All the different mountain towns in Colorado are great.  I have yet to find one that didn’t have anything I liked.  They all have something to offer, in fact, most of them have many, many somethings to offer.  Vail is no different.  I rolled into town about 10pm after a long day of going up mountains.  My friend didn’t get off work until 11 so I asked where we should meet.  She said go to Loaded Joe’s.  I walked by the place 3 times before I had to ask.  I walk in to blaring music and 2 other people in the place excluding the bartender.  This place looks more like a coffee house than a bar.  Point of fact, it was both, coffee shop by day, watering hole by night.  I post up at the bar.  Bartender walks over, I order.  He brings me my order and he asks how I ended up here, I explain how my friend had told me to meet her here. 

“Who’s your friend?”


“Oh shit, I know her, we’re both from Rochester”

“Shut the fuck up, I’m from Rochester!”

The next hour or so was spent bullshitting about Rochester and all its glory.  Aubrey showed up shortly after that and we had a few more drinks.  It was time for me to turn in.  I was very tired and hadn’t been drinking for a while, so we went to her ‘place’, which was a campsite.  She directed me to drive to this trailhead access, then we walked a mile back into the woods where she had set up shop.  Needless to say Aubrey is a bit of a hippy.  To be quite honest it was a really nice place.  It was an open area on a point overlooking Vail and the valley.   It was beautiful at night. 

The view from the top of the hike

The view from the top of the hike

I am an early riser.  Aubrey is not.  I awoke early and read some of my current book (A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson).  Eventually we got the day moving and decided a hike up Vail Mt. was in order.  My legs were pretty pissed at me from the day before, but I just sucked it up.  We met a very nice older couple on the way up who were going to Kilimanjaro in a month and were training.  They were spry as fuck, and man could they move!   I don’t think Kili will be an issue for these seniors. 

After the hike Aubrey told me she had a spa pass for me so I could go clean up.  I was ecstatic.  It had been 5 days with no bathing outside of water on my face in the morning.  I hit the hot tub, the steam room twice, took 3 showers, and I’m pretty sure I ruined two towels.  It was amazing.  I felt so damn good after that.

After that my stomach was talking to me, so we went to this Mexican place in, I shit you not, a bus stop.  Aubrey was hyping it up so I reluctantly agreed, besides, it was cheap.  You got a giant burrito and a cold Dos Equis for $11, by Vail standards that is cheap as fuck.  Surprisingly, it was pretty damn tasty and their salsa bar was impressive.  That being said, I don’t think I will ever chance eating Mexican in a bus stop again, ever.   I just don’t think there can be that many fabulous Mexican eateries in bus stops, and I’m ok with going 1 for 1 lifetime in that regard.

Aubrey had plans for the evening and I needed to make my way back towards Denver.   So after the burritos, we said our goodbyes and I departed Vail with a full stomach and a smile on my face.