Archive for the 'Hike' Category

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Hiking in Elk Meadow

A friend and I have been doing “a bigger hike” weekly, and I thought I’d post pictures from our last one! (Yes, Claire and I are still doing our mile-long hikes every morning before school. It’s just such a great way to start the day!)

Yesterday’s hike was in Elk Meadow, which is just outside of Evergreen. I’d been on one of the trails a few years ago with my sister, her husband, and their two huskies, and I have wanted to go back. This was the perfect excuse!

The weather was absolutely delightful. I’d printed a trail map and had done my research. You know what they say about the best laid plans… As is recommended by savvy hikers, we’d started out “clockwise,” because that makes the trail even easier. Well, missing one hidden sign later, and we ended up on a completely different trail, which then forced us to go counter-clockwise forĀ the majority of our trek. The trail through the meadow was deceptively strenuous when you go that direction. But we made it! (Plus, had we not gone on that “exploratory spur” we would have never seen the snakes! *snort* Ha!)

For the record, we were never lost. I knew exactly where we were (give or take 0.6 miles). šŸ˜‰

Here are some pictures from the hike. Enjoy!

My favorite hikes (that aren’t in the desert) are on trails like these.

What a view!

The meadow part of Elk Meadow

Claire wasn’t with us, but we saw TWO of her little buddies. (Yes, there are two snakes in this picture! One is headed that way. The other is headed the other way.) I shoo’d them off the trail so we could go the way we wanted, too.

The aspens are starting to turn!




A Friday Morning Hike

In addition to doing a quick hike with Claire in the mornings before school, a friend and I have been meeting after school drop off to get some steps in once a week, too!

She is new to the area, so I’ve been exploring some trails with her. The best part of this is seeing how all my familiar trails are connected! (In this area, there are some trails I’ve done many times with Claire, all from different directions, and I knew they were all connected if you go far enough, but I wasn’t sure *how*…and now I do. I love it!)

Yuck. What a dump. I can’t believe we have to hike in these conditions.


Shadows at the Spillway

Early Morning Hikes

Well, good morning to you, too!

Before school started for the year, Claire asked me if it would be possible to get in our morning hikes before school. More than anything, this is what she said she was going to miss when school started. (This summer, we’d started a habit of hiking in the mornings, and we both love it.)

I wasn’t sure how this would go with our morning routine, but we decided to give it a go. It’s been amazing. We’ve worked it out to where we walk down to the lake and around to a certain spot and then back. It’s about a mile roundtrip, which is just a perfect way to get the day started. It helps us re-center and works as a greatĀ attitude adjustment. It’s empowering, invigorating, and we’re not so harried in the mornings because of it.


Sunrise Collage from 8.22.17

Selfie with Supergirl! (picture taking today.)

Swoon-worthy Sunset

Last night’s sunset was just gorgeous!

Almost Sunset

The colors tonight were AMAZING on our walk around the lake after dinner! Pre-sunset. No filter. The blues, the greens, the mountains. *swoon*

Grandma’s Visit to Colorado

There is something magical that happens when you live in a vacation destination. You gain an appreciation for your surroundings that may not always be there. Colorado is a hot spot to visit in the summer and the winter, and for years now, we’ve hosted guests year-round. (We’ve also lovingly referred to our home as The Hotel Rasmussen for this very reason.)

This year, Grandma came to stay with us for a week. We spent our time hiking, crafting, playing games, andĀ seeing the sights!Ā To make things easier, I wroteĀ up each day and posted them where they would have been chronologically, AND I’m going to post linksĀ to them here, just so you don’t miss any:

Grandma’s Visit: June 9 and 10
Grandma’s Visit: June 11 and 12
Grandma’s Visit: June 13
Grandma’s Visit: June 14
Grandma’s Visit: June 15


While I’m at it, I’m going to share a funny thing that happened while I was taking yet another sunset picture the other day. (I can’t stop taking them!) Here it is, another wonderful sunset on the lake picture:

Wait. Wrong camera. Bah-hahahah!

