Jack’s birthday was earlier this week, so we went on a short trip. Officially, we said it was for both of our birthdays, but we’ll use any excuse to go somewhere for a couple of days. Living fairly near to such a variety of places that we can go to is one of the many things we enjoy about living here.
We had agreed upon going to Glenwood Springs since we had never been there before. It’s a little north of Aspen and is right on I-70, so it’s easy to get to. Jack made reservations at a hotel there that sounded like it would have “old world charm” and we were looking forward to our trip. We packed a few things and were off and going!
Jack loves breakfast, so we stopped in Buena Vista at Jan’s. I’ve written about Jan’s before, so I’ll let it suffice to say that the meals are good and are very large. We shared an omelet with hash browns and toast, and…it had sausage gravy on it. I know, I know! Sausage gravy isn’t the best for you, but it’s soooo tasty and we didn’t have much of it, so we could justify eating it. Our meal was really good and we were on our way.
We drove (basically) north on Hwy 24 West and meandered through Leadville, which is a fun little town, and headed toward I-70. It was a quiet day and there wasn’t much traffic. Leaving Leadville we drove through the mountains and enjoyed the scenery. We dipped down into a valley that had a little bit of a cement structure which was mostly a framework of some kind. Jack mentioned that he remembered coming to the area when he was a child and skiing there. He thought (and we found out later he was right) that it might be what was left of Camp Hale. There were a couple of pull-over areas with some signs about it, but we decided to stop on our way back from Glenwood Springs to check it out.
Just before we got to Minturn, we saw a wooden water pipe on trestles and took a side road to check it out. We turned onto Tigwon Road and followed it for a little bit. It runs along the river and is a good road. We stopped a couple of times to check out the scenery, listen to the birds, and take pictures. It always amazes us that “way back when” people could build things like the wooden water pipes and that we still have the remains of them today. Jack did his “good deed” and picked up a six-pack of empty beer bottles that someone had left there.
Interstate 70 westbound is a pretty drive. There are mountains, valleys, ski areas, and tunnels. We got into Glenwood Springs, located our hotel, and then drove down to Carbondale. Jack had heard about Carbondale at some time and wanted to check it out. It was a cute little town, but there really wasn’t much there.
Back in Glenwood Springs, we found the “old town” area and walked around checking out the shops and restaurants. We picked a restaurant, The Pullman, that had outdoor seating (always our favorite way to have meals if we can) and sat back to relax and do a little “people watching”. Jack and I shared a hamburger and it was really, really good! Great flavor and nice and juicy, just the way we like them.
Jack had made reservations for us at the Hotel Colorado. It looked and sounded like it was a grand hotel with old world elegance. The lobby area was really nice! It was large, well furnished, and had many different sitting areas. It definitely looked like a grand hotel. The upstairs was a little different. The hallways were really wide, like the older hotels were, but they were really sparsely furnished. It seemed like there should have been plush furniture lining at least some of the walls and there also should have been more pictures, mirrors, or something on the walls. Our room was O.K. The bed was comfortable and the curtains were nice. The bathroom was alright, but certainly not fancy at all. It had original tile on the floor, which was nice. There was only one chair in the sitting area and it, along with the other furniture, had seen better days. It was nice that the window actually opened and the room was very quiet, which we always appreciate.
We wanted to go to Hanging Lake the next day, so we got up early to get a good start on the day. Hanging lake is beautiful, but it’s a long story, so I’ll put that in a different post. I will say that it’s a difficult hike, but despite how long it took us (we took a lot of “rest stops”) and how sore we were, we were glad that we went.
Jack and I had heard about a restaurant called Shooters where you can open carry your hand guns. There were quite a few news stories about Shooters and a lot of talk about it. It sounded like a fun restaurant and since it was close to Glenwood Springs in a town called Rifle, we opted to go there for dinner. Shooters is a nice little restaurant and they’ve pretty much built their restaurant around the open carry theme. True to what we had heard, the waitresses all had their holsters and guns on them. Other than the novelty of the guns, the food was O.K., but not necessarily worth driving any distance for. We, once again, had hamburgers. We always order our burgers medium-well, but the ones we got were very well done. No pink at all and pretty dry, which isn’t the way we prefer them.
We had hoped to go to Glenwood Hot Springs, but we were really tired when it was time. It also looked like it was going to rain or thunderstorm, so we decided to go back to our hotel and have a glass of wine instead. One glass of wine was all that it took and we were ready for sleep. It had been a long day and the hike, especially, wore us out completely!
In the morning we went to breakfast at a local restaurant. It was really good! On our way back home we stopped in Gypsum at their rest stop. It’s in an older building right next to a river. It’s a nice rest stop, with a gift store carrying a good variety of items including art and jewelry. Also, there are several picnic tables near the river and it’s a great place to take a break, have some lunch, let the kids and dogs get out and run around a little, and just relax in general.
Driving back home on Highway 24 we stopped at the markers where Camp Hale had been. We read about the camp and all of the people who had been there and what they were training for. I had no idea that we had ever had a group of military people who were trained for mountain and winter warfare training for World War II. It was pretty amazing and you could really feel the left-over energy of the people who had been there. Now, it’s a campground.
Another fun trip and more memories made. We love our Colorado life!