31 August 2008

Colorado Trips so far

So, I've been visiting Colorado a little over the last few months - OK, a lot. I have pictures to prove it, too, so I hope you have some nourishment. This is going to be a long post.

The first trip was over Memorial weekend in May, and we had some good times. I got to see my family, but I did not take pictures. They are secret agents, sorry. But I did take pictures of this:

This is Amber and me, along with our respective horses Rose and Spirit. This is my first horse ride ever! We were up in Estes Park, and we rode these lovelies up and around the mountainside before stopping for breakfast, and then we rode back down. It was AMAZING! And Beautiful:

From there, we did some fun sightseeing:

Buffalo Bill's Grave! Everyone say "Hi, Bill!"

Red Rock Canyon - many a famous live record has been made at this huge, natural ampitheatre. Also, some wedding vows - there was a whole wedding being set up while we were there.

Roxy was getting pretty pooped by then, our little constant companion. It's hard to be little.

We got to do this railroad / silver mine tour the next day that was seriously cool. The only crappy part was the late spring Rockies storm the whole time, but we made do...

From the train, there were some truly beautiful sights - the view from the Devil's Gate Bridge was impressive, as were some waterfalls along the way:

My favorite part, though, was the Silver Mine Tour. It was really very interesting, seeing how silver used to be mined not all that long ago in this mountainside. Here are some shots:

This is the entrance to the mine, and our tour guide. He was great. He lives in this tiny town, population somewhere around 50, up further in the mountains, where he mountain bikes and snowboards all the time. How cool is that?

This was the first bit into the mine. The mine itself was 6 stories at one point, and we were on the third story. The bottom ones were filled with water, and a cave in had closed the top ones. Only this one level was left. In places, the passageway was only about 4 feet tall.

This was hard to photograph, but he's showing us the motherlode - the vein of silver that the miners were after, that yielded a huge amount of the precious metal. In today's dollars, it was multiple-millions worth of silver. Very cool.

Later that day, I flew back to Oklahoma - boo! But over the 4th of July holiday, I went back, and we had some more fun.
We headed up to Golden and toured the Coors brewery, which is completely free and everyone should go!

The next day, we played with a bear while we waited to go underground again on a cave tour! It was fun. Well, and silly - but that was mostly us...

Then we went deep underground, looking around at stuff like this:

"Cave bacon" - don't eat it.

"The heart of the Cave" (or something) - it supposedly looks like the chambers of a heart.

Outside, the view was amazing:
Amber couldn't handle all the excitement and had to get some energy out.

We ALSO went to the Garden of the Gods that afternoon, which...if you ever get a chance to go, do it. It is breathtaking.

The next day, we were sort of pooped, so we just let this one be in charge.

OK. So then in August, I went back (I just can't stay away), and we did another first for me - my first professional ball game!

Blue Moon is the only beer brewed in a microbrewery inside a major leage ball park - it also happens to be delicious. I had to stop by and get a bit of my fav.

I've had really the best time visiting Colorado, and I highly recommend anyone go! It's a great place for vacation, even if your BFF doesn't happen to be there.