In a little over two months Ride the Rockies 2009 will kick off in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. I can't wait! One of the reasons I am so excited about my fifth RTR is that the route takes us through four of my favorite Colorado mountain towns: Glenwood Springs, Salida, Leadville and Aspen. Since RTR2009 begins and end in Glenwood Springs I'll start there and offer some tips on making the most of your visits to Salida, Leadville and Aspen in future posts...
Glenwood Springs is one of Colorado's best kept secrets. Located at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers, Glenwood Springs features great river rafting and the world's largest hot springs swimming pool. When we rode into Glenwood on RTR2007 a forest fire offered incredible scenes of smoke rising into the air and a helicopter scooping water from the river to douse the flames.
After getting off the bike in 2007 I was content with visiting the Hot Springs Pool (at left: the perfect salve after a long day's ride!). But this year (since the ride ends on Friday and I'm sure I won't be ready for the party to end!), I plan to stay over until Saturday and visit Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. According to a good friend of mine who lives in Glenwood, this a "must see."
Apparently the "adventure" begins with a scenic gondola ride to the top of Iron Mountain to a mountain-top bar and grill with incredible views of the Roaring Fork Valley. I have to ride the Swing Shot (at left), a giant swing which launches you out over Glenwood Canyon 1,300 feet above the Colorado River!
"Of course you'll have to ride the mechanical bull (if you aren't too saddle sore already!)," says my friend Mandy. "If that's not enough you can try Colorado's only Alpine coaster, the climbing wall, bungee trampoline and laser tag. If you think you'll be too tired for all of that activity you can always take in a show at Colorado’s first 4D theater and then head back to the deck to watch the locals’ choice for best sunset with incredible views of the Roaring Fork Valley!"
Wow. I'm tired already! I may just have to chill on the deck with a cold beer :)