Grace Wu


Stop #4: Denver, Boulder, Golden, CO

Wow, so much has happened since I arrived in Denver last Wednesday! The first few nights I stayed with my friend Kat, and explored Denver city. It was ridiculously hot the first few days (in the 100s!!) so I tried to stay in the AC as much as possible. I explored downtown, visiting the Clyfford Still Museum and the History Colorado Museum. I even checked out a local climbing gym, Movement Climbing + Fitness. Funny enough, I saw an old friend from NYC there! He and his girlfriend had just moved to Denver two weeks ago. Sometimes the world seems so small!

A little sketch of a painting at the Clyfford Still Museum.

A little sketch of a painting at the Clyfford Still Museum.

Friday night, my friend Michelle flew in from Seattle. Michelle was just on a road trip of her own, with her boyfriend Geoff. She had a week before starting her new job so she decided to meet me in Denver for a few days.

Saturday, we decided to check out the Denver County Fair. There were lots of cute animals, with more bird and bunny varieties then I knew even existed! There was a petting zoo, a huge model train set, and even some dancing dogs!

Afterwards, we decided to drive to Boulder to check out a local arts festival. We both knew a couple who had moved to Boulder a few years ago. We ended up catching up for a few hours in a cool bike shop/coffee shop while it rained outside.

Michelle and I tried to do a short hike along Mt Sanitas, but the storms weren’t quite over yet. With thunder coming over the mountain, we headed back to the car. We had some delicious pho for dinner and explored an Indian grocery, Hispanic bakery, and an Asian food store, all within the same shopping center!

During our very short hike near Mt Sanitas.

During our very short hike near Mt Sanitas.

Sunday, I picked up Michelle where she was staying with some college friends and then we headed up to Golden, which is just west of Denver. A friend had told us about one of the climbing crags in Clear Creek Canyon, so we decided to check it out.

The best thing about the crag was that it was in the shade until 2pm. Michelle and I led 4 climbs, which for us means it was a very successful day! We met many cute crag dogs and friendly climbers. The climbs were interesting, and the moves fun. Afterwards, we checked out the School of Mines Geology Museum. So many cool and fascinating rocks as well as some history of mining in Colorado! We checked into our AirBnB and almost fell asleep at 5pm; we were so tired from climbing.

On Monday we decided to go back to the same crag and try the other climbs we didn’t get to do. It has stormed the night before so it was relatively steamy at the crag (although nothing like the regular humidity back east). We warmed up on a 5.8, and decided to try a 5.10- that looked interesting. I led the climb, with a spicy start and middle section. But I finished with no takes! I was excited about that.

Michelle led two more climbs after that, which I followed on top rope. Another great 4 climb day! On the way back to the parking lot we crossed over Clear Creek, so Michelle and I decided to soak our sore feet. It was so cold! Like it feels like your feet are in a freezer cold. We saw some people hopping in tubes to go down the river! That’s insane since the water was moving fast and had some rapids! 😱

In the late afternoon, we headed back to Denver to meet Michelle’s college friends for dinner. It was nice meeting new people in Denver, and eating a delicious meal outside in their backyard.

On Tuesday, we explored the main part of Golden and explored the local shops and restaurants. After lunch we headed to Red Rocks Amphitheater. It’s a super neat outdoor amphitheater that serves as a park during the day if there are no concerts going on. Michelle and I did a short hike around the amphitheater and park. The landscape is amazing!

Afterwards, it was time to drop Michelle off at the airport. I’m so glad she was able to come out and adventure with me!

Denver is interesting in so many ways but also it wasn’t quite what I expected. I’m grateful for friends’ generosity as well as meeting new people and seeing old friends!