Sunday, October 11, 2015

Colorado Trip Day 2 and Day 3

The second day, we went exploring into the town of Breckenridge, formerly an old mining town before it evolved into the bustling ski resort town it is today. The population is only about 4500 when the skiers are not around, so the amount of restaurants, pubs and shops is quite amazing.....They have artful duckies all over town...sort of a theme like Yellowstone has painted bison, Chicago used to have cows, Cherokee, NC has stuff like that...

Breckenridge has a beautiful city park in the heart of downtown....The Blue River runs through it, and the mountains form the backdrop.  There are many sculptures in the park and even one stone sculpture is in the Blue River. This is a view through a rock sculpture in the center of the park.

There is a beautiful Victorian home section in town. What would a visit to Colorado be without seeing log homes? There are hundreds of beautiful log homes dotting the hillsides.

And there are some terrific little shops as well....This candle shop was beautiful...The artist was making the candles in the front window of the shop. Being a fellow crafter, Sparky had to check it out.

There were excellent restaurants, too many to check out in four days! One we enjoyed was the Columbine Cafe for breakfast. Any place that has breakfast burritos and more than one kind of them on the same menu, is all right with Sparky. And anything that has big wooden timbers, paintings of moose, bears and other Colorado wildlife on its walls makes it a great place. Eldo liked his biscuits and gravy. We looked at many restaurant menus there, trying to pick a different one each day for dinner. The restaurants were mostly moderately to expensively priced, so we conserved our budgets and decided to explore more next visit. We visited a Mexican restaurant while we were there, (meh!) and had snacks at two bar/tavern places. Colorado has GREAT beer choices, reports Eldy. :-)

Where this flat place was, Sparky does not remember!
After checking out the town, Sparky decided she was going to do a bike recreational path that ran from Breckenridge to Frisco, a neighboring town a distance of 9.5 miles away. The elevation change was from 9.050 to 9,600 feet. Not too bad. She decided to ride there and back. For 20.00, (coupon in a local brochure giving 20% off) she rented a Specialized bike, a quality hybrid bike for four hours. That should be enough time. Sparky saw this cool stained glass in the window upon entering.

The trail is rated as "easy" in local biking magazines and brochures. HA! Easy for somebody acclimated to 9,500 feet up in the Colorado Ten Mile Mountain Range! BUT--the guy at the bike shop said it's downhill from Breckenridge to Frisco, so that made things easier. Sparky thought, OK, if she was feeling badly, she would just call Eldy to come and get her after 9 miles making it to Frisco. Off she went.....Piece of cake to get to Frisco. Well, maybe not a piece of cake, but it was doable. BUT---#1) it is NOT flat all the way there, there were several hilly places and one pretty good sized hill on the way to Frisco.

 And there were some road hazards. She hoped her brakes were good ones! They were....
 The scenery was FANTASTIC!
 The scenery was AMAZING!

The scenery was AWESOME!

Thankfully, there were places to rest and stop which Sparky took advantage of. This rest stop was almost at the top of the biggest hill to climb towards Frisco, and the mountains are just past this rest stop around a curve.

And Sparky kept going....Till she hit Frisco....Right before she entered the turn around to come back on the same track, she saw a cute little red fox with black sox...He just trotted across the road like nobody's business and kept a movin' on..No time for a photo for him! Time to turn back.

Sparky got about half way back, and the legs started to give out...No cramping, just tired and rubbery and refusing to work. She stopped for some rest and water. She stopped to take photos.
Sculpture on the bike recreational path
"I can do this...I can do this..." But this was a new experience, biking in the mountains. She soldiered on. The legs got weaker. Breathing wasn't the problem, the legs were. She stopped again....This was a cool lawn and garden center with LOTS of metal and wood sculptures.

She thought about calling Eldy and asking him to come pick her up. Nope..."I can do this...." It was VERY difficult the last three miles. She really got an idea of an athlete's exhaustion levels, those who run marathons and Iron Man competitions and stuff like that. Sparky stopped many times. But she finally made it! NINETEEN miles in high elevation. Woo hoo!

Stay tuned for our last day in Colorado, with one more visit to Rocky Mountain National Park....It was the best as far as seeing wildlife.....