Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Buena Vista Weekend Getaway

Matt and I celebrated Memorial Day weekend with a mini-mountain escape in a little cabin in Buena Vista. We toyed with the idea of camping, but with spring nighttime temperatures still dipping below freezing in the mountains, we opted for a small, family-run B&B called Sagewood Cabins a few miles outside of the town. Besides, we were celebrating our one-year anniversary (albeit a few months late…) and the cabin was freaking adorable. After a day hike around the Clear Creek Reservoir area on Saturday, we had a fire roaring and steaks on the grill: perfection.

Matt grilling outside the cabin

Grounds at Sagewood Cabins

The Clear Creek Reservoir is a beautiful area to explore, dotted with ghost towns and historical landmarks. After a very chilly creek crossing, Matt and I made our way up a trail to a beautiful picnic spot.

Clear Creek Reservoir

On Sunday, we decided on a longer day hike: Kroenke Lake. This trail is a longer hike up to the lake that is described as “paw friendly”…a perfect trip for Gracie. The hike was a scenic route through the evergreens and aspens up to the lake. This is an up and back route that’s four miles each way. When making your way up, always choose the West fork in the trail. Portions of the trail follow the river, so there are a few log bridges to cross. None are too challenging; however, slip-ups would cause VERY chilly toes (see the frigid bridge below). Gracie was a champ in crossing the logs (a big brave dog after her first scary experience crossing the log jam at Snowmass Lake).

Log Bridge

Kroenke Lake is a scenic alpine lake in a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains. Over Memorial Day weekend, the temperatures were still relatively chilly and the lake was very windy. We built a small fire on an existing fire pit to warm up while we ate our lunch. Matt brought his fishing gear to the lake, but we decided to head back down the mountain to warm up instead of trying our luck at the lake. We had beautiful views with early spring wildflowers blooming, but it was just a bit too chilly to stick around for too long.
Kroenke Lake

After making it back to Buena Vista, we indulged in two milkshakes and a large order of green chili cheese fries from a local burger joint…a perfect reward at the end of our hike. I discovered green chili after moving to Denver and now can’t get enough of it! We soaked our sore muscles in the Mt. Princeton hot springs for a bit and then hit the town for dinner. The hot springs were not my favorite part of the trip. If I return, I will probably check out Cottonwood or one of the different venues (Mt. Princeton was a bit too “public bath”…man-made pools with too many people sitting in bath water together).

 Buena Vista has multiple local dining options, and we chose a restaurant called The Asian Palate. The dinner was a home run: soup with flavorful broth, inventive sushi roll, and a laaarge entrĂ©e of fresh and tasty ingredients. We returned to our cabin and promptly conked out. The long weekend provided a perfect mini-break, and we returned to Denver on Monday slightly sore but happy and well-fed.

A happy Gracie on the ride home

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