Travelogue: Conifer, Boulder, Evergreen, & Aspen Park, CO

With just about every RV park from Colorado Springs to Denver booked solidly for the Fourth of July weekend, we traveled up to the mountains to pay my sister, Elyse, and her husband, Chris, a visit. Chris & Elyse are super cool people and their neighbors were very understanding about the 35-foot blue bus parked on their street for 6 weeks. We’d definitely come visit them again (don’t worry guys, we won’t stay quite so long).

We spent the first week there simply visiting with Chris and Elyse and passed much of the time by playing Munchkin while drinking beers andΒ  Moscow Mules (a big thank you to Chris for introducing us to these delightful beverages!).

In exchange for all this awesomeness, we volunteered to house/ dog sit for them while they headed off on their own two-week road trip adventure. Thus, we had a safe place to park, a big, comfy house to stay in, and a borrowed car with which to explore the Denver area.

Some of the highlights of our day trips included:

  • Visiting Boulder to catch the Pearl Street Arts Festival, indulging in ice cream at Kilwin’s and eating and drinking at the Walnut Brewery
  • Visiting Denver to stop at the REI headquarters & redeem my annual dividend (turns out putting $3k of engine repairs on your credit card earns you a sweet one), to check out Tattered Cover Books, and to discover Brainless Raspberries at the Epic Brewery
  • Fishing at Evergreen Lake
  • Fishing at Pine Valley Ranch Park (We bagged four rainbow trout!)
  • Visiting Leadville to see Turquoise Lake, to eat/drink at High Mountain Pies Pizza, and learning the story of one of Leadville’s most famous citizens, Baby Doe Tabor
  • Visiting Red Rocks Amphitheater
  • Leading a photo-shoot with my sister and her horse!
  • Playing our first game of disc-golf with Chris!
  • Getting a much-needed haircut in Aspen Park

Following Chris & Elyse’s return from their road trip, we decided to stick around for a few more weeks as my dad was scheduled to fly out to Colorado and help them remodel the decks attached to their house. It was a complicated project given that each structure had to be completely demolished and rebuilt from scratch, but we can now add deck-construction to our repertoire of skills! When not busy with construction, there was time for watching the Rio Olympics and taking Dad on his first fishing trip in 3 decades. Those pricey Colorado fishing licenses we picked up finally paid off and we managed to catch enough fish to cook up a hearty meal.

Photo shoot for my sister & her horse!

Photo shoot for my sister & her horse!

Ryan throwing rocks into lakes in Leadville, Colorado

Ryan throwing rocks into lakes in Leadville, Colorado

Giant-sized happiness with this giant-sized ice-cream cone at Kilwin's in Boulder, Colorado

Giant-sized happiness with this giant-sized ice-cream cone at Kilwin’s in Boulder, Colorado

Fishing at Pine Valley Ranch Park

Fishing at Pine Valley Ranch Park

Fun fact: Fishing is mostly about untangling your line. That's why it's so often accompanied by beer.

Fun fact: Fishing is mostly about untangling your line. That’s why it’s so often accompanied by beer.

Pops catching his first first in 30 years!

Pops catching his first fish!

Demolishing deck # 2 (8'x23')

Demolishing deck # 2 (8’x23′)

Ryan, ripping up rotted out board on deck #2

Ryan, ripping up rotted out board on deck #2

The newly rebuilt platform and supports of deck #2

The newly rebuilt platform and supports of deck #2

Me & my sister doing construction!

Me & my sister doing construction!

Midway through rebuilding deck # 1 (6'x10')

Midway through rebuilding deck # 1 (6’x10′)

All in all, it was good to see family and spend a good chunk of time in the area. However, by the end of our 6 week stay, we were definitely ready to move on. And move on we did…. next up, Longmont, Colorado!

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