Tag Archives: hiking

Hanging Lake, April 13th 2019

Happy Marathon Monday!

Who else spent most of the day keeping up with the Boston Marathon? πŸ€šπŸ»πŸ˜‚

Anyway, I am back home from Colorado! Yesterday my dad and I did our trail race in Fruita, Co (I’ll have a full race recap on that soon!) and then spent 16 or 17 hours on the road, making our way back to Kansas. And then eventually Illinois for my dad. Hahaha I’m very happy to say I get to stay home in Kansas. 😁

So, I’ve been busy, having lots of fun, and out of phone service for a while, so I haven’t really had a chance to write about our adventures in Colorado over the weekend. So I’m going to play a little bit of catch up the next few days.

Friday was actually a pretty chill day. That Thursday was a lot of fun and while we didn’t do anything on Friday I’m actually pretty glad about that now. Saturday and Sunday were fun, busy, painful, and absolutely gorgeous.

So our Saturday began with a 5 am wake up call. Fun! πŸ˜‰ My dad and I packed up his van and started making our way to Fruita from his apartment in Longmont for our trail race the next day. But of course we had to make several stops along the way. πŸ˜‚

First we stopped in Genesee Park to check out a little herd of bison. Well, really we stopped along the side of the highway and walked over to the fence where the were for a few minutes.

I’ve actually seen a bigger herd of bison in the Grand Canyon National Park back in 2014, but it was still fun to go see some more here. There was even a brand new baby which was cool! Only the one though, but we definitely saw some very pregnant bison.

 

 

 

 

We stopped a few other places. Nothing too exciting though. Mostly just gas stations and little viewing areas along the highways. Going through Vail was pretty interesting though. We ended up going through a blizzard. My second blizzard of this trip. In a shitty little van that my dad and brother use mostly for work. πŸ˜‚ We made it through alright though.

At about 1 pm we made it to our main stop for the day; Glenwood Canyon. A few weeks ago my dad hiked up the mile-ish (I think?) trail to Hanging Lake and he said I absolutely had to see it while I was there, so that was the plan for Saturday afternoon.

It was actually snowing a little bit when we got there! And it continued to snow a little bit off and on for most of our hike up and eventually a little bit of the hike back down.

So you start out on a little paved path, maybe about half a mile to the trailhead. At this point I was already feeling the elevation. Oh boy I had no idea what I was actually in for. πŸ˜‚

So like I said, the hike up to Hanging Lake was around a mile, but it was hard, steep, icy and treacherous in places, and oh yeah, it was super hard! πŸ˜‚ It was fun and super pretty though.

 

 

 

The trail started off super rocky, but eventually it turned into more dirt as you started to follow a creek (I’m not sure which creek that would be and I’m too lazy to look it up. πŸ˜‰ ). Then the farther we went up the more ice/snow was on the trail. Luckily my dad has some tracktion that we put on our boots and that helped us out a lot. But we saw a lot of people who weren’t as prepared and they were slipping and sliding all around. On our way down we actually saw a dude who fell on the ice and broke his leg. He was ok, he had several people in his group taking care of him and the rescue team was on his way to get to him.

 

 

 

Anyway, did I mention how freaking hard this climb up was?!? Haha oh man, it seemed to take us FOREVER. But the the trail was super pretty and we had a hydration pack and lots of snacks, so at least there was that. πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

I think it took us close to two hours to hike up the trail to Hanging Lake. It was a tough hike. Especially for someone from Kansas who isn’t used to being at 8,000 feet above sea level, let alone doing hard hiking at that kind of elevation. Once we finally made it to the lake though, man, words can’t even describe how amazing it was! Photos barely even do it justice. But wow. Once I saw that lake, it was totally worth it!

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We hung out there for a while. We ate some snacks and made a few friends. Yeah, I know, I know, you’re not supposed to feed the wildlife. But theses little guys were so unafraid of people, so they obviously get fed all of the time. Hahaha we actually got pretty much everyone who was up there with us feeding the chipmunks. It was so funny. Everyone was sharing snacks, pointing out where our little friends were, taking pictures for each other, and just smiling and laughing with a large group of mostly strangers. So in a weird way, breaking the rules brought a bunch of people together that day!

 

After sharing our snacks with our new friends, we hiked out just a little bit farther to Spouting Rock. That was super duper neat! We took some pictures for this group of women so they took some pictures of us. You guys, if you ever need to be reminded that people are generally good, hike somewhere. Or run a race. But we’ll get to that later. πŸ˜‰

Okey dokey, after seeing Spouting Rock we began our hike back down. Oh boy going down was a lot easier, especially once we got past the slippery ice/snow. We even did a little bit of running! πŸ™‚ Hahaha so we got down A LOT faster than it took us to get up. The downhill was much more enjoyable.

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So we hung out at near the trail head for a little bit. Mostly just looking at wildflowers. But my dad actually found a pair of Lululemon leggings crumpled up in the weeds. Why the heck you’d get rid of a pair of expensive leggings like that I’ll never know, but we took them and I’m pretty sure they’ll fit me. So yeah, hiked up to Hanging Lake and obtained a pair of fancy Lululemon leggings. πŸ˜‚

After we were done I was STARVING! So we went to s little restaurant in Glenwood Springs and got cheeseburgers. Holy cow! That was the best burger and fries I’ve ever had. Probably because I was so hungry. πŸ˜‚

After we ate we drove about another hour to one of my dad’s driver’s houses. He invited us to stay there the night before our race so we didn’t have to stay at a motel. He was really nice as well as his whole family. We went out to ANOTHER restaurant to eat again πŸ˜‚, and then my dad and I showered and went to bed once we got back to their house. We had a another 5 am wake up for Sunday before our race.

I’ll recap the race tomorrow probably. But for now, that’s it! We had lots and lots of fun on Saturday! 😊

I hope everyone had a great weekend as well!

