John F. Russell: Making a summer list |

John F. Russell: Making a summer list

— There are trails to hike, places to pedal, and it just wouldn’t be summer unless I spent a few hours trying to pull a trout out of a lake or stream somewhere in the mountains of Colorado.

I've spent my entire life in this state. I've learned to love spending time bundled up in the winter, but it's the summers that really warm my heart. The one thing I've learned in all the time I've been here is that there simply are not enough hours in a day or enough days in the summer to do everything this state has to offer.

The days might be a little longer in the summer, but by the time I get done mowing the lawn and watering the flowers, it seems like the days are gone, and by the time the Fourth of July rolls around, those precious days already are getting shorter.

So this year, I'm going to make a list early and do my best to complete it before the nights get colder and the frost returns to the ground.

  1. Coors Field: This is a must do on my list of summer activities. Every year, I pack the family into the car and head to Denver at least once to watch my beloved Rockies play at Coors Field. The team never seems to be in contention, and I fear that by the time the team ends its most recent slide, it might just be out of the playoff picture once again. But that doesn't matter. Coors Field is a great place to watch baseball, and just being in the park is a treat. Go Rockies.
  2. Water World: It just wouldn't be summer without taking a trip to Water World. It's a place where I can connect with my children, and it reminds me of when I was a teenager growing up in Denver. Despite the fact I'm no longer a child, and I can't seem to master surfing on the artificial wave, this is still a great place to hang out and make memories with my own kids who enjoy laughing at me when I try to get up on the surfboard.
  3. Elitch Gardens: This is another summer must. It's another throwback to my childhood, though the park is in a different place. The twister is still there, along with more than a few other great rides that are worth a summer day.
  4. Fish Creek: Hiking to the second falls at Fish Creek is another summer favorite. It’s one of those hikes that will not kill you and the reward at the end is definitely worth the effort.
  5. Fishing: This is something that always seems to escape me for most of the summer, but it's one of the best activities going. It's nice to spend a day with a fishing pole in one hand and a beverage in the other. It's even better to spend the day away from the television, computer and other electronic devices and just talk to your kids.

Right now, it seems like we have plenty of time to do all the things we want, but then one day, you will find yourself sitting in the grandstands watching the rodeo when it hits you like a cooler filled with beer:

"It's already the Fourth of July."

Recommended Stories For You

After that, the days get shorter, the temperatures start to fall, and we all realize that summer is passing us by like a bright red corvette on I-70. This is a short list, but the truth is there is no shortage of great things to do in Colorado in the summer.

I guess it's time to get started on that list before it's too late.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email