Denver & Colorado

I live in and LOVE Denver. As much as I enjoy traveling, I am so happy to call Denver home. There is always something to do in this city! From racing to restaurants, there’s something here for everyone.

Here, you’ll find posts about my favorite things to do in Denver/Colorado.

Red Rocks: Workouts / Film on the Rocks

2011 Denver Out of the Darkness Walk

Bike Riding on the Cherry Creek Path

A Bachelorette Weekend in Vail

Denver Patio Ride

Canvas & Cocktails, Girls Night at Canvas and Cocktails!

Tease Studio (Pole fitness class!)

Bella Glass Studios

First Fridays: True Love Shoes  & Infinite Monkey Theorem

Indoor Skydiving

Yelp! Denver Events: Monster MashUp, Elite Event at Capital Grille

Rugby Games at Infinity Park

Gun Safety Class at Cherry Creek State Park

Get Out and PLAY! Colorado is one giant playground for people who love to be active and explore. 

Coloradocation (Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4)

Glacading at St. Mary’s Glacier

Birthdaycation in Breckenridge! (part 1, part 2)

Learning to Winter Camp (part 1)

Denver Eats! There is no shortage of great food in this city.

Izakaya Den Sushi

India Oven

Banzai Sushi

Bull And Bush

Dining Out Paleo: Chipotle, HBurger, Garbanzo

Euclid Hall

Showing My Momma A Colorado Weekend

This past weekend, my mom came to visit me and my brother. My brother, Chris, is only here for another couple of weeks before he and his girlfriend head back to Chicago. We jokingly asked if she wanted to try camping while she visited and, surprisingly, she enthusiastically said yes!

We planned to meet up with our friends, Lucas, Nancy and Justin, who spent Friday night in 11 Mile Canyon, a Colorado State Park 50ish miles west of Colorado Springs. We met up with them on Saturday morning at Elevenmile Dome in the canyon and harnessed up. We could not have asked for better weather – sunny, mild temps, slight breeze. We truly lucked out with another quintessential fall day in Colorado (see also: Boulder Canyon climbing!).

Climbing in 11 Mile Canyon // lgsmash.com

We climbed Moby Grape, a really fun dihedral rated at 5.7, and Happy Trails, an interesting and slabby route rated at 5.6 (but feels like it should be rated higher). Lucas is the only lead climber in our group so he lead both routes and set up top rope anchors for the rest of us.

Climbing in 11 Mile Canyon // lgsmash.com

Happy Trails

Climbing in 11 Mile Canyon // lgsmash.com

Happy Trails

 

Climbing in 11 Mile Canyon // lgsmash.com

Moby Grape

Climbing in 11 Mile Canyon // lgsmash.com

Late in the afternoon, we broke for lunch and to wait out the overcast clouds that had rolled in. Lucas, Nancy and Justin found a solid campsite the night before and, because we were car camping, we arrived to camping luxuries like a real campstove, extra chairs around the fire ring and chips and salsa waiting for us in a cooler.

Climbing in 11 Mile Canyon // lgsmash.comClimbing in 11 Mile Canyon // lgsmash.com Climbing in 11 Mile Canyon // lgsmash.com We spent the evening playing with the slingshot, throwing sticks to excited pups and sharing laughs over beers around the fire. My mom, who’d never been camping, was a real trooper and had a great time in the great outdoors. It was really special to show my mom how Alex and I (and Chris and Jenna!) like spending our Colorado weekends – she sees all of our adventure photos online but having the opportunity to share the adventure with her was priceless.
Climbing in 11 Mile Canyon // lgsmash.com In the morning, we iced the luxurious camping cake with pancakes, sausage and bacon for breakfast. Heavenly! More laughing in the cool October air over warm camp coffee was the perfect Sunday morning, in my book.
Climbing in 11 Mile Canyon // lgsmash.com We packed up camp and headed back down the canyon soon after breakfast. Lucas, Nancy and Justin opted to climb a multi-pitch route before heading back to town while my family and I headed back into Denver to spend the last few hours of my mom’s visit doing things she wanted to do – eating meals as a family, hanging out and spending precious quality time together.

As usually is the case, saying goodbye early Monday morning was really sad. Family trips seem to feel shorter as I get older; like they say, you don’t know what you got till it’s gone. Or, at least, not living in the same city as you. Seeing my family less makes our visits that much more special to me and I savor the moments together.

Okay, sappy family stuff over, back to the canyon: I’m definitely a fan of 11 Mile Canyon and hope to get back soon for more climbing and camping. We just missed peak ‘leaf peeping’ season but I can only imagine how stunning the canyon is when it’s canvassed in golds and bright yellows.

Climbing in Boulder Canyon – Nip and Tuck

Boulder Canyon Climbing Nip Tuck // lgsmash.com

Saturday was a perfect morning for rock climbing – crisp, chilly air in the morning that warmed by lunch, yellow leaves shimmering in the breeze, not a cloud in the sky.

We piled in OsCar the Outback and navigated towards Boulder in the morning, meeting my brother, Chris, and his girlfriend, Jenna, to bring them along with us. Neither had been climbing outside before and wanted to do it before they move back to Chicago at the end of the month. Lucas scouted out a route that offered routes with varying difficulty where the first-timers could learn, the intermediate (me) could be challenged and the more advanced (Alex and Lucas) wouldn’t be too bored.

We ended up at Nip and Tuck, 10.5 miles into Boulder Canyon. It’s a popular crag situated in the sun very nicely in the morning.  We set up a couple of top ropes and Lucas led a couple different routes over the course of the day. We moved to a new section of the crag when the third pair of climbers popped in, wondering if they could climb when we were finished.

A couple more laps on a really fun final route ended our day as gray cloud cover rolled in overhead. Beers and burgers back in Boulder and a quick stop in Neptune Mountaineering’s gear swap before we pointed OsCar’s wheels back toward Denver.

If there ever was a perfect fall day in Colorado, this was it. Spending the day outside, in sunshine, with some of my favorite people having the best time learning, teaching and challenging ourselves on a giant rock. Filing this Saturday in the memory bank under: A for Awesome.

(Routes climbed: Surprising Slab, Hare Balls, Dan-D-Line, Old Dihedral, Doc’s Route, Finger Crack)