Posted in Exploring, Hiking

Early Snow in Rocky Mountain National Park

If you know me, you know that I can get pretty excited when winter comes around and the snow starts to fly. In my 10 years of living in Vermont, I was always itching to get a couple October laps in at the local ski hill or throw the first snowball of the season. Last season, one of the first adventures for this blog was finding just a few stray flakes on Mount Mansfield at Stowe. Check that adventure out here. Now that I’ve moved to Colorado winter has hit the Rockies much earlier than it ever did in the Green Mountains, so clearly I needed to go for an adventure!

Snowy mountains as seen from Longmont, CO

So, after some quick planning, we hopped in the car and went for a drive to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. The drive was about an hour from my apartment and we watched the thermometer in my car dive downwards from 50 degrees in Longmont, all the way down to the upper teens by the end of our drive!

Estes Park was our first stop however. It was Elk mating season, and the elk were all over the place in this tourist town. Herds were congregated on almost every grassy area available. We even found some on the local golf course!

Fore!

After briefly stopping to see the elk, we continued into Rocky Mountain National Park. Almost as soon as we entered the park, we started seeing snow on the sides of the roads. At the first fork in the road, we followed the road towards more visible snow and entered into Glacier Basin. I was half expecting to see a glacier when we came around the corner, but instead found a winter wonderland. The snow was everywhere and truly seemed to appear out of nowhere. In reality however, it was probably the area’s geography causing the area to be shaded from the warmest parts of the day keeping the snow on the ground.

Wahoo! Playing in the Snow!

After a brief walk we continued along the road until its end. The road kept going up and up the areas hills and mountains until we reached the road’s end at Bear Lake. No bears were found, but instead a beautiful alpine lake with a relatively quick trail around it’s perimeter. I was amazed as we were walking around and had to keep reminding myself that fall had really only just begun and all this snow was an early season treat, because it certainly reminded me of what January might look like elsewhere!


October…or January?

Pretty quickly our hike came to an end, but not after a number of pictures were taken and a couple snowballs thrown. We finished up at Bear Lake and began the drive home, completing this adventure on a Sunday afternoon before my New England Patriots had the chance to kick off. Not a bad adventure for an October afternoon!

October…Seriously, this is October!

Posted in Disc Golf, Exploring, Hiking

First Adventures in Colorado

Phew! It has been a whirlwind of a year since I’ve moved to Colorado…

Wait… Its only been 6 weeks?!

Life since my move at the end of July has been incredibly busy. Starting a new job in a new state, applying to teaching licensure programs, settling into a new home, AND squeezing in moments for mini adventures has kept me incredibly busy. In fact, putting aside the joking at the beginning of this post, I honestly feel like I have accomplished in 6 weeks what might be accomplished over the course of a year or more at other times in my life.

So many projects, so little time!
Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

Now as the Fall is quickly approaching, I can look back on this summer and say that I’m pretty dang proud of the things that I have accomplished this summer! Not only am I settling into a new role in a new school year, I’ve also been able to get outside and explore Colorado a bunch. However, I haven’t been as good about taking pictures and videos to share with you all. With how busy and stressful life has been over these last few months, almost all of my exploration time has been some very important self-care time. I felt like cameras and in-the-moment sharing would have taken away from that purpose, so I hope you all will forgive me.

That said, here is a quick rundown of some of the things that I’ve been up to!

Disc Golf!

Of course, one of the first things I’ve kept myself doing is playing disc golf and going to local-ish disc golf tournaments. My level of play has definitely fallen to the wayside with less time to practice and adjust to disc flights being different at elevation, but I’ve still been having a blast. Ive played tournaments at Arapahoe Basin, Winter Park, Aurora, and Colorado Springs. Each venue has been different from the last. One thing I’ve noticed is the lack of trees for obstacles in this state. It has been so different than playing in the heavily wooded courses of Vermont.

At this point, I’m feeling as though I’ve finally adjusted to playing at elevation, and I’m hoping to see some better results at my upcoming tournaments!

I haven’t been playing that well, but the views have been amazing!

Camping!

One thing that I was hoping to do more of this summer was camping. Before I had decided I was moving to Colorado, I was hoping to spend a lot of nights out sleeping in my hammock and enjoying the forests of Vermont. Moving certainly changed those plans, however, I was very excited to combine one of my disc golf tournaments with a weekend camping in Arapaho National Forest! It was a treat to spend the night being COLD, knowing full well that it was near 100 degrees back in Longmont earlier that day. The mountains of Vermont certainly bring about weather differences from the Champlain Valley where I was living, but nothing like the 50+ degree difference I experienced that weekend!

Comfy enough!

Fly Fishing!

On another trip to the Winter Park area, I was able to wet a line for the first time in a long while and catch some trout! I had been given a recommendation for a fishing spot on the Fraser River in Winter Park, but when I lost cell signal and couldn’t recall the full directions I had been given I found the first small stream I could find and gave the fishing a shot. As it turns out, the small alpine meadow stream was loaded with small brook trout and I was able to catch my first Colorado fish.

My first Colorado fish! What a giant!

Hiking!

Since moving here, I’ve been lucky enough to explore the St. Vrain River Greenway as it winds around my apartment complex, as well as a couple other quick day-hikes in the mountains. I’m hoping to explore some more before the snow flies, so stay tuned!

Yup, that’s some August leftover snowpack! Pretty soon fresh snow will be flying!

What’s next?

Coming soon, I’ve got a few more disc golf tournaments to finish out the season. I’ve also got plans to visit the Great Sand Dunes on a long weekend in October. Please remember to subscribe to both this blog as well as my YouTube Channel so that you don’t miss a moment of the action! I cant wait to continue exploring this awesome state!

Posted in Hiking

Snow in the Hills!

Two weeks ago, I went the lazy route of mountain climbing. It was the last weekend of “Summer/Fall” lift service at Stowe Mountain Resort and so my girlfriend and I went to check out the Vermont fall colors. When we got there, we were pleasantly surprised to see a different color at the tops of the mountains.

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When I moved to Vermont 10 years ago, it was because I wanted a longer ski season than the 3 months of slushy conditions I was used to in southern New England. Whenever I see the hills go white early in the season, I know its almost time. In years past, I had hiked up Stowe to get a few “very early season” turns. But this year, I didn’t have the skis in the car yet. This year, I got to use my new Epic Pass in order to get a free lift ride to the top. The Stowe Gondola delivers riders up to an elevation just over 3000 feet above sea level, and we needed almost all of that elevation before we got to the snow zone, but it was a treat to watch the seasons transition from the base area, to the top of the lift. We snapped a few pictures, made a tiny snowman, and enjoyed this tiny preview of winter.

The valley looks pretty colorful! But looking further up the mountain?

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