~Ashley

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The Stanley Hotel and Rocky Mountain National Park

My dad and I had us some adventures yesterday!!

But first and foremost, after making it through a blizzard the day before, we were blessed with an absolute gorgeous morning here in Longmont Colorado!

My Thursday actually started with me getting woken up by one whiny and pathetic Russian bear dog. He wanted to go outside to go potty. But he also wanted to play in the snow because it’s like, his most favorite thing ever! But the problem with that is after a while he’ll just lay down in the snow and refuse to move. And trust me it hard to get a stubborn, 146 pound dog to move. πŸ™„ Hahaha that being said, we still had a nice little walk on Thursday morning.

Mr. whiny pants, Niko begging to be taken outside right after we had gotten back in. πŸ˜‚

So after Niko had gotten walked 3 times, first by me, then by my dad, and finally by my brother, we began to make plans for the day. My dad basically runs several FedEx terminals and drives semi trucks (even though he’s not really supposed to because he’s supposed to be running the whole operation, but they currently don’t have enough drivers) and he had several things for my brother to do on Thursday. After giving him all of his assignments and sending him on his way, we decided we were going to drive to Estes Park and go check out the Stanley Hotel!

So no one I know personally has ever actually stayed at the Stanley Hotel before (although I’d totally like to one day!) I’ve actually been there a few times!

You see, the Stanley Hotel was Stephen King’s inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. And Stephen King has been my all time favorite author since I was in 7th grade. So I just think it’s super duper cool to go there and look around outside a little bit. πŸ˜‚

This time around my dad has me bring my copy of The Shining and we got some pretty neat pictures!

I got my butt very wet sitting on those steps. πŸ˜‚

So yeah, that was fun! After that we decided we might as well go mess around in the Rocky Mountain State Park while we were there. By first my dad took me to a discount outdoors wear store because I was not prepared for winter. πŸ˜‚ I came to Colorado ready for spring, but boy was I wrong! Up until then I had been borrowing one of my brother’s coats (hence the camo. Hahaha that’s not really my thing) and wearing on thoroughly soaked pair of retired running shoes. So I got me a pair of discounted, waterproof hiking boot and a super nice North Face coat for over 50% off. Both of these are men’s items because in weird and prefer men’s coats/hoodies and the selection of women’s hiking boots was kinda sad. But either way, after that I was actually prepared to spend some time in Rocky Mountain National Park.

I have been into Rocky Mountain National Park before, but not very far. So this was a super fun experience! We didn’t really hike that much because it was cold, we were ill prepared, and my dad had to work that night, but we drove around for a while and would get out and walk around some cool places.

First we stopped at Sheep Lakes, which ironically enough, my dad (who’s been there often) has never seen any sheep there. And today was no exception. πŸ˜‚

Then we drove around for a while, admiring how pretty everything looked covered in snow. We saw lots of mule deer and elk, and of course we had to stop to observe them and take pictures! πŸ˜‰

This guy got super close to the van when we stopped on the side of the road. That was neat!

Then my dad decided he wanted to go to Bear Lake because he had only been there once and obviously I had never been there before, so we continued on with our journey through the park.

We stopped a few more times on our way there because everything looked super pretty covered in snow, so it was kinda hard not to. πŸ˜‚ But by the time we finally made it it was actually kinda snowing and the wind was blowing super hard! We hiked a short ways from the parking lot to the lake itself which was kinda interesting because the snow drifts were pretty high! It was a lot of fun though!

Bear Lake was frozen, covered in snow, and absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. Unfortunately pictures will never be able to do it justice. The wind was cold and blowing snow directly into our faces which was painful. But the way it was swirling in the air was beautiful.

We didn’t stay there long. Like I said, the snow pelting our faces was painful. πŸ˜‚ But we both think we need to come back in the summer and actually hike around Bear Lake when we’re actually prepared for it.

After our short adventure at Bear Lake we started making our way out of the park. But of course we ended up stopping a few more times. Hahaha I sure put my new hiking boots to good use today! πŸ˜‰

After we finally made our way out of Estes Park and back home my dad heated up the Keto version of broccoli and cheddar soup that he had made the day before. At that point it was the best thing I had ever eaten. Probably because I didn’t really eat much before that. πŸ˜‚

And that was the end of our adventuring on Thursday. We were both really tired after we ate so I showered and then we both ended up taking naps. πŸ˜‚ But obviously my dad needed to since he had to work that night.

So since my dad is doing the whole Keto thing there are NO carbs aside from some veggies in his apartment, and that’s super boring. πŸ˜‚ I knew he had been doing the Keto thing though, so I had brought a whole big thing of Cheerios with me. Still not super fun, but I NEED my carbs man, and I’ll take them were I can get them. πŸ˜‚

But once my brother got back from everything he had to do today he order us a bunch of carb-y deliciousness. He’s not into Keto either, but neither of us felt like going to the store. So we had the carbs brought to us. πŸ˜‚ I swear after like, a day of eating very few carbs, this personal pizza was the best thing I’ve ever eaten! πŸ˜‹πŸ• Hahaha I paced myself though and only ate half of it and saved the other half for today. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, that just about covers Thursday! I don’t think we’re going to be doing anything as exciting today, but tomorrow my dad and I are driving to Fruita, CO for our race on Sunday! We’re going to be staying at one of his driver’s houses that night (which was super cool of him to let us stay with them!), and we might do some hiking while we’re there. The day before our race. πŸ˜‚ Probably not the best idea, but we aren’t going for any world records at this trail race anyway. πŸ˜‰

But alrighty! That’s all for now!

Happy Friday!

