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Month Sixty One of Digital Nomad Life was a pretty chilled one, mostly spent in and around Denver – working, dog sitting, hanging out with friends and family, and hiking.
My main two focuses this month as I was only out of town for six nights the whole month was working hard on this website, and getting in better shape by walking or hiking at least 5 miles a day for six days per week, as well as cutting down on sugar, processed carbs and dairy.
I was mostly successful, and I feel like I ate healthy about 70% of the time, and I did so many amazing hikes, and lots of local neighborhood walks.
Another goal this month was to try lots of new breweries and I drank some incredible beer, which was as always, a lot of fun.
Along with working, working out and drinking beer, I did travel a little this month. I did a fun four-day Colorado road trip with a friend, returning to Telluride as well as visiting one of my other favorite mountain towns – Crested Butte. Highlights of our road trip were hiking in Telluride and the incredible wildflowers around Crested Butte.
I also started the month with a couple of nights in Leadville, another mountain town that I am very fond of. We stayed at one of our favorite Colorado Airbnbs and really enjoyed soaking in the jacuzzi, and meeting other travelers.
Now onto the stats.
Countries Visited: USA
- Colorado: Leadville, Denver, Golden, Idaho Springs, Salida, Telluride, Crested Butte
National Parks, Monuments, and UNESCO Sites: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Islands Visited: No islands this month
Best Meals: Fried Green Tomato Benedict from Sassafras in Golden; Hipster pizza with pineapple, ricotta, and peppers from BeauJo’s in Idaho Springs; Cactus tacos from Tacos El Tapatio in Salida; Margherita pizza from Brown Dog in Telluride; and Where’s the Beef? pizza with figs, onions and mushrooms from Secret Stash Pizza in Crested Butte. Allll about the pizza this month!
Worst Meals: Olive Garden. I had never been and I felt like I would never be a real American until I ate there. Now I never have to eat there again because it was average AF. I had the Shrimp Scampi and it was OK, the bread sticks were good, and the salad was super basic and boring.
Best Craft Beer: So many great beers this month! Chocolate Drop Pale Ale from Oasis Brewing Company, Razz Against the Machine from Little Machine Beer, Walk in the Parfait Fruited Sour from New Terrain Brewing, and Geese Goose Gose from FlyteCo Craft Brewing were my favorites.
- Boulders, Old Chub and Wheelers Way in Leadville, CO 7.2km/4.5 miles
- Belcher Hill, Longhorn and Whippletree loop trail in Golden, CO 7.4km/4.6 miles
- Clear Creek trail in Wheat Ridge, CO 7.7km/4.8 miles
- Clear Creek trail loop in Golden, CO 6.4km/4 miles
- Platte River and Confluence Park in Denver, CO 5.6km/3.5 miles
- Bear Creek and top of waterfall in Telluride, CO 9.7km/6 miles
- Bridal Veil Falls trail in Telluride, CO 4.8km/3 miles
- Rustler’s Gulch trail in Crested Butte, CO 15.2km/9.5 miles
- Rocky Mountain Lake, Berkeley Lake and Tennyson loop walk in Denver, CO 9.3km/5.8 miles
- Apex and Enchanted Forest trails in Golden, CO 6.4km/4 miles
- Sloan’s Lake loop and Highlands walk in Denver, CO 8.8km/5.5 miles
Watching: Upload (creepy premise but LOVED it), Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga (possibly the best thing Will Farrell has ever done), What we do in the Shadows Season Two (also funny!), Down to Earth with Zac Efron (newfound appreciation for Zac Efron – he’s not just a pretty face), Hamilton (WOW, so amazing! Can’t wait to see it live at some point in the future!)
Reading: Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan, The Radium Girls by Kate Moore.
Posts Published on The World on my Necklace This Month:
Ultimate Sri Lanka Packing List for One Month
I struggled with what to pack for Sri Lanka, so after spending a month there at the beginning of the year, I wrote a guide to help others planning to travel to Sri Lanka once it is safe and responsible to do so again.
The Perfect 3 Days in Denver Itinerary
I updated and expanded my 3-day guide to Denver and it now includes more places to eat, lots more breweries, and a few extra bonus activities.
The Best Cheap Eats Hong Kong Guide
I am no food expert, but I did a lot of research for my week of eating in Hong Kong and I think I did a pretty great job, because I loved pretty much everything I ate. Check it out if you are planning a trip to Hong Kong in the future, especially if you love dumplings and egg waffles like me.
Relaxing Time in Leadville
I really enjoyed our three nights in Leadville staying at the awesome airbnb we stayed at last year. We chatted to other travelers, soaked in the jacuzzi, ate at a couple of local restaurants, I did a little hike, and we learnt more about Leadville’s history at the Matchless Mine and Healy House Museum.
All the Hiking I did this Month
This month was all about getting into the mountains and hiking, and when I wasn’t hiking in the mountains, I was doing long walks around lakes and beside rivers in Denver.
I have been wanting to get more in shape to do a couple of 14ers later in summer, and maybe a backpacking trip, so I have been walking or hiking 5 miles or more most days and I already feel like my muscle tone has improved and I lost a little weight.
Best of all, hiking is meditation to me, and I always feel so much calmer and happier when I have been spending time in nature. Beats the gym any day!
All the Amazing Beer I Drank this Month
Along with hiking, this month was all about the beer. I made it my mission to hit a few breweries I hadn’t been to before that I had been wanting to try, and I tried so many inventive and delicious beers – one of my favorite things to do in Denver.
I know I mentioned Denver beer as a highlight last month too, but I just had to put it in here again.
