Sylvan Lake


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-07-2008

We departed Estes Park and drove over some peaks and through some valleys to Sylvan Lake State Park. Without a doubt, this is one of the most pure and beautiful places we have ever seen. We drove about 18 miles from the freeway up a winding dirt road (up 2000 ft. elevation) to the campground. The lake and the mountains took our breath away. One could simply just sit, read and be at peace here. We were so remote that we had no cell phone service and I had to drive back 15 miles to get a signal. Now that’s remote!

We took some wonderful bike rides. One of the best was when the kids and I went DOWN HILL that same dirt road about 9 miles and Ken picked us up. Was that ever fun!! Lauren kept talking about how beautiful the whole area was and how it was as if angels lived in the trees. So innocent and beautiful. We also too many walks on the trail around the lake. We saw some raccoons, dear and many small creatures.

Nikki’s 11th birthday was during our stay at Sylvan Lake. We had planned to take her to Vail until the local espresso owner told us to check out Glenwood Springs Canyon and the town. Ken and I drove through the canyon and to the town (had to do some birthday shopping!) and were SO amazed that the I 70 goes through this canyon! An engineering masterpiece as it wrapped along the steep mountain cliffs. BEAUTIFUL beyond words.
There was an amazing bike trail that hugged the Colorado river along this canyon. So we surprised Nikki and all took a bike ride along this path. We rode 10 miles of this path (which goes all the way to Aspen) and loved it. Colorado is so committed to health and providing excellent bike paths. We are so impressed!! After a yummy lunch at a Brew Pub in town we then did a little bowing before returning to our campground. A happy birthday all the way around! Next stop Colorado River State Park!! I hear the area we will venture to next is home to some great wineries!!

Hugs to all!!

Estes Park (Rocky Mountain National Park)


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 22-07-2008

We left Denver with a wonderful urban experience and a yearning to get back up high into the mountains. Our next stop was at Estes Park which is a fun town at the base of the Rocky Mountains. The hotel from the movie, “The Shining” is located right in the middle of this town. We took a tour of this magnificent hotel and then, of course, had to watch the movie. Forgot how totally creepy it was! Lauren opted to watch something more tame (Chicken Little) as the rest of us watched with blankets ready to cover our eyes if we got too scared!
Right across from our campsite was a wonderful, peaceful little lake called, “Mary’s Lake”. Andrew, Ken and Lauren spent many a morning and night fishing AND catching at this little jewel of a lake. We enjoyed Trout SASHIMI for the first time and boy was it YUMMY!! It was an interesting trout which looked and tasted much like a salmon.
We took an amazing drive up to the tippy top of the Rocky Mountains through the Rocky Mountain National Park. The top was over 12,000 elevation!. It was quite cold at the top, as you can imagine, and the kids even got to play in the snow – in MID JULY!! The views along the drive were nothing short of spectacular and we will never forget them.

Andrew took a free fly fishing class one morning along the river. He is such a fisherman!! That evening, we went to “Lily’s Lake” (a piece of heaven) and Andrew caught his FIRST fish using his FLY FISHING pole!! He was SO excited!! Now he can really say he’s a fly fisherman!




Mile High Denver


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-07-2008

 Our urban experience in DENVER. . .After spending several wonderful days at Elk Creek State Park, we took off for more of an “urban” experience. Cherry Creek State Park is located just minutes outside of Denver. Our camp spot had so much space around it which seems common at State and National Parks. We took a day trip into the city, with little more than a map in hand. We started at “Cherry Creek” which is SOOO cool! It’s a “village” of sorts with lots of great little coffee places and boutiques. The neighborhood surrounding Cherry Creek was filled with unique older houses. After my coffee fix, we headed downtown. We walked up “16th street mall” (an outdoor mall with free trolleys up and down the wide streets) and made our way to LoDo (a funky newly revamped area). Feeling a need for some Denver history, we took a tour of the State Capitol and grew in our appreciation of this great state.

Other highlights of our time outside of Denver include:

A reconciliation with my dear friend from Naperville days (1999!), Holly Biggers and her family. They came and BBQ’d with us one evening as the kids all played tag well into the night.

A day trip to Boulder. Such a cool town. We really loved it. Sat outside on a patio for dinner at a Nepalese restaurant. Love that nan!

Had a great lunch of . . .Pho? I didn’t know about Pho either but Ken is crazy about it and we found a Vietnamese area with lots of restaurants and markets. Pho is a Vietnamese soup full of yummy noodles, meat, bean sprouts, lime and basil. Looking forward to having it again soon!

Took a family bike ride down a great bike trail in downtown Denver along the river. Ended with a trip to a big farmer’s market. YUM!!


Ouray, Ridgway and Telluride


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 02-07-2008

When we started coming down from the mountain, we discovered Ouray, or “Switzerland of America”. Ouray is this amazing little town at the base of these dramatic snow capped mountains. “This is where I want to live” I exclaimed as it felt like “it”. Living there in winter would be a different story however and I don’t know if I could make the cut for fitting in as a mountain woman.

Our campground, Ridgeway State Parkwas a mere 15 minutes from Ouray so we made a couple trips into this wonderful town. In fact, Ken and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary in Ouray. Instead of choosing the usual “cute” place to go for dinner, Ken and I picked the place where the locals go. It was fantastic and packed with locals and visitors alike. What a great bunch. Down to earth and friendly. Yes, this is the place I would love to live. . .in the summer that is!

One day we all went to the Hot Springs Park in Ouray. The kids had a great time goofing around in these hot pools.

Our camp spot at Ridgeway State Park was great. Definitely a popular destination as it has a huge reservoir with boating and even a great little swim beach. There was a bike path that went around the whole entire reservoir. Hobie celebrated his 2nd birthday here and we decided to let him go for a swim in the lake to go after Andrew who was fishing from his float tube. After his swim, being thirsty, he drank some lake water. Not a good idea. We have been dealing with his, shall we say, “delicate constitution” even since and hope to have him back to normal soon!

While at Ridgeway State Park, we took a day trip to Telluride. How cool is this town?? We started by taking their free gondola rides to the top of a mountain and then down to the town of Mountain View. A beautiful river runs all through Telluride and its streets are full of “she she” art galleries and restaurants. Definitely a big ski destination as the mountains where full of ski lifts and condos. Ken, Nikki and Andrew rode there bikes for an hour while Poohnut and I hit the shops. Nice to have one on one time with each of the kids.