Colorado Sketchbook

Sunday, January 27, 2019

I had to be in Boulder last week for work, so M. and I took advantage of the long MLK weekend to plan a trip to the mountains. We flew into Denver Friday night and stayed at the Maven Hotel at Dairy Block, a hipster hotel not far from Union Station. The plan was to take Amtrak's California Zephyr -- reputed to be one of the most scenic rail routes in the country -- westward the following morning.

Well. We knew the previous night that the train would be delayed, as it was several hours late leaving Chicago. But as the hours went on, the delay just grew. And grew. And grew. The morning came and went. So did noon. We watched people play shuffleboard at Union Station.

190119 Union Station Denver

190119 Union Station Denver 2

Finally, around 4:30 pm, the train slowly backed into the station. We were disappointed; the sole reason to take the 5+ hour train instead of a rental car was to see parts of the mountains otherwise hard to get to especially in the winter. With the late departure, we were barely climbing into the rockies at sunset.

190119 Entering Rockies Colorado

Nevertheless, it was an adventure, albeit an overpriced one given the late hour; we had a roomette to ourselves, dined in the dining car, and sat for a few minutes in the lounge car.

In the morning we took a dip in the vast, steamy hot-springs fed pool at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort and then picked up our rental car to drive east.

190120 I-70 E Vail Denver Colorado

We stopped in Vail for lunch. I sketched the view from the window at Pepi's, an Austrian restaurant recommended to us by the Enterprise rep. So many colorfully dressed skiers and snowboarders in the town. And yep, those are the ski lifts in the background!

190120 Vail Colorado

190120 Skiers Vail Colorado

When we got back to Denver, we had dinner at Ace Eat Serve. It's food ... plus ping pong. Genius!

190120 Ace Eat Serve Denver 2

190120 Ace Eat Serve Denver

After M. left for home on Monday morning, I went shopping and then to the Christian Dior fashion exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. I used a few Zebra Zensations mechanical colored pencils (bought at Meininger, of course) to draw while in the museum, as they don't allow pens there. I used watercolor to color them later.

190121 Dior at Denver Art Museum

Dinner with friends at Avelina and then drinks across the street at the Oxford Hotel's Cruise Room rounded out the weekend before I headed off to work in Boulder for the week!

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  1. Waiting for the train must have been so frustrating. I'm glad you did finally get to see some of the view. I like your sketches in Vail and at the museum. I have some of those pencils, but have yet to try them. I'll have to throw them in my bag for the next time I'm at a museum.