Brian & Diane Burmeister
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Vacation Diary
Colorado-Steamboat Springs 2012


Got up around 6:00 A.M.  Packed everythig up in the car, and checked the house over.  Started out around 7:00.  We drove to Worthington, got on the interstate and kept traveling west.  We stopped in Murdo South Dakota and filled up with gas and got a bite to eat.  Afer we finished eating we headed south of out of Murdo heading for Nebraska.  We hadn't been on this windy and hilly road for more than a mile when we had a "close call" with an 18 wheeler!  The semi was in the process of passing a group of cars on a bend in the road.  We slowed way down and the semi was able to get back in line.  Too close for comfort!!  Not more than 20 miles to the south we had another close call on this same road, this time with a pickup truck trying to pass a car on a hill.  This road was very scenic, but it is dangerous!  There were many hills throughout the region.  Once we passed into Nebraska the hills turned from lush green praire land to dry "sand" hills.  And hills they were!  And many of them!!  There were hills upon hils upon hills, and they looked like they were truly made up of sand.  We pulled off to the side of the road once, as I was going to try to get some of the "sand", but the area where we pulled off at the ground was hard as a rock.  We later pulled off on a scenic overlook and we found what the hills are made of, and it is actually sand.  Sand like one would find on a beach.  Crazy stuff!  One of the things that really struck Diane and I while driving through this area is the sheer poverty of the people.  The houses are all fallng apart, the yards and full of junk.  It is really depressing.  We finally made it out of the sand hills when we got to North Platte Nebraska.  We then headed west unti we got to Ogallala where we checked into the Days Inn.  Both of us slept pretty good.  Very soft beds. 
Friday, July 6th

Our anniversary day!  5 years with the most wonderful women on earth! 

Woke up around 6:00 and went down to eat breakfast at 6:30.  We were on the rode around 7:00.  We drove west along the interstate (80) towards Wyoming.  We arrived in Cheyenne mid morning.  From Cheyenne we drove on towards Laramie, and then we went south along highway 230 towards the border with Colorado.  From the border of Wyoming the scenary changed considerably, and was quite scenic.  We drove through mountain ranges and beautiful valleys.  Along the road to the Colorado border we had another "near miss".  A truck passed us heading north (we were driving south) and Diane looked in the rear view mirror and noticed that this truck lost a tire!  It bounced and spun out of control and nearly hit a vehicle that was following behind us.  Had this tire hit either our vehicle or the one in back of us, it certainly would have been catastrophic.  We continued on from there and after entering the mountains again we drove through an area that only the day before had been closed to the public, as there had been a forest fire burning in this area.  Needless to say, everything was burnt, but it did not seem to have burnt any structures (see our pictures).  We continued driving south and crossed the border into Colorado and drove into rather massive valley.  Not sure how long it took us to drive through this area, but it took a long time.  Many of the small towns we passed through again seemed very poor.  We finally made it to the mountains again and drive through some crazy windy roads until we finally reached Steamboat springs.  Steamboat springs sits in a beatiful valley (even though it is still 6600+ feet above sea level).  We checked in at our condo and then went downtown to the farmers market.  We then walked up and down the main street and went into many of the shops.  Lots of shops, and LOTS of people.  Reminded me alot of Stillwater and Wisconsin Dells.  Steamboat springs was definately NOT like many of the other towns in Colorado.  Steamboat springs is full of "million dollar" homes, and clearly is a very wealthy area.  We drove back to the Condo for a while before we went back out to eat at the Steamboat Steakhouse.  Our experience was not the best.  We did not get very much food, and it was not the best food.  We would not recommend this place to anyone.  We drove back to the condo and went to bed.
Saturday July 7th

After waking up Sunday morning, we drove to the local art festival in the part.  There were probably around 100 vendors selling their wares.  It was quite interesting.  We spent around 2 hours walking around and browsing through all tents.  Lots of various items being sold.  Almost all of the items that were for sale were items that were made by each vendor.  Diane and I did not purchase anything, as everything was quite expensive, and we really did not see too many items that caught our attention.   After leaving the park, we went to Safeway, Wallmart, Wallgreens and then we went to eat at Taco Bell/KFC.  We came back to the condo around the middle of the afternoon and we rest and relaxed until around 5:00.  For supper we walked over to a place called the Rusty Porch.  Diane had Snitchel and home made augratin potatoes and I had a an open faced sandwhich served with red chile.  Both meals were good.  We had a much more enjoyable eating experience today then the previous days.   We then walked back to the condo and watched TV and relaxed for the remainder of the night.
Sunday July 8th

