Friday, November 1, 2013

Colorado Vacation

This last weekend, we went on a road trip to Colorado! To say we had the best time is easily an understatement- I'm currently waiting for my husband to give me the green light to search for real estate there. =) I'm kidding, sort of, but man... I'd love to have a little vacation home in the mountains. I don't know what it is, but being in the mountains does something for me that I can't explain and I'm already thinking ahead to the next time we go!

So, back to the trip: we stayed in a small town called Fraser, just outside Winter Park at a little Bed & Breakfast called the Wild Horse Inn (which was amazing- more on that in a sec). We've traveled with the kids a number of times through the years, but have never taken a trip in the car longer than 4-5 hours so this 9-10 hour stuff had me a little scared. To my surprise, the kids ROCKED in the car (both ways) and it couldn't have gone better.

 This was the first time our kids got to see mountains (we went to Washington when Cam was 9 months, so he doesn't remember) and they were giddy with excitement as soon as we hit the Denver area. It was so snowy on the Pass between Denver and Winter Park, the kids couldn't wait to get out and play in it!

The Wild Horse Inn Bed and Breakfast we stayed at was so neat. The main lodge (above) had several rooms, a dining room for their daily amazing breakfasts, and a large living room with cozy couches and a giant fireplace. There were also 3 private cabins, one of which we stayed in. It was so perfect and I'd love to stay there again!

The first few minutes of the sunrise was quietly breathtaking- spiritual almost. This was also the view we had from our cabin every morning! 

Our first morning there we decided to do a bit of hiking. We found ourselves somewhere outside Winter Park in the National Forest- driving up into the mountains until our 4-wheel drive said "stop", and began hiking for about a mile and a half. Other than the sound of snow crunching beneath our boots, it was eerily quiet up there- there were no cars passing and no hikers that we saw. I knew that we'd end up in a bit of backcountry (knowing my husband) so I took along my tripod for a few photo ops. We were hoping to see some wildlife and even though we didn't, the hike was gorgeous and rewarding. 

One of the original reasons we went to Colorado was to attend the wedding of a longtime friend of Jon's. I don't have pictures of the ceremony (which was at the B&B we stayed at) but it was gorgeous, sunny, and warm(ish)- couldn't have been more perfect!

Sunday (our last day) we drove to Georgetown (about an hour from WP) to ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad. Back before we had kids (I was pregnant with Cameron, actually) we did the Narrow Gauge train ride that takes you from Durango to Silverton. It was one of the best experiences and we knew our kids would love to do it someday, so we thought the Georgetown ride would be perfect.

 Since it only covers 3 miles (an hour train ride) it was perfect for the kids- it was cold, and we sat in an open car. The kids loved it and I hope Cameron will have lasting memories of it!


After the train ride we just drove- the kids were champions in the car and we were able to experience so much by just driving. We stopped near Silverthorne because Jon spotted water and thought it would be fun to get out and check it out.

My husband grew up in the Pacific northwest and is a "mountain man" (his words, not mine), so needless to say, he is far more adventurous than I. The hike down to this reservoir was so incredibly narrow and steep I had to scoot down the path on my hands and feet (picture a crab here) to get there while he flawlessly and effortlessly carried the kids. But the pay-off, well... you can see just how beautiful it is. Had it been up to me we would not have attempted it. But here we played, looked for gold shiny rocks, and just explored like we were on a private island with no one else around for miles.

Mountains do something good for my soul in a way that beaches cannot.

In a lot of my photos I relied heavily on the self-timer, but I handed Cameron my camera for many shots and he does quite well! But once I give it to him, it's a fight to get it back. 

Since we've been back all I can think about is getting back there. I love making such precious memories with my crew and hope that we can continue to do so for many years to come! 


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