Colorado :: Day Four

ATV Path Bend ATV Path Straight Coffee Shop Deero Path ATV View Steve Driving ATV Wagon Wheel
We Become What We Think VW Van

This was the fourth day and the last day of our fun adventure in Colorado. I booked the red eye so we could spend the entire day playing.

After packing up and leaving our little apartment in Boulder, I went across the street to a local coffee shop. Since Boulder was full of local spots all offering gluten-free options, I don’t know why I was so surprised that this local coffee spot had gluten-free coffee cake. I have been gluten-free for six years now. So, I literally haven’t had a coffee cake in over six years.

My face lit up like a kid on Christmas morning when I saw that gluten-free caramel coffee cake looking at me through the glass counter. I immediately told the barista that I’d like one coffee cake to go. I grabbed my cake and latte and headed for the apartment to have one last meal on the patio. I ate that coffee cake savoring each bite like it was the last one on earth while enjoying the cool Colorado morning.

On our last day in Colorado, Steve wanted to go white water rafting most of all but we missed the season for it. So, instead he decided we would rent an ATV and ride trails in the Rockies. We drove though big trails, small trails, dirt trails and very rocky trails all while taking in the beauty of the changing leaves and wildlife. It was a blast even when the temperature dropped to 40 degrees and it started raining. Well, maybe it wasn’t a blast at that point but still fun. We did turn the ATV in early at the point that our hands were completely numb.

Colorado you were awesome! Your beauty amazed me at every turn. It was a great celebration. Happy 40th once again to my wonderful husband. I can’t wait to spend many more celebrations with you.


Colorado :: Day Three

Nell and Steve Overlook Nell at Overlook Nell Balancing on Rock at Creek Nell in Rain Over Waterfall Nell Large Rock Overlook Nell on Trail Nell Over Boulder Nell Sitting on Rock at Creek 2 Nell Sitting on Rock at Creek Nell Sitting on Very Large Rock Nell Standing on Very Large Rock Overlook Panorama Overlook Steve at the Creek Steve on a Bench Steve on Rock at Creek Steve on the Trail Steve Overlook Trail Mtn View Creek Flatirons Florida Hikers

This was by far the best picture day of all.  The views we saw were epic.

We went to Eldorado Canyon right outside of Boulder. After we got there, I realized that I didn’t do enough research (which is very unlike me).  I assumed that we would drive through the sightseeing area just as we’d done the day before in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  That was definitely not the case. Steve was wearing flip flops and I was wearing sandals, but we didn’t let that stop us.  We figured that we could bring a little Florida to Colorado.  We hiked the trail and climbed the rocks all without losing our shoes.

We’d also planned to go see the Flatirons, which are massive rock formations that look like slanted slabs.  We followed the directions but wound up winding up a tiny road to the top of a mountain.  When we stopped, we were completely amazed.  I felt like we were on top of the world and at that location, I guess we were; on top of all the other surrounding mountains at least (check out the first pic).  The views were breathtaking.  I certainly had never experienced anything like it before.  We walked out onto the overlook rock formation and just looked at the views for the longest time.  I simply could not get enough.  Honestly, I really wanted to stay longer.  I could have easily stayed until the sun went down.  Looking back, Steve and I both regretted not staying to watch the sunset.  Oh, well.  It will be on our list for next time.  After winding back down the mountain, we realized that we had driven right past the Flatirons.  We stopped to take one quick pic.  After seeing the spectacular views from the top of the mountain, the Flatirons just didn’t look all that fascinating.  Plus, we were exhausted.

Whew, what a day!  Colorado, you are amazing!

Colorado :: Day Two

Nell Walking through Grass RMNP Panorama RMNP Sign Nell on top of the Rock Nell Sitting on Wall Over Mtns Green Mountain Side Mountians with Multiple Lakes Nell Climbing Down Rocks Nell on Small Rock Nell on top of Mtn Estes Park Sign Estes Park Sign Nell Elk Elevation 11K Colorful Trees Rocky Mtn Road View Rocky Mtn View 2 Rocky Mtn View Stairs at Shining Hotel Steve and Nell on Wall over Rockies The Shining Hotel Steve Walking to Big Rock Steve the Thinker Steve on Top of the Rock Steve on top of Mtn

Day two was spent exploring Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain National Park. In the national park we were wowed and amazed by the beautiful views at every turn. I took picture after picture but just kept saying to Steve, “there’s no way we will be able to capture the vastness of these mountains in a picture.” Now looking back at my pictures I can say that I was right. These pictures are beautiful but do the Rocky Mountains no justice. Taking turn after turn being surrounded by huge mountains, I couldn’t help but feel like an ant. With the mountains all around; so big and so vast, I felt extremely tiny.

We traveled up to nearly 12,000 feet. Since I had been sick the day before due to the change in altitude, I was a bit nervous about going up to the peak. I felt pressure on my head and could definitely feel the lack of oxygen, but thank goodness there was no sickness involved.

We ended the day at Estes Park. Estes Park is a little town right at the edge of the Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a small and quaint little mountain town perfect for walking and sightseeing. One of the coolest stops we made in Estes Park was to see the Stanley Hotel. If you’re not familiar with the name you’ll know it from the movie The Shining. It’s the isolated hotel where Jack Nicholson goes to write. It was a little but creepy but very cool.

Colorado :: Day One

Boulder Apt View Nell and Steve Creek Selfie Nell Looking at Creek 2 Nell Looking at Creek Nell on a Rock Pearl Street View Steve Looking at Creek 2 Steve Looking at Creek 3 Steve Looking at Creek Steve Testing Waters Steve Walking Down Pearl Street

The first day of the trip was spent getting settled into our Airbnb rental apartment in Boulder. We chose a cozy little place on the west end of Pearl Street. Since biking is huge in Boulder, and most all of Colorado, we decided to rent a couple of bikes and tour around town. We biked down Pearl Street, went through the college area of town and did Boulder Creek Path.

The one thing that I noticed right away was the great selection of gluten-free food options. It is very rare for me to go to a sandwich shop and eat a sandwich much less going to a coffee shop and being able to eat a coffee cake. I was able to do both of these things and as silly as that sounds, it was extremely exciting. I had a coffee cake for the first time in over six years. I guess it really is all about the little things right?

You hear so much about how difficult it is to adjust to the Colorado altitude especially when doing activities. I found out really quick what that was like especially when biking through the hills in Boulder. In no time, I was gasping for air with a massive headache settling in and feeling exhausted and dizzy. Of course Steve was totally fine. I pushed through and went to bed early hoping that I would feel much better the next day because we had big plans of going to Estes Park and into the Rocky Mountain National Park up to the peak at over 12,000 feet.