Although we were hard pressed to leave Breckenridge after such a great time - following two nights there it was time to move on Sunday morning. After all - a snow storm was brewing to the west.
An early Sunday morning shot from our stealth camping spot in downtown Breckenridge.
A little more grey as we were heading out - back under the gondola. Ahhh - that was a fun ride wasn't it!
From Breckenridge we took the number 9 highway to Frisco where we got on the I70 east - our next stop was Silverthorne a few miles away.
Coming down the hill into Silverthorne.
We had a particular reason for coming to Silverthorne and I bet you would NEVER guess why. So - I tell you - because there is an Outlet Mall here! Yep - the Wood Clan is stopping at an outlet mall - not something we typically do. In fact this is the very first time we have been to an outlet mall.
And it so happens it has a Colorado Welcome Center in one of the malls so we were able to get some additional info and use their wifi.
The Silverthorne outlet mall is broken up into three parts - red, blue and green. They are fairly close together but the red was bit of a walk - it was still pretty cool out. The main reason we came was that from Breckenridge we were noticing that all the winter wear is on sale right now. The outlet mall has a few outdoor wear companies - such as Columbia. We all did pretty well - for Derek a polar fleece shirt and pants from Columba - for Cassia a great orange jacket also from Columbia and two shirts and a dress from Gymboree - and me? - a long sleeved shirt and summer tank from Eddie Bauer. Hard to turn down a 70% off shirt - right!?
But just LOOK at was happening by the time we left around 1:00 pm!!!!
Not fun! On I70 heading east towards Denver - AND very busy!
Getting worse! It has been a long time since we have driven in these types of conditions - although both Derek and I grew up in places with lots of snow.
A tunnel! Nice to get out from the snow! Turns out it is the Eisenhower tunnel at a huge 11,158 ft!
Definitely the longest tunnel we have ever been in! Although I see now that it is just over 1.6 miles - it seemed longer than that.
A little better on the other side.
And a little better still as we continued east - is that blue sky again!? Yep it is! This is what a little elevation drop will do - look - no snow!
It wasn't long before we pulled off the interstate into Idaho Springs. Hmmm - ok - it has potential.
Our first stop was the Visitor's Center on the east side of town. We were in Idaho Springs for a very specific reason - we were going to be spending a few days here to weather the storm - literally! Derek had found the Indian Springs Hotel & Hotsprings last week - definitely the place for the Wood Clan. If we have to be in snow we might as well be warm - HOT even.
Then we made our way to the downtown.
Wait a minute.......
ANOTHER neat and funky downtown???? Say it ain't so! Are we hitting the jackpot or what as far as cool Colorado towns!
Our first stop? A waterfall that we could walk to on the other side of the interstate. Impressive.
Then back over to the train display - being the train fans we are we aways visit the trains - seems that almost every town has one.
Here's Derek - Cassia wan't up for another photo moment.
At the moment we are parked on the street but as we headed to the train we notice a parking lot right across from it that had a sign '24 hour parking limit'. 24 hours - you know what that means don't you?! Yup - we had just found our stealth camping spot for the night. Yes - we were there to check into a hotel but we were actually a day early - we wanted to wait until Monday so that we didn't have to pay the weekend rates.
We were totally excited about Idaho Springs main street but at 2:00 pm - lunch was on our minds.
We went where everyone else was! And pizza would hit the spot!
Interesting reading while we waited for our order especially since Derek and I both grew up in the 70's. The last one - a movie ticket was $1.50!
Our mountain pie - what Beau Jo's is famous for. We couldn't decide on one so we got two 8" pizzas. Derek's mountain pie won hands down. The thing is to finish the crust with some honey - it worked for me!
Cute right?! Yep - add Idaho Springs to our list of favourite places! We are becoming un-snowbird like pretty fast. Why didn't someone tell us how cool this State is!? Gee - Teri and Dave, you guys just moved from one cool place to another!
Time to visit some of the shops - how could I resist.
Pretty much describes us!
And this one too! One of Derek's favourite sayings! Another one of Derek's philosophies about life is from Frank Davis in his post 'Going Down Fighting'.
By special request a video to watch - Disclaimer - not my idea of music.
Sid Vicious - My Way.
I'd say we are following that pretty closely. We are currently on quite the ride!
Ahhh - be still my heart.
We are fans of stores that go from one room to another - so cosy.
Ahhhh - just what we like to see - ANOTHER brewery! We'll have to stop in there at some point while we are here. (I know, I know - there is a definite theme starting to surface - perhaps we need to rename our blog - 'We stop (and detour) for micro brew beer'! ** Update: We enjoyed dinner there last night! Mmmmm the Rye Porter.
This store was closed but LOVE this sign. We have been seeing this type of signage with the license plate collage since Texas. This one is my favourites so far - I'll have to go back here. ** Update: we went in the next day and wouldn't you know they had this set up in miniature - yep - my memento for Idaho Springs.
Boy - this sure is a quote kinda town.
Later in the afternoon, Derek - in his new Columbia hiking boots from a little store here in Idaho Springs for a steal at $54! - and Cassia went back over to the water fall to walk Rufus and see the lights on the water wheel. You can see the bottom of Cassia's new dress - it's pretty cute and perfect for $11. This is her 'you asked me to smile so I did' look.
No pictures for the rest of the evening. What happened was this....
Derek and Cassia came back to the van and we were hanging out in our parking lot spot. Just as I was going to get Cassia ready for bed we saw a fellow feeding something to Rufus. Not really a problem but Derek went out to investigate. Hmmm - he didn't come back to the van for quite a while - seems he and Danny really hit it off. We were parked in front of their place - next thing I know we are all piling into his house. It only got better. Sitting in a warm and cozy apartment on a sink in type of sofa enjoying time with Danny and later his girlfriend Laura.
If you can believe they invited us to sleep in their living room for the night - so so so generous. We could watch TV - use the internet. Ahhhhh.....
We found our own couchsurfing hosts! Just not the usual way.
We were pretty impressed with Danny and Laura's lifestyle - they check gas lines - out in nature during the summer and are part time ski hill employees during the winter - mainly so that they can get lots of skiing in. So they are outdoorsy like us - a cool couple we enjoyed our evening with them.
Caballito the next morning from Danny and Laura's deck.
Our new friends - Danny and Laura! Laura by the way is a GREAT artist - that is one of her pieces beside Derek. If you are looking to get some work done check her out - Laura Abrahamson - you can find her here and take a look at some her work here.
THE place to go for breakfast in Idaho Springs (based on tripadvisor and Danny) is The Main Street Restaurant. Yep - they were right - we had a yummy meal - I truly enjoyed my Biscuits & Gravy with two eggs and hashbrowns.
With another quick look around some of the stores to kill some time, we headed over to the Indian Springs Hot Springs, just a block or two from the downtown. Perfect - walking distance.
Downtown Idaho Springs - we'll be back. We really like you!
TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: In honour of our new friends - Danny and Laura - a link to their hangout - Loveland Ski Hill. We won't make it there this year but I'd put money on the fact that we'll get there one day. Perhaps lessons for Cassia and I next year?! Not for Derek the ski
pro bum he is from back in the day on the northern BC slopes.