Western Travels

One of the many things I have in common with my husband is a love of travel. Actually, it’s more of a love of life, really, and getting out there and experiencing everything available to us. While we enjoy relaxing days and nights at home, we both start to squirm a little if we realize there are opportunities for adventure out there that we may be missing out on. We know there is a lot of world that we have yet to experience, and we spend a good amount of time daydreaming aloud to each other about the many sights we’d like to see. We’ve both agreed that saving for trips is a worthwhile use of our funds, and have gone on a few big excursions including a tour of Europe, semi-rural Mexico (for our honeymoon) and some U.S. road trips. We are fortunate to have been able to make these experiences work with our lifestyle and budget, but we’re even more fortunate to live in a place where a vacation is as close as our own backyard.

I had never been to Colorado until Anthony and I started to consider it as a potential home. I was tied to the Midwest through family and familiarity, and had considered some “big cities” like New York and San Francisco as eventual settling-points, but it was Anthony who had quickly fallen in love with his birthplace in the Rockies. And how could I not, as well? I remember sitting in a wildflower-filled valley in Boulder, wrapped in Anthony’s arms, breathing in both the scent and the visuals of the most captivating view I had seen in a long time.

“Do you think you could live here?” He whispered in my ear. I instantly answered yes. Never mind the fact that I was happily settled in Chicago; that I had a job, and that I wasn’t even betrothed to this boy yet. We both saw our future in this beautiful place, and couldn’t wait to start exploring it together.

Colorado naturally helps us fulfill our love of traveling, and to do it on the weekends and for minimal amounts of money. Believe it or not, Anthony’s been able to transform me from a comfort-driven girly-girl into a bona fide camper. We pack up the car on Thursday night, grab the dog to head out on Friday after work, and arrive in some new place that is somehow more scenic and breathtaking than the place we set up camp last.

A few of our destinations

Top row: Bear Peak in Boulder, Collegiate Peaks in Buena Vista, Black Canyon in Montrose. Second Row: Estes Park, Moab, UT, Brooklyn Lake, WY. Third Row: Telluride, Independence Pass near Aspen, Torrey's Peak. Fourth Row: Backpacking near Maroon Bells, Conundrum Hot Springs, Granby, Rocky Mountain National Park

This past weekend, for instance, we made our third trip out to Moab, Utah. The scenery in this red-rock-filled desert is simply amazing, and there is no shortage of activities in which to engage. The last couple times we went to Moab, we concentrated on Jeeping with friends, with a little hiking and exploring thrown in. This time, we had plans to take advantage of some outdoor rock climbing and biking, but unfortunately, it didn’t pan out as a result of the elements — the wind and cloud cover made the potential for rain imminent. However, we were lucky that the rain actually ended up holding off and we were able to simply relax and take in some of the beautiful views with good friends. A little exploring and free-climbing on the rocks, some Bocce ball among the desert brush, a beautiful sunset over the colorful vista, and memorable chats around a roaring campfire made this a wonderful trip.

And now, we have an exciting California trip to look forward to — more on this, I’m sure!

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