5 FUN THINGS TO DO near Dillon, CO

sweatventure | Winter Wonderland

Hey everyone, considering it is almost summertime this post might seem little irrelevant to you at this moment but WAIT, it is easy to get wrapped up in all your summer plans and before you know it, winter knocks on your door yet again!

Is winter your best friend? Are you day in  n’ night dreaming about fresh pow, hitting the slopes or maybe even going on a little backpacking adventure? It’s your call, do what makes you happy!  This winter I got a chance to ski out west for free ~ perks of Vail Resorts employees. I taught snowboard lessons at Mt. Brighton (Michigan), where in my own small way I changed the lives of many. In February,  I jumped on a plane to Denver  for a week of  pow-pow and backcountry adventures.


Planning a trip out west?





1. Section House Backpacking Trip (2 days)

DAY 1 ~ Hike to Section House (10th Mountain Division Hut Association) 

My dad is more than a mountaineer, he loves to rock climb and ski. He is a 100% blood and sweat outdoorsmen. My guess is that he has around hundred of peaks climbed under his belt, no kidding! He is an experienced skier, climber and adventurist. I still have a lot to learn from his life long adventures. February 2, 2017 the day of my first backpacking expedition!  You betcha I was glad to have my dad right there by my side to explain all the ropes and tricks to skinning.

Section House Hike is highly suggested for beginners.  It is a great first backcountry mountaineering experience.  This 6.4 mile gently up-hill ascent offers stunning views of the valley and takes your breath away with railroad history. Once you find yourself above the tree line, you will be astonished  by exceptional view of a Bald Mountain.

Section House: Offered cozy LIVING ROOM space with fire-place, BEDROOMS with bunks beds,  KITCHEN with everything you possibly could need and well- kept OUTHOUSE.

DAY 2 ~ Climb the Bald Mountain

After struggling to sleep throughout the night due to a high elevation and trying to keep the fire going, I got myself together and we ventured on a very steep climb, the BALD MOUNTAIN. My lungs felt like they were going to jump out of my chest and my legs were literally on fire. We were so high up, I could see for miles in all directions, unfortunately I ran out of strength and I was unable to make it all the way up, dad and I agreed to make it to a certain spot and then we skied down back to the valley. Overall, I had a great time, definitely one of the most grueling experiences of 2017 so far but well worth it.


2. Breckendrige  CRÊPES  A’ LA CART

Got a sweet tooth? Savory tooth? Crepes a la cart have it all 🤙

To everyone out there please PLEASE make sure you visit CREPES A’LA CART at least once in your lifetime. The wait can be up to 30 – 40 minutes  both during summer and winter days but it’s worth it. They serve breakfast, lunch and they open till late at night. You can make your own crepe creation. My favorite is nutella/banana/strawberries. Literally a heaven in my mouth. It is dream come true to all the crepes lovers in a whole wide world. I can cook up some delicious crepes @ home but I ain’t got nothing on crepes a la cart. That’s for sure…

3. Mesa Cortina Trail

A backcountry trip with easy ascent and fun descent! We  decided to hike this trail the morning of our drive back to Michigan. It took us about 2-3 hours. Snowshoe // regular shoe hiking are welcomed. It was well-kept trail with  great opportunities for trail runners and dog lovers. Wild life is present! This trail won’t disappoint.  

4.Vail (BackBowls)

“Vail like nothing on earth” the amount of free terrain will blow your mind away!  Para -para-paradise. Everywhere you go, you can potentially find a new pow-pow terrain [well,  early bird gets the biggest warm]. I highly recommend, to wake up early after the night of snowfall and hit the slopes, you’ll find yourself extremely pleased with all the fresh snow possibilities. 

5. BreckFRIDGE

I love, love, love  Breckenridge because of its views. One of my favorite things to do at Breckenridge is to take Imperial Express Super Chair Lift to Peak8 and hike up all the way to the top of Peak8 (12,998ft) / 3,962 m where you get 360 view of Colorado mountains. Planning to go up? Remember there is only one way down, make sure you are experienced snowboarder/ skier to get down a steep sometimes icy terrain. NOT RECOMMENDED for beginners. 

That’s all my friends!


— Dana//sweatventure

6 Things That Down Under Taught Me About Myself

Nothing screams “Adventure of a Lifetime” more than a study abroad experience. As a college student who is soon to graduate, I have applied to travel 9,478 miles from home with group of strangers to explore a whole new continent for 6 weeks. This opportunity is a chance to break away from the norm and fully dive into a different culture from my own.

