Colorado, Colorado Destinations, Colorado Hikes, Southwestern US, US National Parks

Rafting the Arkansas River through Browns Canyon National Monument

The final day of our Memorial weekend trip was upon us, which meant one thing: whitewater rafting time! We were signed up for a full-day trip on the Arkansas River with Noah’s Ark Rafting. I booked this trip back in January, at which time I debated between Saturday or Sunday and joked that, no matter… Continue reading Rafting the Arkansas River through Browns Canyon National Monument

Colorado, Colorado Destinations

Colorado Destinations: Chalk Creek Canyon, St. Elmo, & Salida

I’m trying something new this year, which is to do a little less research related to our travels. I’m still doing some; I like to know at least vaguely what’s going on and be educated enough to ensure we aren’t going to find ourselves in a situation we’re not prepared for. But I’m learning it’s… Continue reading Colorado Destinations: Chalk Creek Canyon, St. Elmo, & Salida

Colorado, Colorado Destinations

Colorado Destinations: Cottonwood Pass & Buena Vista

Memorial Day weekend in Colorado is a total crapshoot, weather wise. Some years it’s cold and rainy. Some years it’s warm and sunny. Some years it snows. And some years it does all of these things and then some… which, to be honest, is kind of what happened this year. But I digress. Despite the… Continue reading Colorado Destinations: Cottonwood Pass & Buena Vista

Colorado, Colorado Destinations, Colorado Hikes

Colorado Destinations: Georgetown-Silver Plume Historic District

Like most Colorado mountain towns, Georgetown and Silver Plume were founded by miners. Georgetown was named after prospector George Griffith, who struck gold in the area in 1859. While this triggered a small gold rush, the gold mining operations in the region were only mildly successful due to the relative lack of gold in the… Continue reading Colorado Destinations: Georgetown-Silver Plume Historic District

Colorado, Colorado Destinations, Southwestern US, US National Parks

Colorado National Monument

I was sorting through some old posts on here recently and stumbled across this one from a few years ago about my 2010 trip to Colorado National Monument. I imagine many of you can relate to the cringey feeling you get when you read something you wrote so many years ago. And, of course, the… Continue reading Colorado National Monument

Colorado, Colorado Bucket List, Colorado Destinations

Colorado Bucket List: fall colors at the Maroon Bells

While finally getting to see Independence Pass (which I’ve talked about in my last two posts) was lovely, the real reason for our weekend trip was because I had secured us an entrance permit for the Maroon Bells. These two iconic 14ers are the centerpiece of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area near Aspen, Colorado. This… Continue reading Colorado Bucket List: fall colors at the Maroon Bells

Colorado, Colorado Destinations, Colorado Hikes, Southwestern US, US National Parks

Canyon Country – Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado

By far, most people who visit Dinosaur go to the Utah half of the monument. It’s the side with the dinosaur bones for which the monument is most famous. It’s also the more accessible part of the monument, with developed campgrounds and easy river access. However… what the Colorado half lacks in dinosaur fossils, it… Continue reading Canyon Country – Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado

Colorado, Colorado Destinations, US National Parks

Castle on the plains – Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site

Bent’s Old Fort was in fact not a fort in the traditional sense. It may have resembled military fortifications, but it was actually a trading post. Brothers Charles and William Bent and their business partner Ceran St. Vrain built the fort a few miles outside La Junta in 1833, choosing this particular place because it was fairly centrally-located between the fur trappers of the Rocky Mountains, the native lands of the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, and Comanche tribes, and people traveling between the US and Mexico on the Santa Fe Trail. It quickly became a key location for trading and the main stop on the Santa Fe trail for travelers in need of rest, repairs, and replenishment.

Colorado, Colorado Destinations, US National Parks

Heartbreaking history on the Colorado plains – Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

The Eastern Colorado plains are the original homeland of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche, Osage, Kiowa, Sioux, Jicarilla Apache, and Ute tribes (source). But by the mid-1800s they were being systemically dispossessed from their homelands. The 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie established that the Cheyenne and Arapaho would retain some of their native lands in exchange… Continue reading Heartbreaking history on the Colorado plains – Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

Colorado, Colorado Destinations, Colorado Hikes

Colorado Destinations: Pawnee National Grassland

The lands of northeastern Colorado have been inhabited for at least 12,000 years, originally by nomadic hunters. More recently, these lands were the home of the Arapaho and Cheyenne, who were forcibly removed in the 1880s to allow white settlers to establish homesteads and farm the land. As settlers soon learned, though, this shortgrass prairie… Continue reading Colorado Destinations: Pawnee National Grassland