How Do The Jeep Girls Spend A Few Days Off?
Colorado’s Mountain Towns
The skies are blue, the mountains are green, and everyone that youmeet in Colorado is truly living in a dream!
ROAD TO THE ROCKIES
The beginning of our week started with a road trip to Las Vegas for
the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Committee Meeting. After
packing up our Jeep Commander with all of our favorite things,
Brittany and I pulled out our atlas (thank you, mom, for making sure
that every one of our Jeeps has an atlas, it has really come in handy
the past month) and decided that it would be much more fun to drive to
Our White Jeep Commander has been our ultimate overland vehicle
over the past couple months. It’s the largest Jeep, it has plenty of
cargo room, and it has been very fuel efficient since we put on brand
new Hercules Tires Terra Trac All-Terrain II‘s. We have
been averaging between 18-19MPG. That’s a big deal because we use to
get 14-16 MPG when we would drive between San Diego and Phoenix.
After we returned home from Phoenix, we unloaded our Commander from
our adventure in Las Vegas filled it with fuel and took our Wrangler
to pick up Fred from the airport.
Fred loves driving, so we knew the three of us would have a fun time
together! After taking Jeep guru Rick Pewe’s advice to see some new
terrain and avoid the I-17, we decided to travel through Payson, AZ on the
Beeline. (The last time Brittany and I took the I-17 home from
Overland Expo, the highway was closed, we slept on the side of the
road, and made it home 9 hours later),
Over the years, I’ve really grown to love road trips. The road is
open, you can stop when you want, you never know what might happen,
and there are things that you will discover only in a Jeep!
I’ve been on a quest to find a red Jeepster Commando, and we randomly
discovered one for sale on the side of the road. I’m not sure this is
the one for me, but its things like this that continue to inspire me
to dream more, make my goal list longer, and to explore all of the
amazing things around me!
Within a few hours, we were in Holbrook, Arizona. We saw the iconic
Wigwam Motel in the distance, and just had to stop! Brittany and I
have read about this historic property before we moved out West. We
were so excited to see these tee-pee like rooms! Each room has a cool
vintage car parked out front. It is definitely worth checking out!
ROAD TRIP RULES FROM OUR CREW
- Watch out for wild turkeys
- Always stop to look at cool cars (you never know what you’ll find)
- Bring plenty of gallons of water
- Bring sweet treats for your fellow co-pilots
GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO
We stayed the night at The Residence Inn, Grand Junction. After 12
hours together in the Commander, we were so excited to have our own
rooms and stretch out. The Residence Inn in Grand Junction is
beautiful! It is conveniently located right off the highway and near
the Grand Junction airport. The rooms are huge and every room has a
stove, microwave, and a full-size refrigerator. Brittany and I were
bummed we missed the social hour and the opportunity to use the stove.
(We love having the opportunity to cook our own food when we travel
I slept so well at The Residence Inn! As soon as I woke up I was lured
by the smell of bacon and headed straight to the complimentary hot
breakfast. (And yes! The bacon was as good as it smelled!) They had
so many breakfast options. I had a banana with peanut butter, oatmeal
with cranberries, almonds, and raisins topped with cinnamon and a
bagel with bacon and cheddar cheese.
I made a sandwich for Brit and Fred and we made a beeline for
Leadville. (It takes 3 hours to get from Grand Junction to Leadville).
The drive is out of this world! There’s even a Costco in Eagle, which
is always my favorite place to stop for fuel!
Arriving in Leadville just in time, Brittany ran to get our tickets
for The Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad: Scenic Train Ride
Through The Rockies, and Fred stopped for a cappuccino at City on a
Hill in downtown Leadville. We hopped in an open air car of the train
and headed into the mountains. The views were simply magnificent!
The narrator on the train shared the history of Leadville and pointed
out scenic points of interest. The two and a half hour scenic train
ride was the best way to kick-off our Rocky Mountain Adventure!
Donna Childress from Visit Leadville greeted us as we walked off the
train and took us back to City on a Hill for afternoon cappuccinos.
They have a great selection of pastries, coffees, and sandwiches.
Donna shared her love of Leadville and her story of how she moved from
D.C. to Colorado after being inspired by the charm of the Rockies.
Donna has such a calmness about her. She definitely set the
the tone for our visit to Leadville!
After we expressed our love of history, she suggested visiting The
National Mining Museum, which includes The National Mining Hall of Fame and
checking out the historic Delaware Hotel.
RED CLIFF, COLORADO
After dinner in Leadville with Brittany and Harry, Fred and I headed
to the quaint town of Red Cliff. The 45-minute drive from Leadville
to The Green Bridge Inn was spectacular! We stopped to watch the moon
rise over the mountains and the deer scamper across the valley floor.
Once we drove under the giant green bridge, we knew we must be close
to The Green Bridge Inn, our home base for the next two evenings.
We loved the charm of The Green Bridge Inn and the warm welcome from
Mallory! Fred and I shared a beer as we took photos of the moon from
the balcony. The room had a fun warm and cozy cabin-like feel with
beautiful views of the mountains! It was one of our favorite places
on our journey through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains! We can’t wait to
come back to Red Cliff and go to Mango’s Mountain Grill!
BACK TO LEADVILLE, COLORADO
The next morning, we woke up and headed straight to The National
Mining Museum in Leadville. Parker at the museum gave us a great run
down of the building (which used to be a public school) and introduced
us to Steve, the director of the museum. We had a fun time learning
about the region, the mines, and the beautiful rocks! Brittany even
had the opportunity to head up to The Matchless Mine with Steve.
