Paonia to Denver


On June 19th, we rode into Paonia, CO. The weather was hot and it was relieving to have trees and grass around us as we descended into the North Fork Valley. The hills between Crawford and Paonia are unforgiving with no shade and many shards of broken glass in the ditches. As we approached Paonia we rode past orchards of cherries and apples. When we got to town we ate our lunch in a small park on Grand Ave, a good vantage point to watch the world of Paonia go by. We soaked up the shade of the downtown and then went over to the library to feel some A.C. and to contact Bryan’s  friend Laura who we would be staying with for the night. We made our way over to her house to meet her children and husband Doug.  We had only planned on staying a day or two but it turned into a week.  Colorado has been good to us in the form of small part-time work. In Paonia, we were able to do a little work for Laura and Doug helping them with landscaping and organizing also Bryan picked up work at a local house renovation with Doug.

Paonia is a bustling little town with about 1400 folks and plenty of small businesses scattered around. In our spare time we wandered about enjoying ice cream, the town park, and just peering into shops. A little gem tucked in to town is High Country News, a terrific publication sharing unique perspectives on news and events of the west. They welcome visitors, so we stopped in and shared our story. Neil LaRubbio showed us the office and gave us background on the history of HCN. A few days later, the size of Paonia was clear as we ran into Neil on the street. After a week in town we felt like regulars and it seemed so easy to just stay put. However, the adventure continues….if you happen to subscribe to HCN, check the visitors section of the next issue, we may end up in it!

Hanging out in Paonia has been wonderful and we have enjoyed the new friends and company. Here are some pics…

Town park in Paonia

Bryan trying out a tall bike

Three-seater Dr. Suess bike with giant water cannon parked at the Local Bike Shop

Fishbone bike rack

On our last day in Paonia, we decided to all  go to Delicious Orchards to pick cherries. They offer some great camping options if you are passing through.  You can never have too many cherries and this way we could bring a whole bunch to Denver. At $1.50 a pound it felt like heaven, We picked 16 pounds in 10 minutes – unbelievable!

So ripe they were almost falling from the trees


The whole Paonia gang (L-R Taz,Doug holding Theo, Laura and Willow picking cherries

View form the orchard

It worked out by staying longer in Paonia our time coincided with a trip to Denver that Laura and Doug had planned. They needed to bring an extra vehicle-which we signed up to drive. We traveled in a two car caravan, loaded our bikes into the pick up and drove over McClure pass and Vail pass (which we sorely missed not riding on our bicycles due to the fact that it has an actual bike path over the pass). On June 27th, we arrived in Denver to stay with Bryan’s cousin, Gillian,  her husband Tom and two beautiful children Evelyn and Sean. We also got to visit with Bryan’s uncle Dave which is always a good time.

Dave and Bryan

The Lucas family

Our time in Denver was relaxing and full of sporting events. We went to Evelyn’s swim meet  – The Cook Park Penguins vs. Wash Park Sharks. This was our first swim meet and it was super fun to watch all the contenders compete. Way to go Evie for getting three first place finishes!


The plunge…

Evie in first place!

We also had a chance to go to one of Sean’s coach pitch baseball games on the other side of town. A lot of action from a dynamic team! Way to go Sean on your great catch! Nice job!

Sean knocking it way out!

Just before the big catch!

Sporty times in Denver continued, we saw a Rockies game and wandered around downtown for an afternoon. Thanks Gillian and Tom for bearing the heat and checking out a game!

View from behind home plate

Up to bat

Downtown Denver form Coors field

Gillian and Bryan at Coors field

A couple of sports fans

As the weeks have passed by we have come to the realization that we are running a little bit behind if we want to get to our friends, Galen and Sam’s wedding by the first week of August near Seattle. We decided to rent a car and drive from from Denver to Bend, OR. This little break will get us through the really hot temperatures in some barren country in southern Wyoming and Idaho, not to mention avoiding a few more forest fires. The money we made in Paonia more than paid for the car and gas so we are heading off in a little car on Friday.


Next up : Pictures from our road trip adventure from Denver, CO  up to Bend, OR


One Response to “Paonia to Denver”

  1. Looks like fun!

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