Category Archives: Rocky Mountain National Park

USA ROAD TRIP, PART 4 OF 5 Denver, Lafayette, Rocky Mountain National Park, Boulder Colorado

Woke up in Santa Fe and had some dreadful coffee which was complimentary to the Motel 6 we were staying at. I couldn’t finish drinking it. But no worries, we were off to Colorado! We were thinking about maybe checking out Pike’s Peak or Garden of the Gods on the way up but it looked like we wouldn’t have time. The first place we stopped was Denver. We made our way over to Great Divide Brewing Company. Had to dodge a bum fight on the way there, but we got there safely.

Colorado has the best beer in the country
Colorado has the best beer in the country

Great Divide throws down with the beer that they make there. If you get a chance to have some, I recommend it. You just can’t beat the intense freshness and quality of a beer poured from a tap at the brewery where it was conceived.

Great Divide throws down
Great Divide throws down

Great Divide is my favorite brewery so I was pretty pumped to go through the samples with Mikey. His favorite was the Claymore Scotch Ale and mine was the Espresso Oak Aged Yeti.

Much beer, very Colorado
Much beer, very Colorado

After our quick stop in Denver, we were off to meet up with the family in Lafayette. They let us crash and provided great hospitality as always.

True champions
True champions

We went out and grabbed some grub at The Post Brewing Company (there are breweries everywhere in Colorado). It was nice to catch up with everyone but we had to get to bed a little early because everyone had work the next day.

When Mikey and I woke up the next morning we decided to check out Rocky Mountain National Park. But first I had to get a cup of coffee. Colorado throws down with their coffees so I knew I would be able to get that dreadful motel coffee taste out of my mouth. Upon recommendation from a local coffee expert (thanks Meliss!) we went to Proper Grounds Coffee Roasters. There’s a reason why this new shop has a 5.0 rating.

Fresh bean
Fresh bean

The beans are sourced from a variety of farms all around the world. Then they are roasted in house. Then they are crafted into whatever fine drink you like. I opted for a large coffee and a homemade pastry. Mikey skipped the coffee (for shame) but also went with a delicious bite. We discussed our plans to go into the Rockies over these delicious treats.

The shop is very open and creatively stimulating
The shop is very open and creatively stimulating

Before we bounced out of Proper Grounds, I fueled up on another cup for the road. There are a lot of places that we could have checked out but Rocky Mountain National Park is pretty unbeatable for a quick trip to the Denver/Boulder area. We ran into a little traffic on the roads because they were removing rocks and working on the roads that were damaged from the floods. We drove through Estes Park but didn’t have time to stop. We drove into Rocky Mountain National Park and were blown away. It was in beautiful form.

Hashtag no filter
Hashtag no filter

The park offers some amazing views, but catching a herd of grazing elk is tremendous. They don’t mind the cars or the camera. We could have stayed around and watched them for as long as we wanted to.

Beautiful creatures
Beautiful creatures

Onwards we went. Upwards we climbed. Stunning views greet you at every turn. Rocky Mountain National Park is small enough that you can see it in a day, but also big enough that you can get lost in it and explore new parts if you have more time to spend here.

About as high up as we could go
About as high up as we could go

The road was closed off at the top so we had to turn around, but even with the road closure you can still get pretty high up. The views are just great up there.

We had to get out of the park because we had a kickball date for later on that night. After having a rough couple seasons, the team started off the year with a couple wins. It was up to Mikey and I to keep the team undefeated. Road closures slowed us down a little but we got to the house on time. It’s a drinking league which means you can drink beers in the dugout, so we stopped at Avery Brewing Company to grab a bite and a brew before the game. Had a banh mi sandwich which was delicious and a sampler of a few beers. The Chocolate Mint Stout is worth a sip and the Eremita VI is worth a glass. Game time was approaching so we got out of Avery and went to the field.

Mikey and I were pumped for this game ever since we heard about it back when we were in Austin. Finally we were here, ready to keep the undefeated streak alive. The game was close. Hits and runs were hard to come by. 1-0. 1-1. Then we went down 2-1. You had to fight for everything. Everyone on our team was kicking ass and making great plays though.

What a catch cousin Amy
What a catch cousin Amy

Eventually we tied it 2-2. Extra innings. Then another inning. Things getting sticky. Getting out of sticky situations. Yeesh. Bottom of the 9th (game was only supposed to go to 6) and we have a runner on 3rd. A little dribbler is hit and our guy sprints for home. Play at the plate. And he’s safe! We finally were able to taste that sweet, sweet victory in extra innings and won 3-2.

I was surprised at how well setup the league was. There was an ump and a scoreboard and everything. But mostly the league is about having fun. Co-ed drinking kickball is something that is very Colorado and I was happy to experience it.

We got back to the house and hung out for a little bit. Mikey and I said our goodbyes to everyone that night before we went to bed since they all had to be up early for work the next morning. We would be heading due east the next morning as our trip slowly was starting to wind down.

Before we left the next morning, we stopped in Boulder to hang out at the Pearl Street Mall. We grabbed some delicious Colorado coffee and checked out the shops. We took part in a silent disco at University of Colorado (you put earphones on and listen to whatever music you want to and dance in an open field on the campus). Stuff like this happened.

Probably should have picked this up
Probably should have picked this up

Some of the shops out here are tremendous. I was pretty tempted to buy a magic wand. The craftsmanship on these wands is great. They are all individually made. Seemed like a good deal to be able to use magical powers in exchange for $200 but I couldn’t justify it and kept the money in my wallet.

The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter
The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter

And like that, we were off. Eastward we went. Slowly making our way home.