So after work Thursday I got the girls and then ate some dinner real quick then Heath took the girls to cousin Rachel and Alex’s while I took a nap. I didn’t expect it to go so well but the next thing I knew 3 hours had passed and Heath was back and waking me up to get ready. As I loaded the van, Jon, Jake and Shin joined me and just before 9pm we left. With 3 drivers the trip was pretty easy. I drove 3 hours, then Jake drove 3 then Jon drove 3 and we all slept when we could. We made great time and got to the trail head about 2 hours before sunrise. So we parked and took a quick nap.
As the sun rose we started our first hike
It started out pretty good with some rock/dirt/sand on the trail. We were climbing the mountain but the going was pretty easy. As we got higher we got into more and more snow
For the first part of the trail we had footprints in the snow to help lead us but eventually they all stopped and we were on our own. For a few parts we could find where the trail was but for the most part we lost the trail completely and just made our way towards the top.
We didn’t have snowshoes and some parts were really deep. As we got higher it got steeper, deeper and harder.
About 20 feet from the top we discovered Shin has a fear of heights and could go no farther. So the rest of us climbed over the last rocks and made the summit.
Amazing views all around.
It was a pretty warm day but cool on the mountain and really windy. We were getting hungry and started our way down. Going down we tried to take a more direct route and it ended up taking a lot more time then I expected. We scurried our way down the mountain trying to find the safest fastest route and we had to keep Shin from seeing way down.
Around lunch time we made it down to the bottom.
(if this hike looks familiar, Heath and I did it in the summer a few years ago with the girls)
We went just down the street a ways to setup lunch at the pick-nick tables around Lily Lake.
We started setting up and found it was way too windy to cook and not real pleasant to be out in. So we ate some sandwiches and headed into Estes park to find a hotel. We tried a few but didn’t like them then ended up at the Silver Moon.
The host was really nice and in no time we were cooking up some lunch.
Then we got some beers and headed to the hot tub.
We spent all afternoon in the hot tub. Then we got cleaned up and walked into town. We rented snow shoes, had some happy hour drinks and then got some burgers. Once we had full bellies we got pretty tired, we tried to go to another bar for a drink but we were too worn out to enjoy it and went to the room and went to sleep. We were out for the next 10 hours. Then we got packed up, ate a big breakfast and drove into Rocky Mountain National Park.
We headed right to Bear lake.
It was again pretty warm but even more windy. We bundled up and strapped on the snowshoes.
Then we were off.
The lake was frozen solid and first we just explored around it and got a feel for the shoes.
Then of course Jon led us off the trail and up into the woods.
We were pretty boxed in but did find a giant icicle.
We went back to the trail and spend the rest of the day snowshoeing around the trails.
It was really nice out and the views were great.
We hiked back to the car and then drove to another section of the park. We had brought sleds and a shovel all the way from KC and we were excited there was a sledding hill at the park. It was pretty disappointing when we actually got to it.
It was barely any incline and much of the snow was gone. We each went down once and were really disappointed. Shin on the other hand had never sled before and didn’t know any better. He thought it was great and went several times.
Then we headed out of the park, we returned the snowshoes and drove up to Ft. Collins. The hostel we planned to stay at was full so we found the shadiest hotel close to downtown we could.
It was kind of a dump and smelled like cigarets. Eventually we decided we were the only ones staying the night who did not live there all the time. The place was run by an old Korean lady who was really funny and nice. We made ourselves at home on on porch drinking beers and eating peanuts.
The Korean lady brought us some giant Korean pears and really went out of the way to welcome us and she really liked visiting with Shin. Eventually we left the porch, got cleaned up and headed down town. We tried to go to a few big breweries but they were packed the lines were too long to get a drink.
So we went to a little brewery called Pateros Creek Brewing. We got a sample of everything they made.
It was pretty good. We were hungry and headed on down the street. We got burgers and brauts and then played some pool.
Most of us had not played in years and Shin had never played before.
But he really enjoyed it and we got to meet several people. Shin had also never had a jello shot. So when the shot girl came by we helped him out.
We spent the rest of the night running around downtown hitting up the bars and food stands. It was a lot of fun. We stayed out much later before heading back to the room to crash.
We felt a bit rough the next morning but Jon and I got a little run in and then we got some Mcbreakfast down the street and felt better. We headed back towards the mountains and went to Lory State park for some hiking.
We hiked around and checked things out.
It was pretty easy hiking and much different then what we had been doing. Once the breweries opened we headed back. We started at Odell.
Again we got a sample of everything.
It was amazing outside so we sat on the deck and just enjoyed the day and beer.
Once all 18 mini beers were gone we went down the street to try 5 more.
By this time we were pretty done. We decided to hit the road in hopes of getting a few good hours of sleep in our own beds. We drove down by Denver and out onto 70. Just outside of Denver we stopped at our favorite CO Mexican restaurant Corona’s. It was like 2 something in the afternoon and the place was packed. It took us a long time to get our food, eat and get out but it was really good.
Jon drove, then Jake drove, then I drove. We did a little napping and got home by midnight. We unpacked the van quickly and everyone headed home. It was a great little trip.