~Ashley πŸ—»πŸŒ²β„οΈπŸ˜Š

Thursday Things

Ashley’s continuing saga of slowly but surely getting her terrible teeth taken care of had yet another chapter today! (Yeah, I don’t know why I’m talkings I’m 3rd person. I’m gonna stop now. πŸ˜‚)

My 3rd root canal is officially finished as of this morning! I went to the dentist again and I got the temperature crown taken off, the permanent crown put on, and a regular cleaning for good measure. πŸ˜„ I’ve still got more work that needs done on my teeth. Like a lot. But at least I’m one step closer to having a healthier mouth. Plus this time I didn’t need 8 million shots of novocaine so I left this dental appointment with feeling in my face. That was definitely nice. πŸ˜‚

I’m glad that’s done. Maybe later this year I’ll get some more work on my teeth done. It really just depends on how much insurance Luke and I have left and if we’re able to save up some more money for it. Oh man don’t even get me started on how terrible the health care/dental care system in the US is just completely fucked. Because it is…

Anyway, let’s talk about some more sun stuff shall we? 😊

So, my chickens are laying much much much more consistently now! Obviously that’s to be expected as they’re much more mature now and now that the weather is getting warmer and the days a little longer. But it’s still pretty exciting!!

Right now I have about 2 and a half dozen eggs. We are officially at the point that we aren’t able to eat a of the eggs that they’re laying. I’ve given some to my brother-in-law and to my neighbors, but at this point I think I could start selling some. Luke isn’t sure that we actually have enough chickens for that, but I don’t see why we couldn’t sell a carton of eggs every week or so. Obviously that’s not a lot, but hey, it’s something!

My chickens lay very pretty eggs. πŸ₯šπŸ“πŸ˜Š

I plan on bringing some to Colorado to my dad and brother when I go there. That’s coming up soon! I’ll be headed there in around 10 or 11 days. Something like that. πŸ˜‰

My dad has planned out some hikes he wants to take me on and then that weekend we’ll be doing our trail race! We’re both pretty excited about that! Even though I think it’s gonna be a total suffer fest. πŸ˜‚ The course description includes phrases like “steep hills”, “rocky gully”, and “rugged Jeep trail”. Yeah, I’m not sure how this road runner is gonna handle all of that. Plus the whole being at altitude thing. That’s definitely not going to help. Still though, it’ll be a good time and the mountain views should be totally worth it! 😁

The view of Long’s Peak (I think? I’m probably wrong) from near where my dad lives. This isn’t where the race is though, it’s actually 5 hours away from here. πŸ˜‚ But it’s supposed to be super pretty there too.

So yeah, I’m pretty excited to hang out with my dad, brother, and their Russian bear dog, Niko. Maybe even my sisters too if we have time! They live about 2 hours away from my dad and brother in Colorado. I don’t get to see them very often since they all live 11 hours away from Luke and I.

Hahaha last time I stayed with my dad Niko was super excited to see me, but at night he wouldn’t let me sleep on the couch in the living room! That asshole would just stare at me and growl. One night he even cornered me in the kitchen. Having a 140 pound dog corner you like that is kinda scary. Pretty much every night I was there my brother had to come save me and then let me sleep in his room. πŸ˜‚ Niko’s just weird. πŸ™„ He can be sweet though.

Niko and I on Rabbit Mountain in 2016

Anyway, I’ll keep you all updated on my next set of Colorado adventures as they come! 😊

So yeah, that’s pretty much what’s going on in my world at the moment. Nothing too terribly exciting yet, but that’s life sometimes. More exciting stuff is on the way though. Obviously I’ve got the trail race coming up soon. In May I’ve got a 5k to look forward to, along with starting our garden. Hopefully it’ll do better this year than it did last year! But last summer was pretty brutal as far as weather goes. It was crazy hot and we barely had any rain and my poor garden suffered because of it. But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what this year brings.

As far as running goes I’ve just been kinda grinding away. If you keep up with my weekly recaps you probably already knew that. πŸ˜‰ I haven’t been doing anything glamorous or sexy, but oh man I feel like I’m making some real progress! I feel like I’m running stronger and more constantly than I ever have before! It’s a really awesome feeling. I think 2019 is already shaping up to be a great year for me! Well, running-wise at least. We’ll see about the rest of it.

I can’t really go into too much detail about certain things, but life has just been kinda crazy. Weird things are going on with my family. And just…I don’t know. Things I can’t talk about here. It’s just kinda messy. But life can be that way sometimes. Inevitable it’ll get worked through, one way or another.

Alrighty then! Not exactly a super duper awesome place to end things, but that’s all I’ve got for today! πŸ˜‚

I hope everyone has happy Thursday and a fantastic weekend!

Until next time,

~Ashley

Weekly Recap: November 20th-26th, 2017

Whew! This week was a crazy one!! Luke, the dogs, and I spent Thanksgiving at my parent’s place in Colorado, so we spent aΒ crazyΒ amount of time driving. On Wednesday our drive took 11 ish hours (although I think the time zone change actually made it more like 12 hours). But we spent a lot of time messing around and having fun (I talk all about that here, if you’re interested! πŸ˜‰ ). And then the drive home on Friday took closer to 10 hours but it was a lot less fun. It was actually a huge cluster fuck, but at least it’s over and we’re home! πŸ™‚ Along with our crazy holiday week, I also started the RWRunStreak for the 3rd year in a row. I didn’t finish it the past two years, but this is gonna be my year!! Anyways, lets get to my weekly recap!!

Monday:Β 

  • 1 easy mile
  • 10 minute of strength training

Just an easy mile on Monday, because I wanted to run but I didn’t want to runΒ thatΒ much, ya feel me? πŸ˜‰ Haha I’m very much enjoying my little off season thing right now. Just running for fun and sometimes that means only hitting the road for a single mile. Anyways, I’ve been writing down some of my goals and one of them for this month is to work on strength training. Specifically strength work that caters to runners, so I found this short little 10 minute workout on YouTube that I really like and will be doing for a little bit. πŸ™‚

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Tuesday:Β 

  • Thanksgiving trip prep day

Haha I couldn’t call Tuesday a rest day even though I didn’t really do any kind of workout, not really. I spent the day cleaning the house, packing, made a pie, walked the dogs, and just got everything ready in general for Thanksgiving and the few days we’d be in Colorado.

