My long weekend in Colorado: An itinerary

On October 11th, the day this assignment is due, I'm leaving work early and hightailing it to Denver, CO. I haven't been to the Rocky Mountains since I was a kid. More than anything else about that trip, I remember the nosebleeds.

It's high time to go back and make some new memories. To help me with the planning process (and knock some homework out at the same time) I'm making this website.

Below, you'll find my trip itinerary.


The drive to Kansas, if it weren't through Kansas

Thursday is a driving day. It takes eight and a half hours to get to Denver if you're going 5 over Kansas' 80mph speed limit.

I'm planning on spending the time with my favorite podcasts: Gen Why, Up and Vanished, and CodePen Radio.

Up and Vanished is sure to be especially atmospheric: it investigates the disappearance of a young woman in Crestone, CO aka "The Tibet of North America." Kristal Reisinger was 29 when she disappeared. She had recently moved to Crestone in search of good vibrations, synergy, enlightenment.

Kristal's story is especially jarring given its setting. The Rockies are so beautiful, the wooded hush so powerful, it doesn't seem like someone should meet a horrible end there. I'm hooked hopelessly.


The scenic Denver skyline.

I'm staying in a super cute Airbnb in Denver's RiNo neighborhood. I'll miss their very own First Friday by a week (bummer) but I'm still in close proximity to all sorts of breweries, coffee shops, and -- importantly -- highways.

Why would I want to be near highways? Because I plan on spending my first day in Colorado mountain biking.

First thing Friday morning I'm packing my bike, some peanut butter 'n banana sandwiches, and about 5 liters of water and I'm headed 45 minutes southwest of town to a trail system called The Buffalo Creek Big Loop.

Those 25 miles of intermediate trails have my name written all over them.


Snowy, snowy Breckenridge, CO.

On to Breck!

I'll be honest, when I saw that the forecast for the week before my trip called for alternating rain and snow every day, I had some second thoughts.

But shit, mountains are mountains, rain or shine. I'm doing my homework, plotting my route, and going to granny creep it over the mountains and through the woods.

I may have to leave the mountain bike back in Denver, but there are still crepes to eat, burgers to smash, and trolls to take selfies in front of.


Back to balmy Denver.

On my way back into Denver on Sunday morning, I'm going to make a stop through Rocky Mountain State Park. There are 300 miles of trail in the park, so I'm going to remember to get a map before I strike out.


Sunrise at Red Rocks.

Sadness -- it's another driving day, this time in the wrong direction.

To check another Colorado landmark off the list before I take off, I'm going to get up before the butt crack of dawn and head to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, hoping for a view like the above.

What's your favorite Colorado city?