About me, Travel Lists

A year in review: 2022

Well, another year has come and gone, and I’m not entirely sure how it happened. For us, 2022 was both more and less eventful than previous years. I admit, I may have been a little too ambitious for our first three years in Colorado. At the time, we didn’t know if we would be staying here long-term and I wanted to see as much as possible in whatever time we had.

But for the last year and a half, we’ve both settled into jobs we enjoy and have no intention of leaving the Denver area. So at the beginning of 2022, I decided my goal for the year would be to slow down a little (something I am not good at) and also expand my horizons. Instead of going hiking every weekend, we spent some weekends relaxing at home. We also branched out into various non-hiking adventures. But, of course, we hiked and camped and backpacked some as well. While it was nice to try new things, nothing could ever keep me away from the mountains for too long.

So, without further ado, a summary of the highlights of 2022.

January
We began our year of trying new things with a visit to the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit in Denver, which was very different from anything we’d ever done before. While it’s definitely not for everyone, I really enjoyed the immersive art experience. A couple weekends later, we headed up to the nearby mountain town of Evergreen for the day to do some ice skating at Evergreen Lake. I hadn’t been on skates in about 20 years so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. It actually came back to me pretty quickly… but I also came home with a solid array of bruises.

Immersive Van Gogh
Evergreen Lake
No, I didn’t drop my phone at the end. I face-planted.

February
Our anniversary (of our first date, not our wedding anniversary) is in February, and this year we celebrated with a weekend in Estes Park at the fanciest hotel we’ve ever stayed at. By far. And we loved it! The food was excellent, the property was beautiful, and we spent the weekend basking in a level of luxury we’d really never experienced before. Of course, we didn’t spend the entire weekend inside; the daylight hours were spent hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, repeating a hike we’ve done before (it’s one of our winter favorites) and walking a new-to-us trail to another frozen lake.

Lake of Glass | Rocky Mountain National Park
Sky Pond | Rocky Mountain National Park

March
Continuing with our attempts to try new things, Pat and I purchased an annual membership to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Our first of four visits this year was in March. It’s an enormous museum, and between the permanent and traveling exhibits (including an incredible temporary exhibit about ancient Egypt), we still feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface. We will definitely be continuing our membership in 2023.

Over spring break, my mom, sister, and I headed to Minnesota to visit my grandma as well as the aunts, uncles, and cousins who live there. We’d originally planned this trip for March 2020 but, well, we all know what happened to travel plans back in March 2020. We were excited to finally be able to reschedule and we had so much fun seeing everyone! My extended family lives all over the place so we don’t see each other very often; this visit was long overdue. The week was filled with food, beer, laughter, games, and a mini golf outing that ended with my 10-year-old cousin looking at the score sheet, then turning to my sister and excitedly announcing, “you won, you got the highest score!”

Isn’t my Grandma’s cat just the prettiest?

April
The month of April began in Cheyenne, Wyoming with a long weekend exploring the city and ended in Georgetown, Colorado with a scenic train ride to celebrate Pat’s birthday. This was our first time in Wyoming’s capitol and we took full advantage of the many free (and a couple paid) attractions both in the city and spread across the surrounding countryside. It was not our first visit to Georgetown, but the scenic railroad is something we’d been meaning to check out for quite a while, so it was nice to finally have the chance to do so.

Cheyenne
Wyoming State Capitol
Fort Laramie National Historic Site | Wyoming
Curt Gowdy State Park | Wyoming
Georgetown Loop Railroad | Colorado

May
For me, the first half of May is always defined by work as spring semester draws to a close. But by Memorial Weekend I’m usually recovered enough to be excited about leaving the house again. This year, we spent the long weekend camped in central Colorado, and though it was still snowy in the mountains and the weather wasn’t stellar, we had an enjoyable three days of hiking, sightseeing, whitewater rafting, and sampling local beers.

Cottonwood Pass | Colorado
St. Elmo ghost town | Colorado
Ruby Mountain | Colorado
Arkansas River rafting

June
In June, I headed home to visit my mom and we set out on what has become an annual tradition: Montana road trip! This year, amidst the rain that just wouldn’t let up, we spent seven days exploring various on and off the beaten path locations in the southwestern portion of the state, ranging from beautiful lakes to ghost towns to the site of a tragic massacre.

Georgetown Lake | Montana
Storm Lake | Montana
Lake Como | Montana
Nevada City | Montana
Big Hole Battlefield National Historic Site | Montana

July
After postponing our wedding due to Covid-related issues in 2021, the highlight of July 2022 was finally getting married! It was a small ceremony, with immediate family only in attendance, and despite the many struggles we faced during the planning process (you can read all about that here), the day turned out to be everything we wanted!

August
August was the busiest month of the year for me, at least from an adventure perspective. Summer was in full force, the weather was beautiful, and after not being able to hike for nearly a month in June/July due to getting Covid, I was eager to make up for lost time… which meant cramming as many outings as possible into the month. The highlights were my two backpacking trips: a challenging 4 days/3 nights in Chicago Basin with my friend Kaylyn where we rode a scenic train and summited four 14ers, and 2 days/1 night in Rocky Mountain National Park exploring a remote section of the park I’ve been wanting to visit for years!

Twin Lakes | Chicago Basin trip
Windom Peak summit views | Chicago Basin trip
North Eolus summit views | Chicago Basin trip
Video by Kaylyn
Frozen Lake | Rocky Mountain National Park

September
We started off the month with a quick trip to Connecticut for some post-wedding celebrations with Pat’s extended family. We were only there for 3 days, and it was a whirlwind of airport chaos, food, family, laughter, and a backyard game of croquet in which Pat managed to injure himself (he would probably rather I leave this tidbit out, but he slammed his thumb into a picnic table while trying to get the ball through the wicket placed underneath it, so I think he deserves the shoutout 🤣). Somehow, I came home with only one photo from the entire weekend.