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Wednesday:Β 

  • Drove to Colorado

On Wednesday we woke up at 3 in the morning, packed the car, and drove 30 minutes in the opposite direction from the state of Colorado because Luke forgot to turn in his time sheet at work and he had to do that before we left haha. After that was done we began our crazy 11 ish hour journey. So we didn’t get very far at first because it was 17 degrees outside and the heater in our car doesn’t work. So we had to stop at walmart and get a heated blanket and some of those hand warmer things to stuff in our socks. That was interesting. We also saw some crazy stuff! We saw a semi truck hauling one of those ready made homes, stuck under an overpass, the poop emoji on a billboard, a UPS truck sitting in a ditch, a guy getting out of his truck at a gas station to shoo a crow off of his car, among other things. I talk in more detail about all of that craziness here. πŸ™‚

 

Thursday: Thanksgiving DayΒ 

  • 2 mile hike around Rabbit Mountain with Luke, my brother, and all 3 dogs
  • 4 mile run/walk around a lake with my dad

Whew! Things got crazy on Thanksgiving!! This was the first day Luke actually got to spend in Colorado (the last time he’d been in the state was just to drive through on our way to the Grand Canyon), so he wanted to go hiking somewhere. So we took the dogs and my brother to Rabbit Mountain, which is super pretty, 10 minutes away from my mom and dad’s apartment, and the mountain my dad took me hiking on the last time I was in Colorado. We hiked to the top, did some fun bushwhacking, and back down (which ended up being 2 miles) in a little over an hour. It was a lot of fun and the dogs loved it!! Also, on the way there I found a Honey Stinger waffle in the car and I was super stoked about that because I really needed it by the time we were done haha.

 

After our hike we headed back to the apartment, hung out with my mom and helped her do some cooking while my dad slept (he works nights), once he woke up we ate our Thanksgiving dinner, and then after letting our dinner digest a little bit my dad and I set out to run/walk around the lake next to his apartment complex. It’s a super pretty lake with a nice trail that’s mostly gravel, but also had some concrete, with the mountains off in the distance and an amazing view of Longs peak. It was probably one of the most beautiful runs I’ve ever been on!! So my dad isn’t much of a runner, so I’m super impressed with how well we did! We did run/walk intervals for the first 5k and then ended up walking the last mile we did for a total of 4 miles. It was so much fun and we both had a great time. I love doing stuff with my dad because I always learn stuff when I’m with him. He’s taught me everything I know about gardening, growing stuff, and the great outdoors. πŸ™‚

So this 4 mile adventure kicked off this years winter run streak and it was a great way to start it!! πŸ™‚

 

Friday:Β 

  • easy 1 mile
  • 30 minutes of yoga

Unfortunately we couldn’t spend more time in Colorado because Luke had to work. So at 2 am on Friday morning we had to head back to Kansas. The ride back was pretty awful. I guess the dogs had eaten something that didn’t agree with them so Finn ended up having diarrhea in the car twice, and Lily did once…We had to stop several times to let them go potty and we threw away some stuffed animals that my mom sent home with us for the dogs, a blanket, hoodie, and backpack because they were covered in dog shit. It was awful. But we finally made it home!

After relaxing for a little bit I went out and got my mile in for the RWRunStreak, did a little bit of much needed yoga, and then did a bunch of cleaning around the house. So yeah, Friday was pretty busy too, but I’m very glad to be back home. πŸ™‚

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Saturday:Β 

  • RWRunStreak Day 3: 2 miles

Nothing too exciting running wise on Saturday. Just two easy miles. Haha I needed to work on rehydrating after our super lon trip home yesterday. I never drink enough water on long car rides. πŸ˜†

Sunday:

  • RWRunStreak day 4: 1 mile
  • 30 minutes on the stationary bike
  • 20 minutes of yoga

Jus a mile to keep the streak alive, 30 minutes of pedaling because I was bored, and 20 minutes of yoga to keep the body happy.😁

Thanksgiving In Colorado and Another Run Streak

Oh man, the last couple of days have been kind of a whirlwind of craziness between driving to and from Colorado, hanging out with my mom, dad, and brother for Thanksgiving, and the stuff that we did there. Throw three dogsΒ  and starting another run streak into that mix and you’ve got quite the crazy adventure! So lets just get right into it I guess. This is probably going to be a pretty long post, but bare with me because I’ve got a few neat photos! πŸ™‚

So Luke, all three dogs and I woke up at 3 am on Wednesday morning to begin our journey to Colorado. We made sure the rabbits, ferrets, cats, and leopard gecko would be fine on their own for a few days. Packed up the car, loaded up the dogs, and then set off 30 minutes in the opposite direction that we needed to go hahaha. Luke forgot to turn in his time sheet at work, so he had to go there and do that before we left. So he got that done and then around 4:30 am we were finally on our way.

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Last time I went on a long road trip my ankles and feet swelled terribly because I forgot to wear my compression sleeves. I made sure not to make that mistake this time. πŸ™‚

Intitally we didn’t get very far. You see, the heat doesn’t work in our car…So we had bundled up, but it was 17 degrees outside and an extra pair of pants and several shirts and pairs of socks just doesn’t help against that kind of cold. Especially when it’s dark and you’re sitting still. So when we were about an hour into our 11 hour car ride we had to stop at a Walmart to try to find something that would help keep up warm. We ended up getting this heated blanket that plugged into the car. It didn’t exactly get really warm, but it did help! And we also got those hand warmer things to shove into our socks because our feet were numb and in pain. Those made a huge difference! So it was still cold, but as we drove it did get warmer and less miserable. πŸ™‚

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Sunset views from the Walmart parking lot.

