Mini Hike To Adams Falls

When I go to Colorado, or really on any nature based vacation, my favorite hikes are those that take me to see a waterfall. I am definitely one of those hikers who enjoys a nice view that I can photograph from a million different angles and show to my friends and family when I return from my adventure. If you are not into long hikes, but you enjoy the great views at the end, I highly recommend a visit to Adams Falls.

Adams Falls is located near Grand Lake, so it wasn’t too far from Winter Park, which is where my family was vacationing. This particular trail is a loop and only .8 miles long. It is part of Rocky Mountain National Park. If you are in the area, you should definitely stop because the views are too good to pass up on this mini hike. The elevation at Adams Falls is 8,474 feet. The trail is accommodating to all skill levels of hiker.

Once you get to the waterfall, you can view it from a couple of different points. If you are like my step-son and you require a little more hiking activity, there are plenty of rocks to climb. A person could spend quite a bit of time here if they were to explore the area further or just sit back and relax while taking in the scenery. This could be a great place for picnic.

For more information on Adams Falls, please visit: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/colorado/adams-falls-trail

Regular Rooms At The Isle Of Capri

While visiting Colorado in October my husband, Neal, and I, ventured away from Winter Park for an evening to visit Black Hawk. Black Hawk is like a mini Las Vegas. The town is completely made up of casinos.

I have written about the Isle of Capri before, but in my previous post we were staying in one of their suites; this time around we stayed in a regular room with a King size bed.  This stay was not nearly as pleasant as the previous experience.

As far as I can tell the temperature is only controllable by opening a window to the outdoors, unlike some hotels where you cannot open a window, you can in these particular rooms. The thermostat did nothing to cool things down. Despite having the window open all night, and despite it being cold outside, we felt like we were being roasted. I wanted to go back to Winter Park just to get away from the uncomfortable temperature of that room.

Our prior stay at the Isle of Capri was in the middle of July, and we were completely comfortable. The temperature was great and we both slept well. I have no idea what the actual difference was between these rooms. Perhaps the upgraded rooms have some sort of special cooling system. Next time we visit, I will be sure to look into this situation further.

Beyond the temperature issues, we greatly enjoyed our visit. The food at the buffet was tasty as always. They had updated their dining room since our previous visit; it is now more secluded from the rest of the casino, which I greatly appreciated.

For more information on the Isle of Capri, please visit: https://www.isleblackhawk.com/?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=isle%20casino%20hotel%20black%20hawk

A Stay At Silverado II in Winter Park

Throughout my travels, I have stayed at some pretty nice places. I really can’t complain too much, because usually I have a room with a view, comfy bedding, plush common areas for lounging, and a whirlpool tub or hot tub. Now with that said, I also have been known to go on camping trips and I do stay in tents and commune more closely with nature. These two experiences are completely different and have different expectations.

When I travel to places such as Colorado, I want to enjoy the outdoors, but then have a place to relax and recuperate after a long hike or day of exploration. This last trip was to Winter Park and my family stayed at a condo called Silverado II.

Now upon first sight, it is a lovely place to be. The views are nice and the exterior looks well kept, but there are pluses and minuses to this particular accommodation. I am going to tell you about the negatives first, and then try to end this review with a more positive look at this option.

The room we received was on the third floor of building five. Every single day, we walked up and down the stairs to get to the condo, and for someone from outside of Colorado, this made the altitude a little more agonizing. The odd thing about this was that we seemed to be one of only two families in the building, so I don’t know why we were on the third floor.

The inside of our condo had a beautiful kitchen with stainless steel appliances. It definitely looked to be updated, but the rest of the place, not so much. The bathrooms were outright nasty, in my opinion. There were orange spots all over the ceiling and the tubs were discolored. There is no way that I would have opted to take a bath in one of those, I barely wanted to use the shower due to how icky it looked.

The bedrooms looked nice, the linens were fine, but the pillows, in all of the rooms, left something to be desired. The majority of our group commented that they were very uncomfortable and had caused neck pain. Also, the temperature was very hard to control. Despite having the heat off, the bedrooms were very hot unless you opened the door to the balcony to cool things down, but then it was snowing so things became a little too cold.

The only time I saw anyone at the front desk in this place was in the morning. No one ever seemed to be present at night. I honestly have no idea what we would have done if we had encountered any form of emergency with the room. Perhaps there was some book explaining this, but I personally like to know someone is on the property and readily available for any problems encountered.

It should be noted that we did stay during the fall mud season. This being said, the building didn’t appear to have heat outside of our room, or it was not turned on. It was very cold walking from the room down to the hot tubs, which were located on the first floor near the front desk.

Despite the dinginess of certain parts of the condo, and the lack of people working, I did appreciate the layout of the rooms. The full kitchen and updated appliances were very nice. We had multiple balconies which were fun for shooting photographs. I enjoyed the hot tub every night that we were there. I liked the aesthetically pleasing look of the exterior of the condo, and the view of the mountains. I enjoyed the fact that we were close to town and could easily get to grocery stores and restaurants.

Silverado II is an okay accommodation, but I won’t be going back. I like things to look clean and well maintained. I feel that this place needs further updating. If further updates were to be made, maybe I would go back. If you are interested in further information on Silverado II, please visit: https://www.silverado2.com/

 

Argo Gold Mine & Mill

Colorado is one of my family’s favorite vacation spots. I love this state, because it offers a vast variety of activities and cultural exploration. If you have a love for history, then you can’t go wrong with a trip to Argo Gold Mine & Mill.

