Helloooo Colorado!

I have a bad habit of longing to be wherever I am not. If we’re in the desert I long for the forest, if we’re in the mountains I long for the coast, if we’re in a city I long for wide open spaces. It’s not that I don’t enjoy where I am, it’s just that I can’t help but think about all the places where I could be. While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dreaming about the future, I do think it’s important to enjoy the present. Which is why I’ve tried very hard over the past year of traveling around the eastern side of the country to not let my longing for the west diminish my enjoyment of all the amazing places we’ve visited.

Rocky Mountains as seen from I-70 near Denver, CO
After a long drive across Kansas and the flat part of Colorado, these mountains were a welcome sight!

But that longing for the west is always there. Colorado, in particular, plays a prominent role in my western dreams. No other place takes my breath away quite like the beauty of the Colorado mountains. I’m also drawn to the outdoor culture, tiny mountain towns, and diversity of this large state (both in the geography and people). So many places that we travel though feel foreign to me. I often feel like an outsider who doesn’t fit in. Colorado, on the other hand, feels almost like home. I feel like I belong here.

Hwy 40 to Winter Park, CO
Mountains around every corner

Which might be why since arriving in Colorado that endless longing has diminished. I’m still looking forward to all the places we plan to go this summer and fall – Wyoming, Idaho, Utah – but that anxious feeling of wanting to get west as quick as possible that has followed me around since we left Florida is now gone. And really, can you blame me? From where I’m sitting right now at my tiny Airstream desk I can see snowcapped mountains out the front door and a lake out the back window. This afternoon we plan to hike around a meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park where moose and elk are known to hang out, and later this week we’ll put our kayaks in the water for a paddle around the clear blue water with the mountains looming overhead. What more could I want?

Stillwater Campground - Grand Lake, CO
Hard to beat this view

But I’m getting ahead of myself. As seems to be the norm these days, the blog is a few weeks behind which means before I tell you about where we are now, I need to go back to Golden where we spent our first week in Colorado

Downtown Golden, CO
Downtown Golden

Two years in a row we spent most of the summer roaming around Colorado. While we didn’t leave much of the state unexplored, one of the areas where we didn’t spend much time is the populated front range area. Mostly because it’s hot there in the summer, but also because the campground options are limited and require advance planning to get into. This time we would be entering Colorado from the east for the first time so it only made sense to spend a week in Denver. By the time we concocted this plan it was far too late to get into any of the state parks in the area (seriously, how does anyone get a site at these parks?), but we did score the last available spot at the tiny city park in Golden.

Clear Creek RV Park - Golden, CO
Close quarters at the Clear Creek RV Park

Clear Creek RV Park is a cute little campground situated alongside Clear Creek and next to the town park. Walking distance to town, easy access to trails, and in the perfect location to either head east to the city or west to the mountains, this is a very popular spot. The desired sites are those that overlook the river, but by the time we made a reservation the only one available was a partial hook-up site in the back corner of the park. It was fine. The biggest annoyance was that while the sites are marked as suitable for RVs 30 feet or less, we had a number of rotating neighbors who were clearly longer than that which made our corner site feel smaller. Such is life in the city.

Clear Creek RV Park in Golden, CO
The creekside sites

Despite the tight quarters we loved this park for its location, and after only a few days wished we had booked two weeks. Unfortunately, with Memorial Day weekend coming up there were no available sites. The week flew by. I spent far too much time running around doing “big city errands”, we walked all over town on the bike path and through the neighborhoods, had some bad pizza in Golden and good beer in Lakewood, went for two hikes in the nearby foothills, and hunkered down inside the Airstream on the few days that it rained.

Clear Creek in Golden, CO
Clear Creek
Matthews/Winter Park, Colorado
Hiking at Matthews/Winter Park
Matthews/Winter Park, Colorado
Up through the red rocks
Red Rocks Park, CO
More hiking at Red Rocks Park
Red Rocks Park, CO
They were setting up for a concert so we couldn’t see the amphitheater, but hiking among the rocks was awesome! Fortunately, we saw a show there a few years ago so missing out on the amphitheater this time wasn’t too disappointing. 
Green Mountain Beer Company
Ending the week with beer on the patio at the Green Mountain Beer Company

 

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10 Responses to “Helloooo Colorado!”

Comments

  1. Deb

    I live here in Colorado and I booked a spot in a state park in FEB. Granted it was for Memorial Day weekend, but most of the summer is like that. Have fun in Granby. It’s a pretty spot.

    Reply
    • Amanda

      When we spend the summer in CO a few years ago we made a bunch of national forest campground reservations ahead of time but didn’t have much luck with the state parks. We noticed that the majority of license plates in the busy parks were from Colorado, which tells me that people who live here really like to camp! Another reason why this state feels so much like home :)

      Reply
  2. Jeff

    Beautiful pictures and some great weather. CO has so much diversity and lots to offer the traveler. Always find a new adventure there. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Always a new adventure is right! Even after all the time we have spent here, there is still so much to explore and experience.

      Reply
  3. Jana

    Love the mountain pics, Amanda. Kevin just retied so where looking forward to going out west and breathing good clean mountain air. Thanks for taking us along. Oh, by the way are you and Tim thinking about starting up a you tube channel anytime soon?

    Reply
    • Amanda

      Congratulations on the retirement! You really can’t beat that fresh (and often cold) mountain air. We’re really not video people so I don’t see us starting a Youtube channel or posting videos anytime soon.

      Reply
  4. Jodee Gravel

    There’s such wonderful snow in all the mountains this year, Colorado will be stunning I’m sure! Love those red rocks. How appropriate for the Vermont kids to find a Green Mountain brew stop :-))

    Reply
    • Amanda

      The snowy mountains are fantastic right now! So happy we’re here to see it. I love that you remembered Vermont’s motto!

      Reply
  5. Joanne

    I completely understand wanting to be west. As lifelong Floridians, once we could leave our jobs behind, we made a beeline west and I don’t really want to go back, even to visit family and friends. I’ve compromised by settling on Fall 2018 as a go-back date, but hopefully by the following spring, we’ll be on our way west again. Looking forward to more posts from the great state of Colorado!

    Reply
  6. David B

    Sounds pretty much ideal……Dave

    Reply

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