Top 10 highlights of 2014, from the Mayor of HeidiTown, Colorado

It’s been another amazing year here at HeidiTown. My job as the Mayor of HeidiTown, and as a freelance writer, has taken me on many Colorado adventures, and it’s been my pleasure to share them with you here and on social media. I hope that through my posts, tweets and photographs you were inspired to get out and explore more of Colorado in 2014.

We met some truly amazing people along the way, including Lynn Gillespie, one of the owners of The Living Farm in Paonia. Her love of her animals and the food they grow on the farm is palpable. She’s a one-of-a-kind Coloradan, who genuinely wants to help people live a more agricultural lifestyle.

I also got to interview John Forsberg for a magazine article. He’s the man who has been Ullr for Breckenridge’s Ullr Festival since 2002, and he’s a heck of an entertaining interview subject. There was also Michael Lane, owner of Alpine Scenic Tours – an entrepreneur who is a bounty of knowledge about the San Juan area of Colorado.

The list of fascinating folks that I got to meet this past year goes on and on, and that’s because it’s not all about eating, drinking and attending fun festivals here at HeidiTown. Meeting people is my favorite part of my job as the Mayor of HeidiTown and as a freelance writer. I’m already looking forward to the people I will meet in 2015.

So without further ado, here are my top 10 highlights of 2014 in no particular order.

1. A visit to The Living Farm in Paonia, Colorado where I got to cuddle baby lambs. Click here to read more.

Lovin on baby sheep at the Living Farm in Paonia, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

2. Standing on top of the world. An outing with Alpine Scenic Tours in Ouray, Colorado. This excursion was so much more than I thought it was going to be. Click here to read more.

Top of Imogene Pass outside of Ouray, Colorado. Alpine Scenic Tours. HeidiTown.com

3. Outstanding Colorado seasons. This summer’s wildflower season was like none I’d ever witnesses. Our Colorado autumn was the same. Both seasons were extra-long this year and provided some of the most spectacular colors I’ve ever seen in this beautiful state.

close up of wildflowers on trail ridge road, rocky mountain national park, colorado. HeidiTown.com

Colorado leaf walk October 19, 2014. HeidiTown (20)

4. The Taste of Vail was my favorite event of 2014. The Mountain Top Picnic was an afternoon that I’ll never forget. An outdoor picnic at 10,000 feet above sea level featuring food from Vail’s best restaurants and internationally renowned wine – what’s not to love? Ryan loved the cheese and beer pairing that we attended during Taste of Vail. We also ate one of our most memorable meals of 2014 at Terra Bistro inside the outstanding Vail Mountain Lodge. If you’d like to indulge in some of the best fine dining Colorado has to offer, get to Vail.

Mountain Top Picnic crowd shot Taste of Vail HeidiTown.com

5. Glenn Miller SwingFest in Fort Morgan was a wonderful event that filled me with nostalgia for times gone by. Our trip to Fort Morgan, Colorado also inspired one of my favorite posts of the year, “Finding America in Colorado’s small towns.”

Edited Glenn Miller Orchestra, action shot. Glenn Miller SwingFest, 2014. HeidiTown

6. Feeding Yvonn’s ducks at Leroux Creek Inn & Vineyards was definitely a highlight of this past year. Yvonn and Joanna, proprietors of Leroux Creek were two of the most interesting people that we met in 2014, and I can’t wait to visit with them again one day. Click here to read about this experience.

Feeding the ducks at Leroux Creek Inn & Vineyards in Hotchkiss, Colorado. HeidiTown

7. While on magazine assignment in Canon City, Ron, the owner of Pikes Peak Paradise in Woodland Park hosted our overnight stay. A visit to this unique lodging establishment will blow apart any stereotypes you may be harboring about bed and breakfasts. Read all about it here.

The view from the front room of Pikes Peak Paradise Bed and Breakfast. HeidiTown.com
The view from the living room of Pikes Peak Paradise Bed & Breakfast.

8. Ullr Festival is always a fantastic annual event and again in 2014 I was a judge for the Ullr Festival Parade, but this year was even more special because I got to be part of breaking the record for world’s longest shotski shot. Thanks to Breckenridge Distillery for providing the booze for this momentous occasion.

shotski record at Ullr Festival 2014. HeidiTown.com
Happy to be part of the record breaking shotski at Ullr Fest in 2014.

9. We stayed at some very fine hotels this past year, but perhaps the finest was The Crawford Hotel inside Union Station. I stayed here during a magazine assignment and this brand new, yet historic feeling hotel is easily one of the best accommodations you’ll find in Colorado.

The view from our room at the Crawford Hotel in Denver, Colorado. HeidiTown.com
The view from our room at The Crawford Hotel in Denver, Colorado.

10. Beer festivals rock! We attended two beer festivals that both now rate as top Colorado beer festivals in my book. Winter Park Beer Festival was a blast; not only did it feature a fine selection of beers and great local bands, but it was in the best location (Hideaway Park in downtown Winter Park, Colorado).

The second beer festival that stood out was Fall Back Beer Festival in Estes Park. This event had an excellent selection of small craft breweries (several so new that I hadn’t visited them yet), plus, I enjoyed their educational workshops.

Winter Park Beer Festival 2014, Colorado, HeidiTown (14)
Winter Park Beer Festival 2014.
Fall Back Beer Festival. HeidiTown.com
Fall Back Beer Fest 2014.

It has truly been a memorable year. Do you have any standout 2014 Colorado experiences that you’d like to share? Please feel free to leave me a note in the comment section.

Here’s to another year filled with many Colorado adventures for you and me!

Sincerely,

Heidi, the Mayor

8 Comments


  1. Happy New year! Here’s to many new adventures in 2015! (You left out the amazing weddings you attended!) 🙂

    Reply

    1. I thought about that Miss Moose Kral. 🙂 The “You might see a moose wedding” was one of the lovely weddings EVER – that’s for sure.

      And I DID see a moose! In fact, I saw 3!

      Reply

  2. I couldn’t fit everything on the list, but the canoeing on a peaceful morning on Shadow Lake is also a fond memory, as is enjoying wine in the sunshine at the Keystone Wine & Jazz Festival and eating pizza on the patio of our amazing condo. Also, polka dancing with friends at the Biergarten Festival. Oh, and of course, the You Might See a Moose Wedding in Grand Lake!!! 🙂 <3

    Reply

    1. You’re silly! What a great year!

      Reply

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