(Title by E in honor of his excursion.)
We spent a few days mid-week in Leadville. Four years ago, we were there for part of one day when we stayed in the corporate Mountain House in Frisco.
Leadville is the highest city in the USA at 10,152′ and is a cute little town. It’s also close to two of Colorado’s 14ers: Mt Elbert and Mt Massive. Several of the highest things in the US are there: Synagogue site, Eagles/Shriners/Mason/etc clubs. While rural and without cell phone signal, it’s also quite liberal. Everybody (except for one creep) was happily/safely/respectfully masked. At least two of the holiday displays included a proper Menorah with the right number of candles for the day, probably because of the town’s history. There is even a Jewish cemetery from 1880. It was magical to see such warmth about the holidayS (emphasis intended). In Texas, we’d have seen xmas, but not much of anything else. And if someone did display anything else, it could be a threat to their home or business because of so many rednecks/racists/assholes.
Our southwest drive was beautiful. We went through two tunnels through the Rockies (one being the Eisenhower) and we had clear/safe roads. The snow on the land had melted and refrozen just enough to crystalize, so it sparkled and glittered between the critter prints. It was gorgeous!
Our airbnb was pretty cool, too. It was a 2/2 with a private salt water hot tub. It was odd because there was no real heat (or AC) but we were comfortable (at times, we were too warm!) with the electric radiator, electric fireplace, and space heaters. The shower tower was indulgent. The host even got a vase of yellow roses for me (L)!!
This was mostly a Jeepin’ Around trip. The first couple of days, we went south of Leadville, took a couple of side road excursions, and drove as far as we could up to the closed-for-the-season Independence pass and the Twin Lakes. The drive was beautiful.
Surprisingly the restaurants in Leadville are diverse: steak house, Mexican, vegan, and more. The Silver Dollar Saloon has an enormous back of their bar that is nearly all original (if you go, ask for the story!) and is insured for a million dollars!
Day three included a drive to Red Cliff, where we had been on our previous trip to the area. The drive wasn’t nearly so scary this time. Maybe that is because we were in a Jeep, but I think it’s more because we are used to Colorado roads in the mountains. I bought a yummy long-sleeve tshirt and we tried to do the town’s walking tour (which wasn’t really a thing). We also took the Jeep trail up Shrine Pass for as far up as it was open; at the top, the trail changed to winter mode and was for snowmobiles, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. When the trail is open summer, it’s for Jeeps and goes all the way back to Frisco.
From Red Cliff, we drove up to Minturn and encountered some falling rocks!
We returned to the Minturn Saloon where we had met Christy on our previous trip. She still works there, too, just not on the day we were there. So now we have an additional reason to return.
It was a fantastic trip filled with a lot of fun memories.