Returning to Telluride for the Second Time This Year
I felt really spoilt to get to Telluride twice in less than two months, because this mountain town is just heaven for me. It was even better being able to show my friend around who had never been there before – she ended up falling in love with Telluride too.
We hiked to Bridal Veil Falls, we ate amazing pizza from Brown Dog and had beers and lunch at Smuggler Union, we took the incredibly scenic gondola to Mountain Village, and camped at lovely Priest Lake. It was another great visit!
Hiking and Hanging out in Crested Butte
It was so fun to return to Crested Butte too, because it had been two years since I was there last and it is another one of my Colorado faves.
On this visit, we got donuts at Niky’s, finally got to try the pizza at Secret Stash, checked out the shops in town, grabbed beers at Brick Oven, and did an awesome wildflower hike.
I got back from my road trip early so I could go to a family catch up at Fo and Afor’s and it was so nice to see everyone! A had caught up with a few family members last month, but I got to see some that I hadn’t seen since last year, and even got to meet a new cousin for the first time who was born just as I left the country last year – can’t believe he is 9 months old already!
I also did a cousin hike, cousin Top Golf, and saw Fo and Afor on numerous occasions.
Wildflower Season in the Mountains
Even though fall is my favorite time in the Colorado mountains, a very, very close second is wildflower season, and I did a couple of breathtaking wildflower hikes this month. Rustler’s Gulch was incredible for the huge variety of wildflowers, and the sheer number of columbines – the State flower.
The flowers were also in full bloom along Clear Creek and the mountains around Golden. Nothing like some colorful flowers to brighten up your day.
Up Close and Personal with a Hummingbird
This actually happened at the very end of last month but I forgot to mention it, and it was so cool! Toby and I were eating breakfast at our campsite in Clear Creek Canyon, and suddenly a hummingbird flew straight up to us, stopping right in front of our faces and hanging out for a bit – I thought it was going to attack us at first!
Our cereal bowls are bright red so I think that the hummingbird thought that they were feeders or flowers, because he came around again a couple more times over the next 15 minutes, and did the same thing. It was such a crazy experience and we loved it.
Anxiety on July 4th
I was really struggling when July 4th rolled around, I was feeling depressed and anxious with everything going on in the US and I just didn’t feel like celebrating. We went to a BBQ at Fo and Afor’s with some of their friends who I don’t know, and I just felt really left out and unhappy.
I couldn’t shake my mood and ended up spending a lot of time inside with the kitties, trying not to cry. It sucked. I’m glad to say that I have been feeling a lot better since then.
Looking After a Very Needy Puppy
I had somehow forgotten how much work it is to look after puppies, but I was very quickly reminded during our one week sit looking after a six month old puppy and an older dog.
The puppy whined constantly when we were in the house and not giving him 100% attention, and it drove me up the wall. Also, because it was an apartment, we had to take him out to pee every 4 hours, and he woke Toby every morning around 5.30am, or even earlier some mornings.
We put our puppy price up on Rover so it will be more worth our while in the future.
Getting Sick of Being in a Big City
With COVID and social distancing, Denver is kinda the last place I want to be right now and I really struggled with being here this month. It has been so damn hot too that I have been escaping into the mountains as much as possible, where it is greener, cooler, less crowded, and a lot more beautiful.
Next summer I really want to rent a place in the mountains somewhere because I am just over living in Denver. It would be so much nicer to live in the mountains and just visit Denver occasionally to see family and friends, and eat out – I feel like I would be a lot happier for it.
Not too crazy this month. There were a few costs for the van that cropped up and we still have more work to do on it so there will be a few more next month, I also overspent on food and drink again (no surprise there), but otherwise I think this was a pretty reasonable amount for a month in the US.
My paid accommodation this month consisted of two nights at an airbnb in Leadville, ten nights in my brother and sister in law’s spare room in Wheat Ridge, one night camping near Leadville and one night at an apartment we rented through airbnb in Denver.
The rest of the month I spent three nights free camping in Telluride and Crested Butte, and thirteen nights dog sitting in Denver – which we were paid for.
Food and Drink $761
Whoops, another big spend on food and drinks this month. I have been drinking a lot of beer still, as well as eating out a reasonable amount and cooking lots of delicious dishes. I really need to try getting this down next month, but no promises – I just love beer and good food too much.
- 2 x Hiking tops $50
- Hiking socks $12
- Hiking Leggings $17
- Kimono top $41
After a couple of months of no new clothing, I splurged a bit this month. Who can say no to kitty socks? Not me apparently.
- Gas $60
- Matchless Mine and Baby Doe’s Cabin entrance $6
- Healy House Museum tour $6
- Toiletries $34
- Hulu $6
- Kindle Unlimited $11
- Books $15
- Hair cut $42
- Phone plan $40
- Dress dry-cleaned $20
- Shoes fixed $20
- Travel umbrella $10
- Travel blender $17
Website Costs $12
- Monthly payment for Keysearch $12
Van Costs $142
- 3 months Van Insurance (my half) $72
- Van renovations $41.50
- Oil change $28.50
What’s in Store for Next Month
Most of the next month will be spent in Denver, because we rented an apartment in Berkeley for four weeks.
I plan on doing lots of work on this website including hopefully writing some new posts and updating older ones, hanging out with friends and family, doing lots of day hikes in the mountains, visiting some new to me breweries and restaurants in Denver, and doing a couple of one night camping trips around Colorado.
I’m looking forward to another month of summer in the mountains.
To read additional Monthly Round ups, you can find them here