After going to National Mining Museum, we met up with Donna and her
friend Tom for a private tour of The Delaware Hotel with Rodger and
Kitt. We’ve read about The Delaware Hotel, and couldn’t wait to hear
about more of the property’s history from Kitt, the owner of the
Kitt has such a vibrant and fun personality! He can light up a room
with his excitement and enthusiasm! His stories about the past and
the personality of The Delaware really bring life and character to the
property. The hotel has the coolest furniture and apparel items from
the Victorian Era. We left the hotel with excitement to plan our next
trip back to Leadville. All weekend, Fred kept saying, “We should
stay at The Delaware!” “When can we stay at The Delaware?” So we
will be scheduling a trip to The Delaware in the very near future! If
you’re in the area, be sure to check out their ghost and cemetery tour
Our next adventure took us to The Sebastian Vail! With a number of
accolades, this year the hotel is U.S. News & World Report #1 Best
Colorado Resort. Opening in January 2011, the hotel is Vail’s newest
boutique hotel that has also been known for their exceptional
customer service. The property has 84 luxury hotel rooms, 16 suites,
and 36- Private Residence Club.
As soon as we pulled into the valet, we were warmly greeted by Kevin.
He has the biggest and brightest smile and such a jovial demeanor! He
took the time to ask us where we were traveling in from and was intrigued
by our ARB fridge freezer, a true road trip essential!
As soon as I checked in, I had the opportunity to chat with Adabel
about her stylish apparel. The staff’s ability to take a minute to
have a real conversation is so refreshing!
I dropped my bags in the room and headed straight to the hotel’s Frost
Bar to meet with Meredith. She is such a wonderful representation of
The Sebastian Vail. She believes in what she does, she knows the area
like the back of her hand, and she even drives a manual TJ Jeep
Wrangler. I had such a great time sharing stories with her about all
that Vail has to offer!
The Frost Bar is so quaint and fun! The glass above the bar was hand
blown in Seattle, WA by Scott Chambers Glass to represent the icicles
and “frost” like appearance. The cocktails are even more fun,
delicious, sophisticated, and creative!
The attention to detail at The Sebastian is incredible! I enjoyed
wandering through the hotel admiring all of the art. One of our
favorite places in the hotel was definitely the library. I loved the
morning coffee that was set up. Fred and I had a blast playing chess,
relaxing and checking out the books.
Our room was so spacious and comfortable. Fred and I enjoyed all of
the hotel amenities. We enjoyed drinking the delicious in-room
Nespresso in the cute little cups lounging in our cozy robes and
slippers after a busy day on the mountain.
We brought the trail mix from the room with us as we explored The
GoPro Games on Saturday. It was so fun to be in the epicenter of such
a big event! The Sebastian is situated right in the heart of Vail.
There are so many restaurants to explore! We met Brittany and Harry
for brunch at Vintage right outside the hotel. It was really nice to
valet the Commander and have everything within a short walk.
We took the chairlift up the mountain in Beaver Creek and enjoyed the
views from the top of the mountain for the opening weekend of the
Centennial Express Lift. Tickets are available at the Beaver Creek
Summer Adventure Center, which is open from 9-4:30 pm. The views of
the Gore Mountain Range from 11,000 feet are out of this world! After
a full day of exploration, we ran back to the room at The Sebastian in
anticipation of the cookies left on our nightstand.
Our time in Vail was so fast! I put a list together of my favorite
things from the hotel.
5 Favorite Things at The Sebastian Vail
- The staff will know you by name and treat you like family!
- The Nespresso in the room is amazing!
- The trail mix is complimentary!
- Turn down service means there will be nightly cookies on your nightstand!
- The Library is the best place to relax and pick up a book!
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, COLORADO
As our team has expanded, “The Jeep Girls & Friends” Brittany and I
have realized that we can explore two different areas, and meet in the
middle! Brittany and Harry left Leadville and headed through Aspen on
their way to Glenwood Springs.
Fred and I had a late start and headed straight to Glenwood Springs
from Vail. The four of us met at The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
We took The Iron Mountain Tramway up (fully enclosed gondolas), and
our first stop was The Fairy Cave Tour. We learned about the
discovery of the caves, and the kisses from the fairies that is
actually a sign of good luck! The 40-minute cave tour will take you
on a unique adventure exploring cave bacon and cave cauliflower!
After going through the cave, we headed down the mountain on The
Alpine Coaster, which is actually the first coaster of its kind in the
US. We love this ride because you have control of how fast you
breeze down 3400 feet of the mountain. We also rode the Glenwood
Canyon Flyer (swings) that provide breathtaking (or hold your breath)
views of the mountain.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has a little something for everyone.
The Iron Mountain Tramway alone is worth riding for the amazing views
of Glenwood Springs!
After our afternoon at The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, we headed
to The Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Fred and I went after dinner, so
the evening air temperature was perfect. Harry and Brittany went
around noon, and they said it was very hot outside. Fred and I
enjoyed the variety of different pools, as they all have different
temperatures. There are 16 natural mineral hot soaking pools and a
family pool with a jetted spa located alongside The Colorado River.
We felt most comfortable in the 105-degree pool. I could literally
feel my body relax in the springs. I knew I would sleep really good
after soaking in the springs. It was the perfect ending for our Rocky
Things you should know when visiting the springs
- Day pass costs $25
- Hours 9am-10pm
- The lockers are complimentary (you set your own code, so you don’t
- need to bring your key with you in the Springs)
- Bring a towel with you, or you can rent one for $3
- The showers are awesome (each shower has shampoo, shower gel & conditioner)
- The locker room also has hair dryers
- There are complimentary bags for your wet suit
- Bring a water bottle to keep hydrated while soaking (filtered water
- cooler is in the locker room)
We had the best time in Colorado! The four of us are already planning
our next adventure to The Rockies! There is SO MUCH more to explore!
Until next time,
We’ll see you out there!
Ashley & Brittany