rocky mountain high

good morning from beaver creek, colorado!

everyone is slowly waking up on our second full day here, and tracy’s wedding day! with highs in the 70’s and sun forecasted all day long, it’s looking to be the perfect day to do anything at all, let alone get married on a mountain top. 

but before the big bash tonight, i thought i would bring everyone up to speed (as if people actually read this, lol) on what we’ve been up to since leaving minnesota thursday afternoon.

I35 + I80 + I70

it was 8pm before we all had our acts together and piled into chris’s very-full ford edge, with the sun setting and 14 hours and 12 minutes until we would hit beaver creek. after midnight, chris took the wheel and did some really run night driving through iowa and eastern nebraska, and when he got sleepy, bryan used some unknown superpower and drove us straight in to denver - about 7 hours. 

denver

when we reached denver, we met emily and craig for some unbelievable breakfast at a place called snooze. if you ever have to drive overnight, i highly recommend you find yourself a breakfast spot with pancakes like those. 

thought we still had a couple hours to get in to the mountains, denver felt like a finish line. and yes, we were exhausted, but in retrospect, the driving was actually enjoyable. there was no fear of delayed planes or rush of going through security, there was no time schedule we had to adhere by. be it long, it was peaceful. the sunrise coming up on the plains was not to be missed. (the number of semis barreling down the road however, was). and the look on chris’s face when the rocky mountains popped over the horizon for the first time. so many times on this trip, already, we have looked at each other, silently saying “we have nothing to complain about”. and it’s so very true.

red rocks

on our way out of denver, we all stopped at red rocks, a tiered amphitheater carved in between two massive red rocks that jut out in to the sky. beyond the stage overlooks the entire denver valley. you’re way up there, and it’s beautiful. 

and then there are the hundreds of people using red rocks as the most scenic free gym in america, as they climb the (many, many) stairs, run the aisles, etc. it’s kind of crazy, but this is denver after all. we tried to join in, but our lungs weren’t quite having the high-altitude air quite yet. 

beaver creek

after some serious winding and grinding on mountain roads, we reached the big gates of beaver creek, colorado. this very-exclusive community is part of the vail valley, and was home to the skiing world’s last year. aside from a cute village square of name-brand ski shops and upscale restaurants, beaver creek is really just lots and lots of condos at the foot of an expansive ski hill.

but for all of the large condo units in this corner of the valley, it’s incredibly rustic and uncrowded. maybe it’s the way all of the buildings angle differently - there’s only one road, and it’s not straight. maybe it’s their mountain chateau design. maybe it’s just that the mountains are so fantastic, and the buildings don’t detract from it. either way, we were all completely enamored by this place from the moment we arrived.

since being here, we’ve hung out by the pool, enjoyed walks through the village, gawked at some very expensive homes, and emily even went ice skating in the village square last night! but by far, our favorite thing to do so far has been horseback riding, which we did yesterday afternoon.

for two-hours, the six of us ventured off with a guide from beaver creek stables to climb over 1,000 feet (or the horses did, anyway) and get up-close and personal with the colorado wilderness. of course there were show-stopping views of beaver creek mountain and village, but our ride also took us through unbelievable aspen forests where we saw the columbine flower, among many, and a large buck wandering through the trees.

one of my favorite things was the entire open mountainside was covered in fresh sage and juniper berry trees, which smelled just like mountains should. all-in-all, everyone had a great afternoon and no one fell off of their horse. 

our time in beaver creek is going by so quickly, but we are all cherishing every moment in this place that so honestly feels like a fairytale. given, you’d have to have some serious dollar to actually make it your home, but what a life it would be. 

and what a life it is.