Denver/Boulder

Denver: Typical city… Good parts, Bad Parts, Skyscrapers, Homeless, etc.

We stayed in the hotel (Brown Palace) pretty much the entire time and enjoyed the 5-star luxury as i was able to get an early check-in. (thank god for my Marriott deals or we would not have been staying at this place!)

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A couple “Photosphere 360” images (save to phone then open):

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They even had a leather wrapped water bowl for dogs (oh wait…. that was the ice bucket ๐Ÿ˜€ ย Odie needs luxury too right?! )

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The local park up the street was LOADED with vagrants on Sunday, it seems they take over the city on the weekends when all the business people go home to the ‘burbs. After being approached and asked if we could “spare a pipe” multiple times, and seeing cops posted up in their cruisers all around the park waiting for something to pop off, we rushed Odie to do his business so we could retreat back to the safety of the palace.

They must kick the vagrants out at night time and not allow them to sleep in the park, because when i went back the next morning with just me and Odie, there were only a handful with a few starting to trickle in every few minutes. These early birds seemed to be looking around for the “best spot” to claim as theirs in the park for the day.

Got a few good pictures around the park in the morning:

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I did some obedience work with Odie in a larger field closer to a government building with the least amount of vagrant activity. After a while more started showing up and i had a little homeless crowd watching me work Odie, so i made him “gib laut” to instill some fear in them and let them know we had gotten here first to claim this spot of the park! hahahaha

(They probably though i was homeless as well since we were right in downtown Denver on a Monday morning and anyone that was not in business dress was likely ย considered homeless.)

Stopped in Starbucks on the way back, where we also stood out like a sore thumb…. I made sure to pay with my credit card so everyone behind me in line did not think i was a homeless Starbucks addict ๐Ÿ™‚

After dragging out every last minute at the palace, we finally hit the road for Boulder which was just a short drive north. Odie did not want to leave the palace either:

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Boulder was a cool little college town (big by west standards, small by east standards) situated at the base of a beautiful mountain range. We drove to the top of the “flat irons” and had lunch, hiked with Odie, then sat and took in some beautiful scenery for a bit.

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It was nice to have a slower paced day with no real sights to see other than “check out boulder”, we were finally able to take in my surroundings for once and really appreciate them as the previous legs of the trip have been nothing but pictures and go, go, go!

Funny video of someone stuck on zip line

There was the option to do Zip line’s over the gorge but i couldn’t bring Odin with me so i had to settle for the gondola. When we got to the other side, there was a little gift shop and cafe which served beer to so we sat on the patio and had a brew. The patio was also conveniently set next to the “landing zone” for the zip liners, where we watched the skinny guys get stuck and have to swing their way to the end of the line.

Funny commentary we overheard during this video:

Guy 1: Do you speak Farsi? That might make this go a little quicker….

Zip Line Operator: SWING YOUR LEGS LIKE YOUR IN A SWING

Guy 2: Does he speak english?

Zip Line Friend: Swing your legs man!

 

Had to be there, we were dying when this happened. The huge crowd of people waiting to take the gondola to the other side applauded him when he finally made it.

Day 13: Pike’s Peak & Royal Gorge Bridge

We left the hotel extremely early for Pike’s Peak, drive was about an hour with light traffic. Saw plenty of other dogs so it was clear this place was dog friendly so Odin could run around a little more freely.

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Fellow g-shep hitching a ride up in a truck bed:

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Here are some videos of the Ascent/Descent of Pike’s Peak (F*** you YouTube for pulling the audio from my videos when its clearly the radio playing in the truck and not a sound overlay):

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Summit Pics:

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Photosphere 360 image courtesy of “that guy getting in everyone’s pitchers (pictures)!”:

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It was freezing at the summit, about 28*F i think. The drive through the Rockies was more fun though, this was just a higher/faster climb.

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Truck handled it great, I think I have utilized every electronic assist feature on this truck during the trip (Grade Braking, Hill Assist, All 4 Wheel Settings, Tow/Haul Mode, the list goes on).

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(Got an A+ on gearing down the descent, Ranger said brakes were cool enough for me to climb the summit again if we wanted!)

 

From Pike’s Peak we headed to Canon City, CO to check out the Royal Gorge Bridge which is one of the largest suspension bridges in the world. Odie had to work here, and the Ranger at the gate was sure to let me know that Odie had the right to go anywhere that i could (except the zip lines ๐Ÿ™ lol ). This was definitely worth a day trip if you are in Colorado, it’s quite a rush walking over the bridge as it gets VERY windy in the middle and you can feel the bridge swaying and bouncing slightly as you stand still. It was even tripping Odie out, he was walking like he was on ice. You could also see down between the cracks of the boards to the bottom of the gorge, it really got your heart rate up!

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After we got to the other end of the bridge and took pics, we decided to take the gondola ride back.ย Yes, with Odie.

Man… this dog is luckier than most people!

Tired puppy after bridge walk and gondola ride:

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Spent the night in “Highlands Ranch” which is a suburb of Denver and had an amazing dinner at a restaurant called “The Rock”. The deep dish pizza was so damn good!!!! .

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Checking out the city and doing a spa day today so not much in the way of updates now. I’ll probably spend the afternoon uploading all our pictures from the trip into galleries so you can see them all.

Day 12: Off-Roading in…. Aspen?!ย 

When you hear ‘Aspen’ you immediately think of a few things; skiing, movie stars, and lots of money. You can now add off-roading and free (real) camping ย to that list, who would have thought?

We arrived in Aspen around 1pm, driving through light rain the entire way. As luck would have it (yet again) we were in for a treat as that rain turned to SNOW once we arrived in downtown Aspen! We both agreed that we would take a full on blizzard over a clear sunny day anytime for this drive so we could get the full effect of being in the Rockies!

We found a short hiking trail near downtown and took Odie out to get some exercise and pictures of Aspen. Would love to come back here again during the ski season (after we win the lottery, hehe).

After our hike we decided to start making our way towards Colorado Springs since it was a 3+HR drive. This is where the fun and amazement came in… saw a dirt road way up in the mountains and decided to go off-roading, another spur of the moment decision that would pay us handsomely in memories and experiences. It turns out that Aspen is surrounded by National Forests which are plentiful in well maintained dirt roads and dispersed campsites.

The hardcore outdoorsman tent camping in the snow!

We didn’t end up getting back on the road until 430-5ish after multiple comments of ‘ok, we will just drive for 5 more minutes then we HAVE to get back on the road…’.

Driving Video (will upload a couple more good ones later when i have better wifi):

A few shots from the top of the Rockies:


Some more ‘360 photosphere’ pics as I can’t get enough of these (save image to phone then open or it won’t work, if you have iPhone then your SOL because I don’t know how to view these on there):

This next one is from hiking trial in downtown Aspen.

And just the other day we were in the desert covered in red sand…. what an amazing and beautiful country we have. ๐Ÿ™‚

Weather is looking better today so hopefully we get some good pics of Pikes Peak and Royal Gorge Bridge!

Whats next?

Rainy and cold here in Glenwood Springs, CO, so we are not in a rush to get on the road. Going to stop by Aspen on the way south, about a 4-5hr drive to Colorado Springs where we’ll crash at another hotel tonight to get a break from the woods ๐Ÿ˜›

Pike’s Peak is right near Colorado Springs so I think we will check that out first thing tomorrow since the weather is looking better then. Will probably head south to Canon City afterwards to check out Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. Loose plans after that to head north!

Should be able to provide more frequent updates now that we are back in civilization. ๐Ÿ™‚