So anyone who follows me on Facebook or Instagram knows that Chris and I recently went on a 10 day adventure around Colorado. Ten days and I feel like we barely scratched the surface of what that amazing state has to offer. If I write one post about the trip it will be several pages long so I’m thinking I’m going to split it up.
So first let’s get the negative out of the way: Colorado is DRY AS FUCK. They say you should drink tons of water in order to acclimate to the higher altitude…but that shouldn’t be a problem because if you don’t drink a thousand gallons of water a day you will literally dry up!!! I seriously had to put chapstick on no less than 30 times a day. And I was constantly obsessing over where my chapstick was…did I leave it in the car?!?! END OF THE WORLD! You’re not supposed to have scented items in the tent with you at night because bears could smell it and then want to come say hello…but fuck it, my lips would have just dried up and fell off my face without my chapstick so that stayed with me at all times!! Good thing I’m a little chapstick crazy in the first place and brought three with me!! And by chapstick I mean Aquafor because that stuff is THE BEST. Thank you first triathlon I ever did for giving that shit out for free, you changed my life.
Positives: Ummmm where to start!!!! There are so many. How about when you fly in and there are just snow capped mountains in the distance beckoning you to drive up them and then feel faint because they are in the goddamn stratosphere but who cares if you’re passing out because YOU ARE ON TOP OF THE WORLD. Or the fact that everyone is so effing nice there!! The first full day we were there we were surprised by multiple coffee and restaurant workers being the nicest people ever, asking what our plans were, giving us advice, genuinely helping us out…what?! That just doesn’t happen on the East Coast. And what’s up with the lack of bugs in Colorado?! 10 days and we only had one night where we saw mosquitoes!! And we spent a lottt of time outdoors. Glorious.
So, let’s talk hiking. We did 3 hikes while we were there, I’ll cover the first hike in this post. On Saturday we spent the night in Crested Butte and it was one of the best places I’ve ever been. Mountains on all sides, snow caps visible in the distance, green meadows with flowers and lakes in the shade of the mountains, and a small town that was, shocker, filled with super nice people. The town itself is about 8×8 blocks total so you can walk the whole time you’re there. We lucked out with amazing weather, 50’s and 60’s at night and 70’s during the day. We decided to hike on Sunday morning after checking out the local coffee shop, Camp 4 Coffee. Super cute and unique place serving breakfast and lunch items. Our hike was on the Woods Walk trail that begins on the west side of the outskirts of town. We hiked that trail and then looped back to the town via Peanut Lake Road. All in all it was about 3.5 miles and was pretty easy and we got to enjoy views of forest, fields, lakes, and mountains. It was my favorite hike of the whole trip and was a great way to kick off our Colorado hiking.
In Crested Butte we stayed at a cute little hotel and got lucky with a room with a balcony that looked out to Mount Crested Butte, where the ski area is. We never ventured up there, but watching the sun come up over the mountain was great. (Sidenote: I guess because of the time difference we were up around 6 every single day of vaca. More time to explore!!)
Leaving Crested Butte was sad because it was such a great place, and we secretly wished we could just up and move there for a year (damn you being an adult!!!), but our next stop was a campground in the middle of nowhere outside Carbondale, CO. I mean it when I say in the middle of nowhere. To get there we took a 2 hour drive through a dirt road pass that is closed in the winter time and offers AMAZING mountain and forest views. Chris took his daily vacation nap during most of this drive and I got out several times to take pictures. The drive reminded me a lot of driving on the roads back where I grew up in New Hampshire. The views…New Hampshire is amazing and has fantastic mountain views but I’ve never seen anything like the mountain views I saw on this drive in CO!!
Best thing about our campsite in Carbondale? Nooooo cell phone service!! There’s something to be said about being disconnected in this day and age when everyone expects to be able to instantly be in contact with you at all times via multiple social media platforms. I was sad I couldn’t add to my Instagram story my amazing over-the-fire cooking skills that first night camping, though!! I’m sad I didn’t take pictures but I made mac and cheese and hotdogs over the fire that night. The campground was next to a rushing river so we were lulled to sleep by the sound of the river.