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Breckenridge, Part I

After puttering around the parks and foothills for three weeks I was eager to get up into the actual Rockies, visit one of Colorado’s picturesque little mountain towns and maybe summit a peak or two. I would love to see Ouray, but I’m not quite up for the six-hour drive to get there just yet. For my Labor Day weekend outing, Breckenridge was a more accessible choice. Elizabeth came with me. Luke wasn’t feeling a peak-scaling expedition this time.

I expected traffic to be awful heading west out of Denver into the mountains, and it was. What should have been an hour-and-40-minute cruise ended up being closer to two-and-a-half hours. But the views are so pretty, we enjoyed the drive anyway.

It was nice to get out of the Denver haze and up into the blue skies. We even pulled out into a turnout to admire an overlook view of the Dillon Reservoir.

We didn’t really know what to expect in Breckenridge. We had a vague, flexible plan to find some public parking near the scenic downtown and then just walk around and see what there was to see.

Parking was easy to find. And the Breckenridge magic started right away –– we saw gondolas suspended over the lot, heading up to some unseen alpine destination.

We asked around and found out that the gondolas are free to ride, so naturally we got in line. In retrospect, I’m amused by the fact that we never asked where the gondolas were going. It didn’t even matter; we’d just find out when we got there.

There are a total of four gondola stations on the line. We stayed on all the way to the top.

We disembarked at Breckenridge Ski Resort, which offers year-round activities. After grabbing some lunch at the Ski Hill Grill, we made a beeline for the Alpine Slide.

We took a ski lift to the top of the slide…

…and then rode little toboggans-on-wheels back down the slope. Wheeeeeeeeee!

By then it was mid-afternoon, and we wanted to settle the question of where we would be camping that night. We asked a resort employee about dispersed camping nearby, and he cheerfully gave us directions to his own favorite area, up in the National Forest above a different resort. I made a note, and we headed back to the gondolas.

I accidentally got off one station too early. Stayed long enough to snap a pretty pic and got back on.

Elizabeth wanted to check out the High Line Railroad Park, so we drove there next. The museum part is currently closed for Covid, but we did enjoy looking at the old vintage train cars and engines.

This monster is a rotary snowplow, used for clearing heavy snow off of the tracks.

There’s also a nice railway-themed playground.

And my favorite part –– the park is near the trailhead of Trollstigen Trail, which led us to Isak Heartstone, the Troll of Breckenridge.

It’s a short, pretty path, definitely worth the detour.

The shadows were getting longer, and we didn’t want to be setting our tent up in the dark. We stopped by a local eatery for soup and bread to go, and then drove up to the area the resort guy had recommended.

It was pretty up there for sure, but we had a hard time finding any ground flat enough to set up a tent on. After driving a backroad loop that my car was not designed for, we circled back and stopped to talk to an employee of the nearest resort about where we could camp. He recommended near the river, but said that really anywhere was fine.

Long story short, we finally found a flattish spot to set up camp with a nice view. And with all of the care we took to follow the advice of the locals, we still got a visit from a ranger the next morning, telling us that we had set up our tent in a no-camping zone and would have to relocate. Clearly there are rules that we must learn. I’m not going to post any pics of our campsite, because I don’t want to encourage anyone else to camp there.

To be continued!

Categories: A Plethora of Parks, Covid-19, environment, Family, food, Holidays, Life, Travel, Weather | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Preliminary Exploration

In amongst all the drudgery of moving states, the kids and I have enjoyed exploring our new home. Here are some of my favorite pics from the past month.

On Mt Falcon:

At Genesee Park:

At the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge:

Investigating the local eateries:

Other than the constant haze from wildfires, Denver is a very pleasant city to settle into. Hopefully we still like it after the first winter snow arrives. Which, according to local weather forecasts, will be tomorrow.

Categories: A Plethora of Parks, Animals, environment, Family, food, Life, Weather, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adventures in Nepal, Part VII: Tal Barahi Temple

The next morning the sky was clear blue all the way to the horizon. And suddenly – HIMALAYAS.

The high triangular peak is Machhapuchchhre, a sacred mountain. The Nepali government doesn’t permit anyone to climb it.

Today’s photography lesson: mountainscapes.

After the class, Emma and Elizabeth took a boat ride out to Tal Barahi Temple on Phewa Tal’s little island.

Colorful Elizabeth is colorful.

The temple itself is small.

Elizabeth says that almost every temple she saw had fierce creatures like these guarding its entrance, always one male and one female.

FISH WATCH POINT

And back to shore.

To be continued!

Categories: Family, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel, Weather | Tags: | 1 Comment

Adventures in Nepal, Part V: Disneyland!

Wednesday the 18th dawned sunny and clear. Elizabeth had heard about a local theme park in Lakeside, and was excited to go see it.

And here we have the completely legit and totally not fake Pokhara Disneyland:

A magical entryway to the Sketchiest Place on Earth.

Pluto’s face kills me.

Behold, the Magic Kingdom!

Can you feel the excitement?


It has the castle and everything!

So I got two different versions of the visit to “Pokhara Disneyland.”

Elizabeth has never met a theme park she didn’t like, and she thoroughly enjoyed her experience at this one.

Emma was like, “There is rust on everything and you can literally see and hear the unshielded belt turning the ferris wheel and it is not outside the realm of possibility that we may die on one of these rides.”

Nice views from the ferris wheel, though.

Elizabeth was undaunted by rust and squealing engine belts, and embraced the whimsy.

I absolutely adore that rainbow sweater. She had just bought it the day before, and it brightens up almost every photo for the rest of the Nepal trip.

Lunch break at a cafe in Lakeside…

…And then back for more squeaky, rust-covered fun. They say the whole theme park experience set them back about five bucks.

When Emma had had enough of Disneyland, they explored more of Lakeside.

I really like this panoramic shot Emma took of Phewa Tal.

Love, peace and property destruction.

Walking back to Sabita’s house. Look at the tangles of power lines everywhere.

Panoramic view from Sabita’s rooftop.

To be continued!

Categories: A Plethora of Parks, Family, Friends, Holidays, Humor, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel, Weather | Tags: | 1 Comment

Adventures in Nepal, Part IV: Basundhara Park

The next day was gray and rainy. (January 17th, if we’re keeping track.) Emma, Elizabeth and Bee Striit met the two Tibetan students at the hotel again for another photography class.

I like the grass-carpeted balcony!

When the lesson was done, our trio braved the weather and visited Basundhara Park in Lakeside.

This park entrance sign is another example of either ubiquitous ad placement or random tributes to popular brands.

Basundhara Park lies along the shores of Phewa Tal. On a clear day, the Himalayas loom majestically in the background. But even on a rainy day, the lake is beautiful.

Colorful boats!

Elizabeth and Bee Striit.

These boats all had Kit Kat ads on their canopies:

And back to the narrow streets of Nepal.

More to come!

Categories: A Plethora of Parks, Family, Friends, Holidays, Life, Love, Nepal, Travel, Weather | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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