The scent of fall in the air the other morning reminded me that summer is quickly coming to a close and I haven’t spent nearly enough time in the greatest of outdoors. If you’re like me and the prospect of impending eyelash icicles has your insides constricting, let’s take this weekend and get elevated. Colorado Day was last week and what better way to celebrate its birthday than honoring the landscape that makes this state so damn swell? Pack your backpack and let’s retreat to Glenwood Springs to spend the weekend wandering through the mountains in the place aptly named “The Most Fun Town in America” by USA Today’s 2011 Best of the Road Rally.
Must Do Attraction: Hike Hanging Lake
The pristine waters of Hanging Lake quiver gracefully beneath the saturated cliffs towering above. The crystal-clear turquoise lake is home to natural geologic marvels as well as a flourishing hanging garden community, lending to its name. These are just a few of the reasons that Hanging Lake sends tourists and locals alike flocking to its majestic site to explore and gape at the splendor of Colorado. Though only a little over a mile long, the trail becomes a bit steep and rigorous in places. And at the end, any breath you still cling to will be surrendered to the spectacle of the waterfall spilling enchantingly into the depths below., but the hike is well worth the sore quads and wheezing chest.
Saturday Night: Music on the Mountain
While the snow is melted, summer visitors head on up Iron Mountain for drink specials and live music at Music on the Mountain. This Saturday features the stylings of Roaring Fork-based band 50fifty, whose modern rock combines high-energy instrumentals with smooth harmonies. There is a FREE tram up the mountain with the donation of a canned good to benefit the LIFT-UP food pantry. “Can-for-a-tram” begins at 4pm with music lasting from 6 to 10pm.
Where to Stay: Glenwood Canyon Resort
Tucked away from traffic of I-70 in the lush undergrowth of Glenwood Canyon, The Glenwood Canyon Resort is perfect for the weekend travelers looking for a quaint cabin or a quiet place to pitch a tent next to the rushing Colorado River. Each riverfront site is equipped with its own campfire pit and picnic table.
Obviously chowing s’mores and sipping cheap read wine under an enveloping blanket of stars sounds like the perfect ending to a hectic week in your cramped work space next to that neurotic guy that gnaws off all of his pen caps. Chuck those monthly reports in the fire, put up your feet and watch your worries smolder into oblivion. Unless you didn’t make copies, then you really shouldn’t burn work documents for dramatic effect.
Brunch: at Daily Bread
If you wake the next morning feeling only slightly hung-over from wine-guzzling, try the zip-line across the river, the High Adventure Ropes Course or the 40-foot rock-climbing walls. Then grab brunch at Daily Bread restaurant located just at the beginning of downtown on Grand Ave. This quaint joint offers up some excellent breakfast selections, so work up an appetite with some early extreme sporting and steer your ravenous self towards some Eggs Benedict and super fluffy pancakes.
Silly Souvenir Shopping: at Sioux Villa Curio
If you’ve ever walked into a shop and wondered what the hell any of the items have to do with life and yet you firmly decided you needed all of them, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say this store has everything and nothing you want. If you want a keychain with your generic American name on it, maybe you should head over to Walgreens instead. If your name happens to be CloudFireSunshower and you want to find it imprinted on a wooden pocketknife, this is the place for you. Looking for moccasins or a zany gag gift? Come here. Or if you’re just looking to tinker around in a cool toy shop, push a bunch of buttons and giggle, you can also do that.
That night, nurture your burning muscles and cramping toes with a night dip in the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool. Quench your thirst for some quality time in nature with a weekend traipsing through sunlit forests and bathing in moonlight. Then liven it up a bit with by adding music, a super rad indian souvenir store and some silly new toys to amuse yourself in your cubicle. Don’t forget some sturdy sneakers, your sleeping bag and bug spray, because no one wants to return to work Monday wearing a cloak of itchy, red polka dots.