Probably an hour and a half to two ish hours later, the sun was all the way up and the dogs had to pee. Of course. So we had to pull over at a rest stop and walk them all around a little bit so that they could all pee and run around a little bit. This is the problem with traveling with border collies, they don’t like sitting still haha. At this point Luke decided that since we didn’t have to be in Colorado at any specific time that we were just gonna take our time, stop several places and maybe have some fun. And we actually did!! Anyway, while we were at this rest stop I had found one of my Honey Stinger waffles in the glove compartment that I left in there after the Longview Half. That was a very pleasant surprise because I was super hungry at that point, and you know I love me some Honey Stinger waffles!!

After that we actually started making some pretty decent time and we saw some very interesting things haha! I’m not sure if I can remember everything that we thought was funny, but some of our favorites included a semi truck hauling a ready made home that had gotten stuck under an over pass. A UPS truck that was just sitting in a ditch. The poop emoji on a billboard. At one point we had to stop to get gas and we saw a guy get out of his truck and shoo away a crow that wouldn’t get off of the truck. Several cute dogs, lots of interesting people, and all sorts of other stuff that you only get to witness on long road trips. We also ended up taking a little tour through the town of Colby Kansas, because we saw a billboard for a dog park there. We never found that dog park, but we did end up eating a super early lunch at their Taco Johns haha.

Colby was about an hour away from the Colorado state line, so once we got there we stopped to take a photo in front of the welcome sign! Well, Luke took a photo of me and the dogs, because he doesn’t like having his picture taken haha. Anyway, the dogs were all very ready to be out of the car at that point, but we still had around 3 hours to go until we got to our destination of Longmont Colorado. Poor puppies.

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The last 3 hours of our drive were pretty uneventful. Well, aside from seeing the mountains that is! They are absolutely beautiful and I don’t think I’d ever get tired of looking at them. πŸ™‚

So we finally got to my mom and dad’s apartment around 3 pm. We let the dogs run around the little fenced in dog area once we got there and they weren’t too thrilled with that haha. Our backyard is bigger than the dog area there and they didn’t know what to do with themselves. They also were not thrilled about having to be on the leash all the time. None of them see the point of being on a leash and honestly they could all probably go the rest of their lives without ever needed one, but leash laws and all of that.

So we hung out for a little bit, watched some movies, ordered Chinese food, opened birthday and Christmas gifts (since they weren’t able to come to Kansas for my birthday and we wont be able to go to Colorado for Christmas) and went to bed at like 8:30 pm. That was aided by a little bit of the green stuff, if you catch my drift. πŸ˜‰ But hey, it’s legal there!

Since we went to bed so early we woke up pretty early on Thanksgiving morning. Actually all things considered it wasn’t that early. Colorado is an hour behind Kansas, so it was actually 7 am our time haha. Anyway, Luke and I took the dogs out, went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast (I’ve never had Dunkin Donuts before. Probably because I don’t like donuts haha. But their breakfast sandwiches and coffee are pretty good!) And then we took the dogs to a dog park because we didn’t want them to be noisy and wake up my dad, who had gotten home a little bit before we woke up (he’s a truck driver and works nights). The dog park didn’t got well. It was small, cramped, and full of rowdy dogs. So we didn’t spend much time there. We ended up going back to the apartment, looking for places to hike, and then ended up taking my brother and all three dogs to Rabbit Mountain, which is actually where my dad took me hiking last time I was there. But it’s super pretty and a pretty easy hike all things considered, so that’s where we ended up going. πŸ™‚

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Views on the way to Rabbit Mountain.

I’m really glad my brother went with us. I don’t get to hang out with him very often and he’s a lot of fun! Plus that meant that we had one person per dog and that made life a little bit easier haha.

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The dogs did seem to have a lot of fun while we were there! We started out on the trail, but to get to the top we ended up doing a lot of bushwhacking. That was a lot of fun for me and my brother, but I don’t think Luke was a fan of the bushwhacking thing haha. So we got to the top (although I don’t think we actually made it to the highest point, but it’s not like it’s a big Mountain or anything haha). We continued our bushwhacking on the way back down, which was a lot harder than going up because of the loose rocks. It was pretty fun though! πŸ™‚ By the time we had made it up, over, and back down to the car we had managed to cover two miles in an hour and eight minutes. Haha yeah, we’re definitely not the worlds best hikers, but we all had a lot of fun. Oh and I had found ANOTHER Honey Stinger waffle in the car before our hike. That was pretty sweet!! πŸ™‚ Climbing very small mountains is hard for flatlanders like me, and according to my Garmin I burned 400 calories in the two miles we did. So a few extra calories after breakfast was nice. πŸ™‚

After our hike we headed back to the apartment, hung out with my mom and helped her with some of the Thanksgiving dinner cooking while I waited for my dad to wake up. About a week before our trip to Colorado he had promised me that we were going to do a little bit of running together and I was super stoked about that! I’m doing the RWRunStreak again this year (which is just a run streak that Runner’s World hosts, that starts on Thanksgiving and ends on New Years Day) and I thought that would be a great way to kick off the streak! πŸ™‚ So once he got up we actually ended up eating our Thanksgiving dinner first (which was amazing!) and waiting for our food to digest a little bit before we set out on our run.

It probably would have been a better idea to do our little run/walk adventureΒ before we ate, but we still somehow got it done! We literally started the second we stepped foot out of the door which threw me off a little bit because I thought we were going to walk to the trail and then start doing the run/walk intervals that we had agreed upon, but he wanted to hit 4 miles and to do that we had to start right out the door haha. The trail is about 3.5 miles long and was probably close to 1/4 a mile away from the apartment so by the time we finished we hit 3.9 miles, so basically 4. πŸ˜‰

We both had a lot of fun and I’m super impressed with how my dad did considering he’s not exactly a runner. Haha and I’m super impressed with how I did because running at a little over 5,0000 feet above sea level is hard considering I live at 1,063 feet above sea level. The trail we ran on goes around a lake and has a really nice view of Longs Peak in distance, so that was really neat! We ended up run/walking the first 5k and then walked the last mile, but I think that still totally counts as day one of the RWRunStreak. πŸ™‚

After our little run/walk adventure me, my mom, dad, and Luke went to the apartment complex’s hot tub and hung out there for a little bit. Oh man, that felt soooo good after the hiking and running I did. After that we went back to my parent’s apartment, ate some pie, watched a bunch of Steel Panther music videos (my dad and brother loved them, but I don’t thing my mom was a fan. πŸ˜‰ ), and then Luke and I went to bed early again, because we had another early morning and a long day of driving ahead of us.

