What else could we do on New Year’s Eve day but, you guessed it, find a hot springs. After our free continental breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express, we drove to Buena Vista. I wanted to find the new housing development they’re making around the future water park. Last time we were in Buena Vista, we looked but couldn’t find any sign of development. This time it was much more obvious. Lots of rocks moved around, but no actual houses yet.
Then we drove up to Cottonwood Hot Springs in the canyon, and soaked a while. It was really windy that day, so windy that it was hard to stay warm in the hot springs. After soaking an hour or so, I got a massage from a nice massage therapist named Marie, while Beth went into the main building to read and stay warm.
Once I was done, we went back to town and had a good lunch at the Evergreen Cafe, which is my favorite place to eat in Buena Vista. After lunch, Beth drove us up the big hill to Leadville.
We checked into the historic Delaware Hotel, which is purported to be the highest hotel in the US. And I believe it. Leadville is at 10,200 feet above sea level, and the Delaware is the tallest hotel in town. In keeping with its historic roots, there’s no elevator, so toting our luggage up the steep stairs to our 3rd floor room in the thin air winded both of us. After settling in, we spent the afternoon just relaxing and reading at a cafe across the street from the hotel.
Once the sun went down, we drove up the road into the forest, where we went on a sleigh ride up the Tennessee Pass road. There was a sleigh before us that looked totally packed, but the one we went on had just the two of us, plus three people who worked there. There was enough room to lie down and watch the stars, which was nice. The ride lasted less than an hour, which is probably good since I was getting cold by the end.
Once we got back in town, we tried a new restaurant called Rosie’s Brewpub. It was very new, having just opened that day! And they were swamped. Service was appropriately slow, and the food was only so-so, I’m afraid. They definitely didn’t expect the crowd that showed up that evening. And our waiter had a French manicure.
My original plan had been for us to go to the Elk’s Club’s New Year’s Eve party, but I didn’t realize that we needed reservations for the steak and lobster dinner. And after we got relaxed in our hotel room, we decided we weren’t really in the mood to get dressed up and go out. By this time it was snowing, very dark, and cold. So I read more of my fantasy novel and Beth watched the ball drop on TV. It was a pretty boring way to ring in the new year, but a lot warmer than wandering around between bars in Leadville, which seems to be pretty popular.