After leaving Rocky Mountain National Park, we dropped into Boulder for a quick lunch and great beers at Mountain Sun Pub. Colleen and Haley flew via Denver to their respective coasts later that evening while Chris, Bott, Nate, and I attended a Rockies game. Bott waited until we arrived at Coors Field to surprise us with a luxury suite upgrade courtesy of his cousin. I have no idea what happened during that game. What I do know is that the view of the sunset over the Rocky Mountains from the park is incredible and so are free Aramark chicken fingers.
My love for the outdoors, and realization that I needed to spend more time there, came during a completely unplanned and spur of the moment drive from New York City to Colorado in early 2005. I ended up in Salida, Colorado for a few days kayaking, mountain biking, driving golf balls, and camping. As official itinerary developer this year, I mandated an overnight stay in town as a halfway point to Gunnison. Things have changed quite a bit in town, including the appearance of the fantastic Palace Hotel, where we stayed the night. One thing that hasn't changed is The Vic. Drunk dart playing, an awesome bartender, and locals on mushrooms... this is the spot. We started this day in Rocky Mountain National Park, had lunch in Boulder, caught a baseball game in Denver, and night capped at The Vic. That's a fucking day.
bourbon pregame at the crashpad
view outside from Palace Hotel
I had a curveball of my own. About 10 months prior I'd met a fellow American while traveling solo in Argentina. We rode horses, hiked, fished, ate piles of steak, and drank whiskey in my cabin. His name: Buzz Slaughter Bauer. His trade: representing Rocky Mountain Underground Ski Company. His pastimes: skiing, ranching, and firing an incredible assortment of bad ass weaponry. His happy place: located smack dab on the way from Salida to our day's destination, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. This is opportunity.
After confusing the hell out of Nate by meeting Buzz roadside, reaching out the window to slap him five, saying few words, and chasing him down a dusty road, we arrived at Ranch del Buzz.
I often avoid political discussions for the sake of maintaining friendships with people who subscribe to different schools of thought. I do believe that most arguments inherently contain good points. Gun control is certainly one of them. I hunt, and in the summer I shoot clay traps. These are some of my most favorite times spent with close friends. I do not condone the irresponsible actions of those who are not mentally sound. I'm not trying to make a statement. I just like good clean solvent fun. Now, safeties off...
Now we've got our sights on Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
Skip to (in chronological order):
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Guns in Gunnison
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
- Colorado National Monument