Our New Home, the Western Slope!

It has been a while since my last post.  I have no excuses.  But I will admit, I am addicted to Instagram.  That is where I have been keeping up with lovelivingincolorado social media.  Since my last post, we moved from Denver (where we lived for 5 1/2 years), which is also known as the Front Range to Grand Junction, which is known as the Western Slope.  We have always enjoyed visiting the Western Slope.  When the opportunity popped up for us to relocate to the Western Slope we jumped on the chance to relocate.  Some may read this and think, “why would you ever leave Denver?”  I had a hard time at first, thinking about moving away from the city, but then I remembered all of the reasons I truly love the Western Slope.  Below are some reasons, if you have any you think I should add, please let me know!

  1.  Affordability.  We were finally able to buy our first house.  While we loved living in a little over 800 square feet for 5 1/2 years in Denver, having a home with over 1600 square feet, more than one bathroom, a 2 car garage, a backyard for our pup, as well as absolutely NO shared walls, well, we feel spoiled!  Did I mention no more shoveling out our cars????
  2. We are about 20 minutes from wine country.  Yes, that is correct.  Colorado wine country, also known as Palisade, Colorado is a little piece of Heaven!  Visiting the wineries via bike, a must!
  3. The Colorado National Monument is literally minutes from our house and the views never tire.
  4. Many, many trails to hike.
  5. Close proximity to skiing at Powderhorn as well access to the Grand Mesa (largest flat top mountain in the world).  No more fighting the crowds on I-70 trying to get, well anywhere to ski.  We are on the other side of Vail Pass and we don’t have to travel through the Eisenhower Tunnel.
  6. We are about an hour and 45 minutes from Moab, Utah, which is home to not one but two National Parks.
  7. Telluride is about 2 1/2 hours away, Aspen 2 hours and 13 minutes, Crested Butte 3 hours, Durango 3 1/2 hours, and Glenwood Springs now only takes us 1 hour and 21 minutes.
  8. Have you heard of Palisade peaches?  Yum!
  9. Love the outdoors?  The western part of the state is for you!
  10. The landscape, Mount Garfield and the Bookcliffs are absolutely stunning!

Colorado is wonderful for many reasons.  As much as I miss Denver, it is exciting to experience another part of this wonderful state!  If you need any Western Slope recommendations, please leave a comment below.  The West Slope is the Best Slope!  Thanks for reading!

Breckenridge, Colorado

 

My husband surprised me on my birthday with a trip to beautiful Breckenridge, Colorado.  We had never been to Breckenridge and to be totally honest, I wasn’t 100% sure where Breckenridge was located.  We have some very generous and caring friends that let us stay at their condo for the weekend.  We stayed two nights in lovely Breckenridge and even though there are 101 things to do in Breckenridge we did a whole lot of nothing and it was absolutely wonderful.  We ate, walked around Breckenridge, took our dog to the dog park, took our Christmas picture, took naps, and drank some wine.  I managed to take some pictures while we were in Breckenridge.  I can’t wait to go back and enjoy all of Breckenridge‘s splendid glory!  Thank you G.P., S.M., and B.L.P. for our amazing weekend.When we pulled up to the condo on Friday this fox was sitting below the balcony.  I put my longer lens on my camera to get a clear picture of the fox.  It didn’t even flinch when I was taking its picture.  It is almost as if the fox is greeting us.  Welcome to Breckenridge!  Enjoy your stay.This is the view walking into town.  Majestic beauty!This picture gives a nice view of the mountain range.This coffee shop is wonderful.  We got coffee here on Saturday and Sunday morning.A boulder in the Blue River with an intriguing past.The sky was so beautiful and blue and the Colorado flag was flowing perfectly in the wind.Breckenridge is a glorious town.  I forgot to mention that we did stop by the Breckenridge Distillery Tasting Room .  It is located at 137 Main Street in downtown Breckenridge.  We tried complimentary tastings of Bourbon Whiskey and Vodka.  It was so good we ended up buying a bottle of Breckenridge Vodka.

Happy Traveling!

Did you know that in 1898 “The Big Snow” comes to Breckenridge? Snow falls everyday from November through February, forcing residents to dig tunnels to travel through town and stopping all trains from visiting Breckenridge for months.

Guanella Pass, Scenic Drive in Colorado

I have posted about Guanella Pass on a couple of occasions.  https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/guanella-pass-road/

https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/colorado-scenic-drives/

However, this is the first time we have made it to the top of Guanella Pass.  The last time we took this gorgeous scenic drive there was still a lot of snow on the road way and we were not permitted to go to the top.  I recommend taking this drive in the summer.  We have had record breaking heat in Colorado and this allowed for the snow to melt.  Plus, because it was so hot in Denver the temperature drop (57 degrees was the temperature at the top of Guanella Pass and Denver was experiencing triple digit heat) was absolutely heavenly and refreshing!  Once we were at the top of Guanella Pass we were at an elevation of 11,669 feet.  The scenery in the Rocky Mountains never gets tiresome.  The air is so crisp and clean.  We even had the added bonus of seeing a moose basking in a water source off in the distance.  I tried to zoom in as best as I could to capture this moose frolicking in the water.  It was an amazing view to experience.  The moose seemed so happy and content.

