of the restaurants/bars were serving food on New Year’s Eve so we had to score some Chinese food from Double Happy. Met back up with everyone with just a couple minutes to spare. Toasted to the New Year. After our celebrations we woke up and headed to the airport for our return back to New Jersey. As always, it was a great time in Colorado.