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My mom gave Finn a new stuffed animal. He was pretty freaking thrilled about that.

So we woke up at 2 am, packed up the car, let the dogs run around the dog area for a little bit, said goodbye to my parents, and started the long drive back home. This drive did not go well. I guess the dogs ate something that didn’t agree with them because they all ended up getting diarrhea. We had to stop several times for them to go potty, but apparently that wasn’t enough, because Finn ended up shitting in the hatchback once, and Lily shit in the back seat once. We ended up throwing away the stuffed animal my mom gave Finn, a blanket, hoodie, and a backpack because they were all covered in dog shit and we didn’t want to spend hours in the car with that. Luckily that was all stuff that we were too upset to lose, but it still sucked…

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The ride home was pretty awful, but at least we got to witness a pretty sunrise.

And of course the ride home always seems to take longer, so riding in the car for another 11 hours was pretty much torture, but we finally made it home around 1:30 pm. That gave us enough time to unpack the car, get the dogs in the back yard, go grocery shopping, and then relax a little bit before poor Luke had to go to work. After driving 11 hours. That was probably pretty terrible.

After Luke went to work I set out to tackle the mountain of laundry we created, cleaned up the house a little bit, took care of the ferrets, cats, rabbits, and gecko. After that was all taken care of I got my mile for the streak in! Not gonna lie, I really didn’t want to do it, but I’m glad I did! Moving around after being in the car for a long time was nice, plus it was dark and a bunch of people in my neighborhood have their Christmas lights up, so it was a very pretty little mile. πŸ™‚ After that I did some much needed yoga and then went to bed and passed out.

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So yeah, I guess that pretty much covers it! I’ve spent today rehydrating and relaxing a little bit, but I still got my run in for the day, so day 3 of the streak was a success! πŸ™‚

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I know I sure did!

Happy Saturday!

~Ashley

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Throwback Thursday: The Grand Canyon, 2014

Sometimes I feel like I haven’t seen or done enough. Like I’ve spent too much time in the same place, doing the same old same old. Days when those thoughts start creeping into my head are days that I have to remind myself that, even though I’m not the most well traveled person in the world, I’ve been to some awesome places and done some pretty exciting things!

At this point in my life I’ve been to Florida more times than I can count, I’ve been to Indiana, Washington D.C., the Caribbean, California (but that was only for a day, so it barely counts), Mexico, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and I’ve been able to go hiking in Utah, Arizona, and Colorado.

Since several of those trips were road trips, which means I’ve covered quite a bit of ground in few sates; Missouri (which hardly counts since I grew up so close to St. Louis haha), Illinois (that ones iffy, since I lived there for the first 20 years of my life), Tennessee, Georgia, Kansas (but I live in Kansas so…), Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Iowa, and Minnesota. So not bad, right? I mean Β some people never leave they’re home states, let alone travel across or outside of the country.

So anyway, earlier this morning I was looking through some of my road trip and adventuring photos and I decided that I wanted to share some photos from our Grand Canyon road trip! πŸ™‚

Early in 2014 Luke and I decided that we wanted to go on a camping trip. After much debate and discussion we finally decided on the Grand Canyon. We also decided we wanted to take two of his brothers, because one of them had always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon, and the other kind one kind of already did everything with us anyway (and now he currently lives with us, but obviously that’s a different story).

So long story short, in June of 2014 we packed up our SUV and began our journey from Kansas to Arizona. After 14 or 15 hours of driving we stopped in Utah for the night, and then made it into Arizona and then to the Grand Canyon the next day. We camped at a camp sight in the Grand Canyon national park over the weekend, and we did a bunch of hiking, exploring, and other camping activities. πŸ™‚

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June 7th, 2014. Our first sighting of the Rocky Mountains.

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June 7th, 2014. We were very excited about the Rocky Mountains. They are beautiful!Β 

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June 7th, 2014. Utah is absolutely amazing and I want to go back soooo bad!!!

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June 8th, 2014. A few minutes after entering Arizona, we stopped at a viewing area and I saw my very first wild cactus. I was so ridiculously excited!Β 

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June 8th, 2014. Arizona.

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June 8th, 2014. Upon entering the Grand Canyon State Park we were greeted by a herd of buffalo!Β 

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June 8th, 2014. First view of the Grand Canyon.Β 

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June 9th, 2014. First Hike.

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June 10th, 2014. Second hike.

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June 11th, 2014. One last photo of Utah on our drive home.

And there you have it! Our Grand Canyon road trip basically summed up in photos!! Haha I hope looking at my old travel photos wasn’t too boring. Hopefully before too long I’ll have some new adventure photos to share with you guys!

Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon?

Do you like road trips?

Where’s the most exciting place you’ve ever visited?Β 

My Weekend In Colorado

I know I’ve already talked a little bit about my adventures in Colorado over the weekend with my family (here, here, and here πŸ˜‰ ), but they were kinda short, sweet, and to the point, since I was so busy and pretty exhausted at the end of everyday. So I thought I’d take some time today to write down in detail what went down while I was there. πŸ™‚

So this whole thing kinda started a week or so before the actual trip. My mom texted me, telling me that my brother and his friend would be stopping at my house on the 16th of February, because they were going to her apartment in Colorado. Obviously I told her that was fine. The next day she texted me again, asking me if maybe I could come with them. At the time I wasn’t sure if I could, since Luke and I had plans to start working on the garden over the weekend. So I told her maybe next time.

