Colorado Rocky Mountain Plains

Garden of the Gods

We’re about to leave the country for a while and D mentioned visiting one of his brothers. I did not think that there was time to fit this in to our schedule, but somehow it did.

It was our first time in Colorado. It was also the first time that I did no trip planning. We have been so busy I was not exactly sure what time the plane was leaving. Thankfully, Alan my brother-in-law,  created an itinerary for us.

Growing up in Washington you get used to seeing mountains. Interesting and different to us was you could always tell which direction West was due to the mountains. Every other direction seemed to be big empty farm plains. Living in hilly Seattle for the last 14 years made this somewhat of an oddity. It is interesting how we get so used to what we determine to be “normal”. Almost all of Alan’s friends mentioned that they would not live anywhere else, often phraseology I hear associated with the Pacific Northwest.

Balancing Rock

We visited many of the mountains. A nature reserve called Garden of the gods with red rock was our first big adventure. It reminded me of a mix between Zion national park and Glacier national park crammed into an area that is much much smaller. We saw a deer, chipmunk, and many different birds. The gentleman in the visitors center gave me a map, suggested route, and told me it was Colorado state law that you take a picture with balancing rock😄. Afterwards, we returned to Boulder and explored the Flatirons in a quick impromptu nature walk.

The Flatirons: Boulder, CO

We spent time wandering around mountain territory and appreciated Clyde’s knowledge of the area and the flood damage that 2+ years later they are still recovering from. There were beautiful open meadows leading to lakes with the mountains in the back drop. Perfect for a Bob Ross painting because I bet they were, “happy little clouds”. Not too many houses, but I guess it is in the mountains… Those people are probably getting away from the “city”.

Mountain Territory

We also got an opportunity to continue the D&M yearly national park tradition with a day trip to Rocky Mountain national park. As we were waiting for the shuttle bus to take us to the trailhead I was asking a local hiker her recommendation on what trails to do, turns out she’s a retired math teacher… small world teachers, we’re everywhere! She told me that there were a series of lakes to see in fairly quick proximity to one another with a memory aid: The Bear Nymph Dreams of Emeralds. Little did I know my new Colorado bestie Lindsey had planned that we see those lakes. Each lake had its own unique aspects that made it fun to arrive at each lake as we slowly gained elevation. A little over 3 miles round trip, not too difficult, but a healthy hike up. Then a quick jaunt over to the Alluvial Fan… I think that is what it was called. From our “professional” guide’s story the falls came about when a dam burst and washed all the stones down the mountains with it. Personal story telling is better than a placard any day.

Nymph Lake
Dream Lake
Alluvial Fan

It was not all nature, we did happen to appreciate the craft brewing that Colorado, specifically Longmont had to offer. Left Hand Brewery is an employee owned brewery that has good craft beers and a nice private tour via Joe. Recruited from Florida, Joe convinced his wife to go on an adventure to Colorado to work at a brewery. Not only a good tour, but we also got to tour while tasting some of the great beers that they had to offer. My kind of tour!

Left Hand Brewing Company: Longmont, CO

We really enjoyed our stay and hope to see more of what Colorado has to offer in the future.

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