So the first part of my Denver adventure was the Amtrak California Zephyr train from Salt Lake City (at 3.30am!).
It mainly follows the route of the Colarado river through the Rocky Mountains so its a slow meandering route, but with some loverly views, from broad plains to typically Utah rock formations to a very narrow canyon (thought we were going to fall off the edge!) to a 2.5 mile tunnel (views not so good here admittedly!). And one unexpected view - the traditional rafter salute - mooning the train!
The river changes colour as you go - it started out the muddy brown that I swam in in Utah and then got streaks of red as we passed through high iron oxide soils getting washed out to the river during a storm. The river turned murky green as we entered the mountains and then clear as a mountain stream finally!
After 16 hours (yes I know I could have driven it in half that!) I arrived in Denver to make mischief with Natalie!
That night we kept it low key and went for sushi with Natalie's neighbour Sean at Happa - I wasn't convinced by the grilled sushi - hot is just wrong!
Wednesday we went to the gym, to offset bottomless mimosas brunch at Jellys. It served as a warm up for Denver Cruisers that evening! Cruisers is a weekly bike ride where there is a different theme every week - this weeks was farmers/farm animals! - and a ride around downtown and then a party and some drinking :)
Thursday we borrowed the lovely Ryan's car to do some touristy stuff - including visiting the Red Rock amphitheatre - a natural rock formation where they hold concerts and movie nights etc (not whilst we were there though!) Also people go there to run up and down the steps for hill training!
We then went and ticked off a 14,000 footer - Mt Evans - except we kinda cheated by driving up to the top (Colorado is full of nutters who do things like cycle and run up the top of the mountains!) However I couldn't have walked up - walking to the first turn of the trail I thought I was going to pass out or throw up, severe altitude sickness!!
We went through snow clouds to get there and it was 39 degrees Fahrenheit at the top - chilly!!
After fortifying buffalo burgers at Tommy Knockers Idaho Springs, we headed to pick up Ryan and then of course we had to stop for happy hour.
Approximately 4 cocktails later I was steered into Jax for the ultimate in sea food - 2 pounds of crab, some oysters, shrimp, fish cake and gumbo - we rolled out the door lol!
Friday we headed to the gym to try and work off the food & then on to Joeys leaving do at Wahoo tacos.
The lovely Joey
Saturday saw a scooter ride to the liquor store to stock up, some shopping and some pink berry frozen yoghurt (it was hot). We went out in the evening and met up with some friends including Coleman wielding a back scratcher with extendable handle (!).
Natalie wore high heels and had to get a piggy back to Red Square bar - you guessed it a vodka bar!
Needless to say we had too much vodka....Sunday was not so fun day with hangover - we managed to get down the street to have brunch at La Grand, which was very tasty! The afternoon was spent watching movies, including finishing off my education with the Princess Bride!
Natalie's first day in her new job was the following day - so no further shenanigans ensued, and I headed to Chicago when Nat headed to work.
Denver I had a great time and I met loads of really cool people!