Argo is located in Idaho Springs, and you can get a great view of it from the Interstate. My husband and I have passed this landmark many times each vacation, but until our last trip to Colorado; we never stopped to check it out. The Mill has actually changed hands and just recently was deemed worthy of tours.

The owner of the Mill is hoping to expand over the next five years and add other tourist attractions to the site. Possibilities may include a restaurant and even a hotel, but only time will tell. Even without the extra attractions, this particular tour was a lot of fun and provided a wealth of information.

Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and she took us through each level of the Mill. I very much enjoyed the many photo opportunities available. We did go into the mine, but only a short distance. The majority of the mine is sealed off.

At the end of our tour we were allowed to wander around and take more photos. I got the chance to pan for gold. I didn’t find any large pieces, but it was still a fun experience.

I recommend this tour for anyone who wants to know more about the history of Idaho Springs, or the mill and mining process. For more information, please visit: http://www.argomilltour.com/

 

 

The Smokehouse BBQ in Winter Park, CO

If you happen to be in Winter Park, Colorado, you will find that there are a lot of great restaurant choices available. I happen to be a little bit of a foodie, so choosing my meals always seems to be such a task. What food would taste the best, and what will provide the tastiest experience. I just don’t want to regret any of my culinary choices, especially when on vacation. Life’s too short, always eat good food.

Anyway, whether you’re like me, or you just like meat, The Smokehouse BBQ, is well worth your time.  They have a clean and inviting atmosphere for dining in. They offer some great bucket beer specials during happy hour. This restaurant also offers take out, if you prefer a more intimate dining experience.

The waiter was great. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was fairly prompt about getting us everything we desired, except the bill, which took a little longer than expected. I have forgiven this little time delay simply because the food was that delectable, and the establishment was somewhat busy by the time my party left.

The menu offers several different meal combos, as well as sides. I went with a two meat combo which came with two sides. I chose the burnt ends and pork shoulder. My husband went with the burnt ends and brisket. He ordered mac and cheese, and I ordered the sweet potato mash and potato salad. All of the meat was exceptional. My favorite item was the burnt ends.

We only went to this restaurant once during our visit, but I was highly tempted to go back on more than one evening. Had there not been so many other great options, I would have found myself once again at, The Smokehouse BBQ, enjoying more burnt ends. This is a place I will make a point of visiting again in the future.

For more information on, The Smokehouse BBQ, please visit: http://www.wpsmokehouse.com/

Colorado In The Fall

Just got back from a lovely trip to Colorado. I have now visited in the early part of September as well as the later part. I have found that there can be advantages and disadvantages to both, but mostly these situations are due to the weather.

My family chose to stay in Winter Park. This particular location lived up to its name. We experienced a five-inch snowfall overnight and had to cancel some of our plans for the week. When we visited in the earlier part of September, we did not have to battle the snow, but again, this changes year to year. Sometimes you get snow, and sometimes the leaves change before you arrive. It is best investigate the situation year to year.

My husband, Neal, and I, did take a nice drive to view the Aspens, and while quite a few were losing their leaves, some parts of Colorado were still in full color. One particular location I would love to recommend for Fall lovers, is Aspen Ridge. The drive can be a little bumpy, but the colors are amazing.

Despite the snow, we still did some smaller hikes to destinations such as Magnolia Mill. Even with a little cooler weather, and all of the snow, it was totally worth the short jaunt. Magnolia Mill and Montgomery Reservoir look amazing with the snow glistening around them. They looked even better after my stepdaughter decorated the mountainside with a smiling snowman for future hikers to see.

If you would like to plan a Fall trip to Colorado, there are a ton of great sites that list hikes and drives to see the colors.  Please visit the following for further information:

http://www.playwinterpark.com/top-5-spots-fall-color-near-winter-park-colorado?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Sept%20Guest%20Enews&utm_content=Sept%20Guest%20Enews+CID_e86868db63ed3eb8f0025a6896a0af11&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=SEE%20FALL%20COLOR

http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2017/09/14/colorado-fall-colors-guide-where-and-when-go/659938001/

http://www.9news.com/weather/fall-colors/9-best-drives-to-see-fall-colors-in-colorado/315377917

The Blisters Rock Eau Claire

In my experience as an adventure seeker, when I am not on vacation, weekends are for two things: spending time with family and friends, or getting work done. I of course would prefer the former, which is why I went back to Eau Claire this past weekend to spend time with my family.

Saturday nights in Eau Claire are usually set aside for listening to my father’s band play, but on the rare occasion that we have a free night available, it is nice to get out and enjoy listening to other local musicians. This past Saturday happened to be one of those free evenings and I had the pleasure of enjoying the music of an Eau Claire band called, The Blisters.

The Blisters are a tight sounding, three-piece band, that plays old Rock n Roll and a little bit of country. Their humorous personalities work well together and are upstaged only by their great sound. Their harmonies are something to be commended and they have chosen a wonderful variety of music that will make you want to get up and dance.

The band consists of Peter Phippin, on bass, Dave Engedal, on guitar, and Mike “Slant” Hucek, on drums. All three band members take turns singing. They even shared the stage with a couple of other local musicians who were taking in the show.

Those of you who know me, know that I am a bit of a music snob and I can be pretty critical of local bands. I don’t hand out praise very easily, so my view on this group is sincere. If you want an enjoyable evening, filled with good company and good music, I would highly recommend going to the next Blisters gig. For more information on The Blisters, visit their Facebook page at: fb.me/theblistersrock.

Adventure is wherever the desire takes us.