Colorado Road Trip 2019 | Quincy's Restaurant - Buena Vista Colorado location

South of Leadville is Buena Vista, where we spent one night at the Best Western Hotel on our way to Denver (and home via Southwestern Airlines).  We chose this hotel in this town because 12 years ago when we were last in Colorado this is where we stayed on night #1, after flying into Denver.

Now twelve years later, we also wanted to dine again at Quincy's!

Twelve years ago we had dinner at Quincy's in Buena Vista.  Later in that trip we also hit Quincy's in Leadville.  We well-remember that night in Leadville eating Filet Mignon at Quincy's because it was the first week of October (2007) and it snowed that night.

The remarkable thing about Quincy's is that there are only two things on the menu.  And actually only one choice is available on any given night.  Sunday through Thursday the only available choice is Filet Mignon (but with four options for meat portion size) and Friday and Saturday the only available choice is Prime Rib (also with four options for portion size)

Here's the easy menu:

Lettuce wedge for a simple salad

We are not serious carnivores.  So we both went with the 6 oz.
Filet Mignon.  That's not fatty meat; what you see around the 
perimeter of the filet are wrappings of bacon.


Colorado Road Trip 2019 | Some Finds from the Homesteading Days

Down route 24 south of Leadville (and in and around Leadville, too) are some great old wooden structures.  The dry atmosphere has kept them in decent shape for decades.

The first photo of this old wooden corral was taken on this trip.  The second is one I like from 12 years ago.

 Olympus E-M1 with 12-100mm F4 zoom @ 17mm (34mm full frame equivalent)

Olympus E-520 with 14-54mm F2.8-3.5 zoom @ 28mm (56mm full frame equivalent)

Here's another old structure, but I don't know anything about it. Looks like an old homestead and an outhouse and/or shed.  I am surprised I missed it 12 years ago.


Colorado Road Trip 2019 | Leadville CO

Leadville is getting more touristy. At least compared with my earlier visits, albeit only twice... 10 and 45 years ago. But it is no wonder it is popular with tourists.  It is a "classic" (still quaint?) western town.

I like the town's original name better!  It was Silver City, which makes more sense because it was a silver mining town. I'm not sure why it changed its name to Leadville.

At an elevation of 10,152 feet Leadville has the highest elevation of any incorporated city in the United States, and it is surrounded by many 14,000 foot peaks. Mount Sherman (not shown in any of my photos unfortunately) is part of the Mosquito Range is known as the easiest to climb "fourteener" in Colorado.  [By the way, in three weeks in Colorado we never once encountered a mosquito... I think it is just too dry.]

The "Unsinkable" Molly Brown had mining interests in Leadville. And I read that Doc Holliday was a lawman here.

As you can see in the images below, there are many well-preserved buildings in the historic district.  The city had a 2010 population of 2,759, yet in the late 1800's it was second in population only to Denver.


Colorado Road Trip 2019 | On the Road to Leadville - Route 24

Route 24 supplies some wonderful views as you travel south from Interstate 70 to Leadville (and even further to Beuna Vista where we would spend the night in the same Best Western we stayed at 10 years prior on a road trip to the four corners area (i.e. southwest corner of Colorado))

I don't recall what the road is like south of Beuna Vista, but after the night at Best Western, our trail takes us north and east toward Denver and the airport for our flight home.

As is typical for us, this 1 1/2 hour drive took us all day.
Leadville is about half way down the blue route, where the grey route joins it.

At this point we're on the outskirts of Leadville.
We pulled off the road and had this view as we ate our lunch.
It could not have been more magnificent.

23 seconds from out lunch spot


Colorado Road Trip 2019 | On the Road to Leadville - Camp Hale and Mount Cooper

Tennessee Pass and the 10th Mountain Division

While driving south along route 24 from Vail to Leadville, we were quite surprised when we came upon Camp Hale Historical Area. We knew nothing about it.  

It was closed to the public where we were. When we pulled off the road we were able to park next to the gate and could see miles of dirt roads and building foundations.  The sign at the gate referred to asbestos, and we figured that obeying the closure was the healthy thing to do. (Of course we would have obeyed the signs anyway.) Nevertheless, I read later that there are permitted areas for designated overnight camping.

Camp Hale was a U.S. Army training center for the 10th Mountain Division constructed in 1942. It was deactivated just three years later. 

Here, at over 9,000 feet of elevation, soldiers were trained in cold weather tactics and survival, as well as nordic and alpine skiing.  There were as many as 15,000 soldiers housed here. 

The Alpine skiing was done at Mount Cooper (not to be confused with a new Colorado ski resort called Copper Mountain).  Cooper is one of the oldest ski areas in the nation and continues to operate four lifts and 41 trails over 400 acres. By Colorado standards, it is a small ski area. Back in 1942 there were on-site barracks for instructors who were brought in from ski areas such as Sun Valley. There was one T-bar, and the first trails were cut by the soldiers.

A piece of Mount Cooper as seen from the parking lot.


Colorado Road Trip 2019 | Heading to Vail/Avon/Beaver Creek

Leaving Steamboat and on our way to Vail

Eventually as we headed south from Steamboat, things became quite desolate, hot, and arid (photos #3 and #4).  We drove through small towns with little in the way of services.  They included Oak Creek (pop. 900), Phippsburg (pop. 204 in 2010), Yampa (pop. 246 in 2014), and State Bridge (pop. unkown as it has not been included in past census counts).

Arriving in Vail Village

A few images from Vail Village follow.  I was once before in Vail.  It was 1980 and I remember sitting in the lounge at the hotel I was staying at with my brother and father, watching the U.S. Men's Hockey Team win the gold metal at the Lake Placid Olympics. That was a long time ago and the hotel we stayed at has since been replaced.


Colorado Road Trip 2019 | 15 Snapshots from Steamboat Springs

Alpine Rose Bed and Breakfast

The Alpine Rose B&B was a fine bed and breakfast on the outskirts of town.  Of course the town isn't very big, so this meant just a few blocks away from restaurants and shops, yet it was peaceful and quiet.


Random Images from downtown

Bicycles are everywhere, with
substantial bike paths and trails in the mountains.

Inside F.M. Light Outfitters

Downtown.  The ski resort is visible in the background.

Old fashioned soda fountain at
Lyon's Corner Drug Store.

Beers and dinner at Mountain Tap Brewery

The Yampa River runs along the edge of the town
with pedestrian bridges to get to the other side
and mirrored by a paved bike path.
In Steamboat, the outdoors is a playground.

The old and new ski jumps. The third photo shows the first known "official" ski jump in America.
It is the one furthest up the hill. It was built in 1915.
It is no longer used, but the two on the right are used for modern ski jump training and competition.
The larger of the two modern jumps is one of seven remaining approved for compositon
jumps in America.
Bud Werner Memorial Library
Skiers may know about the tragic death of local legend and olympian Buddy Werner
who died in Europe in an avalanche in 1964.

Off The Beaten Path Bookstore

Inside Off The Beaten Path Bookstore.

Inside Off The Beaten Path Bookstore.
Where have you ever seen a bookstore with a bakery
and also a happy hour?

Inside Off The Beaten Path Bookstore.