MFH (My Favorite Husband) and I just returned home from a two week vacation. We visited two different states, spending a week in each state. We’re going to be chatting about our week in Colorado in this post and we’ll chat about our visit to Iowa in a separate post.
Colorado was our second state to visit. We had spent the first half of our vacation visiting my In Laws in Iowa before pointing the car west towards the mountains.
A year ago #1 Daughter and her MFH had been married and we were going out to celebrate their anniversary with them and to go camping in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). We were excited to see them again and excited to go camping!
Most of you probably recall the little drama we had with our old tent? Poor MFH! We sure had a hard time trying to decide whether or not to replace that tent. Mother Nature did a fine job deciding that for us! The poor tent, it served us well for many years.
Our first two nights in Colorado, we hotel-ed it. We had campground reservations for only three nights. To be honest, we weren’t so sure how we’d do sleeping on the ground. The last time we’d tent camped had been over 20 years ago! We’d loved it but 20 years is a lot of water under the bridge.
We met up with #1 Daughter and her MFH for dinner. We caught up on laundry. We caught up on a little sleep! Soon it was time to head up to the mountains.
Now, we’d lived 11 years in Estes Park and our campsite was only about 15-ish miles from the house where we’d lived. It was kind of weird being that close to “home,” but we had zero desire to drive past our old place or anything like that. We WERE thankful for knowing the back roads so we could skip through “tourist” traffic to make our trip a bit quicker.
We camped in Moraine Campground. It’s our favorite campground in RMNP. We found our campsite: Loop A #82. It was great!!!
We had wild turkeys strolling past our tent every morning and evening. They were super casual like they owned the place, which I guess they kind of do?
They’re starting to have bear problems in the park. Last time we camped there, this was not a problem. We were surprised to find we had to store all our stuff in a huge metal “closet.” No big deal, just a surprise. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because when we lived there, I chased more bears off my deck than I can count. They kept getting into my bird feeder! I’d go out the door, wave my arms around and yell at them, “Get off my deck!!!” They’d just kind of look at me and think, “Whatever!” and saunter off.
Our first run in Colorado was before we went camping. We were still “in the valley” on the front range. We had a great time! MFH found these trails at a rock formation called, Devil’s Backbone.
That was some fun running!!! Great trails!
The day we arrived in RMNP, we did a 5 mile hike towards Fern Lake. We had a bit of a late start so didn’t get all the way to the lake. We did a little math and realized we wouldn’t be back to the campsite in time before it got dark. Seeing as we hadn’t brought a headlamp or anything with us, we needed to be back before we couldn’t see where we were going.
The very next day we did our BIG run. We had decided to run up Old Fall River Road.
Old Fall River Road was opened to traffic in 1920. It’s a narrow, one way, gravel road that climbs from 8,000 ft to almost 12,000 ft elevation. Traffic is only allowed to vehicles going up. No downhill traffic is allowed. There are a zillion *slight exaggeration* switchbacks and the elevation climb is substantial and fast! Wowzers but that was tough and amazing!!!
Bear in mind that we live and train at 215 ft elevation so this was no joke for breathing! There’s no air up there, then again there’s no humidity, either. I guess it’s a trade off?
The first mile was a toughie but then we both settled into the run and had a blast!!!
MFH and I ended up running half way up Old Fall River Road before turning to head back down. That is one run I don’t think either one of us will ever forget~it was one for the books!!!
That evening, we decided to celebrate that run. The campground had this guy that sold firewood and Ice Cream!!! That was the most delicious ice cream ever!
We hiked up Deer Mountain the next day. That was a fun and easy hike. Deer Mountain is only about 10,000 ft elevation and we were getting used to the altitude by then. We were feeling like little mountain goats.
When we reached the top of the mountain, we sat on some rocks and rested. I was getting a pic of the mountains when this little chipmunk popped up and photo-bombed my pic! This pic is a total fluke but I laughed myself silly. Cheeky little chipmunk!
Later that same day, MFH and I grabbed the shuttle over to Bear Lake. This lake has a crushed gravel, half mile trail. It’s a pretty lake with LOTS of people. Most of the time we do stuff where most people don’t like to go but because Bear Lake is so pretty, we decided to head on over.
Don’t forget that all this time the August Plank Challenge has been going and people have diligent in their planks! Don’t think that we were being slackers!
Tradition dictates that MFH pops Jiffy Pop Popcorn over a campfire. Our last night in camp, MFH pulled out the Jiffy Pop and made the popcorn. It came out perfect!
Next thing we knew, it was time to pack up the tent and head back down to the valley. We’d had a wonderful time camping and know we’ll do it again. The new tent was comfy. We didn’t get too creaky sleeping on the ground. YAY, us!!!
We arrived back in Ft. Collins to meet up with #1 Daughter and her MFH one more time before heading home. Because we’d arrived a little earlier than planned, we walked through a flower garden at CSU (Colorado State University). This was pretty close to the house we’d lived in the two years we’d been in Ft. Collins. There had been quite a few walks down to these flowers but, I guess because I’m a slower learner or something, this was the first time I realized the giant can of soup across the street from the flowers was an Andy Warhol sculpture! Who knew!?
That wrapped up our last afternoon in Colorado. We met up with “the kids” for dinner then the next morning, pointed the car east and headed for home.
Getting this crew to take a serious selfie was pointless. LOL!!!
After two days driving, we were rewarded with this beautiful blue sign:
There’s no place like home!!!