Monday, September 6, 2010

Colorado Vacation

Greg and I have had a wonderful summer filled with family and fun activities. Recently, we went to Colorado (just the two of us). Now that we are empty-nesters (for the most part), we have taken some trips on our own. Neither of us have been to Colorado so when Greg had the opportunity to attend a conference in Fort Collins, it seemed sensible for me to tag along and then extend the trip for 5 more days.

We started our stay in Fort Collins, CO. It is a beautiful city and reminded me a lot of Davis/Provo-Orem area. College town like both, but tons of trees like Davis and the same atmosphere but had the restaurant/retail that Provo-Orem has. Unfortunately, I wasn't yet in the picture taking mode and so I don't have any from here.

After 3 nights in Fort Collins, we moved on to Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. We stayed in a lovely cabin/condo overlooking the Rocky Mountains.

This is the entrance to our condo.

Picture of the bedroom with flat screen TV and gas fireplace.

Living Room/dining room/kitchen area.


ditto. A lovely place to read.

View from the window of our condo.

Our first whole day there was devoted to visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. We entered and found that we could park in a "park and ride" and shuttle up to the other destinations in the Moraine section of the park. We were able to do this, and instead of starting at the top of the hike, someone told us we should get off before the end and hike into a waterfall before hiking up to Bear Lake. Unfortunately, it was all up hill and at 8,ooo to 9,ooo ft. sea level, that is not an easy task, especially when you live where it is 56 ft. sea level.

At the beginning of our 4 mile hike. Greg on the trailhead.

We saw many pretty and interesting things along the trail. It was really nice to take it slowly and just observe everything that was around us. It was astoundingly beautiful.

Beautiful ferns were plentiful.

Couldn't ask for a better backdrop for a photograph.

Beautiful and unique and colorful flowers were wonderful.

Gorgeous quaking aspens and plentiful streams.

Finally made it to the Falls.

My handsome model in front of the Falls.

One of the few wild mammals wer saw on our hike. He was very cute and not too shy.

It is amazing that flowers can grow from rock outcroppings. This is at the foot of the Falls.

Pretty orange/red mushroom. I don't think it will be included with dinner.

Made it to the Ranger Station at Bear Lake. Notice the elevation.

Greg and I sitting on a rock with Bear Lake in the background. It is a beautiful little lake in the midst of these trees and mountains.

A glacier can be seen at the right of this magnificent rocky prominence. I bet this lake is very cold.

A young deer and his brother grazing alongside of the road. Sorry it is a little blurry but they were constantly moving.

As we drove out of the park for the day, we saw two young deer and a huge buck. We then took a little road to see what was down it and ran into a huge hail storm. the hail was large and heavy and we took refuge under a tree but after the hail ceased, we were able to see this herd of 30-40 elk in the meadow.

The next day in the park, was beautiful but traumatic for me. We planned to head up to the trail ridge that takes you across the park. However, I was leery about the name and asked a park ranger if it was steep. She replied tha it was sheer drops on either side but that I could easily go to one of the stops before the ridge trail began. We didn't make it that far, I got high anxiety before we reached that point. But, this is the turn-out we turned around in. It was a beautiful view of the valley below (way below).

After we left beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park, we headed for Boulder, CO. We had heard so much about it over the years, that we thought we should make an overnight stop. It was a fun little city, we stayed near the university and downtown. The downtown was a delightful area with pedestrian traffic only. There were many stores, restaurants and interesting people to see. Boulder reminded us of a Davis/Berkeley CA mix.

Lovely downtown area to stroll along.

Ground fountain was a fun place to watch the children to play.

Greg doing one of the things he loves best, "people watching", there was a lot of that to do in Boulder.

Boulder's downtown banners.

These are some of the sculptures that were downtwon. this cougar is significant to me after reading "A Cat int hte Garden: about mountain lion attacks especially in and around Boulder.

Cut little bear family for Greg to pose with.

After our visit to Boulder, we drove to the south side of Denver and visited with our niece, Susan and her family. We had a wonderful visit, it was fun to see her and her family. We flew home the next day after a stay at a hotel near the airport (not much to mention about this place).
Overall, it was a great trip and our first big trip without our family with us. We had fun, but we missed you girls!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas time is here again and our whole family is excited. Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. We get to reconnect with family and friends. With the economic problems that are upon us all, I am doing everything I can to stimulate the economy. I just can't help it, I love to watch my family open gifts and exclaim with delight. We are looking forward to sharing Christmas with Taryn, Grant, Holly and Karleigh, all home from their educational pursuits.

I tried to get everything done early so that we had more time to reflect upon the true meaning of Christmas. I am grateful for the birth of our Savior and all he did for us while upon the earth during his short ministry. I am grateful for all he continues to do for us now and forever.

Christmas music is some of my favorite to listen to. One of our local stations started playing it before Thanksgiving, and Holly and Karleigh couldn't stand it. We have a rule about no Christmas music before the day after Thanksgiving. So, now I am thoroughly enjoying listening whenever I can, even as I type this post.

Merry Christmas to you all. Have a wonderful warm-filled holiday. We look forward to spending time with many of you over the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My daughters have coerced me in to beginning a blog just like they have. I hope I have enough interesting things to tell my readers.