Claire’s Little Buddy

No, I haven’t updated about Grandma’s trip out to see us yet, but I will! In the meantime, Claire and I went on a long hike this morning out at Standley Lake Reservoir.

As we were hiking, we saw the tail end of a brightly colored snake (maybe a fox snake?) slither off the trail. He startled us, but not like the snake we saw a couple weeks ago, and he was gone before we could even give him a second thought.

Then, we saw a coyote!

He stayed around long enough for us to get pictures.

This trail is just gorgeous. Because we went pretty early, it wasn’t too hot. Perfect!

Pano of the trail and the lake


The trail near the spillway


We’re zipping along, and Claire is behind me. All of a sudden, I hear her gasp, and by some mystical, magical move, she’s no longer right behind me; she’s completely over on the other side of the trail! How she cleared that distance in a single bound, I’ll never know. I think she thinks she’s speaking (or screaming?), but only strangled whispers are coming out!

“Snake! Snake! Snake!” she gasps, as she frantically gestures toward a clump of weeds.

Do you see him?

Go ahead. Click on the photo to zoom in. I’ll wait. No?

I didn’t see him at first either (clearly, because I’d walked right by him), but then I did!

She was like, “GET THE PICTURE AND LET’S GO. What are you doing!? Why are you so close!? WHY ARE YOU TAKING SO LONG. Ssssssnnnnnnaaaaaaaake.” (I wish I had an audio of her gaspy, strangled, gargle-y pleas.)

Funny…he looks so innocent. These tales of “He tried to eat me!” and “He whipped me with his tail!” and “He hissed at me!” may be somewhat exaggerated. Claire vehemently defends her case. (I know the feeling of being startled by a snake, so I didn’t makeĀ too much fun of her.)

Here’s the answer key


Here’s a zoomed in shot of Claire’s Little Buddy.

From then on, every branch or dead weed stalk made her twitch, which led to our favorite quote from our hike:Ā “Jeez, you see two snakes & a coyote, and you get all jumpy.” šŸ˜€


Grandma’s Visit: June 15th

NOTE: Grandma was able to come to Colorado and visit us for a week! Iā€™m popping back from the future (how very LOST of me) to recap our days together. We had such a great time!

On this day, we took Grandma to our favorite place for tea in downtown Denver. Then, after a quick wardrobe change, we hit the hiking trails! We capped the evening off with a walk around the lake.



Goats Beard and a Ladybug



The next day, bright and early, Claire and I took her to the airport. We had such a great week with her, and we saw so many wonderful things. She’ll have stories to tell everyone back home, and we’ll all have great memories to cherish!

Grandma’s Visit: June 13th

NOTE: Grandma was able to come to Colorado and visit us for a week! Iā€™m popping back from the future (how very LOST of me) to recap our days together. We had such a great time!

Today, we took Grandma on TWO hikes, with a stop at our Library in between! The first hike we did was near Standley Lake Reservoir, and then we took her to Two Ponds.

We discovered that ladybugs LOVE thistles!

There were oodles of them!

The 11 (and a half) year old, sitting on the 11 of the sundial, reading a book about Egypt. Typical.

We saw a bunch of artists doing some Plein Air painting at Two Ponds!


Here are Grandma and Claire. Pretty as a picture!


Grandma’s Visit: June 11 and 12

NOTE: Grandma was able to come to Colorado and visit us for a week! Iā€™m popping back from the future (how very LOST of me) to recap our days together. We had such a great time!

We took Grandma to one of our favorite restaurants. Their bathroom features an Infinity Mirror.

We love taking photos in front of it!

I mean, seriously!? How cool is this?

We also took Grandma to see Wonder Woman! Claire and I had already seen it, but we loved it just as much a second time!

More hiking, more pictures of sunsets. So boring.

Colorado was just showing off!

She has all her ducks in a row. How ’bout you?