A light-hearted look at our recent trip to Colorado.

A few years ago, I wrote a similar post after returning home from vacation and I’m going to start off with basically the same statement…

It certainly is great (smirk) to be back home after our two-week getaway to Colorado.  After all, who doesn’t want to get back to 3000 emails, a foot-high stack of snail-mail, a ton of work to catch up on and a new school year just right around the corner (August 7 to be exact)?

Why would anyone want to spend more time in the most gorgeous mountains around when all this great stuff is waiting for us back here at home in Ohio?

Ok, enough sarcasm.

Linda and I had a great time on our trip and really wish we could still be out there.  The scenery and hiking here in Ohio cannot hold a spark compared to Colorado, which creates a bit of a motivational issue for hiking back here at home. 

This post isn’t going to be addressing anything related to infidelity, marriage or relationships. So if you’re hoping that it would, sorry to disappoint you.

Instead, we wanted just to have a little bit of fun and reflect on the trip and throw out some observations, thoughts and opinions that we gleaned from the journey.

Maybe you can relate and/or share some of the things you’ve observed/experienced/learned during any of your previous travels throughout the country or the world.

We’re going to do this list style, so feel free to add to the list in the comments section below the post.

Here we go…

First, a little background…

Our original plans were to go to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone again and have our kids and their significant others fly out and join us.  However, Jackson is a little harder and more expensive to get to from here, but Denver is quite affordable. 

So, we switched our plans to experience the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and set up our basecamp in the Glacier Basin campground which is very close to Estes Park – and not too far from the Denver airport.

The only thing was that life happened and none of our kids could escape from their jobs, weddings and stuff, so it turned out to be just me and Linda.

Anyways, we headed out from Ohio and took the more northerly route on I-74 and I-80 through Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and a slice of Wyoming, then to I-25 to our first destination of Ft. Collins.  We spent a couple of days at the Horseshoe Reservoir, hiking and experiencing this cool city.

Then it was on to RMNP and Glacier Basin Campground for the next 7 days.  Here’s a view from our campsite (not too shabby):



Now, both of us like to observe other people and things around us.  This is especially the case when we travel to unfamiliar places.

Here are some thoughts/observations…

  • If not for family back here in Ohio, we would have moved to Colorado 30 years ago.
  • There isn’t much in Nebraska on I-80 west of Lincoln except farms/ranches – and wind.
  • There are some people who actually go to those small campgrounds right next to the highway on purpose to getaway and relax for the weekend. Ah, there’s nothing like falling asleep to the sound of semi-trucks.
  • Ft. Collins has a pretty cool city-center area.
  • New Belgium + Odell breweries = Nirvana



  • You can’t always trust Google Maps while in the mountains, as sometimes the Google girl is a little late with her directions – or just plain wrong.
  • Though our cellphones typically reflected no service while in RMNP, somehow Linda’s mother’s daily calls would mysteriously come through (Oh joy!).
  • Though we did not experience any altitude sickness, the difference in altitude sure made us feel out of shape and weak at first.
  • Pulling a trailer absolutely kills one’s gas mileage. We got about 8 miles a gallon and filled up our 31-gallon tank 18 times.
  • In RMNP you need to rise at the crack of dawn – or before – to get a parking spot at the best trailheads.
  • Motorcyclist who use the right shoulder on Trail Ridge Rd. to pass cars that are stuck in a traffic jam are not only assholes, they’re stupid (the shoulder is no more than 3-feet wide with severe drop-offs – which equals certain death).
  • Marmots are either incredibly used to humans or they are very stupid animals.



  • As in New England, every 3rd car in Colorado is a Subaru.
  • One never realizes how great a shower can be until they go 3-days (of dusty, sweaty hiking) without one.
  • We never knew it hailed so much in the mountains.
  • The filet mignon at the Rock Inn Mountain Tavern melts in your mouth.
  • The Sky Pond trail is one of the most beautiful trails we’ve ever done.



  • The odor in the jam-packed RMNP shuttle bus at 4:00 PM reminded me of the boy’s locker room in high school.
  • I can’t seem to understand why you can be on a 3-foot wide trail, come face to face with another person, look them in the eye, say hello – and get absolutely no response. I mean, come on! Is it that hard to say hello?!
  • We came across dozens or hikers (many by themselves) who were woefully unprepared; hiking in tennis shoes, little to no water, wearing country club clothes, etc. Use your heads people!
  • Hiking in knee to waste-deep snow is not very fun.
  • We’re not sure it’s really a good idea for hikers to smoke weed while on a sketchy trail.
  • Towing a trailer through the wind of the Great Plains is much tougher than through any mountain range, IMO.
  • We saw up close and personal – elk, moose, marmots, rattlesnake, deer – but no bear. Just bear poop.



  • Sliding down a snowy slope of your butt in shorts isn’t as refreshing as you might think.
  • There’s nothing better than an ice-cold beer after a dusty, grueling 10-mile hike.
  • The sounds of loud sex on a squeaky air mattress emanating from a tent 2 sites away really travel at 2 AM.
  • Downtown Estes Park = Gatlinburg West.
  • Yes, there are indeed lots of friendly, outgoing people of all ages in this great country.
  • How can truckers drive at 60 MPH during a seriously torrential downpour, while everyone else is going 25?
  • It’s hard to beat the cool, clear starry nights in the mountains.
  • We’re already making plans to go back!



Well, we’re sure that we’ve left out some things, so if we think of anything else we’ll add it in the comment section.  Be sure to add your travel/vacation observations there as well!

    2 replies to "32 Thoughts from Our Trip to Colorado"

    • WhoKnows


      Great pictures! So glad to hear you and Linda had a great time!

      I was at Yellowstone with my family around the same time. It was a great trip, did lots of reflections and the beautiful, vast nature helps to put thing into perspective and remind me to appreciate what I already have. I experienced the longest stretch of time when my mind did not drift to the A, sometimes for more than a day, which Is a big achievement for me considering it’s the 2nd year since DDay. I gained more hope after the trip.

      To all the readers of this blog, enjoy the rest of your summer! I wish you all could find your strength wherever you are in the process.

      • Doug

        Thanks for the comment WhoKnows! We love Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. I hope that you had a great time with your family as well. I’m so glad that your trip helped you in your recovery to some extent. I think a lot of people discount the healing powers of being out in nature – especially the mountains and places like Yellowstone. Enjoy the rest of your summer – what’s left of it. (Linda starts back to school tomorrow!)

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