Meeting New Friends in Grand Lake, Colorado

After hiking down the big hill from Grand Lake Lodge, my friend Gina and I walked through the quaint town of Grand Lake, Colorado.

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It reminded me somewhat of the town of Silverton, Colorado.  Lots of colorful shops and restaurants with the western look!

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Hiking from Grand Lake Lodge

Grand Lake Lodge in Grand Lake, Colorado has an absolutely stunning view of the lake.  After checking in on Thursday, my girlfriend Gina and I decided to take a hike down the hillside to the town to check it out.   Here’s the beginning of the trail and that’s Gina up ahead…

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We were delighted it wasn’t raining having left the flooding in Estes Park earlier that morning!  The path forks off to the left but is not well-marked.

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Grand Lake, Colorado is the best kept secret in Colorado!

If you’ve been following my trip in Colorado, then you’ll remember my friend Gina and I narrowly escaped the flooding in Estes Park by driving over Trail Ridge Road in the Rocky Mountain National Park to Grand Lake, Colorado.  Originally we had reservations through Airbnb at a home in Boulder following two nights in Estes Park.  I contacted the owner and requested a refund.  He wanted to wait and see if the weather improved before issuing the refund.  Anyway, we stopped a few times to take photographs and arrived in Grand Lake a couple of hours later.  We didn’t have a firm plan of where we would end up for the night, but fortunately the weather was much better at Grand Lake.  I saw a sign that said Grand Lake Lodge, historic landmark, so we stopped to check it out.  After some haggling with the General Manager over price, we rented a small cabin that was quite rustic.  The view from our cabin was unbelievable!

Looking to the left…

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And to the right…

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Escape from Estes Park via Trail Ridge Road

When I awoke Thursday morning at 3:30am, I got out of bed, rather than lie there trying to get back to sleep and looked through photographs I had taken the previous day.  At day break, I looked out the window at the Thompson River raging next to the resort we stayed at.  As you can see from a photo I took minutes before we escaped, the river had taken over the pool and hot tub.  After calling the front desk a couple of times with my concerns with the rising water, they called our room and said we were in pre-evacuation mode…be ready.  My friend Gina and I made the decision to “get the heck out of there”, rather than wait until it was too late to leave!  So we packed the car in the rain and drove to the road/bridge pictured in the photo below.  By this point there was a yellow “do not cross” tape blocking the way and I asked the resort manager (who was sitting in a golf cart by the  bridge) if we could cross at our own risk.  He said “no” and told us where the only other road out of the resort was located.  I drove over there and headed to Trail Ridge Road into the Rocky Mountain National Park.  One section of a road had a couple of inches of water running across a 12 foot wide section.  I made the decision to drive across it.

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Trail Ridge Road was beautiful!  It took less than an hour and one-half to get to Grand Lake, where we stayed for the evening.  We stopped a few times for photo opportunities.  The wind blew our umbrella into the upside down position, which made for a cute photo.  And the rainbow just added that bit of magic!

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Finding Art in the Denver Airport and having fun in spite of being stranded due to flash flooding in the sunshine State of Colorado

After checking the weather forecast for Denver and Estes Park, Colorado a couple of days ago, I mentally prepared myself for the near constant rain that we would encounter the first few days of our trip to Colorado.  I brought my workout clothes and researched other activities in the Rocky Mountain National Park area to replace hiking.  We arrived yesterday and I had a few hours to kill at the Denver Airport waiting for my girlfriend Gina’s flight to arrive.  Here are some photos from the Airport…

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One Week Itinerary for Colorado

I love to prepare travel itineraries and I spent at least 20 hours over the past week perfecting an itinerary for a one week trip to Colorado I’m going on next month with a girlfriend.

This is a photo from two years ago of a trip to Durango and Silverton, Colorado.  This time I’ll be exploring Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Boulder, Denver, Golden, Evergreen, and Idaho Springs.  I booked lodging through Airbnb for two of the locations and used Vacation Rental By Owner for the third location.  I’ve packed quite a bit in for the week…but with good planning utilizing a variety of online travel sites to include Trip Advisor, Yelp, and google maps, I’m confident we’ll be able to see it all without feeling rushed.  I’m flexible, so if we want to switch something up once we’re there, we can.  If you’ve been to any of these places or have any other recommendations, please share!  I have prices listed to give people an idea of how much things cost in the event someone wants to use any of the itinerary.  By choosing rentals that have a kitchen, we can cut down on the cost of food.

I can’t wait to hike and take some photographs!

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