Earlier this winter, while Maison was at a conference, I had the chance to take a long (overdue) trip to visit one of my good friends (and neighbor growing up) in Denver with no agenda. Another one of my best friends from high school and I had been planning to visit him since he moved out there around four years ago, but it had always been something that slipped through the cracks. It’s crazy how hard simple weekend trips become when you move on from college and “real life” starts. Side note: if you have something like this planned, I strongly encourage you to make it happen!
We spent our time hiking, biking, eating (mostly Illegal Pete’s burritos with chips and queso), exploring downtown, and catching up on life. I quickly fell in love with Denver and the unique culture it has. It just feels like the perfect pace of life. On top of that, it has an amazing outdoor scene and coffee culture! We hiked three different areas while I was out in Colorado — two of them were in Denver and the last was in Breckenridge.
A highlight of my trip was experiencing my first “Throwdown.” The roommate of the friend I was visiting runs a coffee shop called Corvus Coffee and it was their turn to host this Throwdown! Essentially, baristas from all the different coffee shops in town get together under one roof and compete to make the best drinks before the time is up. The shop also gets a DJ and a local vendor to donate some beer and snacks! It was so cool to witness a bunch of people get together in the spirit of community like that and it was truly an experience I will never forget!
The owner of my friend’s house has chickens! The one featured below is named Voldemort. Very fitting ; )
The hike below was at Quandary Peak. The trail leads up to the 13th highest peak in Colorado and is one of the 53 peaks above 14,000 feet above sea level. I knew hiking up to an elevation of 14,265 would be tough and I’m lucky I had a guide who knew what he was doing (thanks, Eric!). If you’re considering hiking one of these 14ers, here are 5 tips that will get you to the top safely:
- Pack layers, wear good shoes/boots, and bring plenty of snacks and water
- Arrive to the trail head right before the sun rises so you have plenty of time for the hike
- Don’t hike the first day of the trip, let your body get acclimated with the base elevation of the city
- Don’t walk too quickly and take breaks to avoid elevation sickness
- Plan to go with someone who has already hiked the trail and, at the very least, let somebody know you are going
Our personal guide : )
This bench mark at the peak of Quandary is one of over 400,000 bench marks put in place by the National Geodetic Survey to help map the elevations across the United States.
A shot to prove I made it to the top! (And how awesome is that hat hair?!)
Thanks for a such good trip Eric and Kyle! Hopefully we wont let 4 more years pass before we get together again.