Colorado Dreams

My husband grew up in a suburb of Denver. I headed to Fort Collins for college, which is where we met. I loved living in Colorado all eight years we were there. I miss it even as I know it will never be they way I remember.

But I cherish our vacations there. In 2018, we road tripped with all the kids to Pagosa Springs. We camped in the back country about 10 miles north of town.

Shows dad and child watching a calf watch them.
Back-country camping can mean cattle as well as bears, mountain lions and the usual varmint such as raccoons and skunks. But my family prefers the privacy. On this trip we saw a bear cub only about a mile from our campsite and adult bear scat, but we had no problems with bears. Camping in bear country takes special precautions with food.

We day-tripped to Durango, Silverton, Ouray and Mesa Verde, taking a few jeep trails high into the mountains.

Hiking near or above treelike provides a peek of majesty of the Rocky Mountains.
It was a long hike up, and the car drove a long way up from the valley.
Nestled in a box canyon, Ouray provides a bit of civilization in a remote area.
Hot Springs add to the entertainment. The candy shop was for sale, but Ouray was too remote even for me to live for more than a season.
The highlight of our road trip was Mesa Verde. An incredible slice of history has been recreated and preserved here. Highly recommend visiting.
We did not expect an art lesson at Mesa Verde, but an 800-year-old mural is accessible for visitors to see.
I’d heard of atlatls in my Native American anthropology class is college, but despite the many museums I’ve visited, I’d never seen one until Mesa Verde. The museum there is small but interesting and educational. Do not miss it.
The Four Corners Monument was neat, but a disappointment. It is on Native American lands, and an entry fee was required. We’d read nothing about an entry fee; the surprise was not welcome, but after driving more than an hour, we paid it. The views from the area aren’t great. I wouldn’t go again, but I’m glad we went once.
The views east of Pagosa Springs are beautiful. Places like this make me want to settle in for a good, long time. But, alas, this was our view on our way out of the state.

I definitely want to visit Colorado at least every other year. Next year, our family is considering Idaho for our family vacation, so we will likely just drive through. Beautiful place, especially when you are off the beaten path.

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