The Geiger Counter: This year’s to-do list

Broken Compass Brewing in Breckenridge. The author has had plenty of its beer but vows to finally visit the taproom this year.
Liz Copan /

Don’t know what to do this weekend? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Pull up a seat to the counter, and I’ll tell you about everything that’s hot and happening.

Hello, 2020. To be honest, I’m likely not going to treat it much differently than any other year. I could make the stereotypical resolutions about reading, traveling or working out more, which are all worthwhile, but instead I’m going a different direction.

My New Year’s resolutions read more like a bucket list of things I want to accomplish specific to the High Country. I’ve long ago checked off the big-ticket items such as hiking a 14er, seeing a show at the Dillon Amphitheater, going dog sledding and visiting the Ice Castles. Rather, this is a personal list of things I want to do. Your mileage may vary, but if you haven’t done them, you’re welcome to join in on the fun.

1. Eat at every restaurant in Summit County

OK, maybe not every restaurant. But since I’m a local, I feel like I need to be a concierge with stellar recommendations for guests — which means getting out of my comfort zone at the same five establishments and increasing my sample size. I’ve dined at the extravagant Keystone Ranch, Ski Tip Lodge, Aurum and Alpenglow Stube, but there are still plenty of others I haven’t been to such as Relish, Hearthstone and Ember.

What are Bangkok Happy Bowl, Café ProFusion and Tiki Mana like? How do Cool River Coffee House or Mom’s Baking compare? Which place has the best ice cream, the best pizza or best green chile smothered burrito? Time to find out.

2. Go to Broken Compass Brewing

Yes, for a guy who writes a weekly beer column, I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never been to Broken Compass Brewing. I’ve had its beer plenty of times at festivals, in bars or poured from a friend’s growler. But for some unknown reason, I’ve never set foot in the brewery itself. In my defense, it is a bit out of the way, but if I can park on Airport Road to ski Breckenridge Ski Resort or enjoy a meal at Breckenridge Distillery, I can make the effort to pop over to the brewery, as well.

3. See a Breckenridge Backstage Theatre production

I love the theater. I have season tickets to the Denver Center for Performing Arts, I randomly burst into show tunes — especially those from “Hamilton: An American Musical” — while driving, and I spent many summers seeing plays at the Creede Repertory Theatre. However, I haven’t had the opportunity to see anything done by Breckenridge Backstage Theatre — yet.

I also need to see more shows put on by the Lake Dillon Theatre Co. while I’m at it. My first and only production I saw from them was Steve Martin’s “The Underpants” back in August 2018.

4. Do an escape room

Not only have I not been to the escape room facilities locally in Breckenridge or Frisco, but I haven’t ever done one before. I love puzzles and video games, so this is right up my alley — if I can put together a solid team.

I’m beginning to realize most of my list is just to visit Breckenridge more, which I suppose isn’t a bad thing.

5. Go zip lining

Like the escape rooms, I’ve never been on a zip line anywhere. With year-round options in Summit, Lake and Clear Creek counties, I have no excuse not to see our majestic mountains from a new angle. If I go to the one in Leadville, I should also plan the trip around finally catching one of the town’s annual festivals, such as Boom Days or skijoring.

We’ll see how many of these I actually complete, but at least I have you, dear reader, to hold me accountable.

What I’m Listening To

‘The Adventure Zone’ by The McElroy Family

A new year means a new semester at Hieronymous Wiggenstaff’s School for Heroism and Villainy. A parody of the more famous Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the school is the new setting for the third season of “The Adventure Zone” podcast where the protagonists are training to be sidekicks. Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy roped in their father, Clint, and started playing the fifth edition of the “Dungeons and Dragons” roleplaying game on their show “My Brother, My Brother and Me,” in 2014 before spinning off the popular series into its own entity.

The first arc, Balance, remains my favorite. It quickly got away from premade D&D adventures and into an entertaining world of Griffin’s creation with deadly car races, moon bases and murder mysteries. Last year, the Amnesty arc had the trio play “Monster of the Week,” where a fictional ski resort town in West Virginia was under siege by all sorts of creatures.

Now they return to D&D, with Travis at the helm as Dungeon Master, for the Graduation campaign. The new cast of characters — a gentle druid, swashbuckling rouge and magical barbarian — and plot makes it the perfect starting point. Listeners don’t need to know about the roleplaying games as the family’s humor and storytelling propel the podcast along. In fact, as any good Dungeon Master should do, it isn’t uncommon for them to eschew the rules altogether for the sake of the story. The chemistry between the four has led to numerous moments of laughter and heartbreak, and I can’t wait to see where the next episode goes.

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