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Destination: Denver

The Texans have previously been in Denver five times. Seven, if you count preseason games. In fact, the squad spent several days here in August of 2014 to conduct joint practices with Peyton Manning and company.

The Broncos practice facility is in the 'burbs and that's where we stayed. It was certainly cooler than Houston and the backdrop of the Rockies made every view spectacular.

We even played golf one afternoon at a municipal course but it might as well have been a PGA Tour stop with all the breathtaking views. There's no shortage of amazing scenery everywhere you go in the greater Denver area.

It's been explained to me how many Colorado aficionados don't really like downtown Denver. I have no idea why. The city has plenty of great restaurants, it's walkable and the three major sports arenas are all accessible from the downtown hotels.

Perhaps because it's not like some of the ski towns that make the state so popular year-round. Confession time! – I've never skied in Colorado or anywhere outside of the northeast, where I grew up. I was raised skiing on packed snow, very icy. I might disappear if I ventured into the Colorado powder.

My experience is not in Vail or Aspen or Breckenridge. I've never been to the Rockies except for broadcasting. I've always found downtown Denver to be a terrific spot with plenty to do.

On a 2016 Monday Night Football trip I played basketball at the downtown YMCA and it was one of those classic old ones with the elevated running track around a bandbox gym. I love that stuff.

Everyone is going to talk about the altitude during the trip. Lovie Smith downplays it. As a visitor who is not participating on the field, I can tell you that I always seem to feel a light headache after several hours of getting there. But that's just me. I've been told you just need to hydrate to feel as close to normal as possible.

So basically, if you're headed here to watch the Texans, or anytime, drink plenty of water and take a nice walk downtown. If you have time, head for the Rockies. It's a beautiful state. That's why it seems like 25% of Houston comes here for the summer.

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