No car rentals, no hotel reservations, no plans: that’s the way I like to travel. When I think of all the trips my friends have planned over the years, almost every single one has fallen through. Someone backed out, flights got cancelled, hearts got broken ... you name it, I’ve heard it. I understand, I’ve bailed on a few trips I regret, but I’ve jumped on a bunch of trips last minute I’ll never forget. I just spent five days in Colorado thanks to my StokeLab athlete Nick Weymouth, who made the trip possible by extending his hospitality. Over the course of the week we were able to meet up with some old friends and make some new ones. We were blessed with more than a foot of fresh snow at Vail, and enjoyed one of the most beautiful bluebird days I’ve ever seen.
To top it off, it was my girlfriend’s birthday and first time to the Rockies. She only started snowboarding a few years ago, and I’ll never forget the smile on her face after she dropped her first cornice and completely exploded on landing. It’s trips like this one that remind me how sometimes having no plan can be the best plan.
Best place to stay on a budget: The Green Bridge Inn $130 a night for four people in a beautifully renovated hotel near Vail and Beaver Creek. Redcliff, CO
Best deal for lunch: Moe’s BBQ $14 for an entrée with 2-sides and a PBR. Lionshead Village, Vail, CO
If you can splurge for dinner one night: Lancelots Best prime rib, hands down. Salmon was great too. Vail Village, Vail, CO
If you want to see the most interesting mix of people: The Red Lion Wow. Vail Village, Vail, CO
If you have an extra night to party in Boulder: Snooze Breakfast that makes you smile. Pearl St. Boulder, CO
Thanks to Nick Weymouth (for your hospitality), Kristen, John, Shorty, Greg, Ali, Stefan, and Gus for the good times.
[Words + Photos by Randy Elles]