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Episode 75 of 75

Independence Day in the Great State of Colorado

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Who Wear There by the Travel Brats
Duration: 33:10
Thursday, July 1 - The Adventure BeginsDirect flights are the bomb… and United Airlines “usually” has them from any airport.  I usually fly United if I can not get a direct flight on Delta. A 4:00 p.m. Eastern flight out of Fort Myers RSW lands you in Denver just after 6:00 p.m. Mountain Time. I was
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Thursday, July 1 - The Adventure BeginsDirect flights are the bomb… and United Airlines “usually” has them from any airport.  I usually fly United if I can not get a direct flight on Delta. A 4:00 p.m. Eastern flight out of Fort Myers RSW lands you in Denver just after 6:00 p.m. Mountain Time. I was staying at my aunt's house in Boulder (Skier Suz) which is about 45 minutes from the Denver airport. Like we talked about in our previous episodes, Denver and Boulder are the two biggest and most fun cities in Colorado if you are NOT planning on driving into the mountains. Colorado is also the hub of breweries and exceptional BAR FOOD. My personal favorite grub hub is the Southern Sun on Boulder’s famous Pearl Street. This particular restaurant is currently closed for COVID-19, but have no fear, the Southern Sun has a sister restaurant called Mountain Sun that is super close. The Chorizo Burger and the Spicy chicken sandwich are my personal faves. Plus the craft brews are to die for! Friday, July 2 - Beware of BearAfter some hot tub and coffee, the plan was to drive into the Mountains for some epic hikes. The best hike to hit if you are on your way to stay up at a summer ski resort is St. Mary’s Glacier. This hike is right off the highway, but keep in mind, GPS may take you through the mountain roads if there is bad traffic. My tip would be to get up early and head out Friday morning or Thursday night, especially if it is a holiday weekend. Traffic can turn a 2 hour drive in a 3-6 hour drive. If you choose to take the “mountain road” shortcut, DRIVE SLOW and KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD. The scenery is breathtaking but not meant for the driver! The roads are steep and winding and the speed limit never exceeds 35 mph. Watch out for other cars as you go around every corner and if you are afraid of heights… maybe let someone else drive (or close your eyes)! If there is rain, drive slow, and if there is snow and/or ice, stay on the highway. Also, always rent a car with all wheel or four-wheel drive in the winter. In fact, if you can afford it, it pays to rent a four-wheel in the summer because on some hikes, like the Mayflower Gulch (our hike from July 3), you can drive the first couple miles of the hike.  If you type in St. Mary’s Glacier on your GPS, it will take you past the parking spots so keep your eyes peeled. Bring one dollar bills for the $5 all day parking. The hike begins just north of the lot. If you don’t have ones there is a super cute and very tasty little restaurant called Two Bears Tap and Grill off the highway that is 30 minutes away from the hike. Stop your long drive to grab some grub and booze. I recommend the wings (parm garlic and thai chili), as well as the cheese curds! Their seasonal brews are great. Was this the most appropriate meal before a hike? Nope. But if you have a strong stomach, go for it. They also have salad (lol). On the subject of food, bring snacks for your hike, water and some type of electrolyte drink (like Gatorade etc).  St. Marie’s Glacier was an amazing first hike and my personal favorite solely because of the breathtaking views of the glacier, lakes and the surrounding mountains. About 10 minutes into your hike, you will come to a fork in the road. If you want a more chill path, go right. It will take you to the lake and you can picnic, relax, and even swim if you have no fear of freezing water. After hiking to the lake, you can go further up and hike next to one of the glaciers. The hike is a few miles and will take you 1-2 hours depending on how often you stop. If you go left, you can hike above the lake and make it to the top of the glaciers. This is the most amazing view. FYI - beware of bears and lightning. There is a bear cave on one of the traverses, however black bears are skittish and do not usually come near crowded trails.  Hiking Tips:Before you go on any hike, check the weather, bring layers and extra pairs of clothes (especially rain coats), as well as bags for your phones in case you get caught in the rain. Download the lightning App, and keep in mind, you are an easy target for lightning if you are on top of a mountain! Depending on the hike, get hiking boots for good ankle support on long hikes and trail running shoes for lighter shoes or/and if you like to trial run/jog. There are also certain hikes meant for night hiking but most hikes are not meant for night hiking. Make sure you give yourself enough time to get down before dark (i.e. if your hike is 2 hours, give yourself 3-45 min two to get down).  Also, keep in mind, Colorado Altitude is tough and gets tougher as you go up into the Mountains. If you are not acclimated, drink TONS of water before, during and after your hikes (even if you do not feel thirsty) and bring toilet paper on your hike because you will have to potty (lol)! Be smart wit
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