In a few short weeks I will be heading back to Denver, Colorado for a short vacation to visit my family. My parents typically come out Nevada to visit once or twice each year however, I usually only get to see my siblings and niece and nephew once a year, when we travel home for the holidays so, I really look forward to any and all opportunities that I get to go home and see my family. All of my immediate family lives within 45 minutes of each other, which makes it easy for me to spend time with everyone when I go home. When I go home to Colorado, I always look forward to eating at some of my favorite restaurants, visiting my favorite boutiques and breweries, or maybe even seeing a band play. During this upcoming trip in September, my family will most likely have a few family dinners/ movie nights at my sister’s house, and I will definitely spend some quality time with my niece and nephew. One of things I look forward to most when I go back to Colorado is spending time enjoying the outdoor spaces which sparked my love of the outdoors in the first place.
Whenever I go home, I usually try to plan at least one outdoor adventure. On one of my first trips back home after my move to Nevada, I hiked Grays and Torreys peaks (for the First time ever). Colorado has 53 fourteeneers (mountains exceeding 14,000 feet in Elevation) and Grays and Torreys are two of those peaks which you can summit on one day by hiking across the ridgeline from one peak to the other. We left Denver around four in the morning in order to arrive at the trail head by five AM. It is essential to start high elevation hikes early so that you can avoid the afternoon thunder and lighting, and risk of lightning strike. Early starts also help you to avoid the crowds on popular hikes. Unfortunately, when we reached the summit, we were socked-in by clouds, so the views were not fantastic, but the feeling of accomplishment was still well worth the early morning start.
On the way up Grays and Torreys, before I had an appropriately sized day pack.
Another memorable outdoor adventure I had while visiting home was going skiing for the first time! Growing up in Colorado, I (shamefully) never learned to ski, so conquering the slopes had been on my bucket list for a long time. Luckily, I have an awesome big brother and sister in-law who were willing to devote an entire day to teaching me how to ski. We went to Mary Jane resort in Winter Park, CO and even though I crashed pretty hard a few times, by the end of the day they had me going down a blue! I can absolutely see how people fall in love with the sport, and I am kicking myself for not taking advantage of the wonderful skiing opportunities in Colorado while I lived just 45 minutes from the slopes.
Taking in the view with friends during a ski break.
I also had the opportunity to go mountain biking with my brother during one of my visits home to Colorado. The Mountain biking is Colorado is pretty different from the biking that I usually experience here in Nevada. I am a pretty novice mountain biker, but the routes I usually ride here in Nevada are extremely narrow single track with rolling hills. In Colorado my biking experience was wide well maintained trails with Long climbs followed by long descents. Both experiences are uniquely fun, but the long climbs in Colorado kicked my butt!
I also love to go for short day hikes with my sister and her family whenever I am back in town. We usually head up to evergreen, where we all grew up and hike one of the trails our dad used to take us on when we were kids. I love being surrounded by the big Pine and blue Spruce trees, and exploring the areas that I grew up with the next generation of my family. There is something so special about experiencing the outdoors through the eyes of a child.
Exploring the hole left in the ground by an up-rooted tree with my nephew. He is convinced it is a troll house.
Even though I will only be back for about 3 days this trip, I am hoping to go on at least one family hike, and maybe even to learn how to rock climb/belay with my brother. Even if I don’t go on any epic outdoor adventures, I know that it will be a great time spent with the people that I love.