Over the next few days Luke spent a lot of time telling me that I should go visit my family and that he was capable of taking care of himself for a few days. So on Thursday before my brother and his friend started their drive from Illinois to Kansas, I asked if they minded if I hitched a ride with them, but not to tell our mom or dad. They said they didn’t care and that they wouldn’t, so I started getting everything ready for our trip.

They got to my house at around 7 pm on Thursday. We kinda hung out for a while and watched some YouTube series that they like, while Luke and his brother went to play pool for a little bit. When they got home from the bar they challenged us to darts. I already knew I was pretty good at darts, but we learned that my brother is also a natural dart player. It must run in the family haha. So I played/watched a few games, then went to bed around 11 pm, warning my brother and his friend that I’d be waking them up around 7 in the morning.

Unfortunately my plan to go to bed at a decent time didn’t exactly work out well. I ended up laying in bed unable to fall asleep until around 12:30. Apparently the boys didn’t get to bed until 1:30, but we were all up and moving at 7 am., then on the road by around 7:20. πŸ™‚

The drive from my house in Kansas to my parents’ apartment in Colorado is about 10 hours long (including stops for gas/snacks/bathroom breaks). Oh man, that is a brutal car ride! Especially since western Kansas/eastern Colorado isn’t exactly the most exciting place, as far as landscapes go. I am super impressed with my brother though! He drove the whole way there! Which probably sucked, because we were riding in my mom’s car, and it’s not exactly the most comfortable car to drive for long periods of time. Once I had to drive it for 4 hours and my hips started to hurt, my feet were falling asleep, and I basically wanted to die haha. But my brother did it for 10 hours without complaining once! Maybe it’s because he’s 18 and stubborn haha. πŸ˜‰

Luckily my brother and his friend are pretty cool, so we spent a lot of time joking around and showing each other amusing memes and other funny stuff from the internet. I also spent some time texting both of my sisters. Mostly to tell them not to tell my mom and dad that I was coming with my brother and his friend, but I was also making plans to visit my sister who lives about 2 hours away from my parents. Β But unfortunately on a 10 hour car ride there is still a lot of quite time, and some of the miles just drug on and on and on…

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WeΒ finallyΒ made it to my mom and dad’s apartment around 4 pm (I think, I don’t remember exactly) Colorado time. While we were walking up the stairs of the apartment building I told the boys to be really quite and show me which apartment was my mom and dads, because they still had no clue that I was coming. After the pointed me to the right door, I started knocking in the most obnoxious way ever. My mom answered the door looking super duper confused, because my brother and his friend would have just walked in, and she wasn’t expecting anyone else. But once she realized it was me, she literally screamed and started hugging me. Their dog was also super excited to see me, which was kinda weird because he really hasn’t spent any significant amount of time with me, but whatever, I’d rather a 130 pound dog be excited to see me instead of being mad that I was in his territory haha.

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Anyway, once all of the excitement died down we kinda sorta started making plans on what we were going to do the next day, since my brother and I both wanted to leave on Sunday. Then my dad had to go to work, and my mom took us out for dinner and some shopping. Not gonna lie, I wasn’t all too excited to be out and about in the busy city that they live in, but I guess it wasn’tΒ thatΒ bad. πŸ˜‰ The restaurant that we ate dinner at was really good! My dad told me I needed to get some kind of Irish burger that they had (I don’t remember what he called it) but after eating a bunch of junk food in the car all day I was really craving some veggies, so I got a Greek salad instead.

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After we ate, we went to a really awesome used book store! My mom bought me two Stephen King books for $4. How freaking neat is that?! Then my mom wanted to show me this candy shop she really likes. We sent a little bit of time wandering around because she couldn’t remember exactly where it was, but we eventually found it. The candy shop was pretty exciting! They had all sorts of novelty gifts and fun gummies. My mom got me a gummy pig! Not gonna lie, it wasn’t the best gummy I’ve ever had, but it was cute. πŸ™‚

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After our shopping adventure we headed back to the apartment. My mom and I went to walk around the trail that is near their apartment, while my brother and his friend played video games. They sure missed out on a really beautiful evening! The trail went around a lake and you could see the mountains in the distance. That was much more my style! We didn’t make it all the way around the lake because Niko was getting tired and crabby (I’m not kidding, that dog gets tired fast!), but it was still a nice little walk. And I’m not gonna lie, I’m kinda glad we didn’t go the full 3.5 miles around the lake. At that point the elevation change was really starting to kick my ass!

After our walk I took a quick shower, then went grocery shopping with my mom.Β First we went to a farm and home supply store for dog food (I can’t for the life of me remember the name on it) while we were there she noticed the holes in my leggings so she found and bought me a new pair. Haha she’s just awesome like that. Then we went to walmart to get food for the next day, and some other random stuff that she needed. It seems like every time I’m with my mom we somehow end up going to walmart…Whatever. After that my mom and I painted for a little bit while my brother’s friend showed us some more memes, then we finally went to bed! I guess Niko was still super excited that I was there, so he kept licking my face to wake me up. At around 2 am I took him outside, but he didn’t want to pee, he just wanted to hang out outside…So I had to drag his 130 pound ass up the stairs and back inside. He finally left me alone after that, but it really sucked that I didn’t get much sleep that night. Especially since my dad woke me up at 6:45 on Saturday morning.

Waking up that early after a really bad night of sleep really sucked, but in the end it was totally worth it! My dad ended up taking me and my brother’s friend to hike up Rabbit Mountain. It took us about 2 and a half hours to climb to the very top (it was about a mile up and a mile down), but we stopped a lot to take pictures, admire the scenery, and take one short snack break. Plus we took Niko with us, and like I said before, he gets really tired really fast, so several times he had to sit down and take breaks haha. I didn’t mind though, the elevation was still bothering me a little bit, but not as much as it had the day before.

