GoPro Mountain Games at Vail Mountain

Vail is one of my favorite places on Earth and it's honestly just as good in summer as it is during the winter. This is the second year that Joe and I have attended the GoPro Mountain Games and it's such a fun way to kick off summer. Starting Thursday and ending on Sunday, the GoPro Games are not only the perfect weekend, they're the country's largest celebration of adventure sports, art and music. From free concerts to tons of vendors to some very serious adventure sports like a kayak sprint and river SUP sprint, there's something for everyone. And trust me, it's just as fun for us lazy spectators as it is for the dogs, kids and badass athletes.

We drove up on Friday afternoon and since the last time I was in Vail people were still skiing, it was wonderful seeing all of the vibrant greens and spots of snow in the high country along the drive up I-70.

Our first stop, after wine and pizza, was to Gerald R. Ford Ampitheater for the first of three nights of free concerts. To be fair, I'm not a Grateful Dead fan (at all) but Keller Williams' Grateful Grass is a bluegrass quartet that plays Grateful Dead songs and their show was awesome. A perfect night with too many drinks and lots of dancing in one of the prettiest concert venues in Colorado.

Saturday morning, after some much needed coffee, we grabbed Nala and walked over to Dog Town. The event is broken down into three main areas: Zen Zone (yoga and music), Adventure Village (rock climbing and the main viewing areas for the kayak, slackline and SUP events) and Dog Town. Dog Town is truly pup Heaven and in addition to the Dock Dogs event, there are a ton of great vendors giving out free samples of treats, dog food and accessories intended for pups who love to hike. Nala made about fifteen new dog friends and was amazingly well-behaved.

We spent the rest of the day walking through Vail Village checking out the athletes, watching some very flexible locals doing yoga at Ford Park and just enjoying the day. If you haven't been to Vail in the summer, and especially if you haven't been here for the GoPro Games, you need to come. You can experience as much or as little as you want and it's wonderful to be surrounded by happy, healthy smiling faces. It's Colorado at its very best.

Any images not my own are courtesy of GoPro and the Vail Valley Foundation.

© 2017 by The Weekender.