Connecticut sunset

The highlight of September in Colorado was summiting the highest point in the state: Mount Elbert! It’s the only state high point I managed to stand on this year, so it was nice to make at least a small amount of progress toward my highpointing goal (I’m now at 13/50). Plus, I closed out the year with six 14er summits, bringing me to a total of eight. Only fifty more to go!

Mount Elbert summit | Colorado

October
October began with the arrival of my mom for a long weekend of fall colors, hiking, and beer/hard seltzer drinking. We spent Saturday at the annual Upslope Backcountry Taproom and Sunday amidst the aspen groves of Caribou Ranch, and it was chilly but fun! Pat and I continued the beer drinking the next weekend with an afternoon at the newest Prost Brewery biergarten, followed by a return to Upslope Brewing the following weekend to redeem our final Backcountry Taproom drink ticket (due to lightning and snow, the event ended early). We’d also attended a local Oktoberfest celebration at the end of September. Honestly, by the end of October I was a little bit beered out.

November
As you may remember if you’ve followed me for a while, Pat and I have created our own Thanksgiving tradition: road trip! After heading to Utah two years in a row, this year we decided to mix things up and head south to New Mexico for the week. We spent four nights in Albuquerque, one night in Santa Fe, and three nights in Los Alamos, visiting a handful of attractions in each city as well as the many surrounding national monuments and historic sites. It was a jam-packed nine days; I’m just now getting around to writing about it and there will be multiple posts, so this will be the focus here on WordPress throughout January and February. For now, here are a few of my favorite photos.

Rio Grande and the Sandia Mountains | New Mexico
El Malpais National Monument | New Mexico
Sandia Peak Tram | Albuquerque
Diablo Canyon | New Mexico
Valles Caldera National Preserve | New Mexico
Pecos National Historic Site | New Mexico

December
Being the end of fall semester, December is the other super busy month for me. I pretty much went from work to holiday travel, with only about three days in between, though I did manage to squeeze in a short hike-slash-cookie-exchange with some friends. And, as with most of the US, we survived the massive pre-Christmas winter storm. As you’re reading this, we’re in Montana visiting my mom. The weather has been less-than-stellar (close to a foot of snow followed by warmer temperatures and rain equals 6 inches (15 cm) of slush that multiple vehicles, including ours, have already gotten stuck in). And we’re waiting to see if Southwest Airlines actually gets us back to Denver in this weekend. But aside from that, my sister is here as well, and I’ve been able to catch up with some friends from high school who I don’t get to see much anymore since we all moved away. It’s been a wonderful change of pace and a pretty good end to the year!

December sunrise
Cookie exchange hike at Pine Valley Ranch

And I guess that’s it for 2022. I can’t believe it’s been seven years since I joined the WordPress community; I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you all for being so wonderful and supportive. Wishing you all the best for 2023!

-Diana

35 thoughts on “A year in review: 2022”

  1. Congratulations on an amazing year Diana. If this is you dialing it back… wow!!! So many adventures. I love that you braved skating – your fall made me cringe. I hate falling on ice and hence rarely if ever skate (not very Canadian of me, I know!).

    I loved the photo of the Lake of Glass. I have never seen lake ice freeze like that before. Amazing and stunningly beautiful.

    Finally, the video by your friend of your scrambling adventures was absolutely amazing. Is she a professional videographer? Wow! So good. Please give her my compliments.

    And you managed to sneak in a wedding. No big deal 🙂

    I look forward to watching your adventures in 2023! I wish you all the best.
    Alisen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alisen! Prior to hiking in Colorado, I’d also been unaware that lakes freeze in so many different ways. Sometimes they’re really smooth but usually they have some kind of texture.

      My friend did used to do some professional videography but it’s not currently her job. But yes, she’s really good!

      Like

  2. I love the way you gently slip your Big Day into the middle of so many adventures. If I find it hard to follow you on the mountain hikes, pfff, too hard, I really enjoy all your posts on the historical sites you visit, it’s very informative. I wish you a wonderful Happy New Year, full of interesting activities.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This move into other activities such as museums etc means one thing…. you are getting older and more mature. When we lived in Raleigh, we did an art display similar to your Van Gogh experience except it was Rembrandt. It was really neat seeing those famous paintings. I have also done a lot of hiking this year although I am not going into all the detail you have here on word press. I still have like 28 articles in my queue and writing more every week. I have finally gotten most of them in chronological order. Happy New Year and I hope to see and hike with you sometime soon. Uncle Rick

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Even though 2022 wasn’t as ambitious as previous years, it sounds like you still did a lot in terms of adventures and hiking. I know I said this before, but your wedding pictures look amaaazing! P.S. I can see why you are drawn to the mountains! Wishing you many more adventures in 2023! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Not a a bad year at all considering you scaled back your adventuring a bit. Sometimes a balance is just what we need, maybe you’ve recharged enough for a full-blooded 2023. It was great to have this compact overview of your year. Loved seeing the desert wedding shots again and oh lord, that Lake of Glass. Hope you had a great holiday season Diana, Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You had a great year of exploring all over the country, as well as summitting incredible peaks. Congratulations on your marriage again, and I hope you have a wonderful 2023 with more adventures to come!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you so much for this overview of 2022, it was certainly a year full of adventure and not to forget your mariage. I hope that next year may bring you as many nice experiences as this year did. All the best for 2023, stay safe and in good health.

    Liked by 1 person

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