 Started out Monday by having a meeting with Wyndham vacation resorts.  It "only" lasted 1 hour 25 min, and we got a $75.00 Am. Ex. card.  We then went to the Alpine Slide after that.  We had a BLAST!  The alpine slide was aound 2400 feet long.  Diane and I went full speed on the slide!  Many people did not go nearly that fast, but the adrenaline rush was just too much, and it was too hard to hold back from going full speed.  We loved it.  We would certainly do that again, and we would highly recommend it to anyone else. We then went back to the condo to eat leftovers.  We lounged around for most of the afternoon.  Aound 4:00 we went up to Gondalo square and Ski Time square to purchase tickets for the Gondola.  We were informed that the Gondola closes at 4:00.  We then decided to visit many of the shops up there and we even purchased a couple of T-Shirts and even a nice picture frame.  We really enjoyed talking with may of the shop ownwers.  After a while we walked over to a restaurant called the Slopeside.  Diane had Chicken Picatta and I had brick oven pizza.  Diane had a coupon for a free desert.  We choose something called "Monster Cookie" for desert.  We enjoyed eating there.  After eating we drove back to the condo and watched TV and rested for the remainder of the night.  
Monday July 9th

We got up around 7:30.  We read until 10:00 at which point we drove up to Gondalo square.  We purchased tickets and took the Gondola up the tallest mountain in Steamboat.  Unfortunately the godola does not go up to the top of the mountain, but we were probably still around 9500+ feet up.  The views from up there were really spectacular.  We took lots of pictures and even hiked further up the mountain.  We took he gondola back down after staying up on the mountain for about an hour to an hour and a half.  We drove back to the condo and ate dinner.  We then rested and relaxed the remainder of the afternoon.  For supper we headed out to the Saddleback ranch where we rode horses for a short distance, and then the ranch hands prepared a nice supper for us.  Diane and I had steak, baked potato, beans and then desert.  While there we met a nice young couple from Colorado Springs.  They were there on their honeymoon.  They had just got married on July 7th.  How ironic!  The horseride was very nice, as we rode across the rolling grassland.  I was hoping we would ride up into he hills, but that did not happen.  We drove back to the condo around 8:30 and watched TV for the remainder of the night.
Tuesday July 10th

Got up around 7:30 and we stayed in bed all morning and read and played on the computer.  The only time we left was to go to a local steak and seafood place to pickup supper.  Diane purchased a crabcake sandwhich, and I got a philly cheesecake.  We also picked up some ribs for supper on Thursday.  We came back home and ate supper, sat out on the deck and relaxed the rest of the night.  A very relaxing day.
Wednesday July 11th

Got up early this morning....6:00 A.M.  We were out the door by 7:00 and on the road to Glenwood Springs.  We had a reservation for "paragliding".  We took highway 40 to highway 131 (both of these roads were very windy, but had plenty of nice scenary).   We then linked up with interstate highway 70 and headed west.  The scenary alog this section of highway was very different to what we were used to around Steamboat Springs.  The land was very dry along the interstate, and the mountains were made of a very dark "red" colored rock.  There were very few trees, and some of the hills/mountains were a chalky color.  Very different from the rest of Northern Colorado.  As we neared Glenwood Springs we entered "White River National Forest", and I have to admit this was the most beautiful area of Colorado.  The Mountains run straight up along the sides of the road and with the Colorado river running along the side of the interstate, it makes for a very scenic drive.  We arrived in Glenwood Springs around 9:45.  We found the meeting spot for the paragliding.  They loaded us up in a truck and we proceeded to drive up to the top of one of the mountains that overlook the town.  It was a VERY winedy road.  It constatnly switched back and forth, which made the ride up the mountain rather interesting.  When we got to the top of the mountain, the instructers did not waste any time in getting us into the gear.  I (Brian) was the first one to go.  The gave me about 30 seconds worth of instructions and then quickly threw on my gear, and then off we went over the side of the mountain!!  The mountian is 1500+ feet about the city down below, so we were a long ways above the town.  Th instructer guided us close to the mountain.  We kept circling back and forth.  Diane took to the air shortly after I did, and we ended up passing close by each other in the air, and we waived at each other.  We would end up catching the "thermals" which came up the mountain from below. When we did this it would push us up even higher into the sky.  At one point we were probably around 200-300 feet above the top of the mountain!  At that point I asked the instructor when he planned on setting us down in the town.  He said I was in control, and if I wanted to go down now, he would take us down.  I was starting to get motion sickness from going back and forth, so I told him to start to descend.  It took us around 5 minutes to descend all the way down to the town.  By that time Diane was already down on the field waiting for me.  I did not realize it at the time, but she was suffering from motion sickness as well, but hers was far worse then mine.  We thanked the instructers for the ride, and then walked up to the car.  We sat in the car with the AC on max for a long time.  Diane was starting to feel worse as time went on.  We both had to use the restroom, so we drove to a local supermarket and used their restrooms.  Diane was inside for quite so time.  When she came out she was very white, and it seemed like her motion sickness was getting worse.  We sat out in the parking lot with the air on full blast trying to cool her off.  We got going towards home (Steamboat) after sitting in the parking lot for about 20 minutes.  Diane tried to sleep on the way home, but with the windee roads, it was almost impossible.  I pulled once while she was getting sick.  We arrived back in Steamboat by early afternoon and just rested the rest of the day.  It was a"fun" experience, but we decided not to do any more "fun" things that may end up giving us motion sickness.
Thursday July 12th

Seattle-June 2011
Colorado-Steamboat Springs 2012