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19th Street Diner (Glenwood Springs, Co)

19th Street Diner (Glenwood Springs, Co)

While visiting my good friend Angela, we decided to check out the 19th Street Diner (Glenwood Springs). I had never been to Glenwood Springs before, so it was fun to check out a new town and new diner.

19th Street Diner (Glenwood Springs, Co)

Atmosphere: A

The 19th Street Diner in Glenwood Springs looks like a blast from the past. The exterior of the 19th Street Diner is big, metallic, and shiny. The inside has plenty of retro booths, a bar, and a few tables. If you are looking for a stereotypical diner, the 19th Street Diner meets that.

19th Street Diner (Glenwood Springs, Co)

Coffee: B

The coffee at the 19th Street Diner is brewed hot and fresh. There wasn’t anything unique or unusual about the diner, but it was good.

Food: B

The 19th Street Diner has all of the breakfast, lunch, and dinner options a diner usually has. I was disappointed they were out of their famous cinnamon buns, though.

The 19th Street Diner has the traditional diner staples like 1/2 pound burgers, chicken fried steak, omelets, salads, and club sandwiches. Plus they have their own specialties like fried french toast or diner primavera.

19th Street Diner (Glenwood Springs, Co) salad

I wasn’t too hungry, so I decided to order the Spinach Salad. It came with spinach, olives, tomatoes, avocado, and I added a thin-cut steak. It also came with french bread (which didn’t look like anything other than regular bread. My salad was good but wasn’t the best salad I’ve had. It was enough for the time. I contemplated adding a side like fruit, muffins, biscuits, wheat, and sourdough bread, but they were out of most.

19th Street Diner (Glenwood Springs, Co)

Service: A

The waitress was friendly, and our food came out quickly. I couldn’t have had a better experience at the 19th Street Diner.

Cost:

For my salad and coffee, the price was $15.

Overall Thoughts of the 19th Street Diner:

The 19th Street Diner in Glenwood Springs is good. It’s an easy stop if you’re driving along Route 70. I would go back.

Atmosphere: A

Coffee: B

Food: B

Service: A

Cost: $8-15

Overall: A

You can see more diner reviews here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to the 19th Street Diner in Glenwood Springs?

Do you like olives? Apparently, it’s a hot topic with many people

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Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)

While in Colorado, my husband and I wanted to be outside as much as possible. We found the Green Mountain in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. It’s far off the beaten path, and you are driving an extra hour down dirt roads and no service zones to get there. But is it worth it? Yes. Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon is a great 3-4 hour hike. We took our time, and it took us about 4 hours round trip. We stopped for a while to admire the views, especially at the summit of Green Mountain and Exclamation Point.

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)

The North Rim of The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is located near Crawford, Colorado. The South Rim is located near Montrose, Colorado. Between the two rims is nearly a 2-hour drive.

One of the most beautiful views of the trail, Exclamation Point, is worth it and not as far. To be honest, it rivals the views of the Grand Canyon. You basically follow the rim of Black Canyon, so the entire 7 miles (3.5 out and back) is worth it. After visiting Exclamation Point, I believe it’s closer to 8 miles round trip.

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)

We started around noon from the North Rim Ranger Station. It costs $15 to enter Gunnison National Park.

The first miles are peaceful. Since the Green Mountain Trail is so far off the beaten path, there aren’t a lot of hikers. We saw about four parties the entire time we were out. Some spots are shaded and hidden from the sun.

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)

Around mile 1.5 is the view of Exclamation Point. In my opinion, it’s the best view of the park. You are up close and personal with views of the canyon. I mean it’s named after an exclamation mark! At Exclamation Point there is one big lollipop trail, so it doesn’t matter which direction you choose at Exclamation Point. They will both lead back to the main trail.

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)

Looking down at Exclamation Point

There is another Overlook that is worth a short stop. It’s just called Overlook which seems boring compared to Exclamation Point. Maybe it will be named after another punctuation mark like a question mark or quotation mark.

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)

As you head back to the North Vista Trail, the paths get sandy and muddy. It’s not a hike I would be likely to do after a lot of rain.

