Even though both of us have been to Denver many times, it was still great to catch up with some friends and see some places we haven’t been to yet, especially before a huge cold front was to arrive!
Days 96 – 99
November 6 – November 9, 2014
Miles 11160 – 11454
In Denver we stayed with our friends Dan and Anna. We’d been to Denver to visit them once before. November can be a off time to visit Denver. It can be too cold for many of the outdoor activities like hiking and climbing, but too warm for any of the skiing that drives winter tourism. We were very lucky because it was unseasonably warm during our visit and we got to enjoy being outside.
After arriving, we decided to get pizza from one of Dan and Anna’s favorite places, Angelo’s Taverna. In addition to the pizza, Angelo’s makes family sized salads and grilled oysters. We really enjoyed our meal.
It was a nice surprise to find out that Dan didn’t have to work on Friday. He made a yummy breakfast of eggs, potatoes, and very fresh bacon from a butcher. Additionally, Dan and Anna had homemade apple butter from a tree in their front yard. Dan also took some time to tune up a few of their bikes so we could take them out for the day.
Denver is very flat and very bike friendly. Dedicated paths and bike lanes twist through the city. We rode our bikes past Cheesman Park and to City Park, where we spent a little time. City Park encompasses several city amenities such as a pond, boat house, concert shell, zoo, and science museum.
We headed towards downtown and then towards the baseball stadium, Coors Field. Lunch was at Biker Jim’s. Biker Jim’s is known for serving gourmet hot dogs made from meats like rattlesnake and pheasant, duck, and Alaskan reindeer. We also got some sides like fried pickles and fried mac’n cheese. From there we walked around the neighborhood a bit and stopped by Jagged Mountain Brewery. Denver has a very large craft beer community and new breweries are always opening (literally we went past a new place opening that day although we didn’t stop there). After talking about what where to go next, we hit up Crooked Stave. Crooked Stave has been growing in global popularity for their sour beers. Sour beers are a bit more expensive because they require aging but we all found several beers we really enjoyed. Both of the boys liked the Nightmare on Brett, which has two versions aged in rye or port barrels.
When we left, the sun was starting to set and it was getting chilly. We were able to ride on dedicated bike/walking paths all of the way back to the house. At home, Dan and Anna had decided to cook. They buy meat in bulk from a butcher and had a cooler of pork chops and steaks to grill for dinner. They cook very well together and we enjoyed the meal of steak, pork, sweet potatoes, and roasted vegetables.
Saturday morning started out watching the Penn State game at Dan and Anna’s house. After a disappointing first half and a slight Penn State lead, we stopped watching and drove to Red Rocks Amphitheater. After checking out the amphitheater and the small museum listing the artists that played there, we did the 1.0 mile Geologic Overlook hike.
Our next stop of the day was the Coors Factory in Golden, CO. We were very surprised to find a 1 hour wait to tour the factory, but because we didn’t have any other plans, we decided to wait. Inside the factory, we were each given an audio tour wand and allowed to walk through the approximately 14 audio stations on the tour. We listened to most of the audio tour, however many people rushed passed us to get straight to the tasting room where each person (over 21) is able to try three 10 ounce samples of beer. The selection included Coors, Blue Moon, Batch 19, Native Lager, Killian’s Irish Red, and Redd’s Cider. The sample line was long, but by the time we left, there was no wait at all.
For dinner, we drove to Yak and Yeti, a brewery and Indian/Nepalese restaurant. The boys ordered beer samplers which included a chia milk stout. I had a lighter apple ale. We were about to order when the waiter mentioned they had a buffet that evening. One quick look at the options on the buffet and were sold. The food was very good, and when I went to get seconds I couldn’t even pick just one or two favorites to get more of.
On Sunday, Jon and I bid Denver au revoir, but not before going to brunch with Anna and Dan. We went to Historians Ale House and had the place to ourselves. After the waiter told us they were out of chicken and waffles, almost the entire table changed their order to the Spanish Hangover, a scramble of roasted potatoes, tomatoes, and chorizo topped with eggs and hollandaise sauce. The food was alright, but half of our table really enjoyed the $4 Bloody Mary bar.
- Sweet Action – This is an ice cream shop which was on the top of our list when we visited previously.
- The Colorado History Center – Another attraction we visited on our previous trip to Denver. I found this museum enjoyable and very interactive. My favorite part was the ‘time machines’ in the lobby area.
- Mt Evans – This is one of the few 14,000 foot mountains which you can drove to the top of, just be careful of altitude sickness.
- City of Boulder, CO – Less than an hour outside of Denver, we found Boulder to be a very enjoyable littler city full of nice shopping and restaurants.
- Pho on 6th – Vietnamese pho which was enjoyed by a large group of us on a previous trip to Denver.
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