Five years before I started HeidiTown, Ryan and I got married in in Golden, Colorado in May 2002. After honeymooning in England, we made a pact to spend each anniversary in a different state. That lasted a number of years until HeidiTown was in full swing and we were traveling nearly exclusively in Colorado.
Now that HeidiTown has annexed six new states, I’m excited to start exploring the states surrounding Colorado again once again.
Since we’ve been taking a road trip on every anniversary for the last 14 years, I thought I’d share with you the 14 places we’ve visited in nearly 15 years of marriage.
On our first anniversary in 2003, we traveled to a small bed and breakfast at the foot of the Snowy Range near Centennial, Wyoming. We hiked on their expansive alpaca ranch, soaked in the hot tub and went on a horseback ride at a nearby ranch.
Unfortunately that bed and breakfast no longers exists, but this anniversary was a true getaway and one reason I think we both still associate trips to Wyoming with serenity.
In 2004, on our second anniversary, we went to Santa Fe, New Mexico, a city we both love and had previously visited. In fact, we visited Santa Fe a number of times before HeidiTown was established.
We were off to Moab, Utah for anniversary number three in 2005. This was our second trip to Moab as we had stayed there when moving from Bellingham, Washington to Denver in 2000. This time we booked two nights at Dream Keeper Inn. This place will always hold a special place in my heart due to the fact that their backyard hammock has been my “happy place” ever since our visit.
In 2006, we decided on a Colorado destination. We booked a roundtrip ticket to Glenwood Springs on Amtrak and stayed in Hotel Colorado, a place we’d also stayed on a previous trip to Colorado in 1999. It remains one of our favorite hotels in the United States. It was a lovely, sunny trip that went a long way in cementing our love of Glenwood Springs.
The next year we went big. In fact, we went to Mexico twice in eight months over 2006 and 2007; first for my 30th birthday in October to Puerto Vallarta, and then to Riviera Maya for our fifth wedding anniversary. We traveled only with the packs on our backs and took colectivos everywhere we went – it was epic. We just went back for my 40th birthday and retraced our steps on our favorite island in Mexico, Cozumel.
In 2008, we went back to Wyoming. This time our destination was Saratoga, Wyoming where we stayed at the Saratoga Resort & Spa and discovered the World’s Best Eggs Benedict at Lollypops. We golfed, had a couples massage and soaked. It was delightful. I still remember reading away an evening in front of the large outdoor fireplace on the lodge’s covered patio.
Anniversary number seven was spent in Southwest Colorado where we toured Mesa Verde National Park and stayed in the charming town of Dolores. It was 2009, and we’ve always planned to go back to this beautiful pocket of Colorado, but still haven’t.
In 2010, we headed out of state again, to a state I’m excited to start covering as HeidiTown. South Dakota is one of the most gorgeous and friendly places I’ve encountered.
We covered so much ground and did so much during this three night stay in South Dakota that I can’t even begin to tell you all about it here. We loved Deadwood, thought Custer State Park in May rivaled Yellowstone, except there aren’t any geysers, and were blown away by the scenery in South Dakota’s Black Hills.
We made our way to Mt. Princeton Hot Springs in Nathrop, Colorado in 2011 to celebrate our ninth year of marriage. This was a super laid back trip punctuated by an excursion to the ghost town of St. Elmo, just up the road from Mt. Princeton Hot Springs. We’ve been back twice, so yes, we like this Colorado hot springs destination a lot.
We stayed at the Brown Palace in Denver for our 10th anniversary, which was appropriate because this is where we stayed after our wedding day and before we flew to England for our honeymoon. We did a package here that included a night’s stay and tickets to the show at the Denver Art Museum, which was Yves St. Laurent. I wrote about the weekend here.
We went back to Glenwood Springs for our 11th anniversary because we’d been invited to the 125th anniversary of Glenwood Hot Springs Pool. By 2013, HeidiTown was in full swing, and so I wrote about this excursion here too. We can’t get enough of Glenwood Springs. After spending two anniversaries there, as well as other stays, it will always be a special place for us.
Our 12th anniversary was in Denver. We had season tickets to the Colorado Symphony in 2014, and so we combined an outing to the symphony with a stay at the Curtis Hotel and steak at Morton’s Steakhouse. Again, this is an anniversary trip I wrote about here.
In 2015, our anniversary and HeidiTown Fest in Ouray, Colorado were in the same week, so we made that trip our annual anniversary getaway.
