A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Colorado: Day 4 (Land o' Lakes... and homesick!)

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I have determined that from now on our vacations can only last 4 nights. I simply get too homesick and I miss the cats like crazy. Even though we had a fun day planned, I felt sad the minute I woke up and the feeling never really went away except while we were hiking. Thank goodness for hiking and nature!

The plan was to get up very early to make it to Bear Lake (in RMNP) before the crowds. On a Sunday in the summer, Bear Lake gets so crowded that the parking lots fill up and you have to park a couple miles away and take a shuttle. Since Paul and I hate people and prefer to hike without large crowds, an early morning departure was imperative. Paul was also going to bring his fishing rod because we knew there would be some other lakes on our hike where he could fish.

But things started to go wrong. As soon as we hopped in the car to leave (7:00am), I asked Paul if he had his fishing license. He didn't have it and it wasn't where he left it. He searched the car, our hotel room, and even the trash. No license. It sucked. I felt bad for him because I really wanted him to be able to fish. I was also annoyed because time was ticking away. Sigh. I was so homesick. I would have flown home that morning if possible.

I told Paul it was no big deal and we could get him another license later that day. He could fish tomorrow morning before he went to play disc golf. It wasn't like today was the only day he could fish. He was okay with that, so off we went to Bear Lake.

We rolled up to RMNP and there was a line to get inside. I started to get mad. Don't you hate when people at toll booths just talk and talk like they are telling their life story and end up holding up the line???

We made it into the park after about a 5 minute wait (I know, can you believe it? Freaking ruined my day.) and made the winding drive to the Bear Lake parking area. Luckily, it was not filled up and we wouldn't be dealing with any shuttles that day. By now it was almost 8:00am but there were a lot of people around.

It was just a few short steps to the beautiful Bear Lake. We walked around it (less than a mile) and just soaked in the beautiful scenery and the peacefulness. There weren't many people on this trail so it was extremely calming and peaceful.










Then we hiked to Emerald Lake. On the way you pass Nymph Lake and Dream Lake. Both were very pretty. As you got to Dream Lake, it started to get snowy. Some of the trail was covered with snow and some wasn't. As we got close to Emerald, everything was snow covered and the lake was mostly frozen.






Guys, this lake was like from a movie!

Oh, and see those almost vertical snow covered cliff walls? There were people climbing up them. Yup. They looked like little colorful dots on the cliff just slowly, slowly, slowly inching upward.



The hike back was a lot easier since it was downhill. It was getting really crowded on the trail at this point, so I was glad we got started when we did. There were lots of kids and even babies in back packs. Paul and I were laughing because all the kids were dressed in neon colors and so was I!






When we got back to the parking area, it was a SHIT SHOW. Tons of people, shuttle buses, kids (ugh, kids!!), the works. We were happy we were leaving and not arriving. For some reason when I got in the car, I was in a really foul mood. It had to do with being homesick, missing the cats, and being worried about my PF that plagued me for the last 3 days. This foul mood followed me around or the rest of the day.

As we left RMNP, we saw a bear frolicking in a field!


We were a little hungry and tired, so we stopped by a cute little coffee shop in Estes Park. We enjoyed coffee and a sandwich in between a pond and the roaring Thompson River. There were a lot of ducks napping by the pond. Seeing them made me miss the kitties!

Then we walked around the downtown area of Estes Park. It was pretty crowded, but we still had fun going in and out of shops and looking around. We got a couple gifts for people and then headed back to the hotel for much needed showers!

That evening, we had dinner at Smokin' Daves BBQ & Taproom. IT WAS SO DELICIOUS! If you are ever in Estes Park, I highly recommend this place. I had what was basically a Rachel sandwich but instead of turkey, it was made with SALMON! OMG this was the most delicious sandwich I ever had in my life! It totally made up for the horrible salmon I had our first night in Estes.

Bellies full, we went back to our hotel to crash. The next day would be our last full day in Colorado, and we wanted to squeeze as much in as possible!

How many days does it take for you to get homesick?
Have you ever been to Bear Lake or Emerald Lake?
Did you ever see a bear? (Not in the zoo.) This was my first time seeing one not in the zoo!

23 comments:

  1. Beautiful! And always fun to be in the mtns. and see snow when it's summer everywhere else. I like 5 days, 4 nights if we travel a distance for vacation. If we go to a place in Colorado we normally just go for 2 nights. I get homesick and miss our life routine. I have been to those lakes many times and yes, I have seen black bears from very far away.

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    1. I think that is what we need to start doing- 4 nights, 5 days. We want to go somewhere tropical next where we just lay around and relax. 4 days sounds like too much relaxing to me but it could be nice. :)

      That was my one and only bear sighting even though we have them in PA and I have been alllllll over the trails here.