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I think hiking up Rabbit Mountain was my favorite part of the trip. It was so much fun! Plus I’ve been dying to see more of Colorado because it’s such a beautiful place, and I had never been to Rabbit Mountain before. I wish we could have done more hiking, but my dad was up working the whole night before, so he needed to get back home and sleep. (The rest of my photos from Rabbit Mountain are here, if you’re interested. πŸ™‚ ).

By the time we got back to the apartment, my sister was waiting there with her 7 month old German Shepherded, Moose, and 3-year-old “Alaskan Husky”, Tidus (he’s part Husky and part Greyhound. Apparently people who are into dog sled races really like that combination of breeds. Oh and he’s actually from Alaska, which is neat). She and my mom thought I would really enjoy Estes Park, so they took me there while my dad slept and I’m not entirely sure what my brother and his friend did haha.

So, we didn’t really spend a lot of time there because all of the people were making Moose really nervous and he kept barking at everyone. But we did walk around for a little bit and I got to see the Stanley Hotel, which is where Stephen King wrote The Shining! That was really awesome! Some day I’d really like to stay there and explore a little more, but I’m really glad I got to see it. Even in the small amount of time that we spent there I could see where he got some ideas for The Shining, so that was pretty neat. πŸ™‚

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Before we left my mom and I got lunch at a little diner type thing. They had a mac and cheese sandwich on the menu, so obviously I had to try that! It was sooooo good!!! Best food decision I’ve ever made. πŸ˜‰

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After we got our food we drove back to my mom and dad’s apartment, walked Niko, Tidus, and Moose around for a little bit, then I went home with my sister. Her house is two hours away from my mom and dad’s and we had to drive through Denver to get there, but it actually wasn’t too bad of a drive. She was worried about traffic going through Denver, but it really never got too bad.

My sister’s husband is in the army (and was just recently deployed to Poland) so they live on a military base. They actually lived in Alaska for 3 years before moving to Colorado last year, so I was super excited to see my sister’s house, since I never had a chance to visit her in Alaska. Plus it was kind interesting to get a little peek into how the military and their families live.

Anyway, after we got to her house we let her dogs out, ate a quick snack, then went to walmart because she needed to get some groceries. Haha I don’t know what it is about my family, but it seems like every time any of us get together, we end up at a walmart…After she got what she needed we hung out and her house for a while, just catching up and watching Futurama. Later in the evening she wanted to get some Sushi, so we went to King Super to get some. Unfortunately I can’t eat fish anymore, so I got some Halo Top ice cream instead. πŸ˜‰ After that we spent the rest of the night just hanging out and playing with her dogs. It was nice.

So staying at her house was a great decision! All of her pets are really well-behaved and quite, so they actually let me sleep that night haha. And the next morning when she let her dogs out of her bedroom, Moose saw me sitting on the couch and jumped right up into my lap. Apparently he really likes me.

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Me, Moose, and Tidus.

So like I mentioned before, my brother and I wanted to leave on Sunday, but my dad was off work and he wanted to take me to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo the feed the giraffes. So since that’s super close to my sister’s house, they drove there, and then my sister drove us all to the zoo.

The first thing we did was feed the giraffes like my dad wanted to. I gotta admit, that was really neat! No zoo that I’ve been to have anything like that (although the Kansas City zoo is supposedly going to build something similar in the next 5 ish years).

When we were done making friends with the giraffes we walked around for a while, just looking at all the animals. Then we went back to the car, made some sandwiches with the food that we’d brought, then went back into the zoo and saw everything else that we wanted to see. Most importantly; the tiger because they are my sister’s favorite, the elephants because they’re neat, and the wolves because my dad and I both think they are really awesome! Plus no other zoo I’ve been too has wolves, but unfortunately they weren’t out when we went to them. Apparently the female was in heat so they were being very elusive. Ah well, it was still a fun adventure!

We got back to my sister’s house from the zoo around 3 pm. I grabbed all my stuff from her house, said goodbye, then my mom, dad, and I drove 2 hours back to their apartment. Once we got their I showered, ate dinner, packed all of my stuff into my mom’s car, and tried to take a quick nap, because my brother wanted to leave at midnight. The whole napping thing was unsuccessful, so I ended up watching a movie with my mom and dad. After the movie my dad went to bed for the night and my mom went with him to try to nap before we left. So I was left in the living room with Niko.

We just kinda hung out for a while, until he started barking out the open sliding glass door at a dog that was being walked downstairs. I guess that woke my brother up, because not long after that he and his friend packed their stuff into the car, then went to get gas. A few minutes later my mom got up and started making food for the trip, so that we wouldn’t have to buy any. 10 minutes later my brother and his friend were back, so we packed up the car, my dad got up to tell us all goodbye, and then we were on the road by 11:30 pm.

The ride back to Kansas was a little bit better than the ride there. Probably because I tried to sleep for a good majority of it. I never actually fell into a deep sleep though, and I got up about every hour, but I can’t even complain about that, because yet again, my brother drove the whole time. Around the time we had two hours left in the car the sun was up and everyone in the car was awake for good. Luckily those last two hours seemed to fly by and before I knew it we were pulling into my drive way.

The original plan was for my mom, brother, and his friend to stay and nap at my house for a while, but after I had made my brother lunch he wanted to get back on the road again and finish the last 4 hours of the drive they had, so that’s what they did. 4 hours after they left I got a text from my mom saying they had made it home. I don’t know how my brother drove 14 hours on a very small amount of sleep, but he did it! And with no “close calls” or “almost accidents” either. I am very much impressed.

There! I feel like that’s a much better summary of what went down in Colorado, compared to the other super short posts that I wrote about it while I was actually there. I am officially satisfied and I hope I didn’t bore you too much. Haha this post ended up beingΒ a lot longer than I thought it was going to be!

Until next time!

~Ashley

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