Last year’s anniversary, number 14, was especially memorable. We decided to do an off-the-grid getaway at Dinosaur National Monument in Northwest Colorado with our old dog Xena. We spent two nights camping in Echo Park and one night in nearby Rangely. I wrote a series of articles about this trip, including a popular piece on Rangely, Colorado.
In May, we’ll be celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary. I’m scheduled to give a presentation on tourism advocacy in La Junta, Colorado at the SOCO Tourism Summit on the day of our anniversary. We plan to explore the La Junta area and from there we might continue the road trip for a couple of days. Not sure if we’ll head into New Mexico or stay in Colorado, but you can be sure that I’ll write about it here.
If you have any questions about any of these destinations, please feel free to ask in the comment section below. I love helping people trip plan.
The HeidiTown Chronicle
“Covering festivals & destinations across the west”
Volume 1 Festivals | Road Trips | The West March 10, 2017
When I began writing about Colorado festivals on HeidiTown in 2010, I was inspired by small town festivals and unique events. ArtoCade, in Trinidad, fits both categories and that’s why I’m excited to be attending this year.
With a population of less than 10,000, Trinidad is definitely a small town. It’s also a bit remote, located approximately three hours south of Denver and three and a half hours north of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Situated along the Sante Fe Trail, Trinidad has always been a place where travelers stopped to relax and refuel. Today, it remains a stop along Interstate 25 for many road trippers, so it seems rather appropriate that it’s now home to an award winning art car festival.
ArtoCade is a celebration of the wild and wacky world of art cars. Like their website reads, “If you can’t drive it, it’s a float.” And their distinctive parade is for drivable vehicles only – you must be able to drive your art piece in the parade that occurs at noon on Saturday, September 10.
The two-day festival, starts Friday evening, September 9, in downtown Trinidad with Vehiculart (5 to 7 p.m.). This event is a tribute to art cars with art exhibits and presenters who focus their artistic abilities on artful transportation. The evening will be a spectacle for the eyes and an opportunity to learn about the fascinating art car world. Vehiculart is followed by the CarBash at Brix Sports Bar & Grill.
On Saturday, September 10, you can explore the historic town of Trinidad until the ArtoCade parade that starts at noon. Expect a colorful and unique extravaganza unlike anything you’ve seen before. There will be 80, yes, EIGHTY, art cars in this “cargantuan” art car parade.
Event organizer, Rodney Wood says, “It’s going to be absolutely carvelous!”
Afterward the parade, stick around downtown Trinidad to check out art cars and meet the “cartists” involved in creating these fantastic and whimsical vehicles.
From 7 to 9 p.m. that evening, adults are invited to attend CarDango, a revue/costume party/dance party/circus happening on Saturday night of the event. I’m really looking forward to this rowdy event – it should be fabulously peculiar – just like the rest of ArtoCade.
ArtoCade is an excellent event, but you don’t have to take my word for it. ArtoCade won the Governor’s Award for Best Festival in 2015. I hope to see you there!
September 9-10, 2016
Downtown festivities: FREE
CarDango is a ticketed event ($20)
Website includes lodging info, directions, art car entry forms and more.
Featured Festival spots on HeidiTown.com are paid advertisements. Interested in having your festival or event considered for a feature? Email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com.
Part One: The train
Do you like trains? Do you like history? Do you like beautiful scenery? Do you like the movies? If you answered yes to any of these you’ll enjoy the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, you love this scenic railroad.
The Cumbres & Toltec really is the most authentic scenic railroad you’ll find in the United States and it is just 4 hours from Denver.
Here are just a few reasons why I think this train is so interesting. It is the longest (in terms of mileage) scenic railroad running in the United States. It runs between Antonito, Colorado and Chama, New Mexico; a 64 miles stretch of original railroad. During the trip you’ll weave in and out of Colorado and New Mexico 11 times. On the full trip, the train stops three times for water; it is a steam train after all, and water is vital to keeping it chugging along. Continue reading
Looking for something to do this weekend in Colorado?
From chili festivals to Oktoberfests, it’s never boring in Colorful Colorado. Here’s my segment for this week – the HeidiTown.com segments air on Wednesdays and Fridays on KRFC 88.9 FM.
Note to my wonderful subscribers: You will have to head over to HeidiTown.com to view the video in this blog post.
Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing award-winning Colorado author Sandi Ault. She is the author of the WILD mystery series, featuring Jamaica Wild and her sidekick wolf. Ault will be visiting the Berthoud Library this Saturday, October 25th at 2 p.m.
Read my article here: sandi-ault-author
The photo in the article was credited to me, however, it was provided to me by Ault’s publicist.
Visit Ault’s website at www.SandiAult.com.