Monthly Archives: August 2013

Colorado

CO

A quick round-up…

So, back from an AMAZING three weeks in Colorado. I had a wonderful time exploring stunning landscapes, meeting both old friends and new people and eating strange American delicacies…

Things I discovered:

  • Me and My Beloved Texan still get on like a house on fire, even after a seven year gap since we last saw each other. Hurrah!
  • Colorado contains jaw-droppingly beautiful landscapes that I would very much like to explore further.
  • I like hiking.
  • Tea takes the most ridiculous amount of time to make due to just how slowly the kettle boils (thanks altitude).
  • Hummingbirds are AMAZING (saw them for the first time and geeked the fuck out).
  • Being a solo traveller means people like to have a chat with you, and I am quite able to initiate. Which is still a revelation. Finest example of this was the 15min conversation had in pouring rain with an economics lecturer from Indiana about the current economic situation in the US and UK. In the middle of a hike. In the middle of nowhere.
  • Getting lost or taking a left can result in you stumbling over the most interesting places.
  • Daniel Libeskind designing stunning-looking buildings does not always mean good art galleries…
  • Cuban food is delicious, specifically mojo, as in the garlic, lime juice and olive oil sauce, plantain chips, yuca fries and jicama slaw.
  • Bible camps are indeed a thing. Especially for kids named Ezekiel and Malachi.
  • I can drive an automatic car with no problems.
  • Bighorn sheep will move out of the way of your speeding vehicle without having to be encouraged… :/
  • That being a mile up is quite the challenge for the first few days; I knew to expect this, but just how hard my heart thumped in my chest as I struggled up even small inclines was quite a shock. Things were much better after three or four days hurrah.
  • That blueberry muffins can actually be tasty (I had thought they were sweet abominations), especially when combined with a crumb top.
  • I really enjoy exploring on my own, at my own pace.
  • White Castle burgers :D
  • That some people take their coffee into the shower in the morning.
  • A really smart guy codenamed Petrichor who happens to be [insert superlative here].
  • Holding hands with someone can make me infeasibly happy.
National Park photography highlights:

Moraine Park



























Bear Lake Trailhead – Nymph, Dream, Emerald lakes and Lake Haiyaha

Nymph Lake















Dream Lake















Emerald Lake



























Lake Haiyaha
(post torrential rain!)













Nearing 12,000 ft on Trail Ridge Road













Chipmunk!















Glacier Gorge Trailhead – Mills and Jewel Lake

Alberta Falls



























The approach to Mills Lake














The astonishing view of the start of Mills













Mills Lake in all its beauty














Walking on to the quietness of Jewel













Jewel Lake















Post-hike, on to Sheep Meadows without any Bighorn Sheep to behold…















Soothing my tired feet in the icy waters of the Roaring River at Alluvial Fan











Wild Basin – Calypso Cascades, Ouzel Falls and Ouzel Lake

I noticed this deer to the side of the trail by happy accident: I was looking around as I walked a part of the trail that did not need me to keep an eye on my footing.










The seemingly never-ending ridge towards Ouzel Lake that shows the forest in recovery from a fire in 1978









Fiinally at Ouzel Lake














There were only a couple of other hikers at the lake, and the (relative) solitude was wonderful after what had been a challenging hike for me (5+ miles to reach it).











Great Sand Dunes National Park

The tallest dunes in North America were around four hours drive south of Boulder, near a town called Alamosa. Milagros Coffee Shop was somewhere I stumbled upon that turned out to be great for breakfast – it turned out that it was supporting a variety of local charities, so I got to support women and kids through my morning cappuccino. Woo.

Waaaiittt… Those are GIANT FUCKING SAND DUNES!












The breath-taking view (literally after the climb!) from one of the smaller dunes.





















































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Ridiculous.


Mills Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park.

The most *incredibly* beautiful landscape, as photographed on my hike a couple of days back. I sat and had leftover pizza on a boulder by the shore eeee.

Colorado: I’m having an excellent time so far, taking in a good mix of domestic life, scenery, food food food and culture. I’ve not been to this state before, so all the mind blowing scenery is a welcome thing indeed. I drove an automatic car for the first time and enjoyed it (cruise control is weird but useful), and also did not crash. Bonus.

I will be sad to come home boooooo… Fucking real world. Darn it.
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