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    2. You can stay busy when you go to a tropical location--but also relax. I try to run and then after breakfast we venture out until early afternoon doing something more active and spend the late afternoon at the pool or beach. Works out great.

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  2. Wow, I haven't seen a bear in RMNNP before. We've seen the typical moose and elk, but not a bear. My parents have moose in their neighborhood, and one even started eating their newly planted aspen trees a couple years ago.

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    1. Wow a moose in their neighborhood! They are so beautiful. :)

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  3. Those lakes are just incredible! Bummer Paul couldn't fish. Our family took a camping trip out there when I was a kid and I do remember seeing bears back then. My family needs to get this trip on our schedule soon. It looks so beautiful!

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    1. It is and you guys would love it. You wouldn't even need to run on vaycay because there would be so much hiking to do! I know you always go to CO in the winter but you should go in the summer. :)

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  4. I just saw a bear a few weeks ago hiking and i was awed!! Emerald lake is appropriately named, completely stunning. I love seeing snow in June lol I had that one year hiking around in MT, I just don't see that at home :)
    I usually get homesick about a week in. I usually worry about what is happening at home, but I try to stuff it...I can't change it far way. I need to go back and catch these CO posts! I have been in the closet working on my records lol

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    1. I am very bad at stuffing my feelings. I can do it when we're out hiking but once we're back in the car or at the hotel room I am black a mess!

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  5. Those are beautiful views, and I'm sure they were 1000 times better IRL.

    Take me with you next time!! I fit into a small suitcase, I can help with driving and I'm very good at distracting people in airplanes! Another blogger already agreed to take me with her to Italy... so I have glowing blogging recommendations !

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    1. LOL you are hired! Can Jelly squeeze into that suitcase with you? I think so, you are both teeny!

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  6. I get homesick straight away. I don't do well away from home at ALL. I'm totally freaking out that I won't be in my bed for 11 days straight starting tomorrow night. FREAKING OUT. Packing ativan.

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    1. 11 days is a long time!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you have fun. Having my lap top and being able to read blogs and FB makes me feel a little homey.

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  7. So cool that you saw so much snow. Silly question but was there quite a temperature drop from where you were. To when you were in the snowy part?

    I believe the only time I remember seeing a bear in the wild was while we were in Alaska.

    I can TOTALLY relate to being homesick on vacation. It just really hit me hard this past week while I was gone. I was ready to come home on the first full day I was gone. I think it was due to some other incidents that happened as well, but I think 3 or 4 days is my limit. Our next vacation we are planning we will be going with my family and our labradors will be going too so that should be better.

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    1. Not a silly question at all. It DID get cold, especially near the water. That's why sometimes I had on short sleeves and then sometimes I had to put on my sweatshirt. When we were at Emerald Lake (the one that was still frozen) it was so cold we could barely stand it!

      Oh yes, if your babies are there with you, I bet you will have so much fun because it will feel like home is right there with you. :)

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  8. RMNP looks amazing. But I get you on the crowds. Yosemite was the same. We went super early and were even by ourselves hiking to the Sequoia grove. While kind of creepy, I loved the solitude. By the end of the day, I was so annoyed with all the tourists and the buses.

    I missed the boys while we were away. I'm sure they didn't miss me!

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    1. Awww I bet they did miss you! Maybe they enjoyed the first two days without mom (as any teenager would) but then I bet it felt empty!

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  9. I haven't seen the bear yet but I've seen two piles of "evidence" in the past week on the hiking trails around my neighborhood!
    I definitely get homesick within a week at MOST.

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    1. I feel so much better that it seems like so many others get homesick. I felt like a weirdo.

      Ooh bear evidence! We saw A LOT of moose evidence. ;) One moose, but much evidence.

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  10. What a beautiful area! I'm sorry that you had to experience it in a grumpy mood. I definitely understand. Our final full day in Italy I was feeling the same way. I fell asleep during part of the tour (when we were in the bus) and I just wanted to get home.

    That's so funny that you said the ducks made you think of the kitties. When Adam and I are on vacation every single animal makes me think of Cecil and then I miss him a ton. In Cannes Adam and I saw a seagull and called it Cecil the Seagull because he looked so much like Cecil! Just like every cow i saw in Texas looked just like Cecil and every horse in Georgia looks like Cecil, etc. I may have serious issues, haha!

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    1. If you have issues then I am right there with you!! I was nodding my head as I was reading your comment. When we were gone for 12 days last summer, by the time we got to the Grand Canyon, we were talking to the BIRDS. The BIRDS!!!!

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  11. I'm with you about vacation length. Matt always wants week-long vacations but I think 5 days, 4 nights is PERFECT.

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