denver: flatirons vista & larimer square

In the breakfast area of Hyatt House Denver, two older folks were studiously reading their Bibles. Mike took Alex to drop off his car for repairs; when they returned we stopped by Whole Foods to pick up stuff for a picnic lunch: turkey pesto wraps and an avocado shrimp tempura roll for me.

As we got underway, the blue sky was filled with dramatic clouds with charcoal underbellies. It was a cool 62°F. We passed a neighborhood where every house had a solar panel on the roof.  Colorado folks are such forward thinkers.

We headed to the Flatirons Vista Trail.  Alex and I had tried to do this in 2018 when I came to Denver to begin my Four Corners Road Trip, but at that time the trail was closed due to muddy conditions. Today, we were finally able to do it.

The trail had gorgeous views of the Flatirons Plateau and the surrounding grasslands.

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Flatirons Vista Trail

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Flatirons Vista Trail

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Flatirons Vista Trail

We hiked for about 2 1/2 hours. What perfect conditions and views we had on this hike!

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Flatirons Vista Trail

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Flatirons Vista Trail

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Flatirons Vista Trail

In the afternoon, we stopped at the shop for Alex to pick up his car.

In the evening, we went into downtown Denver to Larimer Square where we had a lovely dinner at Rioja. The restaurant’s menu is inspired by Mediterranean ingredients and influenced by local and seasonal products. I  don’t remember all that we had, but one dish was a ricotta gnocchi: sauteed chanterelle mushrooms, Olathe corn, pine nut butter, corn sabayon, picklet shallot and dill. It was all delicious. We had a seat at a bar beside the pizza oven and managed to have a nice chat with the cook behind the counter.

We took a stroll down the festive light-festooned Larimer Square after dinner.

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Larimer Square

The next day, Mike planned to stay in Denver and meet up with an old friend, while I would begin my long drive back home, with several stops along the way.

*Steps: 14,467; 6.13 miles*

*Friday, September 27, 2019*