In the black community there is often a conversation that begins with “black people don’t go there” “black people don’t do that.” For many black people that do not travel, many do not have the desire, knowledge to step outside of their comfort zone and try something new. Or, they may not have people in their immediate circle that travel so when they hear other blacks talking about traveling to a certain destination they are left bewildered. Next comes the question, “Why do you want to go there, black folk don’t go there, black folk don’t do that.” It’s this close-minded bull that made me choose to plan a trip out west to Winter Park, Colorado. This blog post is to share my planning, arrival, and adventure to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Let me be very clear and transparent, I have always been the person to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. I normally don’t follow the fads and the latest. Lingering in the norm is dangerous and routine could be lethal in my opinion when it comes to travel. My travel soul yearns for thrill and adventure and I plan my travel with those verbs in mind. Colorado has not been a frequently talked about destination in many black circles for a while. Especially traveling there in the winter. This and pictures of the state intrigued me so I made the decision to make this my next destination.
I discovered in my research that you have to be very mindful of your selected location in CO during the winter months. With my travel buddy and I not being seasoned skiers, but still wanted a winter wonder land experience, we decided on Winter Park.
Living in Baltimore, M.D. I have great airport choices. There is Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI), Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). Flights out of DCA in my honest opinion is the cheapest to fly in and out of in the DMV region. My route was from DCA to DEN (Denver) and my total was less than $250.00. This was the closest and cheapest flight to Winter Park and I flew with Frontier Airlines. I had absolutely no complaints with the airline, but if my memory serves me correctly there was no Wi-Fi on the flight and you paid for your luggage.
My flight was a smooth one and it took about 4 hours. When we were landing I noticed the airport was super huge, but there was no snow on the ground. I got a little worried and asked myself, “Where in the heck is the snow, I came all the way here for snow.” But off in the distance of the mountains, there it was, snow covered mountains and I couldn’t wait to hop off the plane.
I waited in the airport for my buddy and when she landed she told me they lost her luggage. She was mighty pissed and I couldn’t blame her because we were headed up the mountains and she needed her warm clothing. After her giving the airline she flew with a piece of her mind, we went to get a rental car and up the mountain we went. Please note that on the way to Winter Park, please stop at the Wal-Mart at the base of the mountain. There is no other Wal-Mart in the mountains.
It took us about 2-3 hours from the airport to get to the mountains, but the drive up the mountains was awesome! The scenery is to die for and the air is so clean, it’s so crisp, and you can actually taste the difference! The journey was very windy and had VERY sharp turns.
The further up the mountain we got, the more snow we saw and I was super geeked. We kept stopping to take pictures because the scenery was just unreal. We pulled up to the resort and it was everything we wanted. It looked like something out of a movie set and it was just perfect. We stayed at the Vintage Hotel and it was an ok hotel. It really needed updating but it suited our needs.
When one thinks of Colorado they think of two things. Marijuana and extreme sports such as skiing. Did I smoke weed while in Colorado, nope. However, I was very curious about the dispensaries since they are legal there. Our resort included shuttle buses into town and we hopped on the purple line. It dropped us off about half a block from the dispensary called Serene Wellness. It looks like a little house off in the cut and we knew from the name of the sign that we were in the right place. Upon entering, we showed our identification and they gave us a pep talking about purchasing marijuana and trying to take it through the airport in other states. Since I was not interested in purchasing neither transporting marijuana, I tuned the lady out and just looked around at all of the weed infused items in the store! It blew my mind that they had weed taffy, weed tongue strips, weed lotion, weed everything. I can see why this is such a profitable industry.
Our next activity was snowmobiling up the mountain. We asked our front desk about snowmobile tours and we were in luck because our tour location was right across the street and they had slots open for the next tour within the hour. The fact that my travel buddy and I are both Carolinians reminded us that our wardrobe was not up to snowmobile weather! Our tour was with Grand Adventures Snowmobile and Off-Road Tours. We rented snowmobile gear and our tour group was less than eight people. We signed waivers of course and got a quick tutorial about our snowmobiles and up the mountain we went. This was one of the best experiences I had in my life. You have not seen the Rocky Mountains until you have seen it from a snowmobile. Our tour guide was awesome, he was very informative and he allowed us to stop many times to take great pictures and snow angels. Lol
We also did a little snow tubing and tried a few restaurants. One of the best burgers I ever had was from a restaurant called The Ditch on 40. The burgers and fries we so fresh and the employees were super nice. One of the things I liked about the restaurant was the vast collection of license plates from states across the United States. Call me a nerd, but I like this kind of stuff. It leaves a lasting memory in your mind and in your wallet if you let it lol.
Were there any black people?
During the trip, I think I may have counted ten black people I saw the four days I was there. Were the black people I say on the mountains, yes. Were the black people I saw looked like they were having the times of their lives, yes. Would you recommend other black people to visit this location, hell yes. Why, because life is what you make it and we made Winter Park our bish. If you are looking for an adventure in Colorado then damn it make it an adventure. If you want to go to Colorado to just try the Kaboom, Pandora’s Box, and Urban Legend weed then go for it. Don’t let the ignorance of other blacks prevent you from enjoying your best life! It didn’t stop us!