After making our way down the mountain and grabbing some pizza in the city at the bottom, we headed to our hotel to check in and sleep. A couple hours of sleep were had, then we headed towards downtown Denver where the Cubs were in town at Coors field. We grabbed some food/brews at Breckinridge Brewery right next to Coors Field and made our way over to WhiskeyBar for $2 Old Style(I'm a cheap beer guy). After having more than enough of those, we headed back to the hotel to grab some shut eye for the game the next day.
After a quick(kind of) trip to the airport to pick up another traveler, we headed to the stadium around lunch time for some tailgating and soccer. For those that say DSG park is about the same as Pizza Hut Park in terms of location, well you're kind of wrong. DSG is about a 15 minute drive from downtown and really didn't feel nearly as far as PHP does, but there is a whole lot less around DSG.
After a few Lone Star's, I went inside DSG with the rest of the group to find Marcelo Balboa and whoever the pbp guy is for Altitude sports doing their pre-game show. Of course we crashed it and most of the people watching must've thought it was an FC Dallas home game with all the red and white behind them.
Now I'm not one to rip on attendances/atmospheres as FCD isn't exactly at the top of the list, but this game in Colorado was the worst road trip atmosphere I've ever experienced. When Colorado was awarded a penalty, I think maybe 25% of the crowd realized it and quietly clapped while the rest were either more concentrated on trying to get the 10 away fans in the corner kicked out. I don't need to tell you how the game ended, but I thought FCD battled hard in tough conditions at altitude and definitely deserved their point on the road.
After the game was over, I had heard there would be a reserve game on one of the outer fields so I set out to find that. Once we figured out where it was, it was very cool to watch a reserve game again. When the reserve league was around, they were the more exciting games of the weekend to watch a lot of times if you're like me and want to see the next Jozy Altidore. Kudos to FC Dallas for setting up this game, hope they do it more often.
As we were about to leave, I ran into my former boss when I interned at FC Dallas who is now working for the Rapids. It was very cool to see him again as he has always been one of my favorite people to work for in my short time out of college and someone I consider to be a good friend. We got back to our hotel and decided to check out another place featured on Man vs Food, Duff's Cherry Cricket. I got the Mexican Hamburger which was a Cricket Burger packed into a tortilla topped with salsa....it was freaking awesome. Highly recommend this place for anyone heading towards the Rocky Mountains.
With a long drive ahead in the morning, we slummed it back at the hotel for the night and crashed. After a 3AM fire alarm wakeup(this is supposed to happen to the TEAM, not the supporters!), we finally hit the road at about 8am towards Colorado Springs. My fiancée is a gymnastics and Olympics nut, so she and her BFF demanded that we stop at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Being that it was Sunday morning, I was not optimistic that we would be able to get in or see anything, but it was surprisingly open and we checked out the surroundings.
It was actually a very cool and inspiring experience to see where the Olympians train and after originally being kind of pissed to have to stop for an hour, I was glad we did it.
We finally got on the road again around 1045 and were on our way to Dallas. The drive from Denver to Raton really isn't too bad and is 6 hours or so that passes pretty quickly because you're surrounded by mountains the whole time. The rest of the trip through the panhandle to Dallas is mindnumbingly boring and makes you wonder why you ever went on the trip in the first place.
The clock said 12:30am as I arrived back at the house in Dallas, but it was another awesome road trip full of local flavor with some soccer mixed in. I highly recommend the summer weekend in Denver for those looking to escape Dallas for a little while....on to Inter Milan tomorrow night.
Thanks to Amy Kleefisch for a few of the pictures