Colorado Mountain Village Escapade

Editor’s note: Today, Lisa Martinez continues her ongoing series about an amazing adventure through Colorado and to Pikes Peak. Lisa

mountain-village-colorado

Colorado Road Trip Quick Stats:

Trip Day: 8

Location: Telluride, CO & Mountain Village, CO

Waking up sans alarm clock to leisurely start off the day is one of my small joys of vacation. Tim and Grayson wanted to go mountain biking, but between Mike’s knee injury and my two-mountains-worth-of-soreness, the two of us opted for a lighter day.

Searching for a new breakfast experience, I checked Urbanspoon. Despite some iffy reviews, we decided on Maggie’s Bakery & Café on East Colorado Avenue. We split the Huevos Rancheros, and I ordered a grilled biscuit on the side. We leveled the Huevos Rancheros, and the biscuit was so fluffy and buttery – grilled to perfection that I had to go back for a second one for us to split again! Sometimes you just need to take someone elses bad review with a grain of salt.

Sunny and in the mid 60s, I enjoyed an outdoor patio breakfast with my husband, a cup of tea, and blogging until 11:30 am. The mountains, people with their dogs running in the open space just beyond our table, we were in friendly surroundings.

maggies-telluride

Mike and I walked up to the Telluride Station to ride the Gondola. When I heard Gondola, I thought of a Venice boat ride, but this was such a unique form of transportation.  

(It is) the first and only free public transportation system of its kind in the United States. The gondola links Telluride and Mountain Village and serves both as a lift for skiers and snowboarders and as public transportation for locals and visitors. The incredible 13-minute ride has 365 degree views of the San Juan Mountains and is often referred to by locals as, the best commute in the country. (Telluride.com)

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The scenic ride up to St. Sophia station was awe-inspiring.

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At St. Sophia, we began exploring the views, taking pictures, and checking out the trail heads.

telluride-trail

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After we satisfied our picture itch, we hopped back on the Gondola to ride up to Mountain Village next. We were seated in that next Gondola with a Mom and her 2 girls from the Chicago area. They visit Telluride every year, and gave us some good lunch recommendations.

The Mountain Village was charming, with shops, restaurants, some street vendors, play areas, and even an obstacle course for kids.

mountain-village

Checking out the wares of the street vendors, I bought a beautiful Jasper pendent and linked silver chain from a nice Jeweler, Julianne, Owner of Lamplight Jewelry Works. As Small Business Owners, we love supporting other Entrepreneurs, and as Artists, we love listening to others share about their craft.

We continued to shop until we were hungry, and then took the advice of our Gondola friend, stopping for lunch at the Tomboy Tavern. They had a small list of $2 drafts to pick from, so I picked the New Belgium Brewing Snapshot American Wheat, which was light and delicious, with a hint of sour apple at the end.

Mike and I split our meal, starting off with the Tomboy Mine Wings with a Prickly Pear hot sauce that was the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. The main course was our classic favorite, a burger with cheddar.

mountain-village-burger

Waiting for Grayson and Tim to finish their mountain biking adventure and meet up with us, we were surprised to see the Dallas Cowboys on the TVs inside the bar. A little slice of home, we finished our beers, watching the game on a plush leather sofa, until the guys were back.

cowboys-game-bar

Tim and Grayson had ridden the gondola all the way to the top of the mountain, elevation 10,500 ft. Then they took several trails, mountain biking back down to the Telluride valley floor, which was 15 miles. View pictures of their mountain bike adventures here.

Mike only wears his Telluride Baseball caps, which he picks out every time he visits. It had been five years since his last trip, so it was definitely time to find a new cap. After a few days of checking out all of the options and not finding anything quite right, he found two caps that would be sufficient head-wear until our next visit.

We all rode the Gondola down to Telluride. Honestly, photos cannot truly capture the beauty of the views from up there.

telluride-gondola-view

We stopped in the Steaming Bean for some Wi-Fi time, while the Mountain Bikers went to clean up. Our last night in town, we wanted to treat our host to dinner in gratitude for letting us stay at his home. This was the splurge meal of our Telluride time, dining at the New Sheridan Hotel’s Chop House Restaurant.

I had the Pasture Raised Chicken with Orzo, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Pecorino, and Mustard Jus. Having worked in the hospitality industry for years, I love trying new food – even when I am unsure of what exactly it is (Um, Pecorino and Jus? Sure…). Whatever it was, it worked altogether…delicious.

chophouse-dinner

So close to Mike’s birthday, we began the celebration there with a dessert. They brought out a trio of Ice Cream/Sorbet, and it was dangerously good.

After dinner, we walked a bit to get a pulse on what the evening happenings were. A smaller mountain town, most things close down early. The Steaming Bean was open — Karaoke in full effect. We sat outside on the patio, enjoying some of the folks attempts at singing. A woman sat down across from us, and shortly thereafter pulled out her pipe and Marijuana stash. She lit up, then held it out to offer some to us. After we politely turned her down, she relocated pretty quickly. Undoubtedly we were in Colorado during a new era.

Having enjoyed a full and delicious day, we decided to go back to the Tower House to turn in.

This post is part of my Colorado Road Trip series. We’ll be traveling to New Mexico next, so come please join me once again on the next stop on our epic road trip!

Copyright 2014 Lisa Martinez

About Lisa Martinez

A writer, artist, and silly-heart from her youth, Lisa Martinez utilizes a variety of mediums as outlets for creative storytelling, laced with humor whenever possible. Lisa attended Franciscan University, where she studied Writing, Mental Health, and Theology. In 2004, she discovered her passion for driving small business growth; now, with her husband, she owns a boutique digital agency, illuvint, based in Dallas and partnering with a world-class team across the States. Closed Doors Open Windows is where her personal blog lives on the web.