Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, US National Parks

Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Estes Cone

Estes Cone was not plan A for Chelsea and me on this particular weekend. But April and May in Colorado are part of what we Coloradans call the “spring of deception.” No matter how warm and sunny it is, no matter how many days in a row the nice weather endures, make no mistake: it's… Continue reading Rocky Mountain National Park Hikes: Estes Cone

Colorado, Travels

Colorado Bucket List: Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a dinosaur snob. I can’t help it. I grew up in a state full of fossils, in a town with a pretty fantastic dinosaur museum. The bar was set really high when I was really young. So I’m not easily impressed. But this place was… Continue reading Colorado Bucket List: Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks

Colorado, Travels, 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, Travels, 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 Day Hikes: St. Mary’s Glacier

Most lists of “best hikes near Denver” include St. Mary’s Glacier. And with good reason. For a round-trip total of two hours of driving and 1.8 miles (2.9 km) of hiking, you can see a pretty subalpine lake, bristlecone pines, and stand on a glacier. Well… sort of. As it turns out, St. Mary’s Glacier… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: St. Mary’s Glacier

Colorado, Travels

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

Colorado

Colorado Day Hikes: Helms Lake (the winter version)

As I’ve spent more time in Colorado and gained more knowledge and confidence in my winter hiking abilities, I’ve begun to push myself harder. I’ve tackled longer and more challenging hikes, and been rewarded with gorgeous snow-covered views and relative solitude. But I’ve also established some limits on just how much I’m willing to challenge… Continue reading Colorado Day Hikes: Helms Lake (the winter version)

Colorado, US National Parks

Diana & Pat’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day of skiing

Since moving to Colorado, Pat and I have managed to go cross-country skiing about once a year. I wish we could go more often, but we don't have our own gear (yet). Fortunately, there's a place not too far away that rents gear for a decent price, and there are some trails in the mountains… Continue reading Diana & Pat’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day of skiing

Colorado, Travels

Colorado Destinations: Twin Lakes

The combination of living in Colorado and having a winter anniversary always makes it difficult to figure out how we’re going to celebrate. You just never know what the weather has in store, especially in the mountains. This year we actually had the opposite problem from what we expected: it was going to be too… Continue reading Colorado Destinations: Twin Lakes

Colorado

Colorado Summits: Greyrock Mountain

The wild fluctuations and extremes of mountain weather is something that can be hard to grasp, particularly for someone who hasn’t spent much time in them. Hell, I’ve spent most of my life living near and exploring the mountains, and I still underestimate them from time to time. Mountains do weird and intense things to… Continue reading Colorado Summits: Greyrock Mountain