Meet MP’s 2021 Glenwood Springs Staycation hosts
MICHELLE & JASON SMITH
Parents of two
Michelle – Freelance Filmmaker and Editor
Jason – Operations Director for Inkwell Media
GLENWOOD SPRINGS STAYCATION
WELCOMING A VISIT FROM
A THRILL-SEEKING GRANDMOTHER
On any given Saturday morning in the summer, Jason’s mother Susan Smith, a.k.a. Grandma Sue, makes the three hour drive from her home in Denver to spend the weekend with our family.
We all meet up at Sweet Coloradough to pick out doughnuts and coffee for takeout and then we go back to our home to enjoy breakfast together on our backyard porch in a south Glenwood neighborhood.
The whole family loads up mountain bikes onto our car and heads to Two Rivers Park.
Grandma Sue will watch the kids while they play at the skate park and playground, and when they get hot, they will bike across a bridge over the Colorado River, a little way up the Rio Grande Trail, to play at their favorite river beach at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers.
While Grandma Sue is watching the kids, we will get some alone time and go for a mountain bike ride on the nearby and epic Grandstaff Trail.
Insider scoop: To find the overlook at the top of the Grandstaff trail, look for a large cross to your left with lights on it about 200 meters past the trail entrance. There is a slightly overgrown dirt trail that leads to the cross which leads to the overlook … without this landmark, someone might miss it.
After finishing our ride on Grandstaff, we meet Grandma Sue and the kids at the river beach to cool off and dip our feet in with the kids.
We bike back to the car, load up our bikes, and head into downtown Glenwood for lunch at our favorite lunch spot, The Grind, a locally-owned farm-to-table burger joint.
Jason loves the burger called Richie’s Lunch. It’s a half-pound, double-patty with local, grass-fed beef, lettuce, caramelized onions, bacon, gremolata mayo, and smoked provolone. For something lighter, but still highly satisfying, try the Blackened Chicken Salad. Of course, we all love their fries.
Everyone heads back to the house for some much-needed downtime. Mikaela takes a nap, the parents take showers, and Kilian cools-off indoors with a movie.
Everyone feels refreshed and it is time to head to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
Tip: On certain Saturdays, (August 21, 28; Sept. 11, 18) Glenwood Caverns will bring live music to the park for Saturday Sunset Concerts.
And, on evenings without concerts, the Adventure Park gives free gondola rides after 4:00 PM to anyone who brings a donation of at least one canned food item for the Lift-Up food pantry.
At the Caverns’ Lookout Grille, the adults grab a beer and the kids get a dessert.
Grandma Sue treats the kids to their favorite rides. Jason and Kilian decide to do the Alpine Coaster and the Haunted Mine Drop together, (which Kilian is finally tall enough to ride.) Michelle and Mikaela do the Mine Wheel (kids’ ferris wheel) together. (Photos compliments of Visit Glenwood Springs.)
After the evening at the adventure park, the kids are starting to fade, Grandma Sue sees how much fun Mom and Dad are having, so she offers to bring the kids home and put them to bed.
We head to Casey Brewing, our favorite because their beers are crafted with 99% Colorado ingredients. Troy and Emily Casey ferment and age their beers in vintage oak barrels with a mixed culture of saccharomyces, brettanomyces, and lactic acid bacteria. “Time is one of the most important elements to us,” Emily explains, “as the barrel aging process creates flavors that are impossible to create any other way.” This makes the beers so tasty and unique, such as the Casey Family Preserves, made with local apricots or blackberries. We grab a drink and hang out for a while with a few friends.
Before Grandma Sue heads out, we take a family hike up to the Doc Holiday Grave in Linwood Cemetery. This short .7 mile hike gives more great views of town. Kilian loves learning about the history of Glenwood, and while we are hiking, this short trek to a historic landmark inspires him to pretend he is a “gunslinger” from the 1800s like Doc Holiday.
Fun fact: Did you know that Glenwood was originally called Defiance? Established in 1883, “Defiance was a camp of tents, saloons, and brothels with an increasing amount of cabins and lodging establishments. It was populated with gamblers, gunslingers, and prostitutes,” the signage tells us.
Feeling energetic? Continue on above the cemetery to find a trail to another incredible overlook of the Valley and Mount Sopris. The trail climbs approximately 1500 feet to the top and is considered strenuous.
MEET OUR LOCAL FRIENDS
MP’S 2021 STAYCATION HOSTS: