The Denver Botanic Gardens & Dale Chihuly

Taking a trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens not only revitalizes your mind and spirit, but can also help with reconnection for different levels of relationships. It’s not hard to relax and admire the beauty surrounding you with someone else!

We last saw the Chihuly Exhibit a few years ago in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park; when we heard it was coming to Denver, we could hardly wait, remembering how beautiful it was in one of our home towns.

As an added bonus, from now until November 30th, you can check out the amazing Chihuly exhibit at our very own Denver Botanic Gardens.

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Chihuly Exhibit. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Sept 2014

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14er #2: Mount Bierstadt

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Trailhead sign for Mount Bierstadt. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014.

Last Friday, a few co-workers and I received a random day off. With summer coming quickly to an end, we decided to hike Mount Bierstadt, a Class 2 difficulty, 14,060′ mountain in Colorado. This only being my second 14er, I was just as anxious as the first!

Out of the three of us who hiked, 2 of us were on our second 14er and for one of us, Bierstadt was the first. I would definitely recommend Bierstadt for first-time 14ers for a few reasons: 1) lower class of difficulty, 2) no incredibly steep inclines, 3) the trail is clearly defined and consists of wooden planking (beginning), dirt, and boulders – you get a taste of everything! 4) if you can park in, or close to, the parking lot at the trailhead, it is only about a 7.5 round trip. For directions to Bierstadt, click here.

 

Luckily, the weather last Friday was incredible! We had a few scary clouds once we hit summit, but no rain or hail the entire afternoon. Amazing, right?! It was nice to hike on a Friday and beat the weekend crowds also – if you have the chance to go on a weekday, take it!

 

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A hidden lake during mile 1 of Bierstadt. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

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Sunshine and a two-track trail – how beautiful is that view?! Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

 

We began hiking the trail at about 7 am and made our way across the two-track path; wooden decking also consumed a portion of the trail early on in the first mile, leading us over marshy land and through tall grass.

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Beautiful meadows and wildlife. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

 

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Beautiful meadows and wildlife. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

 

The views of the valleys  and meadows were breath-taking. Beautiful wildflowers are present along the majority of the trail until about the 3rd mile (guess-timate). Marmots and little chipmunks were everywhere! It was really fun to see wildlife in addition to the beautiful plant life on our hike this time.

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Check out how far we’d come! Looking back at the trailhead below somewhere between mile 2 and 3. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

 

Although the trail is pretty tame, the last mile or two are definitely more rough. The higher up, the rockier it gets!

 

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View from somewhere around mile 3. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

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Rough terrain in the last mile. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

Check out the sweet “Stairway to Heaven” pic from summit:

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Cassy summitting Bierstadt. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

 

The views from the top were incredible, but with the clouds rolling in we were only able to stay up there for about 10 minutes.

 

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View from the top of Mount Bierdstadt. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

Just enough time to get a picture with the conveniently placed, home-made signs that are waiting for you at the top!

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Kirsten at the top of Mount Bierstadt. Photo Credit: Cassy H., July 2014

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Lonely backpack at the top. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

Something we need to mention – 14ers are hard. They truly test your physical and mental abilities to the max. When I hear people say “It’s an easy 14er” or, “Hey, that one’s an easy one!”, it annoys us as this is not necessarily true for you and your abilities. Know your limits. Yes, the 14ers are classified, and this is a good guide in order to pick out which mountains to start on and which mountains will be more challenging than others; however there are no “easy 14ers”.

Research your mountain before you go – 14ers.com is an amazing site with a TON of information including classifications, directions, trailheads, and pictures. Figure out which mountain is going to be right for your skill level. There are 54 to choose from! We definitely recommend Bierstadt as a first-time 14er, but remember that it is still a physical feat to accomplish! There’s no doubt in our mind that you can do it. 🙂

Have any questions or want to accompany DenverSpeax on an upcoming 14er? Comment below, or email us at denverspeax@gmail.com.

 

 

Summer Storm Set – Who Will You Be?

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A summer storm. Photo Credit: Steve Mercer, July 2014

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

– Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

 

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Another view of the summer storm. Photo Credit: Steve Mercer, July 2014

 

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Chalk it Up – Denver Chalk Art Festival Faves from 2014

Another reason why Denver is the coolest – the annual Chalk Art Festival on Larimer Square a few weekends ago (May 31 – June 1st). Free for all ages, artists gathered and created replicas of photos that were often displayed next to their work in the Square.

Here are some shots of our favorite moments and works from the festival:

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Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014.

 

Not only were there 200+ artists creating these beautiful works of art, live music, food, and beverage tents were also a part of the festival, much of which supported by Colorado businesses.

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Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014.

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Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014.

Many of the artists are local students competing for cash, backed by local businesses. Check back on the Denver Chalk Art website to find out who the winners are.

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Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014.

 

Chalk art, or street painting, dates back to the 16th century in Italy – it’s amazing this tradition is still prevalent all over the world today.

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Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014.

 

Yet another spectacular event in downtown Denver. We love having so many things to do and see downtown – it’s what makes the city great! What Festivals are you looking forward to this summer? Let us know!

 

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Walking About Capitol Hill, Denver

With the boxes lining the walls of our new place, and the beautiful weather calling our names, yesterday Steve and I walked a 4 mile radius around the apartment. We remembered what it was like to be brand new to the city, and had a blast being tourists all over again. Check out the sights and fall in love with Denver again.

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Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

 

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Denver County Courthouse. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

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Bison sculptures on the 16th Street Mall. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

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Standing at the corner of 17th and Wazee in downtown Denver, CO. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

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View of Union Station Denver. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

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The tracks of the remodeled Union Station Denver. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

 

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Union Station Denver. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

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The Colorado State Capitol Building. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

Whether you’ve just moved to a new neighborhood in Denver, you’re visiting Denver, or you’ve been in Denver for years, get outside and remember what you love so much about this great city.

