Week 53 – Golden, CO

IMG_20170510_211325_578Hello and welcome to our 53rd week of full-time RV life! Last week we left off celebrating our one year anniversary on the road with some downtime in Frisco, CO. We’re learning firsthand that Colorado’s reputation for extreme weather is very real. During the first few days of the week last week, we had hail, rain, and even small snow flurries. Then the sky cleared and it’s been just perfect here for about the past 5-6 days (65-70 and sunny). Tonight we’re hunkered down though, expecting a “severe winter storm” that is meant to drop us back down to the 30’s and 40’s and to bring more snow over the next few days. Snow! In May! Growing up in Arizona, this is the time of year we’re welcoming 100 degree temps for the first time!

20170511_144035As the weather cleared last Thursday, we were finally able to get out for some sightseeing and training (as usual, we love to combine the two). Another cycling, full-time RV couple suggested we take the bike trail that runs from Frisco up to Vail – all the way to Vail was over 30 miles uphill one way, so we settled for targeting Vail Pass, about 12 miles uphill one way. It took us an hour and a half to get up there…and only 30 minutes to come down! It was 1,500 feet 20170511_153009of elevation climbing and it took us well over 10,000 feet in altitude. Not an easy ride! But the journey and the views made it totally worth it and this became arguably our new favorite bath path ever. The path is well maintained, it runs along a beautiful river, it’s secluded from cars, and the views in every direction just can’t be put into words. As we climbed, we noticed more and more snow alongside the path and as we got higher, there were some areas IMG_20170511_185953_897(mainly over bridges) where it was still iced over. Jim, the little daredevil that he is, rode right over it, while Heather, the safety geek, got off her bike and walked over the slick icy slush. By the time we reached the Vail Pass, it seemed that we were nearly eye-level with the mountains that loomed over us when we started in Frisco. But what views! Looking down at the mountain we just climbed, panting, and trying to catch our breath before we started the downhill ride back to 20170511_155234Bertha. We had hoped to get in a longer ride, but turns out 24 miles at this altitude is no joke!

The following day was Friday, and that meant that it was WEDDING WEEKEND! We drove the 10 miles down to Breckenridge early so Heather could meet with the bridal party to help get the reception hall set up for the wedding the next day. By the time she arrived, the groomsmen were killing it getting the lights strung up on the ceiling – it didn’t take them long! Once they were finished, the tables were set up and the bridesmaids got to work doing the floral arrangements for the centerpieces. While Heather was doing wedding prep, Jim took Bertha up the street and 20170512_160221got her all settled into her weekend parking spot. We were staying in a gorgeous 4 bedroom suite with some of Heather’s friends (Jim was the only guy in the suite) so Bertha was on her own for the weekend. Luckily, Breckenridge had a great place to put her for $5 a day that was less than 2 miles from the hotel. He also managed to sneak in a swim in the hotel pool while Heather was setting up. Swimming at altitude also proved to be quite challenging (check out that pool and the view from our room’s balcony!)!

20170512_184049We all reconvened at 4:00 that evening for the rehearsal. Heather was officiating the wedding so she worked with the bride and groom to figure out the timing and places of the family and the bridal party…well, we all really made it up as we went, since none of us had done this before! After the rehearsal, we took the hotel shuttle two miles up the mountain to the gigantic house that the groom’s family had rented for the weekend. The views from the patio were stunning, as seems to be the theme around here. They had a wonderful spread set up for dinner and it was a good opportunity to meet and mingle with everyone for a few hours. We even had a special visitor – a fox came right up to the front door! We assume he’s regularly fed by others who rent the house as he seemed quite comfortable being in close proximity to people (no, we didn’t feed him). He was one handsome 20170514_133258devil! After the rehearsal dinner, we all headed down to Breckenridge Brewery for more mingling. It was so nice to spend time with friends we haven’t seen in a while and to meet new ones, everyone was awesome! We tried to take a photo but the lighting in the bar was so terrible that we turned it into a creep photo instead. Or a future album cover, either way.

