Sunday, April 24, 2016

Pinewood Reservoir: A Cozy Campground By The Lake

Last summer some friends and I "discovered" Pinewood Reservoir Campground.
View from my tent (site #27). Lake in the background.
 We wanted a site next to water so that we could bring our kayaks. This was the perfect spot! The campground was fairly secluded and with a nice tree canopy for most of the sites. The next best thing: water! We were able to camp and kayak whenever we wanted. It was great.

Most of the tent sites were walk-in sites. We parked in the parking lot and had to make several trips to the car but otherwise it was the perfect campsite. There were vault toilets and water spigots available. Swimming is only allowed at the swim beach area but we did see people wading (and by people, I might mean our group).

At night we heard coyotes howling from across the lake. And during the day we enjoyed the trees, water, and sunshine. A very relaxing getaway! We will definitely be back!

**I recommend sites 27, 18, and 19. But they all looked decent.

My good friend made a homemade key lime pie to enjoy around the campfire!

Strongly recommended if going on the weekend!
Click HERE for the Larimer County camping reservations.
Entrance and camping permits are required.


Interestingly enough you will pass a few other reservoirs on your way to Pinewood Reservoir. Carter Lake was huge and had several boat and jet ski rentals. Horsetooth Reservoir is also not too far. You will eventually follow a 4 mile road with a decent grade at times (fairly narrow). Just when you start to think you may have passed will find it. When we went there wasn't much of a sign...but once you pass Carter Lake and Flatiron will be the next one on the left...after about 10 minutes from Flatiron Reservoir....a small, cozy campground on a secluded lake.

The directions below were quite accurate when coming from Denver.

Take I-25 to Berthoud Exit (Exit 250). Turn left (West) onto Highway 56 and continue for 9.5 miles, passing through town of Berthoud. At the foothills, the road will turn sharply to the right (north). Turn Left (west) onto County Road 8E and continue for 3 miles to the entrance station where you can purchase permits. Follow County Road 8E west to the intersection with County Road 31 and continue around the lake for 5.5 miles to the intersection and County Road 18E. Turn left (west) and continue about 4.5 miles to the lake.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sassafras: American Eatery

Sassafras: American Eatery
My favorite breakfast place in Denver is Sassafras American Eatery!
 My favorite location is the one located in a quaint, brick house at 2637 W. 26th Ave., near the highlands neighborhood. The ambiance, combined with the soulful, southern palate is completely satisfying.
Very few places west of the Mississippi can you expect to find shrimp-n-grits done right.
But this place nails it. And they have created a new twist on grits, in the form of grit sticks (kind of like French toast sticks but with grits--delightful).
This location feels like southern hospitality on a plate.
Make it happen. You wont regret it.
Eggs, sausage, grits, and biscuit

Shrimp and Grits


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Glenwood Springs: Soak Up The Old West

Glenwood Hot Springs 

 About three hours directly west of Denver is a mountain town with Old West feel (yes, another one); Glenwood Springs.
 One of the most popular destinations is Glenwood Hot Springs. Located just off of Interstate 70, in the heart of Glenwood Springs.
Essentially, Glenwood Hot Springs consists of one large pool but with two slightly different sections (one end is warmer than the other). The place is popular and therefore can be quite crowded at times. However, it can be a relaxing experience especially if you go in the evening.

(View from one end of pool to the other.)
Pros: Convenient. Historic. Close to the highway and downtown. Lodging available.
Cons: Can be crowded. Slightly expensive if staying only a short time.
TIPS: 1) Next door is Yampah Vapor Caves. For more of a private setting you can soak in your own private tub and enjoy a sauna.
2) If you are the adventurous type...and the Colorado River is running can find your own private soak on the actual bank of the river. Explore at your own risk. :) 3) There is another commercial hot spring business that just opened nearby called Iron Mountain Hot Springs. I have not been here yet so I can't say pros or cons. But if anyone checks it out feel free to leave a comment. I hope to check it out soon.

                                                         Hotel Colorado

There are many hotels, motels, and inn's around downtown Glenwood Springs. Some are definitely better than others. The last time I visited, my Dad and I stayed at the Hotel Colorado. It is in walking distance to the hot springs and several restaurants.
The front desk worker, whose name escapes me but whose spirit I will never forget, was very friendly and helpful.
The building itself is on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1893, it remains one of Colorado's oldest hotels.
Rumor has it that Theodore Roosevelt's nickname of "Teddy Bear" began during his stay here in 1905. According to the story, a hotel maid handcrafted a stuffed bear for him....Thus, the Teddy Bear was created.
Our friendly hotel representative posed for a photo.

Pros: Central location. Historic. Nice patio dining experience.
Cons: The hotel is old and they have not installed central air. So, it felt a bit stuffy when we stayed.  Also, the walls are thin and we heard kids running up and down the hall above us.

 A Short Hike Full of History

Just a few minutes from Glenwood Hot Springs, near Highway 82 and 12th St., is the Linwood Cemetery (also known as the Pioneer Cemetery). Because of how the Old West was spun, the fascination with violent gun slingers still persists...and I a fan of history I wanted to see some of these "famous" individuals final resting I made the short hike up the hill to the Pioneer Cemetery. Here, Kid Curry and John Henry Holliday (better known as "Doc") are buried.
Although...there is only a marker for Doc. It is left to question whether this really is where he was finally buried. is where the historical marker currently resides.

View from the Pioneer Cemetery, overlooking Glenwood Springs.

 Another Kind of Suds

Speaking of Doc Holliday, after my Dad and I freshened up from our hot spring soak and hike, we headed to the Doc Holliday Tavern (adjacent to the Springs Downtown Bar and Grill) on Grand Ave. This was a cool, historic saloon with a neon light atmosphere. Decent place. Memorable space.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Lucile's Creole Cafe

Freshly warmed beignets.

One of my favorite breakfast/brunch spots is Lucile's Creole Café.
 Mmmm..Mmmm...Mmmm...SO GOOD!!
Your meal usually starts out with a friendly waitress asking if you want to start with a round of freshly, warmed New Orleans styled beignets (hard to resist).
Growing up in the South, I value a scrumptious savory breakfast! I would say that Lucile's specializes in eggs benedict styles, shrimp and grits, and specialty French toast...among other amazing dishes!

An avocado and eggs benedict with shrimp and grits.
But my favorite signature dish is Lucille's sweet potato and crab bisque!! It is lick-the-bowl delicious!!

Sweet potato and crab bisque.

Mmmmm.....SO GOOD.

Check 'em out!!