Two Perfect Days in Grand Junction, Colorado

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This post is more about exploring what’s in your own backyard and fostering relationships more than anything. I know many of you won’t make it to Colorado, but I’m hopeful you will get some ideas out of this post…

Covid, as painful as it has been in many ways, has also opened up doors – new hobbies, amazing new friends, new places to explore and plans for the future.

Case in point, back in July, some girlfriends I bond with over the Peloton bike invited me to make a trip to Grand Junction, CO. Essentially, a Covid escape weekend with some awesome women. Two I had never met before, but we turned out to be the PERFECT blend of personalities, interests, humor, confidence, life experiences, etc. We had lots of laughs and shared all kinds of good stories.

In honor of the event, I had wine glasses customized with nicknames – the stories behind them are HILARIOUS – Otis wins the prize. LOL. Mine is HAM. I was once in a dressing room – an attendant asked me for a name to put on the outside of the door. I said, “Pam”. Somehow she heard HAM. What American parent names their kid HAM? Did she bother to clarify in case she heard something incorrectly? NO. LOL.

Historically, Grand Junction has been one of those places I have always ‘just driven through’. Not a whole lot to look at from the freeway. This experience has taught me to not judge a book by its cover….dig a little deeper and I am SURE to find a nugget. And I did….several nuggets in fact.

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

There are beautiful hikes in the red rocks surrounding the town. Like, unbelievably beautiful. It’s close to Utah so it makes sense there would be scenery like this. I just had no idea it was here as well.

The town has great restaurants! This little place below has a wonderful outdoor patio – perfect for social distancing. BONUS: It’s owned by a Frenchman with a flare for good food and wine.

We rented E-bikes and took a cruise through the wine country of neighboring Palisades, CO – it was SO.MUCH.FUN. The wine in Colorado is not like California, but the vineyards really are beautiful. This part of the state is also home to some of the best peaches in the U.S. In the fall, there is a super fun organized bike ride through the vineyards. At the end of the ride, you are rewarded with a really nice wine festival.

Image from the Chicago Tribune

Downtown Grand Junction has improved 100% in the last 10 years! So many cute stores and restaurants to explore. I long for the day when we can actually mingle in crowds without masks like the image below depicts.

Image by Visit Grand Junction

The icing on the cake was spending 2 days with these 4 ladies. They reminded me of what friendships should be like without girl drama! In the end, I left the weekend with life-long adventerous friends. I am forever grateful to Anna Banana for making the introduction.

“The great thing about new friends is that they bring new energy to your soul.” – Shanna Rodriguez

….i choose this….

Ham

44 comments

  1. Ohhhhhh yes HAM Grand Junction is GRAND. I remember a road trip I did there a few years back. Loved the downtown, found the cutest diner/cafe with old time retro seating and booths and had the best breakfast there. Also found by the hotels recommendation a wonderful Indian restaurant that served everything on these cool embossed/hammered metal serving trays.
    Then went to the Colorado National Park, it was a free day that day and I only saw one other car there the whole time. Had the place to myself. Found the coolest hiking trail and came back with some awesome pictures. Then of course being so close to Paonia had to check out the orchards. Best three days ever. Then went home a different way then the way I came. Snow on the ground and sheep in the fields.

    Glad you got to explore it.

    Pearly Gates

    Sent from my iPad

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    1. I am glad you are validating my thoughts here Pearly! I honestly would not have ever recommended a stop-over here, but I absolutely LOVED it. Being close to other cool towns makes it even sweeter. hugs lady.

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  2. My brother lives in GJ and we’ve had the opportunity to visit lots. We enjoy that area so much so that we almost bought a house there five years ago. Kinda wish we had. Oh well. Hope to get back there this spring.

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  3. Those red rocks are most likely Colorado National Monument. We’ve camped up on the plateau at the campground. Witnessed a pretty frightening thunderstorm. I’m used to them as I live in Colorado but it’s always more scary out in the open!

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  4. Well, Ham, you can be dang sure I”LL make it out to Colorado!
    Boy oh boy, downtown GJ looked NOTHING like that when I was there in July. COVID made it a ghost town. I agree – I look forward to places like that getting back to normal.
    What a fun weekend!

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    1. HAH! Yeah, I only wish the scene was exactly like this when we were there. I CANNOT WAIT for all of this to be behind us!! It was a really fun weekend – one that was pretty much life changing in many ways. Hard to explain. Hope your Thanksgiving workout was a goodie!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have to admit my first reaction was “two days in Grand Junction???” So glad to hear about all the good stuff there; we will have to add it to our ever-growing CO list! Do you require a high percentage of your girl friends to have blonde hair?! 🙂

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