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).

 

 

 

 

Weekend Getaway #1: Estes Park – Colorado

Last Monday, Steven (my other half) advised me he had not left the city in nearly three months; this was definitely an issue, as when we lived in Michigan we traveled non-stop. Honestly, I can’t believe he hadn’t mentioned it sooner, now that I think about it… So on Tuesday, we began to socur the internet for a pet-friendly place to stay in either Glenwood Springs, Devil’s Thumb, or Estes Park. After emailing and calling approximately 100 places, Skyline Cottages in Estes Park was the only place to offer availability for our Friday night – Sunday morning excursion out of the city. We really lucked out, as Skyline offered an amazing cabin in the side of the Rockies for less about $140/night including pet fee; the price was definitely right, the location perfect, and the amenities of access to Big Thompson River and trail knowledge very helpful.

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View to the right from our cabin’s deck out front. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2013

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To the left of our cabin, taken from the deck out front. Another great view of the Rockies. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2013

Friday night, we drove to Estes Park, through the mountains in the dark. Not the most fun way to start the trip, as this is the first time we’d driven through any type of mountains in the dark – definitely an exciting ride, to say the least. All in all, the drive took about an hour and a half from our apartment in Denver. Our cabin was nestled in the side of the Rocky Mountains, away from the other Skyline cottages, up in the Vallahala Resort area. We stayed in a one-bedroom with bathroom attached, full kitchen, living room, and deck w/ grill cabin – nothing too fancy, which was just what we were looking for. However, the cabin DID have cable television, even though  we weren’t too interested due to our surroundings. The views from the deck were absolutely incredible, providing insight to what lay ahead as far as hiking on Saturday.

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The stars from our cabin’s deck in Estes Park – light from the moon in the bottom right-hand of the picture. Credit: Steven Mercer, July 2013

Friday night, we unpacked the Jeep and drank a lot of Colorado’s finest craft beers – I’d picked up a variety six pack and case just for the occasion at the fabulous Argonaut’s. On the deck, Steven set up his digital SLR, and took long-exposed pictures of the stars; from this deck, I felt like we could see the entire universe. The stars were so pronounced, with the moon so bright. I had never seen the sky the way I saw it from the deck of our cabin.

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Map on display at St. Vrain Trailhead. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2013

The next morning, we took our 11 year-old cockapoo, Moguls, for a hike at the Middle St.Vrain / Buchanan Pass Trailhead. We found this trail at the end of Camp Dick, off of HWY 72, in Roosevelt National Forest. We drove through two separate campgrounds, all the way to the back parking lot where ATV’s, ORV’s, and hikers are all taking two separate trails. Finding a desginated dog-friendly trail can be difficult because National Parks don’t allow dogs on the trails, while many National Forests do. Even so, finding a defined trail or correct directions to a good trail can be a little difficult for those of us who are new to the areas, and hiking altogether. ImageThe St. Vrain / Buchanan Pass is listed as a moderate hike; it stretches for at least 16 miles (we were told by fellow hikers on the trail), and can consist of rock, mud, dirt, and narrow to wide paths. I liked the way we hit almost every type of trail terrain on this 5 mile hike; I enjoyed the challenging rocks, hopping to and from each one, as well as the uphill climbs. I was also thankful for the flat, dirt ground and breaks to catch my breath from some of the uphill battles. It was a great workout that I felt later that afternoon and the next morning for sure! The scenery on the trail is basically borderline magical – we definitely recommend visiting, and bringing your dog. Moguls did a great job keeping up, and actually led us on the way back. ImageThe hike took about 3 hours, 2 hours and 24 minutes of which we were moving (we used Strava to track what we had accomplished), and hiked 5 miles.

Some additional pictures from this hike are also pictured below.

Saturday night, we just chilled in the cabin, whooped from our first real hike in Colorado. The next morning, we packed up and ventured home to unpack, do laundry, and get ready for our favorite Sunday event: Jazz in the Park.

I definitely recommend Estes Park as a nice, weekend get-away. There’s so much to do and see – we definitely only chipped away a small surface of what Estes Park has to offer. If you don’t want to rent a cabin, there are plenty of camp sites that are reasonably priced and well-maintained. Many of which are pet-friendly, which made a huge difference for us.

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Me (Kirsten) at the top of the rocks. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2013

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Steven shooting with his SLR on the hike. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2013

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Moguls on the top of the rocks; he was a trooper the whole way! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2013

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View from along the hike. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2013

What should our next get away be? Any ideas, friends? We love traveling, and can’t wait to explore more of this awesome state. Lend us a hand in finding our next weekend get away!