Max and I are in Vail, CO right now, small getaway for just the 2 of us as Lucas and Mia are in school already. We’ve never been here in summer, a few times in winter – so were excited not to bundle up in 3 layers and dig through the snow – and bring light clothes!
Vail is an expensive town and we are lucky that family has a house here we can stay in. Was able to grab cheap miles tickets so all and all, we are going to spend on stuff to do! We got in on Thursday night and planned our trip by biking around the town – which by now we know well. This place turns into biker/hiker heaven in summer and the temperature is absolutely perfect – no humidity. Weather changes hourly but that is to be expected. Spanish everywhere as apparently the Mexicans and Argentinians, the rich ones, find this place very appealing and safe.
Here are some highlights:
- Fly fishing – weather forecast for Day 2 was rain all day, and I mean downpour. Figured, once wet, may as well go all in. Booked us for a private trip for 4 hours the next day. I was worried a little – about the cold water, the current, the technique, how hard it will be, mountain lions. What I should have been worried about is bears, very slippery rocks, heavy rain and needing a bathroom. Our guide, Josh, picked us up from the Vail Transportation center and off we were to a private spot on Eagle River. We changed into waders which for the novices are the long pants up to your chest with swim booties connected, the boots into the water and off to the river we were. It was a bizarre feeling walking through it as you expect cold water pouring into your feet but it is cozy and warm; the current is actually rather fast in the middle but fine elsewhere, water freezing but you don’t feel it. Slippery as hell – I moved as if was carrying something in my pants – veeeery slow. We both apparently mastered our technique of casting which is the throwing of the line into the water, about every 20 seconds – it flows, you throw back again, it flows, you throw it again. I think I did it about 300 times. Maxie did great and actually caught 2 large trouts but lost them both as it was hard to get out – I did catch a small trout and got him in. All and all – 3 hours of fun – we were absolutely frozen though as the rain was very heavy at the end. Big kudos to Josh, who had no waders, regular sport pants and prosthetic leg with sneakers in the river – which blew my mind. He made us look good doing it, and clearly did all the work behind the scenes (getting the bait, hooking it up, untangling our mistakes). He was an Iraq and Afghanistan vet, marine corps and now full time fly fishing guide. Great guy!
2. Hiking up the Vail Mountain – not a tiny hike. 5.1 km up the hill with 1,200 ft elevation. Berry picker is a moderate hike, phew – well in the altitude it was up the hill for 2 hours 15 minutes. Zig zag through the slopes that I recognize, except today they are gorgeous meadows with lots of flowers I recall picking as a kid to dry herbs for school. Had to call patrol for a 20 something kid we found on a trail, shaking and dehydrated due to the altitude sickness. But we made it up and were both super proud of ourselves 🙂
Up on the Vail Mountain is an adventure center with pretty much everything you can think of doing outside. You pay for it ($100/person/day) though. But it was awesome, we did tubing with marmots (unintentionally they had a burrow under the slope so would jump into the slide as you were going down). I was yelling partially from fear and partially to scare them so I don’t run over them. There were no lines, so perfect. Mountain coaster (our first US one, after Haiti, Austria and Prague). Zip line which freaked me out, Maxie rocked the climbing wall, bungee jump, etc…. Total heaven. Of course, with the everchanging Colorado weather, we got a big storm while up there but in 20 mins it was gone – this happened 2x in an afternoon. Gondola closed, sorry, staying up there until it is not windy 🙂
Last day we headed out to Beaver Creek to see a different fancy town – and fancy resort it was. Overall, I’d say we are coming back for a week – the weather is unbeatable, so much to do, gorgeous nature and just an awesome week outside. Hail Vail!