IMG_20170514_083524_191The next day was wedding day! Again, we were up early, this time to get Heather up to the groom’s family’s house for hair and makeup. The bride and her bridesmaids spent the morning and part of the afternoon getting primped and waited on; the groom’s family put together a heck of a spread for breakfast, including mimosas, and kept everyone well fed while we got ready. While Heather was doing wedding stuff, Jim went to brunch with a few of Heather’s girlfriends and they came back with all kinds of inside jokes. Seems he fits right in with the ladies. Around 2:00, as everyone finished hair and makeup, we got 18447237_10209723885396259_7066493879576045740_nAmber into her wedding dress and ready for her first look with her soon to be husband. They met each other in the woods near the house for their first look and a few photos of just the two of them. During all of this, Jim was getting Bertha ready for her big debut…he pulled her up to the house and we loaded the entire wedding party in for a ride to the hotel. The idea was to drive to a few different spots for photos, but we were running a bit behind and had to make it straight to the ceremony spot at the hotel instead. But what a fun 2 mile ride we had in Bertha as she became a wedding party bus! Our friends are the coolest to want to roll up to their wedding in a 1995 RV, the professional photographer was sure to grab some photos of the wedding party piling out of her at the ceremony spot.

The wedding started at 4:00 and we were amazingly right on time! Heather got through the ceremony and sent the happy newlyweds down the aisle while Jim buzzed overhead with the drone to grab some aerial footage. We don’t have any pics yet from the ceremony, since we were both otherwise occupied. Actually, we were both a bit surprised at the end of the weekend how few photos we had taken, it was just a busy whirlwind!

After the ceremony we did the bridal party photos and Heather signed the marriage license before we headed into cocktail hour. The reception started at 6:30 and the rest of the evening was a blur of non stop dancing and fun! What an amazing group of people – the dance floor was literally full from the first song to the last! Jim did a great job of capturing some incredible footage of the party with his GoPro and can’t wait to put it all together for Amber and Joe. The party was so fun that when the DJ had to kick us out of the reception hall, the after party moved to the Irish pub across the street…and the DJ even showed up there and bought shots for the newlyweds! What started as a quiet bar turned into a dance floor/karaoke party once the wedding party showed up!

IMG_34961The next morning we tried to sleep in but were a bit wound up. We also wanted to spend a little more time with some friends before everyone departed for home, so we brunched with Jessica and Erina one last time before we said our goodbyes. We sadly checked out of the really nice hotel room with the unused jacuzzi tub and got Bertha loaded back up with our stuff. The rest of the day was spent with the remainder of the wedding guests, all of us chatting over Bloody Mary’s before the girls took off to walk around the cute mountain town while the boys did their man stuff. We all met back up again in the evening for one 20170514_201708last meal at the groom’s family’s house on the mountain. Once again, they had a lovely spread set up for everyone and we got to spend a final evening hanging out and watching the sunset over the mountains. Jim took out the drone and by the end of the evening, had every guy in the room wanting one. After dinner and droning, Joe’s sister suggested we play a game called CodeNames, so 12 of us sat around a huge table and had a total blast playing 4 rounds. If you’ve never played it, we highly recommend it, especially for a large group like that, so fun!

The next morning, Monday, we had to finally say goodbye to the rest of the  group. We met up with Julie for a last breakfast at a great little crepe spot on Main Street, before Amber and Joe came down to say goodbye. It was really sad to end such a great weekend and to not know when we’d see them all again…Heather actually had a really tough couple of days afterward of missing her friends. 

Once goodbyes were over and we were back to Bertha, we decided to head east towards Golden/Denver. We stopped for groceries and then decided to drive over to Red Rocks Amphitheater, a place Heather had been dying to check off her bucket list forever. We should have looked in advance to see if they had an event that evening, but it turned out they were doing Film on the Rocks, which means you pay admission to see a movie in there. We weren’t prepared for that so we turned around and found a nearby parking lot to spend the night.

20170516_095751We woke up on Tuesday morning and decided to run to Red Rocks. It was only a 5 mile round trip run, but the hills and the 6,500’ elevation (even down from 10k) was still a challenge. But we did get to see this incredible outdoor natural acoustic amphitheater during the day and it was spectacular! It was a sunny, clear, warm day so you could see downtown Denver from the top. We had no idea that it’s basically an outdoor gym during the day; there 20170516_100754were people everywhere doing stair climbing repeats, squats, lunges, push-ups, sprints, and even some sort of windmill skipping exercise that looked like fun! After wandering around for a bit, we headed back to Bertha and spent the remainder of the day at the laundromat, while also deciding that we needed to see a show at Red Rocks. We bought tickets to see Phoenix and Miike Snow on June 7th and can’t wait!

Thanks for staying with us, even without our personalized weekly email. We’ll be hanging out in the Denver area for the next few weeks and are looking forward to exploring all the beauty Colorado has to offer!

Total RV Trip Miles: 17,001.3

 

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