Rocky Mountain High

We spent Thursday with Joe and Olivia, who had taken the day off (thanks guys!) to show us around Denver and the foothills to the west. After a hearty breakfast of crisp bacon and pancakes, we set out towards Morrison and hiked a loop tucked in the foothills. The Turkey Trot trail featured vistas of Denver mixed with areas that could’ve been a hundred miles into the wilderness given the silence and scenery.

Venturing into the foothills west of Denver. Just a short drive from Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Coors Brewery

After the hike, we refueled with tacos at Torchy’s in Greenwood Village. We finished up a game of Settlers of Catan back at their house and put our feet up for the night.

Arapahoe Basin, or “A-Basin,” was our destination early Friday morning as we left Denver around 6 AM. We hadn’t been skiing in about a year, in addition to never having skied in the West. The drive out was picturesque, with snow coating an array of spruce and pine trees as we pushed up the highway into the mountains.

A-Basin is a bowl-shaped ski area off the beaten path along US-6 just past Loveland Pass and featuring plenty of fresh powder runs. To say we weren’t prepared would be an understatement. With our lack of ski-legs or any recent ski trips, and at an elevation topping 11,000 feet, we tried our best to carve through the clouds beneath our skis. All I can say is that each time we went up, we made it back to the bottom. But if the price of the views from the top of the mountain was taking an occasional digger on the way down, it was well worth it.

Arapahoe Basin is situated in Arapaho National Forest and lies about 60 miles west of Denver.

We wrapped up our last run around 2PM and began our trek back eastbound and down to Denver. It was mind-boggling to see just how much traffic was heading west into the mountains for the weekend, especially considering how remote the surrounding area is. But, in addition to folks making their weekly retreat into the highlands, it’s the weekend of the X-games in Aspen, further swelling the already-hypertense artery that is I-70.

Dinner was at Highland Tap & Burger in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver. Along with Joe and Olivia, we met up with our friend Dave from back east, who had moved out to Boulder last year. The company was second to none, the food was excellent, and we enjoyed some of the local brews to wash it all down.

Our next chapter takes us back west, sliding up over the Rockies and toward Moab, UT. Stay tuned.

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