Instead of taking I-25 south to Denver and then I-70 west from Colorado Springs to Breckenridge, we traveled the shorter route on US-24 west to CO-9 north and arrived in Breckenridge from the back side. This was a great decision for several reasons: it was 40 miles shorter, there was little traffic and no truck traffic, instead of the several long, steep passes on I-70 we had only one, and it was quite short and not all that steep, and best of all, the scenery was amazing! The climb to the Hoosier Pass summit was straight and smooth and the downhill 8% grade had multiple double-hairpins but it was over pretty quick even at 10 mph.
Once settled in at our Tiger Run Resort site, we headed to town for something to eat. Being the very first day of our week here we figured we could take a chance on Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant and Cantina since we’d have plenty of time to make up for it if it was awful. It wasn’t bad at all and the chips and salsa and queso were actually quite good. Karen had a Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro (yeah, from a bottle) and I had the Odell Cuthroat Porter, both from Colorado breweries that we hope to visit soon.
I took Monday off as a vacation day so we could head over to Leadville, an old mining town that has been in decline for over 100 years. At over 10,000 feet elevation it is the highest incorporated city in the U.S. The attraction for us is a beautiful drive from Breckenridge, a neat little antique mall and driving up and down all the streets in town looking at the old, small houses – some quaint, some run down, some funky.
From Leadville, we took US-24 up to Vail and on the way, in and around the small town of Minturn on the Eagle River,
we spotted four VW buses! That’s a pretty good find for a town of about a thousand. In our next post, we will cover Vail and how we killed some time waiting for our preferred restaurant to reopen for dinner. Hint: it involves breweries.