I’m in Minnesota for the rest of the month, after spending last week in Colorado. I know, I know. I need to explore places other than Colorado! I promise new and exciting adventures are on the horizon. But first, a recap of another amazing vacation in my favorite state (so far!)
Last week my aunt and I road tripped to Colorado to spend time exploring with my cousins. One lives in Denver and the other in Boulder. This was our 4th summer in a row vacationing to Colorado, and we went to areas of the state that were new to me—Silverthorne, Frisco, Steamboat Springs, and the Poudre Canyon area.
This trip was planned long before I decided to sell my house and travel the country, and during my stay in Grand Lake in May, I knew I’d be visiting the area again in six weeks.
And wow did the landscape change during that time! Most of the mountain snow had melted, the trees, grasses, and wildflowers had bloomed, and tourists were everywhere.
Spending time with my aunt and cousins is always so much fun. Great hikes, great fly fishing, great food, and of course lots of laughs and great conversations.
For me, the highlight of the week was our first day in Colorado, driving through Rocky Mountain National Park and spending time in Grand Lake. I was excited to see how different the drive would be from my crazy experience at the end of May.
My aunt did the driving this time, and we took Old Fall River Road, an 11-mile, one-way gravel road—with no guard rails at all! It ends at the Alpine Visitor Center at the top of Rocky Mountain National Park, where it connects with Trail Ridge Road to bring vehicles down the west side of the park and on to Grand Lake.
The road was scary, but nothing like the sheer terror I had driving Trail Ridge Road by myself the day it opened Memorial Weekend 2022. (I later found out the road was only open for that one day I drove through it; it closed again until a week or so into June due to more snowfall and dangerous driving conditions. No kidding!)
Once we made it down the road and out the west entrance of the park, it was so fun to stop by downtown Grand Lake. That, too, had drastically changed from the peaceful, quiet village I experienced in May.
Grand Lake in the summer is bustling with tourists, flooding the boardwalk and shops, filling the restaurants, and enjoying the boats, paddleboards, and swimming area at the marina. The ice cream shop I stopped at a few times in May—where I was the only customer—had a line out the door a block long. I was so happy to see the somewhat-bored shopkeepers I met in May raking in the tourist money!
Another highlight was attending my first concert at Red Rocks—Minnesota’s own Trampled by Turtles. Everything about the night was magical. What an amazing venue.
So far, my travel adventures have basically been just to Colorado, but I have new states to explore the rest of this year. In a little over a week, I’ll begin my journey to northern Idaho where I’ll be the month of August. Then it’s on to Oregon and Washington, where I can’t wait to experience fall colors!
I took about 500 photos during my trip. I narrowed them down to my Top 10, located in this photo gallery. Enjoy!