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  • erinlester4

Colorado Road Trip

Following our trip down the Oregon Trail, we started south into Colorado. Our first stop was the beautiful mountain town of Steamboat Springs. I had a surprise for Annabelle in Steamboat. While on our Yellowstone trip, her biggest request was to swim in the hot springs. Unfortunately, they were closed due to covid. She was bummed, but such a trooper when I told her we were unable to visit them. I made reservations for us at Strawberry Springs. Strawberry Springs was gorgeous. It feels so surreal to sit in a warm river, on the mountainside, with snow coming down around you. I would definitely recommend this stop! Find more information at

Next, we headed east to Rocky Mountain National Park. Because we were there early in the season, the road through the park was closed. We started on the west side of the park and then looped south and entered the east side, by Estes Park. We were able to do a bit of hiking in the park. We definitely had to laugh at our own Minnesotan attire compared to other hikers. It was a beautiful sunny day and we quickly shed our sweatshirts and were hiking in tshirts while others had their down jackets on. This is not the first time we have noticed a difference in temperature tolerances while on vacation. (Disney in shorts versus hats and gloves.)

One of our other stops near Estes Park was Hidee Gold Mine. John was a bit hesitant about stopping, thinking that it might be a bit too touristy, but we actually all had a lot of fun. We learned about the history of gold mining in Colorado, as well as the current mines in state and the regulations the mines face. The Hidee is still and active mine and you can see the veins of gold as you walk through. At the end of the tour, you get to mine for gold yourself, keeping what you find. Unfortunately you only get to use the tools of the past so no one is going home with enough gold for a a new pair of earrings, but it is fun, nonetheless and the kids get to bring home a fun souvenir.

South of Estes, we made a trip to Manitou Springs, where you can drink from the each of the natural springs in town. The water tastes different from each spring, and finding them around town is like doing a scavenger hunt. While none of us really thought that the water was particular tasty, it was a fun family activity.

We also visited the Manitou Cave Dwellings. Its amazing how long they have remained preserved. It wasn't particularly warm that day. It was fairly chilly and damp with fog and on and off rain. I can't imagine what is was like to live in these cave dwellings through the winter.

Near Manitou Springs is the Garden of the Gods. The sky cleared enough to take a hike through the park. Its a small park, but worth the stop as each of the rock formations jut to the sky in various peaks.

The following day, we made it to our final destination in Loveland, Colorado. We were finally able to meet our newest family member at Legacy Ridge Farm, our sweet Eva. It was so much fun at the farm. The kids particularly loved the baby goats and their sweet acrobatics. Soon, we were on the road with Eva. She did so great in the car. We stopped every few hours to let her stretch her legs, but she was perfectly happy riding between the kids in the back seat. She wanted to be near them the entire time. She would either rest her paw or her head on one of their seats. If she fell asleep and her paw or head would slip off, she would wake up or readjust so she could be touching one of them at all times. It took us about 13 hours to make it home, but we were able to make it in one day and, as usual, it was good to make it home. Eva immediately fit right in on our farm.

We love this little girl so much. She is such a loving pup and always has a smile on her face.

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