Do you get excited by talking to different people from all around the world? Do you enjoy submerging  into different subcultures?  Are you eager to explore all the corners of  the world? If yes is the answer, then study abroad is the right move for you!

It won’t seem real  until you are all packed up and driving to the airport to catch your flight.  When you check in your first bag, a wave of euphoria will roll over you. All the months of anxious waiting turns into this indescribable excitement! Now, you are probably wondering if this is my first time leaving America? Wrong! I was born and raised in Europe, and no, this was not my first time getting on a plane but that did not matter, because  I was as thrilled as  I was the first time  I left the country. It was the moment I had been waiting two long years for, and it was finally here. I couldn’t believe it – I was about to set out for an east coast adventure through Australia!

Prior to leaving, I knew very little about the continent itself besides its popular tourist destinations: white-sandy beaches and kangaroos. I was a clueless tourist emerging on an extraordinary journey of lifetime. I was oblivious to what was happening in other parts of the world. My perception of the “largest island” on planet earth was vague and that was the driving reason to fully  dive in into the world of “Down Under”.

During my time “Down Under”, I was enrolled in two college courses that were meant to help me check off required electives that existed as a graduation requirement and to boost my GPA, besides that, I didn’t accomplish anything that would differentiate me from pool of  professional job candidates. I did, however, learn about different parts of the world, culture, people, communication, sports, arts, cuisine, politics, the economy, environment and most importantly I learned about life outside of the college classroom. Reggie, by far the best professor I ever had, said, “The world is a book, and those who don’t travel only read one page”. I would be lying if I told you I remember something, anything from electives during my freshman year of college, because I don’t, but I  am certain that I will forever remember the classes taught  by Reggie off-campus, miles away from home, where I explored aboriginal culture through interaction with locals, sat in on a court case, toured the NSW Parliament, went wine tasting, and had a chance to be part of Holden State of Origin series NSW vs. Queensland in ANZ Olympic Stadium. Hands on learning is the best kind of learning.

1) Use your Spare Time to Explore

I quickly learned that my time “Down Under” was limited, class time, excursions and field trips were taking up most of the time and if I wanted to go out and explore on my own, I had to plan accordingly. A day off was an opportunity to wake up early and get on the road and embrace the public transportation that Sydney had to offer. One of my favorite days was taking a bus to Watson’s Bay, where I strolled along the coastal walk that offered breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

2) Talk to Locals 

Instances when I was caught to yell out “Go White” and a chance to meet up with my best friend who flew in for the whole 24 hours or spent a day with  a former Michigan State Graduate living in Australia, it’s safe to say the world is a small place and you never know who you might bump into. I was introduced to a local fish & chip place, grabbed a beer in fancy bar, explored the backbone of Sydney’s outskirts, and I was lucky enough to  go see a local Rugby game.

3) Take Risks

Talk about risks? How about jumping from the sky on your last day in Australia? 14,000 ft! Why the heck not, life is about taking chances, whether it was a good idea or bad idea , I’ll let you decide on that one! But I learned that even if something is uncomfortable, scary and intimidating, take the jump because  at the end you will only regret jumps you didn’t take.

4) Live In the Moment 

At that time I didn’t know better, and it was during my second week in Australia when I realized to take each day as it comes, that, I am still working on but Aussie’s lifestyle inspired me to enjoy  both highs and lows because life is too short to worry about the future rather I promised myself to focus on what’s right in front of me.

5) See your own culture through different lens

Questions like Who will you vote for? or Who do you think will win the election? are more common than questions about occupation and future plans. Aussies express keen interest in our culture, such as politics, news, sports and anything worthy of the news release. You’d be surprised how much knowledge  Australians have about America.  The lesson is, invest in yourself each year  strive to learn something new.

6) Say YES to everything

Say Kangaroo meat? Those creatures that I got to pet the other day? Some would say no way, I said serve it up. Talk about culinary experience, Kangaroo steak is very-delicious lean meat when prepared right. My tastebuds couldn’t get enough so when I had a chance to experience a crocodile burger I didn’t think twice. For all meat-lovers, don’t hesitate to make kangaroo and/or crocodile your ultimate cuisine goal!

I learned that life is more than just a classroom, you’d be surprised how much more you’ll learn when having fun! Everyone has their own story and that’s what makes traveling so beautiful. You’ll meet people from all over the world who love to share their adventures and are curious about yours.

It’s safe to say, that Australia forever stole my heart!