Monday, August 7, 2017

Colorado Part 2

Into the ski resort area of Colorado, we go!  Of course, it’s not ski season, but it is hopping with people mountain biking, hiking and enjoying the beautiful Colorado weather.  We stayed at a state park in the Frisco area.  It was on the East side of the lake with a 500-foot incline between us and the town of Frisco.  So naturally we thought we’d bike it.  7.5 miles and a 500-foot gain, no big deal.  Ha!!  After walking my bike uphill for about ¾ of a mile we decided that the 2 miles to the viewing point would be as far as we would go.  We enjoyed lunch overlooking the area, watching tourist ignore the “Do Not Feed the Animals” sign as they showered the chipmunk and ground squirrel infestation with peanuts and granola, and short hike around the peak before heading downhill on my favorite part of the bike ride.  We stayed for about 3 days cooking on the open fire every night and enjoying the 70-degree weather at the peak of the day.  We got some household chores done and then headed on our way West.

Glenwood Springs (Destination G1/G2)

What a gem!  The drive to Glenwood through the canyon was incredible.  Come to find out we would pass through it about 4 more times before leaving the state.  Glenwood held a ton of adventures for us.  Our campground was on an icy creek the kids thoroughly enjoyed and the area offered us many opportunities to be outdoors.  We went on a (mild) white water raft tour of the Colorado river, we biked the 14-mile trail through the canyon, we hiked the 1 mile, 1000 feet incline to Hanging Lake, and we enjoyed the mineral baths of the Hot Springs in the area.  Glenwood springs could be super expensive, but I’ll share with you some of the ways we pinched pennies to enjoy the adventures.  White water rafting was a wash, no way around the steep cost of that, but the one-way bike trip that could’ve cost us $100 we did for $20, and the hot springs that would’ve cost us $80 cost us $0.  This is how:

1.       Bike trip:  Instead of driving into town and hopping in the shuttle to the head of the trail at $20 a person, Jon dropped the kids and I off at the trailhead, drove into town alone and hopped the shuttle to meet us.  It took some convincing since he was alone with no bike, but he promised the driver that his bike and family were, in fact, waiting for him up at the top.  One shuttle fare= $20
      Hot Springs:  Being an entrepreneur is never a bad thing, but charging people $20 to sit in a hot spring-fed pool that has no options for shade or seating (because it’s Colorado in July) is a little much for this frugal family.  You could purchase shade for a whopping $75/half day.  *Gasp* After a little research we found a hidden gem called, Penny Springs.  It’s right off the road with a small parking area where the hot springs feed into the icy river.  By constructing a few rock-lined pools it has become a popular spot to enjoy the springs without the heavy price tag.  It’s FREE!!  You park, walk down a steep decline to the river edge and find a spot in one of the pools.  If it gets too warm, knock a few barrier rocks off on the river side of the pool, too cold, build up the wall again.  The kids had a blast and we actually got some time to sit and relax.  That is, until Jon decided he should build a family sized pool that he saw to about ¾ completion before we had to leave.

Have you ever wondered what we do about mail??  Well in the year and a half that we have been on the road, my Father-in-law has been acting as our mail manager.  Except for things we need right away or want shipped directly to us.  Not once, until Glenwood Springs, has it ever delayed us to have items mailed to our campground or local Post Office via General Delivery.  We experienced 2 mail snafus here. One package, with gently used hiking shoes for our two youngest kiddos crept across the country delaying us 2 days, and one package bounced between Denver and Evergreen because of a bad barcode, that got resolved just in time for our original departure date.  But the hot springs and hanging lake hike never would’ve happened without this delay, so we’ll take it!  Except for the future adventures, we weren’t exactly in a rush to leave this beautiful weather for the 100+ degree of Utah.

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