My fiance and I spent a week in Colorado, our first trip out west. A trip like that makes you never want to leave. Colorado is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited and one of the few places I have thought that I could actually live.
We spent the first few days in Boulder, CO which I wrote about in Part 1 of this series. Then we spent a few more days in Copper Mountain for our friend’s wedding (Part 2). The last part of this series we packed a few more activities into the trip.
The weekend was so filled with constant activity and moving around. We spent Sunday morning moving to another hotel room with the Mother of the Bride and her son/our friend Will. It was so nice to be able to spend more candid time with not only Will and Mary but also the bride and groom – our friends Nick and Kelly.
After we changed rooms, we took most of the afternoon to just eat and hang out. We had to save up our energy to go on our next adventure that night: The Continental Divide and Red Rocks!
On our way down from Copper Mountain to Red Rocks, Will wanted to show us the Continental Divide via the Loveland Pass. He described it as the divide between the oceans – in which on one side water drains into the Atlantic Ocean and on the other side it goes into the Pacific Ocean. The Great Divide, or the Continental Divide of the Americas, runs through western Canada, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, even Montana and down into Central America. It’s the most well-known continental divide. And we got to see it!
It was probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in my life. We were so high up in the mountains – 11,990 ft! It was cold and windy and I was definitely huffing and puffing through it. But it was completely worth it to see such an amazing natural phenomenon.
After seeing one natural phenom, the three of us were on our way to Red Rocks to see Portugal, The Man in concert. Going to a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre has been on my bucket list for years. But Red Rocks isn’t just a concert venue – it was once listed as one of the seven wonders of the world! It’s a natural geological rock formation where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains.
“Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a geological phenomenon – the only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world.” – http://redrocksonline.com
While it’s my all-time dream to see the Dave Matthews Band at Red Rocks, it’s just as fun to see pretty much any concert there. I always enjoy live music and this was no different. I would love to go back and participate in some of their other activities. They host movie nights, do yoga in the mornings, there’s a restaurant, it’s even a park that you can take tours of and walk trails. Maybe when we live there someday.
The last day of our adventure in the mountains was actually the next day, on Monday. (Thinking back, I can’t believe we did so much in only a week!) Monday we met back up with Nick and Kelly to go white water river rafting in Idaho Springs. It’s not too far from Copper Mountain, where we were still staying.
If you have ever been white water rafting, please tell me in the comments – do they always try to scare the crap out of you and make you think you’re going to fall out? Because they sure did to us. I was legitimately afraid of falling out of the raft as they went over all the safety instructions. I kept thinking what the heck did I get myself into??
The water was so cold, it was 38 degrees of pure snow melt off the Rocky’s. AND because it had snowed in May, the water was even higher – putting the water table at 1000 feet. The guide told us 600ft is considered high. Thankfully, no one fell out of our raft or anyone else’s raft. They also gave us wetsuits, otherwise, we would have been frozen.
On the last day of our trip, we were able to spend Tuesday hanging out with Will. We stayed the night in his apartment in Fort Collins. We watched Game of Thrones and took a walk down the street to see his view of the mountains. I will never get over that you can be 50 miles away and still see the Rocky mountains looming in the distance.
I could go on and on about this trip! It was seriously one of the best trips I have ever taken. Nate and I are already missing the mountains. It just showed us a completely different lifestyle where people just slow down a little bit and they care about the environment. I will definitely go back someday.
Some things I want to highlight:
- Altitude sickness is real – if you’re not used to the high altitude it can really give you hell – dehydration, dizziness, headache, nausea. Not fun.
- Hydration is so important – high altitude changes everything, less humidity causes sweat to evaporate faster, therefore, you don’t know how much fluids you’re exerting.
- Sunscreen – You’re closer to the sun at a higher altitude so you need more sunscreen!
- Change in altitude can also make you sick – Driving up and down the mountains on Sunday and Monday for the concert and river rafting made my sinuses go nuts! I was sneezing and blowing my nose as if I’d rubbed my face on the belly of a cat. It was the weirdest thing.
Have you ever been to Colorado? Do you have any recommendations for anyone going back? Have you been to Red Rocks or white water rafting? Let me know in the comments below!
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Christina is a twenty-something living with her beagle, Mash, and husband, Nate in their van. She loves traveling, shopping, art, and photography. She’s also a vegetarian, pop-culture enthusiast, book-lover, and Dave Matthews Band fanatic. Catch her somewhere around the country in a converted camper van or at home in Florida for a visit.