 

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)Somewhere between 3.25-3.6, the trail begins to incline, and there are switchbacks. This is the steepest part of the path and where most of the 800 feet of elevation are gained.  Once you reach the top, the trail circles the Summit of Green Mountain. I kept thinking, “are we there yet,” only to realize we were doing another lollipop and you have 360 degrees of views of Black Canyon and Green Mountain. It doesn’t have the same close-up feel of Exclamation Point, but you can see a good 50 miles over Gunnison State Park, Black Canyon, the San Juans, Gunnison River, and Green Mountain.

Hiking Green Mountain in Black Canyon (Gunnison National Park)

Then you head back the way you came. I would love to explore more trails in Gunnison National Park.

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You Can See All Hikes Here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Gunnison National Park?

What is one of your favorite hikes?

The Little Diner (Vail, Colorado)

The Little Diner (Vail, Colorado)

While in Vail, Colorado, I wanted to go to the Little Diner. The Little Diner has been named one of the top 10 diners in Colorado.  (And yes, there are far fewer diners in Colorado than NJ, but every state has a diner).

Anyway, I arrived at the Little Diner around 10 am. There was about a 20-minute wait, but they were turning over tables quickly. We didn’t ask, but they sat us at the bar anyway.

The little diner vail

Atmosphere: A

The Little Diner blends into Vail. Vail is a ski town with several restaurants and boutiques. It’s definitely a resort town, and there is everything you really need. The Little Diner is located on the second floor of a small shopping center in the Lionshead Villiage.

The little diner vail

 

As the name suggests, the inside of the Little Diner is little. There is a bar that seats most of the restaurant than about 15 tables. We sat at the bar and could see the chefs making the food.

Coffee: B

The coffee at the Little Diner was brewed hot and fresh, but I definitely could have used more refills.

The little diner vail coffee

Food: A

The Little Diner is open until 2 pm and serves breakfast and lunch. There are several breakfast options, including pancakes, omelets, breakfast sandwiches.

I wanted to order the “Panneoken,” which is also known as a German Pancake or Dutch Baby. It’s baked in the oven, and the airy pancake rises like a souffle. The Little Diner is known for their German Pancakes, so I knew it was what I wanted to order. You can choose several toppings, including whipped cream, fruit toppings, fresh bananas, and chocolate chips. I chose whipped cream.

The little diner vail pancake

The German Pancake was delicious. It was light and airy, so while it appeared huge, it was thin, so I didn’t feel “stuffed” afterward. It was great fuel for the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon.

The little diner vail

Service: B

The waitress was friendly, and the food came out very fast. The German Pancakes take about 20 minutes, but I watched as tables got their meal within 5 minutes of ordering. I asked the waitress a couple of times for a coffee refill, but she seemed to forget. Other than that, it was a good experience.

Cost: $

For the Dutch Baby Pancake and coffee, the cost was $14.

Overall Thoughts of the Little Diner:

I liked the Little Diner in Vail and would go back. It’s a reasonably easy stop off of 70 if you are driving through. Keep in mind; you might wait for a while as it does get busy. I went during the week, and there was still a 20-minute wait.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Service: B
Price: $10-$20
Overall: A

You can see more diner reviews here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to the Little Diner in Vail? Or Vail?

Have you tried a German Pancake before?

Exploring Ridgway State Park (Colorado)

Exploring Ridgway State Park (Colorado)

While in Colorado, my husband and I wanted to check out new parks.

Ridgway State Park Colorado

I got to see my first tumbleweed!

Ridgway State Park in Colorado was the perfect stop on the way to Ouray. There is a beautiful five-mile long reservoir to walk around.

Ridgeway State Park is only 15 miles north of Ouray. The park has plenty to do, including campgrounds, beautiful reservoir, fishing, hiking trails, and wildlife viewings. There is even a Volleyball court.

We stopped at the Pa Co Chu Puk Campground and walked around the area. We could see plenty of people with tent sites and full hookups. The Dakota Terrace and Elk Ridge Campgrounds look to be the most popular campgrounds, and there are accessible recreation areas. There are even a few cabins and yurts to rent.

One thing I found awesome was the Reservoir, and the Uncompahgre River was universally accessible for all. They had plenty of handicap options. There is a swimming beach located in one of the parking areas.

There are over 14 miles of marked trails in Ridgway State Park. Several of the trails are concrete and easy for biking or
rollerblading.  There are also many gravel trails for hikers wanted to be secluded. There are a variety of terrain options from grasslands, forests, and trails along the rivers. Everywhere you turn, there are beautiful views of the San Juan Mountains.

