Merry Christmas! Free Give Away

I’m pleased to announce a free giveaway in conjunction with GPSMyCity, a travel app that provides offline GPS guided maps for numerous cities.

For a limited time (November 30, 2020 – December 6, 2020), my article Top Things to Do in Steamboat Springs is available to upgrade to a GPS-guided article for FREE

It only takes two quick steps to get your FREE upgraded article!

  • Click on the aforementioned link and follow the instructions to download the GPSMyCity app.
  • Upon being redirect to the article app page, click on Upgrade and the app will be automatically linked to an offline map and the GPS navigator

Van Life: Camper Van Necessities

My regular blog followers know that I recently purchased a Mercedes Sprinter, and I am having it converted into a camper van.  My drop off date in December can’t come soon enough.  I am so excited that I have actually been online shopping for camper van necessities.  Anyone that knows me, knows I hate shopping! 

Anyway, I’ve been holding back on certain items until after I take VANgo for a test run when it is complete in March. But below are some of the camper van necessities filling my basement while I wait. Tic toc, tic toc….are we there yet?  I’m so ready to put all these purchases to use!

As I’m sitting down in my excitement to write about all these camper van necessities, I’m realizing they are hardly exhilerating, fun purchases.  But they are needs!  And they are things that I had a difficult time finding as I surfed the internet.  Hopefully, this summarized list will help others with the time consuming chore of sifting through the black hole of products on the world wide web.

heron at vanderbilt lake

The Platte River Trail: Vanderbilt to Frog Hollow

Being stuck in Colorado for the last nine months due to COVID has encouraged me to explore different areas of Denver and the surrounding metroplex.  I’ve already ridden the entire High Line Canal Trail both ways and have found some interesting parks and open spaces.  Now I’ve decided to spend more time on the Platte River Trail.

In the past, I have actually ridden the Platte Trail from Sand Creek north to 120th, from Sand Creek south to Confluence Park, and from Confluence Park south to Chatfield Reservoir.  As a result, I have covered all of the trail in the surrounding metroplex.  That said, I’ve never paid close attention to the parks and attractions along the way..

Today, I changed that as I strolled along the Platte River Trail with my dog Annie.  We began at Vanderbilt Park and headed north to Frog Hollow Park for a 5.2 mile roundtrip.

view of blue lake

Hiking 101

This summer I hiked with some friends who called themselves beginner hikers. Over the five days, I was reminded of things I once didn’t know or have since taken for granted as common knowledge.  As a result, I’m writing a hiking 101 post covering how to plan hike, what to bring, favorite gear, and other considerations.

Make a Plan

My first piece of hiking 101 advice is to make a plan.  Everyone on the hike should know the plan and should not rely on the leader.  A plan includes a place to hike, a distance to hike, a time to meet, and much more.

Based on weather, location, time, and how I feel, I sift through guidebooks and the AllTrails app to help select the trails I want to hike. I took AllTrails for granted as I thought everyone knew about it. Not so!  It is an excellent resource and will work without cell service should you FAVORITE the trail you plan to hike.

view of snowcapped mountains from Prairie Gateway Open Space

Prairie GateWay Open Space

Post knee surgery, my activities have been limited.  While I can sort of handle being cooped up in the house, Annie, my high energy Doberman cannot!  Despite hiring a dog walker and having awesome friends who have taken her on hikes, she needs to run. 

As a result, I have been scouring Google Maps for less populated Open Spaces and Parks near Denver.  Today, I found Prairie Gateway Open Space in Commerce City.  What a find!

haibike sduro trekking 1.0

Choosing an Electric Bike for Beginners

Upon the purchase of VANgo, my Sprinter that I’m having built out into a camper van, I thought it would be nice to have another form of transportation.  In this case, an electric bike.  About the only thing I knew about electric bikes before buying one, was they existed.  As a result, I faced a huge learning curve.

Just like regular bikes, there are all sorts of electric bikes on the market.  Mountain bikes, cruisers, folding bikes, commuter bikes, fat bikes, cargo bikes and the list goes on.  I wanted a bike that would get me from point A to point B easily and comfortably.  Additionally, it needed to fit under the bed in my camper.

graffiti art at Carpio Sanguinette Park

Carpio Sanguinette Park

Recently I’ve been exploring different parks and open spaces in and around Denver to give my dog Annie a change of scenery.  Today I visited Carpio Sanguinette Park, Heron Pond Nature, and Heller Open Space which connect to make up 83 acres.

I selected Carpio Sanguinette Park for a variety of reasons.  First, it is only 15 minutes away from my house.  Second, based on the map it looked like it featured a large green space with a potential to walk on a natural trail through Heller Open Space.  Finally, located in an industrial area, I hoped it would be quiet so Annie had freedom to run.

To my surprise, the area exceeded my hopes and expectations.


Top Things to Do in Hilo, Hawaii

A year ago, I was on my way to the South Pacific via Hawaii.  I spent a week on the Big Island, of which three days were on the Hilo side.  Now that visitors with a COVID check may travel to Hawaii, and it is a popular winter destination, I thought I’d write about things to do in Hilo. Find the list below:

Me and Annie dressed as a SCUBA diver and shark

Halloween Hike: Matthew/Winters

One of my favorite “holidays” is Halloween.  With COVID, the parties were non-existent and the status of trick-or-treaters was unknown, so I made the most of it with a Halloween hike.  I’m thankful my friends Mike and Paula could join me at Matthew/Winters Park.  We connected several trails to make a 4.4 mile lollipop loop.

colorado sake co tasting

Colorado Sake Co: Tour and Tasting

With my knee surgery coming up in a week and consequently my hiking ending for the next month, I realized I need to find other things to do and to write about.  As a result, I signed up for a sake brewery tour and tasting at the Colorado Sake Co. in RiNo.

Though I’m not much of a drinker, learning how things are made fascinates me.  I knew very little about sake upon my arrival. Only that it has been made for centuries by fermenting rice and there are hot and cold options.  I was looking forward to learning more, despite my little to be desired, first sake experience 30 years ago.