Tag Archive: colorado

What I Did on My Winter Vacation, Part III: Copper Mountain

The drive from Monarch to Frisco and Copper Mountain was the most intense 104-mile drive of my life. It took three hours. During the trip I probably saw about five total miles of bare pavement, the rest was all ice-encrusted. I’ve been living in Oklahoma for the last three years; this was not an environment for which I’ve had a lot of recent experience. My goal for most of the drive was…
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What I Did on My Winter Vacation, Part II: Taos and Monarch

From the greater Phoenix area, I headed back the way I came, up that one highway that probably has a number toward Holbrook. It was still pretty: Although it also spat snow somewhere in those mountains, a true harbinger of the two weeks to come. Which is good, since I cannot abide a false harbinger. I spent New Year’s Eve sleeping at an Air B&B place. It was like a casita at…
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Alpine Loop and Animas Forks: An Off-Road (Sort Of) Adventure

I was getting my hair cut one day a few weeks back at the ol’ University Barber Shop (I’d include a link, but I don’t think they have a webpage) and mentioned I’d just bought a Jeep Wrangler and it turned out one of the other barbers in the shop was a real off-road enthusiast who was planning, this summer, to do some extensive off-road touring in Colorado. Anyway, I thought that…
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The Black Canyon of the Gunnison Is Really More of a Dark Russet Color

One of the primary goals of this summer’s road trip was knocking off a couple of theretofore unvisited national parks. Black Canyon of the Gunnison: knocked off (now). It’s one of the newer national parks and, common with other newer national parks, it’s not quite Yosemite or Yellowstone. It’s sort of like a much smaller, darker colored Grand Canyon to the bottom of which you cannot readily hike. I mean, you can…
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Ski Weekend on the Front Range

Went to Colorado for a quick (three-day) weekend back in February as sort of a proof of concept. The concept being the reasonableness of going to Colorado to ski for a weekend. I flew in on Thursday night after class, rented a mid-size SUV (Ford Escape as it turned out) “at” the airport, then headed west on I-70, stopping at a pretty awful Super 8 ($89/night!) in a windy, very cold town whose…
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Last Summer: A Not-Solo Road Trip

Then there was the family reunion up in Jackson Hole for some reason. I took this picture there: It was the most meaningful one I took. Then it was time to drive to Oklahoma, except then two of my nephews were going to come with me sort of, part of the way, before being passed off in New Mexico so they could be taken to Old Mexico by their mother (not an abduction). I’m…
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Mills Lake Hike and Rocky Mountain National Park

This happened a long time ago. Before I did my dissertation defense. Before my niece even got married. A long time ago. Rocky Mountain National Park is a National Park located in Denver. There are a ton of people since in Denver (fine, “in Denver”, where “in” means less than 90 minutes away). The Mills Lake Hike was one I found out about online. It was pretty good. Get to the trailhead early to…
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Climbing Pikes Peak (in a Car)

Pikes Peak is super-close to Colorado Springs. It’s a 14,000+ peak to which you can drive. It is the highest elevation to which I have ever driven. It’s sort of like a toll road operated by the NFS. At the edge of civilization before you start climbing up to the pass toward where the entry booth is located, there’s a gas station+barbecue place. I used their restroom and bought a rice krispie…
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Colorado National Monument: Canyonlands for People Who Don’t Want to Get Out of the Car

Real Canyonlands is better, or course, but it also requires getting out and hiking some. Colorado National Monument is located near Grand Junction, Colorado. The drive is the interesting part; it looks like southern Utah, so long as you look toward the mountains. If you look toward the valley it looks like Grand Junction. And if you reach the top of the drive, it looks like a bunch of boring, scrubby trees….
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