When my sister Kim asked me a few months ago if she could come out and join me for a couple of weeks on the road I was super excited. I think it’s fun to share this lifestyle with other people and this is the first time for a family member! I did things a little differently than usual, I decided to actually make…dare I say it…
plans. Wondering around with no real plan is not a good way to use up someones vacation, at least that’s what I was thinking. So, back when we decided on some dates, I set out to figure out just what we would do. We only had ten days, so I tried to pack in all different types of experiences. She would be flying into Denver, so that would be the starting point.
Denver…I wonder how we should start? I had just the thing, I setup a tour at Earthroamer! I mean, how can a person come to Denver and not go there….or is that just me? We meet up with my friend Allison who lives in Denver to visit the factory with us. Great tour (as usual, Annie the sales manager may have recognized me from prior visits), but I still am having a hard time convincing my sister that the Earthroamer is the best future living accommodations for me. The three of us talked about it over some beers at Industrial Revolution Brewery. Oh, did I forgot to mention my sister also is a craft beer fan? Terrible, I guess we will have to add in some beer exploring as well. In Denver we also hit up Great Divide Brewing, had to have me a fresh Yeti!
From Denver we made our way up to Fort Collings where we stayed at Horsetooth Reservoir for a few days. Along the way we stayed at Missile Site Park for one night, a retired Titan Missile silo. Really I planned this stop so we could hit Hi Hops Brewery in Windsor, which was highly recommended to me. It was a great spot, amazing beers and even some nice live music. The brewery is at a plant nursery, the owner decided to get into craft beer, good call! Moving on to Horsetooth Reservoir, our site was right on the lake. The kayak managed to make it out a couple times during our stay. While in town we meet up with my good friends daughter Amber and her husband Deric and I got to meet their daughter Maisie Jo for the first time. They treated us to an amazing burger dinner and great conversation one evening. Earlier in the day I setup a tour at New Belgium Brewing, where my sister learned she is actually a sour beer fan! They had several great ones on tap and I think she’s now hooked. Making the tour even better, our guide was none other than the wife of the brewmaster. New Belgium has always been a favorite brewery of mine, I love many of their beers, but especially the sours. New Belgium is actually credited as one of the driving forces in the sour beer movement in America.
I took Kim on a “small” hike near Horsetooth, which nearly killed her. Being from Boston, elevation is a whole new thing to her, plus she has not been hiking in a while. She did survive, much to her own surprise. In her defense is was a fairly intense hike of nearly six miles with about 800’ of elevation gain. I also introduced her to my electric bike, which she loved. We took in some of the local trails around Fort Collins. One afternoon we also managed to meet up with my friend Jessie for a lunch downtown when she was on her way out to hike a couple of 14ers. Time flew by, and a few breweries later, we moved on from Fort Collins.
Our next stop was Rocky Mountain National Park. I did not realize it, but Kim has NEVER been to a National Park in her adult life. I know when we were little kids our parents took us to the Grand Canyon, but that’s it. Somehow I managed to snag a site last minute, although only for two nights. Lucky for us, my friends Dave and Shannan of 2 Wander Away arrived a few days before us in the same campground and I asked them to scope out what to do for the short stay. The day we arrived we all piled in the Rubicon and headed up Old Fall River Road. It was a stormy cloudy afternoon, which made for a cool drive. The clouds seemed to break at all the right times and afforded some amazing views. Dave compared the scenery with the Swiss Alps! We
checked out several pull outs as well as the Alpine Visitor Center. We completed the loop via Trail Ridge Road and landed at RockCut Brewery in Estes Park just in time to get inside before a torrential downpour! The four of us went and checked out the Stanley Hotel, made famous by the movie The Shining, which is just above town. Seems it is also well known for being used in the movie Dumb and Dumber as well! We did not take a tour, but we checked the place out and Dave found us a little dive Mexican restaurant to grab some dinner. Turned out to be a great spot. By the time we got back to camp it was getting close to fulltimer midnight (about 9pm) so we parted ways for the evening. I managed to get Kim hooked on the Netflix Original series The Ranch, so we watched few more episodes before turning in. The next day Kim agreed to another hike (surprised after the last one). It was a great morning, she loved the trail which lead up to Emerald and Dream Lakes. Incredible views, it was awesome. In the evening we headed over to Dave and Shannons’ to grill up some dinner. Jessie also drove up from Fort Collins to hang out for a while as well. Dave and Shannon were telling us about there time in Goblin Valley, and mentioned that the Tim Allen film Galaxy Quest was filmed out there. Well, one thing lead to another and we ended up sitting around the campfire watching Galaxy Quest on the Dave’s laptop. I mean, how else should you spend an evening in a national park….right?
Bright and early the next day Kim and I packed up and headed to our next destination, Breckenridge. Having just spend more than two weeks there, I just knew she would love it. I snagged a site back at Prospector Campground. By this time it was Friday, Kim was flying out of Denver on Sunday so we did not have much time. I took her on a quick driving tour of Silverthorne and Frisco and then we spend the evening in Breckenridge. We walked basically the entire town and grabbed dinner in a little dive bar. A quick stop to Breckenridge Brewing for a beer and then we headed back to camp. On Saturday I took her up over Deer Creek pass and through St Johns. It’s such an amazing Jeep trail and as I mentioned in the previous blog, the views are sick! Unfortunately it was a bit cloudy and rainy, but the clouds did break several times and afforded the amazing vistas. We meet a fun family out ATV riding as well and even helped out a RZR with a flat tire. Awesome day on the trail. We wrapped up the evening at Outer Ranger Brewing, my favorite in the area. CC joined us on the patio and we enjoyed a great cool mountain evening with beer and playing UNO (think I still kicked her butt if I remember correctly). We had quite the battle of games while Kim was with me, from Farkle and UNO to Mil Bornes. We also tossed in some Alexa 80’s movie trivia on my Echo Dot. One more relaxing evening back at camp wrapping up some more The Ranch episodes and an amazing ham and potato dinner.
Sunday morning we packed up and made the drive back over to Denver. I parked The Black Pearl at Bass Pro Shops and we used the Interceptor to head to the airport. It was a whirlwind trip that went by WAY to fast. We had soooo much fun, it was sad she was leaving. She was weighed down heavy bags, she may have picked up a few things during the trip. Hard to believe it was ten days, it seemed like two. After delivering Kim to the airport, I headed back to the Pearl and did some shopping at Bass Pro Shops, including picking up a fishing license. I headed back up to Fort Collins for three days of rest to get caught up on work and laundry and such. Amber and Deric had CC and I over for another amazing dinner as well. Deric had a day off and was brave enough to take me out fly fishing. I’ve never tried it before, was afraid I might pick up a new bad habit. Fear confirmed, it was a blast. Deric had some extra waders and gear and gave me a crash course. I managed to not even loose a fly or get tangled up in my own line! Had a bunch of strikes, but I still need to learn some line management so I can actually hook something. I think I can feel money being sucked out of my wallet for gear as I write this! So, one more relaxing evening and then I head off to Wyoming on my way toward Idaho. Planning on some epic mountain biking and hope to arrive in Salmon with family a few days before the big eclipse!This entry was posted in Blog and tagged brewery, colorado, craftbeer, craftbeertravel, fulltime, gorving, kuhl, kuhlodyssey, livingthedream, nomadlife, RMNP, rocky mountain national park, rv, rvblog, rvlife, rvtravel, seneca, xscapers by Kurt Kuhl and comments are open.