|Sculptures abound in downtown Loveland.|
Loveland boasts a mostly paved 18 mile bike and pedestrian trail around the city. The trail goes through Boyd Lake State Park where we stayed. One day we rode a 15 mile loop from the campground, along the Big Thompson River, then back through city streets.
We did run in to some minor challenges along the way as there is construction going on at various places along the trail due to major flooding in 2013 and also current flooding due to the heavy rains we've experienced this spring.
|The trail through Boyd Lake State Park; you can see some of the camp sites on the right.|
|The day we rode we encountered several places where the Big Thompson River had overtaken the bike path.|
|The Big Thompson River flows swift and overflowing through Fairgrounds Park.|
Heavy spring rains and recent high temps are quickly melting snow in the Rockies.
|Sometimes we had to hike-a-bike to avoid a flooded underpass.|
|One of several whimsical sculptures along Lake Loveland.|
New Belgium Brewery, located just up the road in Fort Collins, is one of MANY breweries along the Front Range, but we'd been told this one was special (thanks Mike and Keyna!). It's no wonder this tour rates #1 on Trip Advisor's list of Things to do in Fort Collins, it was the most fun brewery tour we've ever taken! This employee-owned company does it right, with beer tastings DURING the tour and a tornado slide at the end!
Our tour guide, Mindy, was lively and knowledgeable, telling us about the sustainability practices used throughout the company and how each employee gets a bike on their one year anniversary and a two week trip to Belgium on their five year annivesary! People temp here for years before getting a chance to be hired, and then they may compete against hundreds for a single job.
|Mindy tells us how to pour a beer and about the 8 beers we had to choose from on our first tour stop...|
we got to pour our own beer!
|In the area where they barrel-age the sour beers, we got to try both the pre-aged beer and the final sour beer.|
It goes from a smooth coffee and chocolate flavor to a puckery, fruity sour beer in 1 - 3 years.
|The tornado slide is a blast...especially after the tasty brews! :-)|
Following the tour, as if we hadn't had enough beer already, we drove a short distance to Odell Brewing to partake of an onsite food truck and listen to some live music. Umami's thai nachos and edamame were delicious, as was the Sibling Rivalry Red IPA.
|We shared the beer...!|
We spent our four nights in Loveland at Boyd Lake State Park. It's got 148 electric only sites. Roads and sites are paved and each has a picnic table and BBQ pit. The sites are said to accomodate up to 40' rigs and they have a weird curve to them that makes it a little difficult for larger rigs to maneuver while trying to avoid the grass. There is a reasonable amount of separation between the sites.
The park is well off the freeway so it's nice and quiet at night. Though there was no wifi available, we did have decent Verizon signal with our booster. Each camping loop has a restroom building and there is a large central restroom facility that includes pay showers and a small laundry room. All types of water sports are allowed on the lake and there are multiple picnic sites, playgrounds and a swim beach. The Loveland Recreation Trail goes through the state park.
Our stay included a Friday night in early June and we definitely experienced the beginning of summer weekend revelry. RV's streamed in all afternoon and evening, many folks had boats, loud music was played and many campfires burned...a 9pm thunderstorm put an end to all that! This place has got to be crazy busy every nice weekend during the summer months.
The weather was wild during our stay, ranging from 90 degrees and sunny to hail and rain and thunderstorms...and a tornado touched down less than 10 miles South of us. We've both decided that we do not like hail very much! And we'll take a pass on tornadoes too!
|The biggest hail we've ever encontered!|
|We got creative trying to protect our truck on the second day of afternoon hail storms!|
|Not sure you can see the curve of our site, #71.|
Our truck and 35 foot 5th wheel just barely fit on the site.
|The Recreation Trail along Boyd Lake.|
Today we head into Wyoming for a couple of brief stops and, unfortunately, we aren't done with the rain yet! Though it certainly cut back on our outdoor activities in Colorado, at least it's making everything around us incredibly green!
Great stop and happy you avoided most of the fallout from the severe weather that hit the area. Great breweries there, lucky you. Take care on the road.ReplyDelete
Despite the weather Colorado has been fabulous! We were very fortunate!Delete
We hope to get to that area this summer. So many breweries! The New Belgium tour sounds like fun.ReplyDelete
Colorado is a great state for both hiking AND beer!Delete
That New Belgium tour sounds like a blast. I can't believe the rain that the west has been getting, but probably needed in so many areas. Will need to put Loveland on the list. Looks like an interesting place.ReplyDelete
I sure wish we could send some rain to California!Delete
What a fun brewery tour! I'll have to remember New Belgium if I ever get to CO. Glad you escaped the tornado and hail. I grew up in S Dakota and know all about this type of weather. Don't miss it at all!ReplyDelete
We were extremely fortunate only to experience the fringes of these terrible storms!Delete
What a fun post! I love the variety. Everything you did in Loveland sounds interesting. Glad you didn't get hit by the tornado.ReplyDelete
Thanks! Fingers crossed we exit this part of the country without mishap!Delete
Great attitude about the rain. I need to take a lesson from you. I'm just sick of it and the dreary skies with it. Ruby got some serious hail damage in 2011 in Oklahoma. I'm really surprised that with hail as large as those you got away unscathed. Really lucky. Wonder if we are related to the Boyds of this park? HA! I like their bike trail but was wondering how you were doing with the flooding.ReplyDelete
We only found two very tiny dents in the hood of the truck, can't even see them unless you're in the right light.Delete
Those are good looking sculptures! Our hail stones were smaller than yours! scary stuff.ReplyDelete
Yesterday we were thinking of driving up to the brewery (after reading your FB post) while our rig was being in maintained in Frederick but the oncoming storm was already on our tail. We decided not to stay at their lot and head for Limon, CO instead and we missed the storm.
Good for you for missing the storm! It is incredible how fast the storms come and go!Delete
We ran into the same problem on the bike trail but it was the Platte River that was overflowing for us. It must happen here often because we had detours around the water. That was a lot of water you were experiencing! I love that sculpture of the children on the log:) So glad you made it through the storms. We had a few really rough nights. I don't know if you saw the police car that went into the sink hole, but that was right around the corner from us. Hope the rain moves on for you:)ReplyDelete
Oh my, you were right in the action! I was amazed at those scenes of deep hail in Denver.Delete
The weather has just been crazy! Make it stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Looking forward to seeing Wyoming.ReplyDelete
:-) Wyoming in the spring green is going to be amazing!Delete
I have so enjoyed your stay in Colorado...looking forward to your next adventures! Safe travels.ReplyDelete
Thanks Gay, we're looking forward to lots of new territory this summer!Delete
New Belgium is one the companies we highlighted for excellent employee programs, and I'm a big fan of their "products" as well :-) Looks like the tour is also exceptional! Seems the weather has turned to extremes with either zero rain or flooding....that hail looks deadly! You're not in San Diego any more :-) Thanks for another helpful site review - they've been wonderful for planning next summer.ReplyDelete
What a fun town and a great write-up! That bike trail looks like quite the adventure -- I don't think we've ever had to portage while biking. And that is definitely a cool brewery. Those storms sound scary, though. Glad you guys are safe.ReplyDelete