Leadville’s Beautiful Fall Aspens

IMG_0873We went on a trip last week with some friends, Larry and Jane, from Nebraska. They were here for their 40th anniversary and we wanted to show them some of the things that Jack and I enjoy doing around here.

We started our journey by going to Como to the Mountain Man Gallery. It’s one of our favorite places around here becaues Ricki, the owner, knows so much about the history of this part of Colorado. From there, we went up to Boreas Pass. There’s a place on the way up where there are still some railroad tracks that look out over the mountains. We took a little walk there to see what the view was like and we weren’t disappointed! Jack and Larry enjoyed spending time thinking about what it was like to build the tracks and how they did it years ago when they didn’t have all the modern tools and conveniences that we do now.

From there, we went to Breckenridge and got to enjoy Septemberfest. The streets were full and the music and dancing were fun. As always, Breckenridge has good shopping and food. Jack and I looked at the galleries and were people watching while Larry and Jane were shopping. We caught up with each other and had an early dinner at Downstairs at Eric’swhich is our favorite restaurant there. Downstairs at Eric’s has a good menu that has something for everyone and the portions are large, so the guys generally like it. It was onward to Leadville from there. We did a little sight-seeing and then checked in to our hotel.

IMG_0935The next mornIMG_0955ing we got up and spent time with more sight-seeing and doing a little shopping. The weather was beautiful aIMG_0956nd Leadville is a fun little town with a lot of history, so the morning passed quickly. In the afternoon we boarded the Leadville, Colorado & Southern Train for a ride through the mountains to enjoy the sights. It was beautiful! The aspen leaves were various shades of green, yellow, and orange and the view was fantastic. Also, Larry and Jack got tickets for us to sit in (or in front of) the engine on the way back, so that was a special treat.

We shopped a little more after the train ride and then went to Quincy’s for dinner. If you’ve never been to Quincy’s, you might want to give a try some time. They’re a Colorado restaurant and they’re in Leadville (the original Quincy’s), Buena Vista, Salida, and the newest one is in Florence.

Quincy’s is the most unusual restaurant I’ve ever been to in that there are only two things on the menu. Sunday thru Thursday you can have filet mignon (in four different sizes) or vegetarian lasagna. On Fridays and Saturdays you can have either prime rib or sirloin steak, or vegetarian lasagna. The steaks come with salad and ranch dressing, baked potato, and bread. No substitutions! Period! The food is good and the prices are great, so we’re good with the menu.

IMG_0973After a good night’s sleep and some breakfast we stopped by a couple of ghost towns on the way to Buena Vista. We always enjoy ghost towns and love to think about the people who lived there and what their lives were like. This morning, however, we were really intrigued on the drive up to them with the fall colors and the way that the clouds created shadows on the mountains. The sun hiding behind the clouds and then coming out again, over and over, made it appear as if some invisible paintbrush in the sky was painting the mountains, sometimes with brighter colors and sometimes with darker colors and always with ever-changing patterns.

Cottonwood Hot Springs was our next stop and we were all ready for a good long soak in the mineral water by the time we got there. There are several different pools that you can soak in and they’re various temperatures, so it’s easy to find one that’s right for what you enjoy. It’s a great place to go and let your mind drift while just relaxing. It’s quiet and peaceful. On the day we were there we had a slight breeze along with the warm sun, so it was perfect. It’s easy to lose track of time, but generally we stay for around two hours or so.

We were all hungry when we left the hot springs and decided we didn’t want to wait until we got home to eat, so we made a trip to Jan’s in Buena Vista. Jan’s is a local restaurant that has very good home cooked food. The portions are large and the prices are good. We all had good meals, but Larry’s roast beef with mashed potatoes was outstanding. His meal was huge and he couldn’t eat all of it, so he took some of it home to give to Sami so she would have a special treat with her dog food for dinner.

A couple of hours later and we were home. It had been a very fun three days of stopping by special places, seeing historic areas, shopping in quaint little stores, viewing the beautiful fall colors, riding the train, relaxing in the hot springs, having good food, and enjoying special time with friends. Life is good!





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