I left off a few weeks ago having covered our first two days in Denver, Colorado. We hiked, rode, and visited all around Denver in that time, but in the remainder of our trip, we toured the city itself and it's suburbs. Denver is a very nice city, and very kid-friendly.
We enjoyed a beautiful park with 2 climbing apparatuses, and some unique playground equipment. Amazing green space overlooked the Rocky Mountains. The entire family enjoyed our visit there.
Another family-friendly activity we enjoyed was the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. What a well made museum! We only got through 3 of the exhibits, but were impressed at every turn. There was an exhibit on health, where you entered onto a card your health information (age, gender, name etc…), and then went through a series of activities such as pedaling on a stationary exercise bike, or grasping two rods that took your pulse, and then inserted your card at a computer at the end, which printed a health sheet of you! Another exhibit was about space, and another employed hands-on mind bending riddles. Additionally, they had a sun viewing on the roof of the museum where we saw the sun through a very powerful telescope. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a must see in Denver!
One night we had dinner with our friend, Clay, at the Buckhorn Exchange, the oldest restaurant in Denver. We enjoyed Clay’s company as well as the food!
Speaking of food, for those of you who live in Denver, or are visiting soon, try the Denver Biscuit Company’s biscuits and cinnamon rolls. In the words of my dad, “That’s da bomb!”. Also, we tried a place at Denver’s Union Station called Next Door which was a farm to table place. After our meal, we took a quick tour of the station. It really is a neat station.
Another cool stop was the city of Golden. Not far from there is Buffalo Bill’s grave, which was a very interesting visit. You read about him in books, and everyone knows who Buffalo Bill was to a certain degree, but to be at his gravesite was awe-inspiring. They placed a lot of concrete over the grave so that no one would rob it. He is buried on Lookout Mountain overlooking 2 huge plateaus and the city of Golden. Yet another Merchant Amazing View! (We’ll just start calling them MAVs.)
Alright, now for the big reveal…
Teddy Roosevelt!!! Congratulations to: Sanika Mody, The Van Valkenburgh Family, Michel Guillet, Christina Garrett, and Sebastian Trost! You all guessed correctly.
Denver and the surrounding area is really beautiful. With mountains, parks, restaurants, and high altitudes, it’s a unique city to visit.
Until next time!
Wow -where did the summer go?
We’re coming off an amazing summer of travels and visits in some special places with some very special people. I learned a lot last month about intentionality, cultivating relationships and taking time for the small stuff.
As we roamed across Tennessee (a beautiful state, by the way...), we enjoyed wonderful scenery and hospitality in the local communities. Mark and Jenny Stewart (cousins on Beth’s side of the family) and their wonderful kiddos provided an evening of relaxed fun and fellowship at their home in Mt. Juliet. This was also the place where we picked up some rocket fuel delivered through Mark’s ghost pepper relish (which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed little by little on this trip). There’s a special bond you always share when you’re with family and the Stewarts proved that in spades.
When we entered the Carolinas, we were able to reconnect and visit with some longtime friends. We spent an afternoon with John and Ruth from HHI who were gracious to come visit us at the campsite to “tour” our rig. Ruth and I worked together when I was in college and John became a mentor and dear friend to me as well. They are both amazing people who played a great role in helping me work through college and in establishing the start of my professional career. Though distance makes it even harder to get together, they are the kind of people I will always make time for.
Getting into the Charlotte area allowed us two special opportunities - one to meet up with Sanika (see my earlier FB post) as she had client work not far from our campsite. Very nice to host her for dinner and for her to see what our new normal looks like on the road. Second, we had a wonderful lunch reconnecting with Dave and Daphne. Dave is a longtime friend from high school and we share many great memories of our time together back in the day. I am honored and humbled to know Dave and the man that he’s become both inside and outside of the marketplace. His faith story is awesome and we were so happy to spend time with him and Daphne on this trip.
Lastly in the Carolinas, we enjoyed dinner and the evening with the Monts family in Hilton Head (also see an earlier FB post). We really enjoyed our time with Dennis, Tuesday, Matthew and Hudson, and they were exceptional hosts to us. This time with them was especially meaningful given the recent hurricane and storm activity that would have prevented us from meeting them had we visited three weeks later than we actually did. God’s timing won the days in our Carolinas adventures.
