Saturday, July 24, 2010

Vail, Colorado

It seems like our trip to Vail was forever ago already. Troy and I quickly planned our trip when we learned he would have 2 weeks off between jobs. We left the morning of July 6 and came back on July 9. It was just the right length to allow relaxation and fun plus we didn't have to miss Luke for too long.

Tuesday after we drove to Vail from the Denver airport (I absolutely love the drive up into the mountains from Denver) we quickly unpacked and then went to Vail Village and explored a bit and had lunch. We were both very tired from getting up at 4:30 so then we relaxed in our room and instead of going out to dinner we ordered pizza and watched a movie.

Wednesday morning we went on a 2 hour horse back ride. Troy had never ridden a horse before but he did fine. It was actually quite humorous because his horse would stop and eat grass whenever he had the chance. I told Troy the wranglers gave him the right horse :) Our ride was really nice--we went through some grasslands and up over a hill and along a stream. The views were all fantastic and we got to watch a storm roll in from a distance.
After our ride we decided to go to Breckenridge for the afternoon. We had lunch at a place that I've eaten at several times which is always fun. We wanted to walk around and shop and also ride the alpine slide but the weather did not cooperate. The storm we had watched roll in was now getting us rather wet. We enjoyed the drive back to Vail and again chilled in our room until the rain passed. We then had a nice dinner in Vail Village and enjoyed going in more shops.

Thursday morning we decided a hike was in order. Our original plan was to ride the gondola up to the top of the mountain and hike our way down (thinking this would be easier) but the guide at our hotel said we could do this hike up in about 2 hours and that is wasn't hard at all. He also said that we could save $50 because a ride down in the gondola is free. Um, I don't think he realized that we hadn't totally adjusted to the altitude and that neither of us is in the greatest shape. Well, we decided to save $50 for better or worse. So off we went--very slowly.

It was a beautiful trail. The weather was great. The views were amazing. Our estimate of making it up the trail in reasonable time--a little off. It took us about 3 hours. We definitely bonded and encouraged each other. We decided that next time we probably won't save the $50. On our ride down in the gondola we read the description of our trail, Berry Picker. It was 4.6 miles long and the elevation change was just over 2000 feet. Next time we'll also read the description first.
The best part of the hike for me was seeing all of the wildflowers. I absolutely love Colorado's wildflowers. My 2 favorites are of course the state flower, columbine and also the Indian Paintbrush.
After our hike we had a beautiful scenic drive to Leadville. There we got on the Leadville Train (guess who had this idea). The train used to be for the molybdenum mining industry in the area. We learned about the industry and about the train. It was a nice ride but we both decided it was a bit long. On our way back to Vail we made several stops to enjoy the awesome scenery. We enjoyed another nice dinner and more walking around on our last night in Vail.

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