Monday, July 11, 2011

Colorado!

Hubs and I made a trip out to visit someone he considers a friend, mentor, past professor and more at his summer home in Colorado with his wife, Jim and Lila. We originally were going to drive out to visit them in August along with some other college friends. But, August fell through for the college friends and the June weekend worked better for us. So hubs gave Jim a call and then we packed up our bags and headed North on a Friday! As it was fairly spontaneous, it was a late drive for us and we stopped at a hotel along the way to rest up.

We were so tired we fell straight to sleep. We woke up around 8:30 the next morning, grabbed breakfast and continued the rest of our trek to Colorado.

It was a beautiful drive as the mountains started peaking through. We were so excited!

On the way to their cabin we drove through Monarch Mountain and it was an incredible drive as the winding roads took us further up.

The trees seemed to grow and get bigger as we drove closer and closer to them.

Then we saw something we had never seen in West Texas before. A 'runaway truck ramp'. Chills went down my back thinking about any trucker having to use that!
Once we finally arrived and settled in, Jim and Lila wanted to show us around. They drove us up to Crested Butte, a popular ski resort-town. We drove around and looked at some multi-million dollar homes. Hubs and I dreamed of owning one of them, and then we drove back down to reality. ;)


We headed back up another mountain around some shelf roads until we reached the top where we were now in the area known as "gothic". This general store carries a little bit of everything they say, and has some great ice cream. But, they were closed when we got there so we just stopped to admire and then headed back down towards Crested Butte.

We were going to stop and eat in Crested Butte but because of a big mountain bike festival going on, we just ate a a local restaurant down the street from their cabin. I ate a delicious chicken fried steak and then we headed back to Jim and Lila's cabin for the night. I was exhausted at this point and started to fall asleep during conversation so I called it a night while Jim and hubs stayed up to talk business. I needed my rest and the next day they had another full day of sight seeing in store for us. We started off Sunday morning by heading out to a local Church of Christ in Gunnison. It was a very rustic and small church. Everyone was so friendly and it was a great sermon. After church, we headed out for a long drive towards the Black Canyon, stopping for lunch along the way. We ate at Pappy's Restaurant right off of Blue Mesa Lake. We ate the best hamburgers!

We continued on the road until we reached the Black Canyon. It was a beautiful sight to see. Now hubs and I have never been to the Grand Canyon, but Jim and Lila have. They say that the Black Canyon is just as beautiful, if not more because of the smallness of the canyon, they say you can take in all the beauty. The pictures really do the canyon no justice. It was incredible. We started by watching a short historical video about the history of the canyon and how it was surveyed by 2 very brave and ambitious men. Then we headed down towards a lookout point to view the stream of water and the walls of the canyon.



I think we could have stayed there and looked out all day...


At one point, you crossed over a small bridge that was directly over a very, very long drop to the bottom.

As we headed back, about 45 minutes into our trip, we stopped at the dam that backs up the water from the Blue Mesa Lake that travels all the way down and through the Black Canyon. It was another beautiful sight to see...


We finally made it back to their cabin and pulled out the fly-fishing rod to get a little practice in before Chad ventured out to do a little fly fishing the next day for the very first time. It was a little tricky to say the least, and I think I was more concerned with making sure I did not whack myself in the head with the lure as I swung the pole back and forth.

Jim had hubs put on all his fly-fishing gear so he could truly look the part and he was such a good sport. Isn't he a studly fisherman?!


He found out quickly how hard of work it was. And beginner's luck gave him the catch of a...
twig.

I even tried it out for a little bit. But that didn't last long before Hubs was fishing out my lure that I had gotten stuck in a branch.

The trees were so big and stood tall in their beauty.

And the water was crisp and clean and rushing fast. All the rivers and creeks were high and were flowing fast because of the warm weather there had been more snow melt than usual.

The last morning of our adventures, we woke up and headed out to explore the mountains on either side of the canyon where Jim and Lila's cabin was. We traveled a long bumpy dirt road and finally reached Spring Creek Lake. It was like a diamond in the rough and there were a lot of people out fishing that day.



We kept heading up the mountain and came across several beaver dams and huts.

Towards the top of the mountain there was a beautiful stream of water that Hubs tested out some of his fly-fishing in. Again, no such luck of a fish. But the views were incredible.

Our faithful tour guides...Jim and Lila.

We ended our time at the top of the mountain with a lunch of some delicious sandwiches at The Nugget Cafe. We even met some other locals of their canyon that live around Jim and Lila.

The trek down the mountain was just as beautiful but I didn't take many pictures so that I could just sit back and take it all in. We left the next morning for our 13 hour drive back to home. We were so glad to sleep soundly in our own bed that night but we sure did enjoy our short and spontaneous trip to visit some new(ish) friends! Thanks to Jim and Lila for having us out. :)

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