I departed from Dallas’ Love Field airport on Friday, June 14, en route to Vail, Colo. (see photo), to coach my summer lacrosse team in a tournament there.
The trip was my first encounter with the magnificent Rocky Mountains.
The team’s coaches flew to Denver and decided to remain there for the weekend before we went to the tournament, which started on Monday in Vail. While in Denver, which sits at the foot of the Rockies, we went to Red Rocks Park just outside of the city and hiked the trail: Not only were the views of the mountains incredible, but the landscape of the park itself was amazing. The formation of the rocks and red tint engulfing them makes this place one of the more unique places that I’ve ever visited.
After the hike, we took a short road trip to Boulder to check out the town, and ate dinner in the town square. The town of Boulder was bustling with musicians and college kids, but there was a laid back attitude. After dinner Saturday, we headed back into Denver to meet some friends. But Sunday arrived quickly, and it was time to drive through the mountains to Vail.
Denver, the Mile High City, sits at 5,280 feet above sea level. However, as you enter the Rockies on I-70 West, you ascend rapidly, and before you know it you are 8,000 feet of elevation. The road winds up and down through small mountain towns, and at the high point of the drive you are about 11,000 feet above sea level. For people who have never made this road trip before, I would highly recommend doing so as this was easily the coolest drive that I have ever taken. The twists and turns through the mountains, along with the views of the mountains themselves are absolutely breathtaking.
It was an amazing road trip.
When we arrived at our hotel in Beaver Creek, one could not help but notice the beauty in that part of the country. Since the sun was setting when we arrived, the first thing I noticed was that the temperature at night gets cold even with summer approaching. This is a stark contrast from the weather in Dallas in the summer months. My fellow coaches and I got unpacked, hung out for a few hours, and then decided to get a good night’s sleep before a long day of coaching.
The tournament went great for my team as we reached the championship game. Unfortunately, the team did not play too well in the title game and lost. Still, Vail was a great experience for our players and coaches – the beauty and majesty of the mountains is something that is hard to describe.
I am fortunate to have made this trip. It is one that I will never forget.
By Matt Holman