You’ve seen from our other posts that we were in Colorado a couple of weeks ago. While in Denver, we were blessed to meet up with a newer friend, Clayton, for dinner at Denver’s oldest restaurant - Buckhorn Exchange. I met Clay a few years ago at the request of one of my best clients in Atlanta who is also his Mom. His mother has been very good to me over the years as a client so I was especially honored to mentor Clay at a tipping point in his career. He was such an engaging guest and also interacted with the boys well throughout the evening.
As for our new relationships, we’ve met restaurant owners, museum volunteers, RV park neighbors and others who have helped remind us that there’s still plenty of kindness and warmth in this crazy and tumultuous world we live in. We’ll never forget our very first night in the RV and the wise counsel and advice we received from our experienced next door neighbor, Jerry. He put us at ease and confirmed that we hadn’t completely lost our minds and that we were in for a great ride ahead.
So why all of these vignettes? It’s quite simple- no matter how old or how new, relationships matter - from the past, present and future. I keep learning on this trip how cultivating relationships takes time, intentionality and creating margin in our schedule to realize their true significance.
We are blessed beyond measure to continue building old and new relationships over the next several remaining months of our adventure. I’m looking forward to making some new friends and reconnecting with old ones along the way.
See you on the road....
P.S. NOTE FROM WILL: You still have time to guess about the president who freed the donkeys! The answer will be revealed in Mile High Fun Part 2!
Have you ever traveled to the Rockies? How about Denver, Colorado? Just a few days ago we left Denver from an exciting trip. The RV has been in Tennessee getting some warranty work completed. In the meantime we took the opportunity to travel to Denver. We found a large amount of activities to do there. Let me start from the beginning:
A long time ago, in a state far far away...Alright...The flight to Denver was fairly uneventful, as was our entire time actually at the airport/car rental place. But when the airport faded from sight, we were amazed at just how flat that place is! I now know what people mean when they say, "where the land and the horizon meet"! The next day, we woke up and ate at the (free) breakfast buffet at the hotel, and rode off into the sunrise, heading for the Air Force Academy.
Backing right up into the Rockies, the campus stands on some great land. Their visitor center has a great 21 minute video about cadet life. They made it look appealing enough for Nate to consider going!
After the Air Force Academy, we visited some more great places, some of which were impulse visits. For example, the Focus on the Family visitor center was a great stop that we had not planned. Focus on the Family is a great Christian organization with lots of great resources. The visitor center had a museum, bookstore, and a play area for kids with a 3 story slide!
The last place we visited that day was the Garden of the Gods. The Garden of the Gods is a group of geological formations made almost entirely from red rocks. Here, we climbed some of the shorter rocks, but the taller rocks are only for professional climber as they are very very tall.
The following morning awe traveled to the Rocky Mountains National park. We hiked a trail up to a place called Gem Lake. About halfway up the mountain, you get an amazing panoramic view of a big chunk of the Rockies. It was incredible. The lake, however, was a bit underwhelming, but served as a nice resting place before the 1.8 mile backtrack. We were very proud of Nate, as he hiked over 3 and 1/2 miles of moderately difficult terrain. (We had a 1,000 foot elevation gain if that puts it in perspective for you!)
There's a town in the Rocky Mountains called Cripple Creek. It is a casino/mining town, and we enjoyed the informational trolley tour. There are about 20 donkeys that roam the streets, feeding off of the citizens' treats. When we asked our trolley driver why they were allowed to roam freely. The answer was surprising. A president, when visiting Cripple Creek, saw donkeys in the mines, working until they died, never seeing sunlight. He ordered that they be let out every few days to get fresh air and sunlight. Their descendants now roam the streets of Cripple Creek. Make your guess as to which president this was in the comments section below! We will reveal the answer at the end of the next post...
I know I've only gotten through the first 2 days in our trip, and there will be another one out soon. But for now, try and guess which president freed the donkeys! Until next time...