 

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Be Inspired: Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs

Yesterday, Steve and I (Kirsten) journeyed to Colorado Springs for the first time since moving to Colorado a year ago. Equipped with snacks, water, cameras, and a little dog, we hiked for a few hours throughout Garden of the Gods.

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Steve & Moguls, checking out the view. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

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Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

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Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

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Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

Garden of the Gods is a registered National Natural Landmark located about an hour south of Denver on i25. There are about 15 miles’ worth of trails throughout the park, all of which outlined on a FREE map provided by the Visitor & Nature Center Information Desk. For our first trip, we stuck to the paved walkways and took note of interesting looking trails for next time. We couldn’t have asked for better weather!

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Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

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Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

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Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

Climbers are allowed in designated areas of the park with proper permits and equipment. Honestly, one of the coolest experiences at the park was watching climbers clench to the side of these massive, jagged rocks.

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Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

 

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Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

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A Boy and his Nikon. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

 

Garden of the Gods is a great place for all ages! The views are spectacular, and the hiking is amazing. There are all levels of trails throughout the park with maps posted throughout. Also, it’s a great workout for you and your furry friend, just remember to keep them on a leash at all times.

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Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

 

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Steve and Kirsten exploring Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, CO. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

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Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

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Steve looking for the best shot in Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

 

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Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

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Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

If you’re ever in the mood for being inspired by more of Colorado’s natural beauty, check out Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Visit their Visitor and Nature Center, climb the massively jagged rocks, or hike one of the several trails.  They have tons of events relating to geology, tours, and more. Also, check out the other sights in the park, like Balanced Rock.

DenverSpeax – A Reminder

 

 

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The power of reminder can be very interesting and thought-provoking, to the point of near meditation:

A song comes on the radio, and you’re instantly placed into a time previous of extreme joy, or maybe content, or possibly sadness.

You head west out of Denver to visit the Rockies, and you’re reminded of your first trip to Loveland Pass, or your first drive through the Eisenhower Tunnel.

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View from Arapahoe Basin – Click on the photo to see more beautiful pictures in this area.

These places serve as reminder for us as to why we moved here, and why we started DenverSpeax. It’s important to reflect, and have our reflection over the past (almost) year rejuvenate our spirits and provoke motivation. I thought it would be good to pass this along to you all who have supported us.
The Story:
When we moved here, we had a few friends from back home, but they were fairly new as well. It was difficult to find places to go or see because we didn’t know what we were looking for, per se – try using Yelp to find a restaurant when you’re in the mood for a certain atmosphere, or when you’re trying to make friends – is there a filter for those? Although we believe Yelp is a great application and very helpful, sometimes a star-rating just doesn’t cut it. Sure, there’s another great site called TripAdvisor – we use it when we are traveling…but we weren’t traveling any longer. We weren’t looking for advertised Bed & Breakfasts and their ratings – we were looking to call a place home.

 

The best way to learn and begin to understand a community is by fully emerging yourself. This is what we’ve learned in our various travels domestically and internationally, as well as with this move to Denver. Out of boredom, and lack of known resources within the Denver community & beyond, DenverSpeax was born.

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City Park hosts City Park Jazz for many Sundays each summer. Click on the picture to read more!

We roam around Denver and the surrounding areas looking for what’s good in the community. The good comes in all shapes, sizes, and experiences. We support small, local businesses when we eat out, and prefer to stay local with our purchases as well. Luckily, there are so many festivals, parks, food and beverage, volunteering, and natural beauty here that we’ll never run out of things to write about.

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Walking around on the 16th Street mall can be a ton of fun. Click on the picture to check out more!

DenverSpeax exists to promote positivity within the community, helping out natives and transplants alike with what to do, where to go, and how to experience all of the good that’s so aplenty here. Know someone who’s moving to Denver? Show ’em our website. Ran out of things to do and experience? Look through the site! Planning a trip to Denver and want the real feel of our diverse community? Well, we have a website for that!

Thank you for your endless support. We are devoted to continue to bring you the low down on what’s good in Denver. A few things we’re looking at tackling next:

  • Volunteering – how can we give back to the community we love so much? There are so many ways – we just need to DO IT.
  • Collaboration with other Colorado start-ups that need support with getting noticed in the community.
  • Visiting Bed & Breakfasts local to Denver so that we can provide our visitors with features on great places to stay.

How you can help: Come with us! Or, let us know…

What other features would you like to see on the website?

What is local and positive that you just can’t live without?

For more on what’s good in Denver, follow us in real-time on Facebook, Instagram (@denverspeax), or Twitter (@denverspeax).

 

 

 

 

Morning photo: Sunday set

Check out these beautiful photos from Summit County. It’s easy to draw motivation and power from such incredible photographs. Sometimes, we forget how fortunate we are to be able to see these things in person with great ease. Get outside and enjoy the beautiful day.

Please visit Summit County Citizens Voice where I reflagged these great images from.

Summit County Citizens Voice

Got color?

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FRISCO — After a snowy start to April, winter finally relaxed its grip late in the month, with warmer days and at least a handful of clear mornings and evenings. Nothing against plentiful snow — I love it — but after months of shooting gleaming white snowscapes, it’s nice to get some color back in the scene, and it feels good to hike around on bare ground. Plus, the first wildflowers are starting to show (pasque flowers along the Ptarmigan Trail), and even though the early displays are modest, all the winter moisture should translate into a brilliant display of blooms the next few months. Click on the photos to see them full size, and check our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County nature and landscape photos.

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