Running from the Law: Anniversary Trip - Hiking Vail

Friday, August 20, 2010

Anniversary Trip - Hiking Vail

After walking around Vail Village for a while, we decided to go for a hike.  A friend of Ryan's recommended that we hike the Pitkin Trail, right outside of Vail.
It is about 8.8 miles and can take anywhere from 6-10 hours round trip.
The final destination on the hike is a scenic mountain lake, although we never made it there.
Right away, the trail crosses a gorgeous (and freezing cold) mountain stream. 
Ryan said it looked "fishy" so he brought his fly rod.
The highest point along the Pitkin Trail is 11,400, which is higher than the top of Vail Mountain.
Total elevation gain is 3,000 vertical feet.
 The trail climbs about 800 ft in the first 3/4 mile.
It was pretty vertical.
As we made our way up, Ryan had to call in to work.
This sure beats any day in the office!
While we hiked, I took pictures of all the gorgeous flowers we saw.
(Ryan, please buy me a Macro lens so I can take really cool flower pictures!)
After about a mile of straight uphill hiking, the trail finally tapered off. 
By the time the trail reaches the plateau it has already crossed into the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area.
The trail doubles back onto the path of Pitkin Creek.
Which was visible just behind those trees.
That still looked "fishy" to Ryan.
So what's a boy to do in that situation?
Yep.  How'd you know?
This was the time that I sat down in the shade to read a book and listen to the water.
It was lovely.
But unfortunately, the stream was less "fishy" than Ryan wanted.
We decided to head back to town and check out Gore Creek.

We found a nice little section of Gore Creek, just West of Vail that Ryan wanted to fish. 
It was next to a cute little off-leash dog park, so I could read and watch the dogs play while Ryan fished.
I don't think Ryan was having any fun at all.
Finally, it was time to check into our hotel. 
We stayed at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa in Lionshead.
I'm not sure if was all the tweeting I'd been doing with @MarriottIntl before our trip or the mention of our anniversary at the front desk, but they upgraded us to a suite!
I've never been upgraded in a hotel, so this was amazing!!
I heart you Marriott.
We had our own little kitchen and dining area.
I felt so Pioneer Woman taking this bathroom shot, hip popped and all.
The room was so spacious, but still cozy.
And the best part...we had a FIREPLACE!!
I die.
So we lit a JULY!!
Have you ever heard of anything so awesome?
I haven't.
We had an hour or so to kill before dinner, so we explored our surroundings. 
Gore Creek ran right behind our hotel and has a really nice bike trail that runs along the water.
We walked along the trail.
We saw a fly fisherman.
We saw some deer.
We watched the sunset.
That evening we had another romantic (and delicious) dinner at the Atwater Cafe on Gore at the Cascades.

We split a small plate of lobster and mushroom tagliatelle that was divine.
I had the duck and Ryan had chicken.  Both were amazing.

For dessert, we wanted cake.

As you all probably know, it's tradition to eat the top layer of your wedding cake on your first year anniversary.  However, since we had a destination wedding, it just wasn't possible for us to do that. 

So instead, Brit at The Landlocked Bride gave us a recommendation for Mountain Flour Bakery in Eagle that could make us an anniversary cake.
I left the decoration up to the baker. 
I just said I wanted something simple and pretty. 
I think they did an amazing job!
We loved our original white wedding cake, but I thought it'd be fun to mix things up a little, so I ordered a chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling. 
It was out of this world.
Of course, dessert wouldn't be complete without some bubbly.
And a fire in the fireplace (in JULY!).
It was a fabulous day in the mountains.

And we have 2 more to come!

Stay tuned...


  1. Colorado offers on the most amazing outdoor scenery, hiking, and fishing! Happy anniversary again, I think the symbolic cake looks good!

  2. OK, that's it, my house is going on the market tomorrow. We're moving to Colorado. You're coming.

    Sure, I don't have a job lined up, and I have no idea if we could afford a house in Colorado, but, I could live in a shanty for a little bit. Right?

    Also, my parents and little sister ate the top of my wedding cake when we were on own honeymoon. They SWEAR they didn't, but, I watched my MOH put it in my parents freezer, and when we got back from Hawaii, it was nowhere to be found. And I never had any cake at my own wedding, so, I'm still a bit bitter about it! Ha.

  3. Oh yay! I'm glad the cake turned out great! It looks delicious! I'm so happy you all enjoyed Colorado - it is seriously my most favorite place in the U.S. Happy Anniversary!

  4. What an amazing anniversary trip! I have heard really great things about Vail. Your hotel room was amazing, major kudos to you for even leaving it. Dan and I got a suite in Coeur d'Alen once and seriously could not bring ourselves do leave it because we loved it so much. Your hike looked well worth it though!