Colorado on My Mind
We have spent years perfecting our travel planning. We still have lots of gaps and work to do but there is one thing we figured out years ago that we know is right. When we flip the page on TJ’s poker dogs calendar to the month of August, we seek elevation. Soaring temps at our home base of Austin, Texas pushes us to 10,000 ft.
This year was no different. We flew on Southwest to Denver, Colorado which can be super affordable if you book a few weeks out, ours was less than $100 each way. The plan was to rent a car there but summer rates from the Denver airport, any way you tried it were way out of our range at almost $85 per day. After a lot of work we did find one off site for half that and took it. We Uber’ed over from the airport without a hassle. Both Uber fairs we less than a day’s rental from the airport.
Our travels took us to Dubois, Wyoming to hike Gannet Peak. Although we did not get to summit this year because of weather we loved the time in the mountains. (see TJ’s blog for the whole mountain story).
One piece of gear we experimented with on the trails with was the Coasta C-MATES readers. The top is the high performance Costa shades we have come to trust and the bottom included my 150 reader lens. The thought was when I had to check the map, GPS or watch I would not have to dig around for my readers. It doesn’t work on the trails. Yes the fly fishing community loves them but there is too much looking down time for them to work on the trails, I switched to my “go to” Coasta’s to complete the trip. (Sorry Hannah at Coasta, we tried!)
Another great peak was Pikes Peak! We took the drive to the top and watched the temp drop as we twisted and turned and screeched our way up. One down point was our National Park pass did not work and we had to pay $12 each person. A travesty. The other option is the Pikes Peak Cog Railway that goes up the side of the mountain, it looked super fun. Fee’s range from $38. adults, $22.50 kids, $5 parking. Anytime you peak a fourteener you need to make sure you are well hydrated or you chance being miserable from altitude.
We took the long way back to Colorado Springs stopping in Aspen. We wanted to explore the historic Smuggler Mine. This was so well worth the time. Our guide Jay Parker has been there 40 years and told amazing stories of mining and miners. The world’s largest silver nugget came from here, 1840 lbs. Wandering through the cavernous and seemingly endless tunnels you could not help but marvel at the hard work and effort those miners performed. Make reservations at 970-925-2049.
Lots of Texans head north in July and August, we are fine being one of them. We called home and check on things around the ranch, the temps were in the 100’s. We were sitting on the veranda of a small coffee shop at about 9500’. The temp was 71 with a small breeze. We went to the secondhand store and I bought a sweatshirt. Another year we won’t be counting the triple digit dog days under our native Texas sun. We are fine with that.
Remember, be a traveler not a tourist. Godspeed.