After 12 years in Denver, I still discover places I never knew of and new corners of old favorites. Here are a few.
Best Place to Buy a Stolen Bike
It took two weeks for our bike, generously given to us by friends, to be stolen – right out of our backyard – where it was locked up and everything. It took an additional 90 minutes, $175 and the twice a year Denver Police Bicycle Auction to score a new one.
The DPD ends up with a load of bikes for a variety of reasons i.e. they were abandoned, someone was biking with a blood alcohol level the police did not totally fancy and/or they were identified as not being with the rightful owner before or while it was being bartered for crack.
The bikes at the Denver Police Bicycle Auction go for anywhere between $20 – $30 to $600+ depending on quality and overall desirability. Arrive at the auction early to both get your auction number (there will be a line to do so, you seriously need to get there early) and browse all the bikes available for purchase.
The browsing part is especially important because the auction moves so freaking fast (yes, it is one of the few things in life that happens “just” like it does on TV) and God knows what you would end up with if you didn’t do a bit of window shopping beforehand.
Want to go to the next one? Sign up to be emailed on the next date and time. There is also an auction of electronics, property etc which were also commandeered in manners similar to the bikes.
The Happiest Hike in Colorado
A recent trip to Rocky Mountain National Park with two friends from Spain (!) introduced me to an extremely stellar loop hike in the CO. The views are nothing short of Rocky Mountain divinity, the lakes you will see are both plentiful and stunning and to top it all off the biggest waterfall in Rocky Mountain National Park awaits you at the end.
From the Bear Lake trailhead, hike towards Nymph and Dream Lake. The first mile or so is a bit of tourist/Texas hysteria but with a bit more hiking you can shed them. After Dream Lake keep following the loop and head to the best lake on the trail – Lake Haiyaha. (There is a brown lake-ish feature near Lake Haiyaha, but keep going. It involves easy climbing over a few big rocks to get there.) When you have finished taking in all the wonderfulness of Lake Haiyaha, follow the Lake Haiyaha trail back to the main loop trail and turn right to complete it.
Note, as it is a loop you can start off in any direction from Bear Lake Trailhead, but if you want to do the least amount of uphill do the loop by heading towards Dream Lake first. If you want more of a workout head towards Albert Falls.
Total hike distance: 6.5 – 7 miles
How much huffing and puffing will be needed? A moderate amount but after Lake Haiyaha it is almost all downhill unless you decide to walk from the Glacier Gorge parking back to Bear Lake which is uphill and a bit of a pain in the ass at the end of the day – if we are going to be honest about it. (Depending on the time of day and season there is typically a bus that will take you from Glacier Gorge back to Bear Lake or wherever you parked your car.)
Make sure you take a map – get a National Park Service map of the area and/or get a more detailed, durable and long lasting map of Rocky Mountain National Park.
For hiking food you might want to consider stopping at the St. Vrain Market in Lyons, Colorado – as the food in Estes Park is a bit, eh.
The Best $2 Breakfast in Denver
Yes, there is a place you can get a $2 breakfast that it is not corporate owned, strategizing globalization efforts and/or deforesting half the Amazon. It is Bubba Chino’s on the corner of Franklin and Colfax. Stop by on the
way to work for their $2 breakfast burrito of the day. Take it with you to the office or chill on their patio while you gobble all that $2 deliciousness down.
Best Bar in Random Ass Nowhere
How far will I drive for a good bar? Apparently, one hour and 2 minutes. A girlfriend of mine was telling me about The Bucksnort Saloon in Pine, Colorado over drinks when the bartender overheard our chat and chimed in that it was somewhere I, “had to go”.
The Bucksnort does take a bit of getting to. You definitely want to try and GPS / Google Map it because the signs to the saloon are good for a bit and then fade off into oblivion right before you get there. If you are on a dirt road thinking, “there is no way in hell this could be right.” You are almost there.
When you arrive your hardwork is rewarded by all the saloon fixings – pool tables, dining on your standard pub fare, chilling on the back terrace overlooking the creek below, loads of bikers and watiresses that do not hesitate for a second to tell you what is up.
Best Sushi Lunch for Mexican Food Prices
When you are choosing where to eat quesadillas I say let all the inhibitions go. When you are choosing where to eat raw fish – may I suggest you be more selective.
I found Sushi Bay 17 walking by the day it opened when I saw the endearing wait staff waiting outside for their first customers. A peek inside revealed it was up to my sushi eating cleanliness standards i.e. it was spotless.
David and I gave it a try one day for lunch. I had their Vegetarian Sushi Lunch ($8 with salad, soup and 5 pieces assorted vegetarian sushi and avocado rolls) and David ate their Sushi & Sashimi Lunch ($12, salad, soup, 3 pieces of sushi, 3 pieces of raw fish and spicy crunch tuna roll). It was all freaking delicious, very healthy and the same price, if not cheaper, than enchiladas, chips and salsa. Get after it is my ‘where to eat lunch’ tip for you.
The Books I Use to Find Places to Go & Things to Do in Denver & Colorado