Ridgway State Park Colorado

Walking through Ridgway State Park

Ridgway State Park Colorado

View of the Reservoir

Ridgway State Park Colorado

View of the Reservoir and the San Juan Mountains

Ridgway State Park Colorado

View of the Uncompahgre River

Ridgway State Park was one of our favorite stops in our adventure. It’s accessible for all, and we saw plenty of families camping and relaxing in the Uncompahgre River. If we come back, I would love to check the campgrounds and spent a couple of nights in a cabin or yurt and on the hiking trails.

You Can See More Hikes Here. 

Questions for you:

Have you been to Ridgway State Park?

What is your favorite campground? 

Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon (1:33.58)

Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon (1:33.58)

Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t think I would be running the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon. We didn’t travel to Ouray for the race, but the timing worked out so, we thought…why not? The start of the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon starts at nearly 8000 feet of elevation. It runs from Ouray, Co to Ridgeway, Co. The Mt. Sneffels Marathon runs from Ridgway to Ouray, back to Ridgway. It was one of the most challenging and beautiful half marathons I’ve done. I’ve raced probably 500 times, and this is one of my favorites. The race is named after the beautiful Mt. Sneffels which is located in Ouray.

We stayed with family outside of Montrose and only 40 minutes from Ouray. We picked up our packets the night before, and it wasn’t until the night before I realized the race started at 7:30 am, not 6:30 (the Mt. Sneffels Marathon began at 6:30 am).

We arrived in Ouray around 6:30 and just relaxed. It was nice to take in the scenery. I knew the race would be tough, and my goal was to run smartly. I didn’t want to dry heave my way to the finish line and also didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize the Big Cottonwood Marathon coming up.

The race started promptly at 7:30. I ran the first mile with my husband. The first mile went through the town of Ouray, and I found myself out of breath by mile .5. Oh…this is going to be something I thought. I just relaxed and found myself finding a groove. I hit the first mile in 7:37.

During the next mile, we headed into a small park and then onto the gravel road. Most of the race was on a gravel road through the mountains. I was happy for the soft surface. I began to find my groove and hit the second mile in 7:16.

The next few miles, I ran alone. The mt. sneffels half marathon was a bigger race, but I found myself in a pocket of solitude, and I didn’t mind. I took in the gorgeous mountains around me and just focused on me. I ran a 7: 00-minute 3rd mile, followed by 6:54, and 7:04.

I was happy my miles seemed to have progressed. I wouldn’t have been mad if my overall pace was closer to my first mile, but I felt good I could settle into something faster.

The race course director had warned us that mile 5 would have some rougher terrain as they are fixing part of the road. It was hard to get a footing in the soft gravel mixed with rocks, but I didn’t think it was terrible.

By the time I knew it, it was mile 6. I saw the leaders for the Mt. Sneffels Marathon. It was awesome because the second place overall was female.

I passed a couple of people and kept running. I felt strong, but miles 6-9 can be challenging in any half marathon. You don’t want to get too cocky and surge, only to ride the pain train home. I ran a 6:58, 6:57, and 6:59. I was happy with it.

I crossed mile 10 in 1:11, which is a full minute faster than the Sea Legs Shuffle I ran last month. Completely different circumstances (it was sweltering there) but it was comical. Then at mile 10, I saw about .5 ahead, the most prominent hill I’ve seen in a road race. I thought, there is no way we would climb that…but I was wrong. I saw in the distance a few people climbing. So for about half a mile, I was starting at the hill. We started climbing, and my legs and breathing were on fire. I relaxed and focused. When we got to the top, the women asked Gatorade or water, and I was so out of breath I just pointed. I finished mile 10 in 7:21. I was happy with that effort.

It took me about 1.5 miles to feel comfortable with my breathing again. I ran a 7:18 12th mile. The final mile, I was focused on the end. I kept thinking if they are okay with throwing that mile 10, who knows if there are some crazy hills on mile 13. Luckily there wasn’t, and I just powered to the end.

I crossed the finish of the Mt. Sneffels Half Marathon in 1:33.58 and was second in my age group. It was a surprise because I was not expecting that.

Thoughts:

In all, I’m happy with my efforts at the Mount Sneffels Half Marathon. It was a beautiful race, and I hope to do it again sometime.

Questions for you:

What is the highest elevation you’ve run at? 

What is the most beautiful race you’ve run? 

 

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