My mom, Jana (my foreign exchange student) and I made it to Colorful Colorado!
After a day and a half of driving and a particularly stressful bit through the Texas panhandle. Think: 70 mph gust and rain coming down so hard I couldn’t even see the road in front of me. I’m normally a very calm driver but this had me physically shaking. We pulled over and waited out the storm and then continued slowly northward.
We made it to the sweetest town of Loveland, Colorado a little late but safe and that’s all that really matters.
My campsite is amazing and backs right up to the river!
Everyone is very friendly and the nicest man helped me get backed into my spot! This campground even has a tiny house community and if you know me then you know I’m currently obsessed with watching tiny home walkthroughs on YouTube! So I was pretty excited about that and gawked at them on every walk!
After setting up camp we decided to drive around the town of Loveland. Turns out Loveland is an awesome town in the foothills of the Rockies with a quaint lake in the middle of it. We took a stroll around the lake, watched the sunset and got some ice cream!
Cool story: The well known mom and pop ice cream shop in town is called Dairy Delite! Well, I worked at a mom and pop ice cream shop growing up also called Dairy Delight!! Ha! Had to go!
We spent both of the following days in Estes Park, about a 45 minute drive from camp up into the mountains.
Day 1 we went to the dog friendly Hermit Park and hiked Kruger Rock! A 4 mile out and back hike up to an incredible 360 degree view of Estes Park valley and all the mountains that surround it. The 1000 ft elevation gain combined with just leaving 0 feet above sea level Houston combined with Sophia and Gonzo setting a brutal pace made for an interesting trip up the mountain. But we all made it! I can’t say enough good things about this Hermit Park is a beautiful, friendly and well kept open space.
On our way out we made sure to visit downtown Estes Park which is incredible. We visited some shops and had dinner on the river that flows through town! So awesome!
Also, it can’t go without mentioning the sweetest wildlife encounter of the day. On the way into Hermit Park we had a momma elk and her baby walk right in front of us! So sweet, the little one was tearing it up in the field running circles around the momma but straightened right up when they crossed the street!
Day 2 we spent at the not dog friendly Rocky Mountain National Park! A lot of the trails still had snow and slush on them so we were limited in choice of trail. The nice park ranger suggested we venture up Deer Mountain. A 6 mile out and back trail with a 700 ft elevation gain and some amazing views! It was a wonderful trip up minus the random 200 stairs to the very top which were rough to say the least. We spent about a hour up at the top taking in the views, chatting with other hikers and laughing at all the chipmunks begging people for food. 🙅🏻♀️
On the way out of the park we made sure to stop by Old Fall River Road, even though it’s still closed due to all the snow further up we decided to walk down it a bit and I’m sure glad we did! We ran into a small herd of Big Horn Sheep having their evening meal! We watched them for awhile and then checked out a little waterfall further up the road. Apparently, we were leaving the park at just the right time because we saw tens of elk and deer as well! So fun! Didn’t know where to look! Probably the road! Ha!
Dinner was at camp that night and it was a great way to end our time in Colorado! I can’t wait to come back so, so many things still left to do!
Also… I decided to continue #1000thingstobethankfulfor!
#85 – Grateful I made the trip safely.
#86 – Thankful that my momma, Jana and my perfect pups get to join me on this adventure! Nothing beats sharing all these experiences with the ones I love!
#87 – My moms willingness and excitement to climb up a mountain at 62 years old! 💪🏼
#88 – For a wonderful last year of employment. I get to work with incredible and inspiring people whom I can’t say I’m grateful for enough! Most know I go back and forth about being in education but this year I truly looked forward to going to work everyday. It was because of all these people and the work that we do together that made that so!