I was finally able to make an overdue trip to Colorado. It was one of my top places to visit in the USA. A friend of mine who lives there (and willing to help me discover places) made it a no brainer to purchase a flight ticket to the beautiful state of Colorado. My first pit stop was Downtown, Denver. Being from Miami, I noticed how Denver's Downtown area is more modern than Downtown, Miami (and a lot cleaner...). My ultimate goal of Downtown Denver was to get shots of buildings, architecture, and random street photography. I spent a chunk of the morning walking and getting a lost in the city. It was neat to walk aimlessly with no agenda. Usually I am organized with just about everything and have schedules and reminders for just about everything. For the first time (in a long time), I did my best to have no agenda.
I love country music and rock music. The next day, my friend took me to Red Rocks Amphitheater. This is where (for the most part) a number of country and rock singers have performed. I was able to visit the open-air amphitheater along with visiting their nice museum. The museum tells you the history of the area (along with the number of performers who have visited). One thing I really liked about the area was how dog friendly this place was. You can also use this area for working out (massive leg gains if you can run up these stairs).
After a massive amount of recommendations to visit this place, I made it part of my plan. My third visit was Garden of the Gods. As soon as I got to Garden of the Gods, I remember just staring at it in absolute awe. I remember my friend Daniela asking me if I was okay (which I was). "I am taking it all in.", I replied. There were many moments throughout the trip where I didn't take as many photos as I usually would, I just processed what was around me- like downloading this moment in my head instead of taking a quick snap shot (with my camera) and running off to take a look at it later.
After taking a one day rest, my friend took me for an awesome Peak to Peak drive around Rocky Mountain National Park. The peak to peak drive included Estes, St.Mary's Glacier, and Black Hawk (probably more, but it's massive and thats all I can remember). I couldn't help but fall in love with the twisty turns and the beautiful view that came with the drive. As an automotive racing fan, I fantasized speeding down these roads with a fast car. That's all I could think of. I figured how fun (and dangerous) it would be. While exploring, this drive was my introduction to lakes. I ended up falling in love with frozen lakes- it was my first time witnessing a frozen lake.
Rocky Mountain National Park was at the top of my list to visit. I love nature and I love to hike. Rocky Mountain National Park is massive. I only did the three basic visits that most new visitors do. It was thirty degrees that day, and I was alone. I didn't want to do anything out of the ordinary for a first timer. My first visit was Sprague Lake. I did the full trail since it was short. I remember feeling absolute quietness. It was me and the lake with the beautiful view of the mountains.
After Sprague Lake, I drove up to Bear Lake. A ten minute drive led me to a near empty parking lot. Bear Lake had another short trail that you can walk around just like Sprague Lake.
After the Bear Lake hike, I got back into my car to drive to Nymph Lake. I pulled up google maps and saw there was no way of getting into Nymph Lake with your car. I saw that I needed to hike half a mile into the snow to get to Nymph Lake. This got me a bit nervous as service was spotty and I would usually see couples and groups doing a hike like this. Life's too short to not take a risks, so I went at it alone. I got out of my car, saw the directions on a wooden sign on how to get there and just followed the trail. Within half way, I can feel myself getting a headache due to the elevation change and not drinking the water that I needed- but I kept trudging along. It took me about 10 to 15 minutes to get there (I would stop and take a number of photos) , but the hike was worth it. I stayed for about half an hour in Nymph Lake taking photos and just staring at everything that was around me. As soon I was about to leave, I met a dude from West Florida. He asked me how far was the next lake since he wanted to keep hiking. I gave him the exact distance and time it would take for him to get there. He was doing a solo trip from Minnesota to West Florida (back home where his mom is). He did a short stop to Nymph Lake since he loves the mountains and hiking. It was a neat change from the sheer quietness of the mountains, it was cool to have someone to talk to get where they are coming from. He was moving back home to West Florida since he was out of a job back in Minnesota (I hope he finds a job soon). After that, I left Nymph Lake to drive back home. My head was not handling the elevation change well.
The following day I went to Boulder, Colorado. More like...I went to Boulder University in Colorado. My plan was to visit Chautauqua Park (which I did)- but I ended up staying in the university for most of the day. It was my first time visiting an out of state university. I love school, so I wanted to get a vibe of how the people were, the student life, the buildings, etc. It's really lovely. The university is smack down next to the mountains. You can be walking out of class and see the mountains from where you are standing. I left the university late afternoon. In Colorado, it is dark by around 5:00PM. I arrived to Chautauqua Park at 4:00PM. I knew I had a good hour to hour and a half of day light. I arrived to Chautauqua Park and hiked up the trail for about thirty minutes and walked back to my car. Before the trail, I ate a massive plate of pasta with garlic bread (not a good idea).
My last visit was Breckenridge. I don't ski or go snowboarding, but between all the small town research- I chose this place as my last stop in Colorado. I wanted to see skiers and snow boarders since it is something I never see in Miami. When I got to Breckenridge, the first thing I did was take three laps inside a gondola. It felt like a low key vanilla roller coaster ride. Within these gondolas I got a view of the mountains, the city, and the ski left that took you to the top of the mountain. After that, I took the ski lift ride (one time ride- but worth it) to the top of the mountains. From there, I took photos of just about everything.
After freezing my tail off in Breckenridge, I drove down to the small downtown of Breckenridge (where the shops were). I did the full walk from the beginning to the end of the street. Around 5:00PM is when I left Breckenridge to Denver, Colorado. I spent my last few days relaxing and drinking beer. I love the way of of life that Denver has. Hiking and chilling in breweries is my kind of thing. Shout out to Daniela for showing me around Denver for eleven days, it was an absolute blast.