Category Archives: Colorado

We made it! CO to CA all in one shot.

Hi everyone, I apologize for the lapse in posts. Our drive from Fort Collins to Santa Barbara was long. We drove straight through, 17 hours, in one day. Some of it was gorgeous, but I mostly wanted to take a sleeping pill and wake up when the rest of it was over.

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Yes, we woke up at 4 and left by 4:45. I don’t think a word was spoken for at least an hour, when we discussed getting coffee in Denver.

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Once we got on I-70, it was a long drive through the mountains. It was neat to see a lot of old mines off the freeway and the trees disappeared a lot more quickly than I expected. As you can see above, there is a lot of rock and sand, especially when you reach Grand Junction.

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Utah has a nice 80 mph speed limit in some places. We definitely didn’t get great gas mileage on this drive but it sure helped things go by fast. There are hardly any towns along the way and many exits say “no services” underneath the name. Some of it was really cool with the red cliffs and amazing rock formations. Other places not so much…

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We drove through Arizona for probably a grand total of 30 miles. But it was through this huge beautiful canyon of jagged rock.

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And then came Nevada. A whole lot of nothing in Nevada, except Vegas of course. Fortunately Geoff didn’t want want to stop in Sin City either and we drove to the California border for dinner, gas and to play some penny slots before we left (no, just kiddding!) and managed to miss the welcome to California sign. Or maybe they didn’t have one, we aren’t sure. But as you can see below, it’s nice and desert-y until we reached LA.

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We made it to Santa Barbara around 9:30. Just in time to say hi to the family, unwind and hit the sheets in a real, non air mattress and very comfortable bed.

All in all, we are glad that we didn’t stop in Mesquite, NV as originally planned and powered through. That way we were able to relax and enjoy church on Sunday instead of dragging out the drive. And it wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. That said, I have no desire to do it again.

 

Blue Sky MTB and Hewlitt’s Gulch

Since Mack and Geoff both work in the same industry, she wanted to do a video with Geoff. We filmed it at a nearby studio and they did a great job discussing how SEO and social media work together. I’m sure it’ll be very helpful for a lot of people. If you are really interested in seeing it, let me know and I’ll provide the link once its posted.

Video

Wednesday after work, we went mountain biking at Blue Sky Trail. Fort Collins has this awesome network of trails that connect to each other and make for a long ride if you want to do the whole thing. Blue Sky wasn’t an uphill trail, it more of went up and down, so there was a lot of pedaling the whole time instead of the usual grind pedaling uphill and then having on the fun ride down. But it was a good learning trail for me and Geoff was just happy to be out on his bike.

We covered 8 miles and 1000 ft elevation in all.

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We went hiking at Hewlitt Gulch Thursday after work in the Poudre (Pooter) Canyon. It was a mellow hike, not much uphill, but we crossed a stream about 10 million times and passed by some old homesteads. We also hiked through some burned areas from their fire last year which was interesting to look at.

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It was a bit sandy and muddy in areas, which is why you see Geoff with his shoe off. But we had fun on our last hike in Fort Collins!

We leave Saturday morning early, 4:30 AM early. And drive 17 hours to Santa Barbara. I get really restless in cars, so once the pretty scenery is over I’ll be taking some Benadryl.

Fort Collins has been a great place to stay, and even if we don’t end up moving here, Geoff and I would love to come back to visit. We’ve got a standing offer on our Mack’s guest room, which we’ll probably take them up on!

Running Adventure in Fort Collins

Monday was still a bit stormy (and therefore hiking/biking trails were probably muddy), so I managed to convince Geoff to come on a run with me. Anyone who knows Geoff well can probably guess that running is his least favorite activity. Actually, he despises running. But for some reason, he said yes, so we headed to the paved trails of Cathy Fromme Prairie Area.

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Cathy Fromme Prairie

It’s a natural area south of Fort Collins and is a nesting place for Raptors (anyone else think of Jurassic Park when they hear that?) which are birds of prey, so essentially hawks, eagles, vultures, buzzards and any other scary bird that’ll peck your eyes out. So Geoff and I start down the trail and guess what we see?

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A rattlesnake! Can you see him? He blends in well.

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We ran away fast. But then we had to come back by again to get to the car and he was gone. We still aren’t used to the elevation, so we huffed and puffed the whole way through our short run. If he was there, I don’t think that we could run away from him for long! And yes, I know that rattlesnakes don’t chase you.

I’m not sure if I can convince Geoff to go running with me again, between the snake and our inability to breathe, it wasn’t exactly a joy for him.

Then, the icing on the cake was during our drive home, when we heard a tornado warning over the radio. It was for southeast Wyoming, (Cheyenne is 45 minutes away) so we weren’t too worried, but it was still a first. So we went home and made pancakes for dinner and spent the night watching Lie to Me in the basement, which is fortunately where we sleep. Exciting time for sure!

 

Rocky Mountain National Park #2

Saturday we woke up early and headed back to RMNP for a hike before thunderstorms started rolling in. Hiking at 9,000 feet in a thunderstorm… yeah no thanks. It was a bit short, only 5 miles but really scenic and we gained over 1000 ft in elevation. For those thinking about planning a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park (and you totally should), this was the Alberta Falls to Mills Lake trail, starting at Bear Lake trailhead.

Alberta Falls…

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More streams to cross…

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And this is why they cal it the Rockies…

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Mills Lake, clear but cold looking water…

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And this is what squirrels are supposed to look like. Cute and little. Not those big ugly gray things that jump out of trashcans in Seattle.

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After our hike we drove up Old Fall River Road, a one-way gravel road, the first road, that goes up through the park. It was slow and scenic.

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Its neat to see the line between sub-alpine and alpine, where the trees stop because they can’t grow above a certain elevation. Alpine is certainly desolate and bare looking, there are just grasses and lichen on rocks. Below you can see a short walk up to an observation area. We huffed and puffed the whole way up. I blamed it on the 12,000 feet elevation.

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After our drive up to the top, we traveled down the west side of the park to Granby, then down to Idaho Springs and back up to Fort Collins through Golden and Denver. We were both pretty tired and happy to not be in the car when we pulled up to the house. We had planned to do the MillerCoors tour in Golden but barely missed the 4pm closing time.

The rest of our weekend was spent laying low. We went to church on Sunday and stayed in most of the day because of the rain and thunderstorms. It was nice to take a break since we’ve been going nonstop since we go here in an effort to see and do all that we can. This is our last week in Colorado! Finally, we’ll get to sleep on a real bed (goodbye air mattress) and walk around barefoot.

We leave on Saturday for Santa Barbara so I expect we’ll be doing our best to get more activities in!