This week I am an area tourist. My daughter Sara and her partner Rachel are spending this week with me to enjoy our vacation spot that we call “home.” Interesting that my family and friends never visited me when I was living in Niles, Mich. I don’t blame them; while Niles had its high points, I don’t think I ever met a tourist who wanted to spend a week there.
The first thing we did was to pick up a copy of the Summer in Garfield County guide we just distributed over the weekend. Until that moment, I read it as a publisher. Reading it as a tourist I thought how useful it is to visitors and even people who live here.
On Sunday we took a walk around downtown Glenwood Springs on a chilly, gray day. While I was disappointed in the weather, the girls were so excited not only with the beauty surrounding the town but also all of the “cute” shops and large selection of restaurants.
Walking over the pedestrian bridge I realized that this was a great free attraction. What a view of the Hot Springs Pool! We walked over to Yampah Vapor Caves and Spa and ran into Patsy. And I was embarrassed to say that I’ve never used their services. While I’m not a spa guy, I was enticed, and the girls made an appointment for later in the week.
Where to eat? How can one choose? Downtown Glenwood Springs has become a dining mecca. In our first two days we sampled Grind, May Palace, Slope & Hatch, The Pullman, Juicy Lucy’s, Fin’s, the Glenwood Brewpub and JH Chen’s. I’ve already added a few pounds.
Fortunately, hiking is a great way to work off the food and to truly enjoy the area. I made a rookie mistake of choosing to hike Hanging Lake on Memorial Day, when I should have known the parking lot would be full. Remembering back to my days in Eagle I thought Nolan Lake would be a more strenuous but equally great hike. That led to another “duh” moment. There was way too much snow to hike the trail. After a lesson in “fence poling” we decided to walk around Fulford and were rewarded with a sighting of a fox with her three inquisitive kits.
I live down the street from the Glenwood Adventure Co., so I figured it would be a great place to see what the girls want to do: raft, bike, horseback ride or maybe an ATV tour? No, they want to ride a Segway up Red Mountain. I had no idea you could ride one of those deals up a mountain. My sense of balance isn’t that great, although I’m happy the choice wasn’t paragliding.
We’ve already gotten up close to Mount Sopris, but we need to get to Rifle Falls. And we have to get up to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. There are so many restaurants they want to sample. Now I know why people come back here year after year to vacation. Sometimes we take for granted just how much there is to do within our region. It’s impossible to even scratch the surface in a week.
After this visit, I recommend we live like a tourist at least one weekend a month. This summer bring your camera and share your fun in our Summer Fun photo contest.