There are lots of benefits in taking scenic drives.

1.  Scenic drives are relatively inexpensive.  Depending on how far you drive gas is really the main expense.

2.  Packing food to bring along on the drive helps to cut down on expenses plus you can have a picnic and enjoy the outdoors.

3.  In Colorado the higher the elevation the cooler the temperatures.

4.  You never know what you are going to see.  We saw a moose basking in a pool of water!

5.  I feel like there is hidden beauty throughout this glorious state.  I want to experience this beauty first hand and scenic drives allow me to relish in all that makes Colorado colorful!

Do you have a favorite scenic drive (it doesn’t have to be in Colorado)?  When we lived in Portland, Oregon and Northern California we experienced some great scenic drives along the Pacific Ocean.

Colorado’s Fourteeners

When we moved to Colorado we knew Colorado was home to the Rocky Mountains.  However, we didn’t realize that Colorado is home to over 50 cloud scrapers or peaks that are above 14,000 feet.  This website (http://www.14ers.com/) gives a lot of information about the 14ers.

Mt. Elbert is the highest mountain in Colorado at 14,433 feet.

Sunshine Peak has the lowest elevation of the 14ers at 14,001 feet.

Pikes Peak has an elevation of 14,110 feet.  Pikes Peak serves as a glorious backdrop for the Garden of the Gods.

Hiking the 14ers is very popular in Colorado.  There are lots of websites that help prepare you for the climb.  Before hiking one of the 14ers it is best to do your homework (http://www.14ers.com/safety.php).  The elevation of the 14ers is no joking matter and it is better to be prepared.

Does anyone know exactly how many 14ers are in Colorado?  I know it sounds strange to ask this but as I was gathering information for this post I read varying numbers.

Can someone please help clear up my confusion?

Guanella Pass Road

Yesterday, April 7, 2012 we took one of the Colorado scenic drives from our scenic drive “to do” list (https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/colorado-scenic-drives/)  From Denver we took I-70 West to Georgetown.  After getting off of the Georgetown exit we turned left and stopped at the Georgetown Visitor Center (on the right) for some quick direction clarification.

The Guanella Pass Road is very easy to find in the town of Georgetown.  The drive was absolutely gorgeous yesterday.  The top portion of the drive was closed and should reopen some time in May.  The sky was so blue and clear and the air was crisp and fresh.  We also saw some deer grazing by homes in Georgetown as we were leaving.  Guanella Pass Road still has quite a bit of snow left but if the weather stays warm it should melt quickly.  This drive is a definite must do and it is not too far from Denver.

Guanella Pass Roadhttp://www.colorado.com/articles/colorado-scenic-byway-guanella-pass-mount-bierstadt

April 3, 2012 Snow in Colorado

 

On March 20, 2012 I posted a beautiful picture of a Daffodil celebrating the first day of spring!  On March 21, 2012 I posted about the fickle Colorado weather.  Today is a perfect example of how fickle the weather here in Colorado can truly be!  We woke up to snow. All of the beautiful flowers and buds that popped up last week during our unseasonably warm weather are now covered in snow.  I will say that the precipitation is needed.  Last week we had some fierce fires (http://lgsmash.com/2012/03/27/colorado-fire-season-comes-early/) and the snow has helped to contain those fires.  If you ever visit Colorado in the spring be sure to bring a variety of clothing.

Colorado To Do List

Ever since we moved here I have been collecting Colorado attraction brochures.  I keep the brochures in our “travel to do” box.  Now that the weather is warmer we can start visiting some of these attractions.

1.  Royal Gorge Bridge and Park in Canon Cityhttp://www.royalgorgebridge.com/

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2.  Pikes Peak Cog Railway (starts in Manitou Springs)–http://cograilway.com/

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3.  Cave of the Winds (Colorado Springs attraction)–http://caveofthewinds.com/

4.  Seven Falls (Colorado Springs attraction)–http://sevenfalls.com/home/index.cfm

5.  Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation Four Corners Monument (southwestern Colorado border attraction)– this is the only place in the United States where 4 states intersect at one point:  Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Coloradohttp://www.navajonationparks.org/htm/fourcorners.htm

There are definitely more places we want to visit in Colorado but I can’t wait to take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway up 14,115 feet.

Colorado attraction brochures