Denver Weekend

Back in September of 2016, Jon and I flew to Denver for a long weekend.  We visited family (my younger brother) and dear friends.  It was a fantastic weekend that I am finally getting to document #thankstoteachersummer.

We kicked off our weekend bright and early Friday morning (we flew in late Thursday night) by exploring downtown Denver and visiting the flagship REI store.  This was a perfect way to begin our weekend out West!

If you haven’t visited this store- do it!  The outside space is just as incredible as the inside.  The store is designed to help you to not only see all the gear REI sells, but to try it out!  They have a mountain-biking track set up, a rock wall and they even use the river to test kayaking gear (crazy)!  Talk about try before you buy…it was really cool!  Since it was a quiet morning, we spent a good amount of time browsing and exploring the store (which felt more like an outdoor gear museum).  We ended up buying a new pack and used it on our hike the next day.  It is our new favorite day pack, for sure!IMG_0229

After shopping, we headed to lunch at the Denver Beer Company.  The indoor/outdoor feel was perfect for a fall afternoon.  We enjoyed some beers and food from the food truck.  Can’t beat that!IMG_0231

That night we headed out to a Colorado Rockies game.  We met up with Davis (my brother who lives in the city) and Alison and Todd (our dear friends from Maryland).  The game was a blast and we enjoyed cheering for the home team (Go Rockies)!

The next morning, we headed to Rocky Mountain National Park for a hike.  You can find my post about that adventure here.

After hiking all morning, we headed to Avery Brewing Company, in Boulder.  It was the perfect, Denver weather to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine.  I LOVE visiting Avery.  It’s a brewery that our friends highly recommended and they did not steer us wrong.  We loved the atmosphere.  I also had my favorite beer (perhaps of all time); their Fall Day IPA.  If you haven’t tried it: it is a nice IPA with just a hint of pine…it was refreshing and so delicious.  I always love a good, creative twist on seasonal beers, and this is a good one!

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Clearly I was in my happy place- beautiful weather, outdoor patio and delicious beer!  Not to mention great company. 🙂

Another great spot we visited while in Denver was the Denver Biscuit Company (another recommendation from Alison and Todd, they never steered us wrong).  We went to breakfast there, but trust me, you could eat these biscuits for any meal- they are unreal!  I took a picture of Jon’s insane biscuit sandwich and, yes, that is gravy…it was SO good!  If you are in town, you have to go.  And if there’s a wait, it’s worth it!

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Our last experience in Denver was visiting the Leopold Bros. Distillery.  This was another awesome place!  On your tour you get to hear all about the company and how they got to Denver, learn about the distilling process and tour the distillery (which was very interesting) and, of course, taste!  We enjoyed this tour so much and felt like we learned a lot, as well.  It would be a great stop for a happy hour tour.

Here’s Jon testing out the mash…don’t worry, touching was allowed and he wasn’t, “fouling the tank!”

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Here’s our tasting- they have such a variety of liquors.  There’s truly something for everyone (even people who don’t love liquor, like me)!

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Here’s our group enjoying the afternoon at the distillery.  (Sorry for the terrible photo quality!)

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Special thanks to our amazing hosts, Davis, Alison and Todd, for a great weekend out West!  We try to get out to Denver every year and love visiting with them.  We will have to schedule our next trip out soon!

Happy Trails,

K, J and P

BioLite

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The BioLite camp stove has quickly proven to be one of the best gear investments we have made. Jon convinced me that we needed to replace our camp stove with a BioLite and I resisted (since we have an almost new camp stove). He convinced me to invest when he told me about the fact that it’s a wood-burning stove, meaning no gas tanks necessary!

The BioLite is designed to function in pretty much any conditions and has come in handy during our rainy camp season this spring. Using only small twigs, you can quickly percolate a pot of coffee, grill up a campfire quesadilla or roast a marshmallow. This self-sufficient stove also provides an additional power source when running (generating power to a USB port). This small function helps our phones get powered up for the day or illuminates our picnic table at night (the kit includes a USB powered light).

One thing to remember about the BioLite is that it burns small twigs, so you need to have kindling on hand or an ax to break up branches.  At some camp sites, it is easy to find dry sticks laying around, others are more sparse or wet.  Also, just I like my hot cup of coffee, the BioLite loves wood- it’s a real wood-hound.  This challenge would be our only drawback, but has been remedied by our stash of Stix.  Sometimes, these are a life saver!

After my resistance to making this, seemingly frivolous, purchase I will be the first to tell you that the BioLite makes for a better camping experience. No matter what the weather, with the BioLite I am guaranteed a hot mug of coffee each morning and a toasted s’more each night. I don’t know about you, but my camping trips are made by hot coffee and s’mores!

Happy Trails,

K, J & P