Colorado bike and hike trip pictures and log - September 11 to 27, 2008.
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Gas prices:  Chicago over $4 - DuPage $3.90 - elsewhere in Illinois $3.60 - Iowa $3.30 - Nebraska $3.20
Thursday 9/11 - Left home (Chicago) early in the morning (10 AM) and drove to York, NE.
Friday 9/12 - We drove to Silverthorne/Dillon and decided to stay in Frisco, CO.  There are lots of places to stay - we decided on the Ramada - rates were quite reasonable, nice rooms and a great breakfast.  For the shoppers, Silverthorne/Dillon has an outlet mall with about 70 stores like Eddie Bauer, Pearl Izumi, Nike, etc.  Dinner:  Hacienda Real - very good Mexican restaurant.
Saturday 9/13 - Lake Dillon from the bike path to Keystone:

Dillon Lake Amphitheater:

Sunday 9/14 - Hiking south of Montezuma, CO:
Dinner:  Himalayan Cuisine, Frisco - a blend of Indian and Chinese.
Monday 9/15 - Bike trail from Frisco approaching the Copper Mountain ski area:

Bike trail from Copper Mountain to Vail Pass in the median of I-70:

On the bike trail from Copper Mountain to Vail Pass:

Tuesday 9/16 - From the bike trail to Breckenridge:
Dinner:  Food Hedz' World Cafe - very tasty eclectic variety.
Wednesday 9/17 - Driving from Frisco to Leadville past the Fremont's Climax molybdenum mine:

In the afternoon we decided to hike to the Native Lake overlook but we took the wrong trail and ended up at Windsor Lake:
Dinner:  Quincy's Steak - one item menu - great fillet dinner for about $10.

Thursday 9/18 - Biked on the road from Twin Lakes to Independence Pass - view of the road from the pass:
Dinner:  Tennessee Pass Cafe - variety of very nice eclectic fine food.
Friday 9/19 - In the morning we biked the Mineral Belt 12 mile loop trail:
>>>> Click here to open a separate page with more pictures from this ride. <<<<

In the afternoon we hiked to Timberline Lake:
>>>> Click here to open a separate page with three more pictures from this hike. <<<<

>>>> Click here to open a separate page of Leadville pictures <<<<

Saturday 9/20 - In the morning I biked the Turquoise Lake loop road:
>>>> Click here to open a separate page with more pictures from this loop. <<<<

In the afternoon we hiked the Mount Massive approach section of the Colorado Trail.  It was a very pleasant hike through pine and aspen forests to a cascading creek.
Dinner:  Manuelita's Mexican - very good Mexican food including fish soup and fish taco's

Sunday 9/21 - I hiked up Mount Elbert:
>>>> Click here to open a separate page with notes and pictures from this hike. <<<<
Dinner:  High Mtn Pies - excellent pizza.
Monday 9/22 - Driving from Leadville to Glenwood Springs:
We took the Tennessee Pass / Minturn route.  This is a very scenic drive, but a winding mountainous road.  An easier way to go would be via Fremont Pass and Vail Pass - about 15 miles further and 1000 feet more ascent, but faster and easier driving.
Click here to open a separate page with a few pictures taken just north of Tennessee Pass.
Motel prices in Glenwood Springs are outrageous - $200 for a room at the Hampton.  We ended up staying at the Americas Best Value Inn, a place we've stayed at before - nice big rooms, lots of light and storage, fridge, microwave, coffee - but right on the main road close to the interestate and rail line - very noisy.  The Best Western (Antlers) would be a better bet (quieter) - about $20 more.  Another option is the Comfort Inn in Carbondale - about $40 more.
In the afternoon we checked out the town of Glenwood Springs.  The main roads are busier than downtown Chicago, but if you get off the main roads it's a pleasant town.

Not to be missed in Glenwood, and elsewhere in Colorado: the Colorado Peaches! They are the tastiest and juiciest we've ever had, and you can't get them anywhere else.

For the train buffs:  Glenwood Springs is just a scenic Amtrak ride from Chicago - leave Union Station at 2 pm, sleep your way through the plains, and arrive in Glenwood Springs at 2 PM the next afternoon.

Dinner:  Glenwood Canyon Brewing - variety of  "American food."

Tuesday 9/23 - We biked the Glenwood Canyon trail:
>>>> Click here to open a separate page with more infromation and pictures from this ride. <<<<
Dinner:  Zheng Asian Bistro - Chinese and Thai specialties.
Tuesday 9/24 - On the Rio Grande Trail from Glenwood Springs to Aspen.
>>>> Click here to open a separate page with more infromation and pictures from this trail. <<<<
The trail along the Roaring Fork River with Mount Sopris in the background.
Dinner:  Dos Hombres - fancy Mexican food, a block from our motel.
Wednesday 9/25 - We drove to Aspen for a day.  Our plan was to take the Aspen Mountain Gondola and hike around the top of the ski mountain.  The Aspen web site told us the gondola was operating, but when we got there we found out that it was not.  These days Aspen is a disgusting town with unbelievable congestion, no place to park, and the roads clogged with construction equipment.  It's not the friendly town it was 20 or even 10 years ago nor the reasonably functional town it still is during ski season.

We left town and headed up to the Maroon Bells area, a classic mountain destination about 10 miles out of Aspen, for some sightseeing and hiking.
>>>> Click here to open a separate page with more pictures from the Maroon Bells. <<<<
Dinner:  Glenwood Canyon Brewing again for their "beer filghts" - half size glasses of eight of their most popular brews (we shared).

Friday 9/26 - Start for home, from Glenwood Springs, CO to North Platte, NE (Ramada).  Rather than just following I-70 and I-76 we selected a very scenic route, following the Colorado River into the Flat Tops which are north of Glenwood, through Walton, then through the Medicine Bow to Laramie, WY and from there it's I-80 all the way back home.  This scenic route is about 60 miles longer and the drive time is about 2 hours more.

Here is a photo from Sweetwater Lake at the southern end of the Flat Tops:

Saturday 9/27 - North Platte, NE back to Chicago, IL.
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