After our brief dip back into Utah to visit Arches National Park, the next leg of our roadtrip itinerary took us straight across Colorado, from its western border to Denver.
We moseyed eastward along Route 70 and took the time to check out a few of the towns that top even Telluride in the ski-town hall of fame.
Vail and Breckenridge were both really neat stops in their own right, but were nearly impossible to photograph nicely at this time of year. With ski season due to start any day (but Mother Nature lagging considerably behind), the grass was brown and the trees were bare, without that first beautiful redeeming snowfall to pretty things up.
In fact, I have so few good photos that this should probably be a Roadtrip Postcards post… but the title was already long enough.
As with Telluride, Vail and Breck were almost ghostly in how quiet and empty they were. We were able to wander freely, spending a few hours in each before moving on down the road.
I loved the Alpine feel of Vail, differentiated from all the other picturesque little Colorado towns nestled between soaring peaks by beautiful timbered architecture and a distinct Euro vibe.
As an unexpected bonus, we ate lunch at a hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint attached to the public parking garage… and it was some of the best Mex I’ve ever had. I even checked with the resident smartypants.
Breckenridge was only about forty minutes down the highway from Vail and provided the perfect setting for us to walk off all those tacos.
I’m pretty sure I saw more Subarus during our few hours in Breck than I did during our entire year in London. It was heaven (and oh, past Julie, just wait until you get to Oregon!).
Just when we started to hit the afternoon slump, we found the official winner of Most Adorable Starbucks in the Whole Entire World.
I either want to live in that Starbucks or turn it into an old-timey post office. #dreamsmall
Despite the lack of summer greenery or pristine winter snow, the Rockies provide an incredible backdrop to this mountain town.
(Fun fact: these mountains are technically the Tenmile Range, which is part of the Mosquito Range, which is part of the Rockies. The Tenmile Range is home to Pacific Tarn, which at over 13,000 ft / over 4000 m is the highest named lake in the US. Who doesn’t love a good tarn?)
We stuck to observing the mountains rather than heading up into them, but I’m sure we would have found legions of support had we decided to venture upwards. These people take their ski culture seriously!
As with Vail’s amazing Mexican grub, Breckenridge gave us an unexpected gift in the form of the Mecca of all tea shops, and the best pair of socks I’ve ever owned. Amity and I each bought a pair and I don’t know that all our toes would have survived the rest of the roadtrip without them.
Breckenridge sent us off into the sunset with a wave and an unbelievable cloud display.
Breck break 🗻 A photo posted by Julie (@alifeexotic) on
Denver, here we come!