Wednesday, August 07, 2013

A Weekend at Grand Lake

When Christian and I were discussing where we might go camping again this summer, Grand Lake was mentioned because it's one of my favorite places in Colorado.  It turns out, Christian's neighbors own a cabin near Grand Lake that he's stayed at a few times and they were generous enough to offer it to us for the weekend.  After I saw the forecast for the weekend (rain everyday), I was thrilled!
We left on Saturday morning and headed up to the mountains.  While we were finishing up packing the car, Zoey had already jumped in the back and was ready to go!  We drove through Estes Park and got a glimpse of the Stanley Hotel, made famous by Stephen King's The Shining.  We also drove over Trail Ridge Pass, the highest highway in the country, and saw the beautiful mountains and lots of wildlife!

As soon as we got to the cabin, Christian let the dogs out and they were loving it!  Unfortunately, because of some legal issues with the neighbors, what would have been a large lake was mostly drained, leaving only a small pond and some "wetlands".  Still, Sasha couldn't wait to swim!

We decided to go for a "walk" on the road behind the cabin, but it actually turned into a hike.  The road is mostly used for ATV's that can be rented at the bottom of the hill, so we had to share the road.  We also took a trail that apparently hadn't been used in years because it quickly disappeared and we were just off-roading.  (Terrible, I know.)  Still, we found some wild strawberries and raspberries (so delicious!) and got great views of the surrounding mountains and even Grand Lake itself.

Almost right when we got back to the cabin, there was a torrential downpour outside.  It even started hailing!  All four of us just sat on the porch (bundled up because it got pretty chilly) and watched the storm roll in and then back out.  I read my book (which I later finished the next day) and Christian studied.  It was so cozy and so perfect!  We both napped that afternoon too. Ha, that's what vacation's for, right?

We had made chicken and macaroni and cheese for dinner (we totally spaced on the veggies) and watched the sunset over the mountains.

After the sun went down, we headed inside and made a fire.  Since we watched Naked & Afraid in its first season, we've been joking for weeks that when we go camping, we'll have to start a fire primitive-style.  Luckily, we had lots of kindling, dried wood, and a lighter.  We played a round of Qwirkle by the fire and turned in early.

 On Sunday morning, the only thing on the agenda was canoeing at Grand Lake.  We left the dogs at the cabin--who were so sore from running around the day before, by the way--and drove the 2 miles to the lake.  We ended up going all the way around the perimeter of the lake.  I've been to Grand Lake many times before, but I saw so many houses I've never seen before.  It was so much fun.  I risked it and brought my camera on board (we also had our lunch and spare clothes in there as well) and luckily we didn't tip the canoe.  It was a close class more than once with the motor boats zooming by.  We also went through a sail boat race.

Once again, we narrowly missed some crazy rain!  We were going to have a picnic lunch along the lake, but it started pouring and hailing again, so we just went back to the cabin.  Our afternoon activity was disc golf.  Christian loves any sport with a frisbee, it seems, so we met his friends in Tabernash at the YMCA for a round of golf.  They were already on hole 12 when we finally made it, but I walked around with them for the rest of the round before heading back to the car to avoid more rain.  They played the first five holes again while I hung out in the car wishing I had brought the next book in my series since I had finished book four that morning!

That night, we had a (really) early dinner in Grandby at Brickhouse 40.  It was okay.  We picked that place because of great reviews online (someone said it was the best food they had ever had except for when they were in Italy), but it was so-so.  I got the Gyros and Christiand got a Philly Cheesesteak, but we ended up switching.  It was alright for a mountain restaurant.  We spent the evening sitting on the porch, enjoying the view, before I fell asleep in front of the fire (at like 9:30).

We decided to leave fairly early on Monday morning.  We had breakfast and then packed up the car before heading out on the road.

On the way back, we saw three elk crossing the road right in front of us.  that was pretty awesome.  We also decided to stop on Trial Ridge at one of the pull offs to play a round of Qwirkle at 12,000 feet.  Christian had just gotten a picnic table attachment for his trailer hitch and since our picnic got rained out on Sunday, we hadn't used it yet.  It was the perfect opportunity and we got a beautiful view of Longs Peak.  So many people were just perplexed about what we were doing out there, but whatever!  It was fun, even though I lost and later had to buy lunch.

It was one of the best weekends I've had in a long time.  It was just what I needed at the end of my summer class and after barely going anywhere all year.  We didn't do much, but sometimes the best vacations are just full of reading and relaxation.  We got to enjoy Colorado and each other's company too, which is priceless!  

I'm so grateful we got to go because it was a little bit hectic in planning with a few things coming up other weekends we were supposed to go and then almost not getting to go again last weekend.  It was a close call, but so worth it!
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1 comment:

  1. So what did you think of Feast for Crows? Glad you had a good weekend up the mountains!