Monday, April 12, 2021
Waking up in Strasburg, CO this morning, a suburb to the east of Denver. It has been a long cold night. Lucky for us we have somewhat mastered the heater in the RV. The heater blows very dry hot air into the rig much to the dislike of our sinuses. But at least it’s warm inside. Because outside it is at freezing or below.
This morning we have decided we’ll hit the road by 7AM and get up to Estes National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. But we have been receiving messages from an online friend that is part of our GuruShots.com photography game and have known him online for going on a year. He is a top notch photographer and it turns out he is also driving across country after picking up a van of his own from Pennsylvania!
So our friend, we’ll call him “Joe”, because that is his real name, LOL, has been making quite the good travel time across country and has caught up with us in Denver. We have exchanged phone numbers and text each other. Turns out that while we sleep in a KOA Kampground outside of Denver, (we had given him our location and sent a photo of our RV) he finds our Kampground and actually drives in and finds our RV and parks in front of it. I step out of the RV and there he is! The temps are way down in the 30’s and Joe is wearing a t-shirt and shorts!
So Joe and his wife Karla are right there in our Kampground. There is a breakfast restaurant right across the street and we treat them to breakfast. Joe insists on chipping in and we make it the tip for the waitress! We visit (I would like to say, ‘catch up’, but we chat online every day or two and seem to know each other well. His company for anyone who is interested in printing their photos on metal sheets, is HotShotExposures on FaceBook or ReecePhotoArt.com ). Joe is a master craftsman!
But it is time to hit the road and Joe agrees. He is headed the same basic direction that we are but has different photo plans. We pull out of the Kampground and go over the checklist at the exit to make sure we are set to go!
We head north to Estes Park and Joe heads west towards Moab, Utah. (We are heading there tomorrow). We arrive in Estes Park around 11AM and tour the small area. Our cameras are thrilled to be challenged again and produce some good results!
We then venture on up into Rocky Mountain National Park and get about 7 miles in and the roads are closed. It is still winter here even though it is almost mid April. But we are satisfied and it is time to head back down to Breckenridge where we plan to spend the night. We will need internet tonight and signals are sparse up here.
We stop for an overview of Horseshoe Park and take a few photos.
We drive the “Peak to Peak” highway and make a couple stops to keep our driving sanity intact. First stop was in the small town of Saratoga to stretch our legs.
Next stop was in Nederland because I feel the need to stretch my legs again as the mountain roads are brutal. Here, Elee opts to stay in the RV because of the temperature outside! 33 degrees! Or for my friends around the globe, that’s 1 degree C!
Cameras satiated, we head south and travel along the “Peak to Peak” Highway. Winds have been very light today which is a welcome relief because the RV is much easier to handle. We pass through Central City and pull into Breckenridge with plenty of time to spare. We check into our Harvest Host which turns out to be ‘Broken Compass Brewery’ and they instruct us where to park.
They don’t seem to offer a food menu so we take a walk along the road and come across the ‘Breckenridge Distillery’. This is a very high end distillery that has a food menu and it seems they are so much in demand that, even on a Monday night, you need reservations. Bummer. So Elee and I turn on the charm (it doesn’t hurt to mention that we write travel blogs) and the Hostess tells us to wait a few minutes. Sure enough, she finds us a couple stools at the bar and seats us. All is good!
We look at the menu and it ranges from $31 for a chicken dinner to $180 for a Wagyu Beef Tomahawk Steak. Wow! We are not on a high budget this trip (one day I’d really like to taste Wagyu Beef) so we stayed on the low end and had a chicken cassoulet and a beef tips wrap that was to die for delicious! We also ordered a couple of custom drinks that they make from their own distilled spirits. I had a smoked Whiskey drink smoked with apple wood in a Rum Cask! It was called, “May The Orchard Be With You! Elee had a Genever Juice! The meals and drinks were top notch and delicious! The bartenders that served us, Eric and Griffon, were personable and knowledgeable and a delight to chat with! Turns our they were also originally from the northeast and we all had things in common!
We bid our adieus to the staff and walk back to our RV, about a mile. Here starts our highlight of our evening, the Orange County Wine Society’s (OCWS.org) Monday Night Varietal Happy Hour! Tonight Elee and I are Hosting! And we Host it from a parking lot in Breckenridge, Co! Thus the reason for needing internet! So the Happy Hour starts up and we have around 14-15 people. The Varietal this week is Pinot Grigio (or Pinot Gris). The Happy Hour is a grand success and a good time is had by all attendees!
Here’s my plug for our Wine Society! Please feel free to look up Orange County Wine Society at OCWS.org and enjoy all they have to offer! https://ocws.org/
It is time to call it a night as tomorrow we will get up and head towards Moab, Utah and attempt to visit Arches National Park where I hope to photograph Sunset, The Milky Way (middle of the night) and Sunrise. A tall order!
Goodnight and see you tomorrow!