July 03, 2012

Fort Collins, CO

Fort Collins was not much different from Estes Park - beautiful mountains, dry heat and lovely. A much larger town, Fort Collins was the finish line for Ride the Rockies.

After sending Matt of for the last day of Ride the Rockies...

...I took my time in Estes Park before heading for Fort Collins, first grabbing a coffee at Kind Coffee (all the bikes in front of the coffee shop reminded me of RAGBRAI...sigh!) and then taking a quick drive to the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Loved this pig in front of the coffee shop!

After taking in the breathtaking views, I began my drive to Fort Collins, venturing my way through a number of quaint towns along the way. I stopped in Lyons for a second coffee (all I drink is drip...but I needed more!) and a snack. 

A neat little town, Lyons reminded me of my hometown of Algona. Lyons had locally owned shops that were obviously valued and appreciated by the community.

When I arrived in Fort Collins, Matt had already crossed the finish line.

We loaded his bike in the rental car, went back to the finish line, and grabbed a couple tacos at Rio Grande, which is a popular restaurant in Fort Collins.

We then left the finish line and drove to the house where Matt lived when going to school. Located just outside of Laporte, a community about 10 miles west of Fort Collins, evidence from the fires was very evident. The mountains looked like a shadow was cast over the trees; however, the shadow was actually burned trees. The destruction was so sad to see; however, it looked as though the fires were staying away from the homes in Laporte.

After getting back to Fort Collins, we checked into our hotel and headed for dinner at CooperSmith's Pub & Brewery.

One of many breweries in Fort Collins, the menu was not extravagant; however, the food was pretty tasty. We ordered an appetizer of Red Feather Fingers to go with a beer for each of us. For the main course, Matt ordered a Black and Bleu Burger and I ordered the Spicy Black Bean Burger.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel and went to bed...we had a big day planned for our last day in Colorado.