Rocky Mountain Front Range: Denver & Fort Collins

2018: Van Life, Week Three

It’s been a long week. And, fast at the same time. We started by climbing the 11,000+ feet of Loveland Pass in Colorado. One of the highest mountain passes, located on the Continental Divide, with a steep 6.7% grade and numerous hairpin turns. About a half mile before the peak, at the Eisenhower Tunnel, where three lanes become two, we feel it.

A faint, but distinct lurch. Then a heave, and another lurch. I’m fairly sure it was not the altitude that depleted the oxygen in the van. It was our racing hearts and hyperventilating. Thor failing us now would be a traffic disaster nightmare. Not really the sort of adventure we’re looking for.

Then, That Was It

With tension in the air, we navigated the narrow, two lane, 1.7 mile tunnel. Came out the other side, into the brilliant sun, and didn’t give it another thought. We were floating downhill and Denver was now in our sights. Thor soared into the valley and B-lined to Hops & Pie, one of our favorite stops when we visited last year. We’re talking pizza pie and hoppy beer – the right mix to take any edge off.

Three Days in Denver

Denver is such a welcoming town, easy to walk, easy on the eyes, easy to get to know. Coming up with this post… Not easy! I now realize I was haunted by the Loveland Lurch. Though I said “we didn’t give it another thought,” my subconscious was spinning. While in Denver, I was clearly preoccupied about  Thor -I have only a handful of images of our visit and they aren’t too exciting:

The 65 Mile Test to Fort Collins

Let’s just say, we knew we needed a mechanic. We did some homework, and drove directly to Mr. Mechanic – we weren’t even going to call in advance.

Waiting for mechanic

Mr. Mechanic “Lobby”

Good thing too, because we needed our superpower to break through the TWO WEEK wait list.

the Power of Persuasion! Or maybe, it was our sappy desperation: Mr. Mechanic agreed to look at it that day. Any way, remember that lack of oxygen I mentioned? Apparently it was a problem for Thor too: he needed a new oxygen sensor. A fairly simple fix, Woody seems to think it has been an undiagnosed problem for a while.

Exploring Fort Collins

My first observation were the infinite number of dandelions. It was as though the whole city decided to let the dandelion win. Go Dandelions!

The next observations were the historical influences in the town, blended with vibrant public art. They had something called a “destination mural“, in Jazz Alley.

And, of course we can’t forget the brewery grain mills I could see. Ahhhh, Fort Collins’ breweries were waiting to be explored. We didn’t get in on the more famous Belgium Brewery tour, but we did Odells. Not a spectacular tour, but free, and offered a couple generous pours at the end. IPA’s are our favorite, and they brewed a good one.

beer art/poster


The Next Leg

We’re feeling pretty good about the work done on the rig. I bet I still count the mile markers, in case I need to let AAA know our exact location. We’re very curious what we’ll discover while traveling through Nebraska. It strikes me as a sort of forgotten state, or one that sure doesn’t scream for attention.

Looking forward to finding out, and sharing with you here. Thank you for following.



2 thoughts on “Rocky Mountain Front Range: Denver & Fort Collins

  1. Susanna Harrison

    I am so enjoying the commentary AND photography, (I especially liked the inner glow of the dots 🙂 and I am happy Thor is healed for now…xoxo


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