The lazy days of summer are starting to feel like they were ages ago! As we hunker down into the more stringent schedule of fall, with homework, school, and sports, I begin to long for those days on the road with my favorite girl: my daughter! We shared so many laughs and adventures. Thank goodness I can relive it a little bit through sharing it here, so here is another leg of our road trip! Lana (my daughter) fell right in love with the southwest, and I really can’t blame her. I lived in Tuscon for a few years, and was able to explore the area the, but seeing it through my daughter’s eyes made it fresh and new!
Day 10: After we left Fort Collins, we headed up to Estes Park. Lana and my mom particularly loved walking through town and shopping at all the tourist shops. There happened to be a rodeo in town. We did not go to the rodeo, but there was a parade with horses and cowboys and cowgirls so that was fun. We also took a drive through Rocky Mountain National Park and got a few more passport stamps. The views were gorgeous and I wish we could have spent more time in the park exploring. We did, however, get a heck of an adventure with Wildside 4×4 tours. We did the “Not so Mellow Marshmallow and Hot Dog Roast” tour. They took us up steep hills and over boulder fields through Roosevelt National Forest. We enjoyed the ride and the amazing views up to a rest area where we all got out and roasted marshmallows and hot dogs over the fires as we watched a killer sunset over the mountains in the national park. We could even see Denver off in the distance. The kids played frisbee, and the parents sipped on beer and margaritas and shared from where we were visiting. After the sun was down, we jumped backing into our supped up jeeps with graduated seating for the ride back down the mountain in the dark! They took us over roller coaster alley which of course was quite the ride, and even bounced us out of our seats. It was hilarious. Mom and Lana did not stop giggling in the back seat. It was fantastic from start to finish!
Day 11: It finally as time for my mom to head back home, so we dropped her off at the airport in Denver. It was a special treat having her with us for the part of the trip. We made some great memories. For years, I have heard about the sunflower fields outside of Denver near the airport, so I was a mission to find them. I got some trips from some on line forums and we went driving around farmland outside of Denver searching for the sunflower fields. The location changes every couple of years so it took us a while to find them but we found them! yay! Except one thing; it was July. Turns out the sunflowers don’t get big until August. It was kind of hilarious. I searched so hard and all we got see were tiny little sunflowers! But it was a fun adventure nonetheless. After that, we decided to take a rest day. We went and visited the best friends from way back and played with their new puppy.
Day 12: We got up the very next day and headed to southern Colorado. We made a quick visit to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. I had never heard of this park, and found this hidden gem on a map. It was right on our route so of course, we had to check it out. It was quite beautiful. A deep canyon with jagged rocks, jutted outlooks, and the Colorado River running through it all. Absolutely worth the visit.
Well I have so many photos from just this portion of the trip, I am going to leave it here and I’ll be back next month with more adventures!