Colorado Trip 2012

Dave and I just got home Sunday after spending five days in Colorado. We spent two days in Rocky Mountain National Park and three days in Boulder. I had never been to Colorado before, so it was a totally new experience for me being near the mountains. Immediately I noticed how much different the air was there. It was so crisp and cool and there wasn’t a trace of humidity. I could really get used to that. Dave has always been in love with the mountains and he’s been jonesing pretty badly to see them again since it’s been almost 20 years since he last saw them. He was all smiles the whole time we were there. He was even trying to think of a way that we could move there.

Driving up to Rocky Mountain National Park, I was truly amazed. I feel like there are no words to adequately describe the beauty and majesty of the mountains. To say that they are amazing doesn’t even seem to do them justice. I tried to get photos of them from the car, but none of them quite captured how beautiful they really were.

I’m not an outdoor person, so I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with Dave on the hikes up the mountain trails with the extremely high altitudes. On our first day in the mountains, it was very cold, gray and windy. It even started to rain and sleet a little. It was kind of miserable. I wasn’t enjoying it at all. I did get winded and a little lightheaded on some of the trails. My heart and lungs felt like they were going to explode at times. But I sucked it up and managed to hike on three short trails. I was proud of myself for sticking it out.

Our second day of hiking was much better. It was sunnier, warmer and didn’t rain until after we finished our hike. We hiked up to Bear Lake and went on four trails. The views were much better. Unfortunately, since the weather was better, there were a lot of people hiking, so we didn’t have the trails to ourselves. We vowed we would come earlier on our next visit to avoid the crowds.

In Boulder, we hiked one of the trails at the base of the Flatirons. It was a lot different than the trails at Rocky Mountain National Park. For one, it was right in the city, and it was much hotter. I think I like the cooler mountain air at RMNP better. Plus, it wasn’t as scenic. But it was nice to be able to go not too far in the city to hike on some trails if you wanted to. And we discovered there are cottages you can rent by the night not too far from the Flatirons. We’re planning on doing that on our next trip to Boulder.

And what trip would be complete without a visit to fabric shop? You didn’t think I’d forget about that, did you? Of course not! I was pretty disappointed with the number of fabric/quilt shops in the Boulder area. I only found one good one worth mentioning called Fabricate. It’s definitely my type of fabric shop. It’s small but has lots of cute patterns, books, ribbons and hard-to-find fabrics. They have classes and the owner was super friendly. I think living in the Midwest, I’m really spoiled because we have a lot of great quilt shops here, that I just expect the same wherever I go.

We also planned our visit to coincide with the USA Pro Cycling Challenge going on in Colorado last week. We wanted to catch stage 6 going through Boulder on Saturday. Dave is an extreme biking enthusiast, so he was really excited to see the professional cyclists and all the bike manufacturers and vendors selling their products. It was a lot of fun and I’m not even into biking. It was also thrilling to see the cyclists racing through town. These are the same guys who raced in the Tour de France. They rode by so fast, though, so it was hard to make out their faces as they sped by.

It was a fun trip, but it’s good to be home. Dave is ready to move to Boulder, but I think I’ll stay in Des Moines. It has everything I want and need. Boulder has awesome weather and the biking culture that Dave loves and craves, but I’m a Midwestern girl. There’s something so familiar about the Midwest to me. I’m sure if I moved to Boulder, I would get used to it eventually, but the Midwest will always feel like home.