Day 1 – Denver to Dillon
So after waking up and having a lazy Saturday morning breakfast, my family and I packed up our stuff and loaded the car. With a full truck and leaving a little later than planned, we were on the road. On the road indeed! After getting some gas outside of Golden we were surprised to see that we weren’t allowed back on the highway. Apparently Fastracks was working on their light rail line and half the on-ramps to I-70 were un available…oh well. We eventually make it back to the highway and ready to head to the high country. But what do you know! We get diverted again, except this time a big rig got wedged under an overpass and the state troopers shut diverted the highway to C-470. Oh boy, well it ended up being a nice little detour around North Dinosaur Park which is the ridge just east of Red Rocks. After passing through the quite scenic town of Morrison, the drive got us back to the highway and out of any traffic for the rest of the drive. The rest of the drive, past Idaho Springs and Georgetown, was uneventful until we reached Dillon, ready to raise the sails and cast off with the wind in our hair.
Once in Dillon, my father and I were ready to do some sailing. Most people know that Dillon is a hot spot for skiers in the winter as there are four world-class ski areas all within 15 minutes. But what many don’t realize is the wonderful summer escape that is Dillon Reservoir. Created in the mid 1960s, the reservoir is one of the largest in the Rocky Mountains, supplying much of Denver with its water supply. Though the water is too cold to swim in, there are plenty of opportunities for fun with fishing, canoeing, kayaking, sailing and boating. If you’re thinking about stopping by and paying Dillon a visit, make sure to stop by either the Arapahoe Cafe or Dillon Marina’s Tiki Bar, both Grade-A places to grab some delicious high country burgers and beer, all while enjoying the pristine body of water. These restaurants have two of the best outdoor decks in Summit County, and I highly advise eating outside. Interesting side note, the Arapahoe Cafe building was one of the original structures of Old Dillon, which was located right at the bottom of the valley. When Denver Water decided to create the dam the whole town was either moved up the hill or demolished. Now only one other commercial structure from Old Dillon still stands, as a Historical Museum a few blocks away.
Once on the water everything sincerely slowed down and relaxed for vacation. The wind was here and there, but with full sails up, Whirlwind cut through the glassy water with the breeze. The racers were out and about, shuttling from buoy to buoy. Despite the inconsistent wind there was a consistent breeze off of the Dillon Dam that allowed for the racers to utilize their large Spinaker sails, typically only used when sailing downwind. It was a pleasant mountain reminder about all the fun one can have in the high country as I watched the J boats sail with Keystone‘s mountain trails in the background. Well after soaking up some sun, playing with the breeze, and watching the J boats race around the lake it was time to head back in.
The night winded down quietly, enjoying an evening at our home away from home in Summit Cove. After enjoying a delicious steak and salad dinner, paired with an equally delicious Boulevard Brewery Amber Ale, we all settled in and watched the Denver Broncos stomp the Buffalo Bills in preseason. Here’s to a wonderful vacation ahead (and to a great football season) Go Broncos!
Posted on August 21, 2011, in Colorado Road Trip and tagged Arapahoe Cafe, Boulevard Brewing, Broncos, Colorado, construction, Denver, Dillon, Dillon Marina, Dillon Reservoir, J boats, Morrison, mountains, Red Rocks, Road Trip, sailing, spinaker, Summer, Summit County, Tiki Bar, traffic. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.