Over Labor Day weekend, Jimmy and I got the heck outta Texas and flew straight to one of our favorite places: Colorado.
Although I do miss my brother living in Austin, I am loving the many trips we have gotten to take to Colorado so that we can visit. It is so, so beautiful. And the small piece of paradise we found this trip? Priceless. Jimmy and I, Caleb (brother) and Bre (brother's GF) rented a cabin in Grand Lake, CO. None of us had ever been there before, but all of us agree we will be back!
The scenery was out of this world. The weather was perfect. And I finally saw a Moose in the wild, a life-long (weird) dream of mine--see explanation at end of post.
Thinking of taking a trip to Colorado? Check out all the fun adventures we had below. Activites, food, pics, and more!
Grand Lake is a tiny and cute little destination that lies on the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park. It is named for the lake the town sits on, Grand Lake, the largest natural body of water in Colorado. The proximity to a beautiful lake and the entrance to the national park makes it an ideal vacation spot. And if you visit in the winter, there are plenty of activities for all as well as Winter Park Resort 35 miles away.
Our cabin was pretty near perfect sitting on Sun Valley Lake. The management team, Grand Mountain Rentals, was located in town. They were extremely helpful, very friendly, and they manage many other properties in the area as well! The best part of our cabin was the moose. We came back from an afternoon of boating to find a mama and her calf lying in the back yard by the lake. They stayed for hours and returned later that evening. Life made.
Besides exploring the town and national park, we also had a blast doing some other activities.
The first day of our vacation we rented ATVs which was equal parts exhilarating and, at times, terrifying. We went out on our own tearing up miles and miles of the Arapahoe National Forest. I hadn't been on an ATV since I was in junior high, and I forgot how friggin' fun they are!
Rental Info: On the Trail Rentals
-ATV, mountain bike, and side-by-side rentals from June 15-September 30
-Snowmobile and snow shoe rentals November 26-April 1
The second day of our weekend adventure, we rented a pontoon boat to troll around Grand Lake. Ah, it was amazing boating on a lake surrounded by mountains. Luckily the sun was bright and shiny because the water was cooooolllddddd. Snacks, beer, water, and sunshine. Seriously, what more could you ever want?
Rental Info: Grand Lake Boat Rentals
We got groceries in Boulder before heading to Grand Lake and cooked most meals in our fully stocked cabin. But, we still hit up a couple great spots in and around Grand Lake!
Colorado Cherry Company: ermagersh. This place, located in between Boulder and Estes Park (on the way to Grand Lake) has the absolute BEST pies. My favorites are strawberry rhubarb in the spring and cranberry pear in the fall. Unfortunately, we were there in between both seasons, so we got mixed berry and cherry. NOM.
Grand Pizza: One night we went out on the town (ha) and stumbled upon a delicious little pizza joint. Pizza is always good. All the time. And this place was no exception. Located on the main drag, it's worth a stop in!
Smokin' Yard's BBQ: We took a small detour on the drive back from Grand Lake to Denver for a hike and stopped in at this BBQ place in Idaho Springs. Ooh eee, it was tasty! The great food was accompanied by a comfortable sitting area outside complete with mountain goats. On an actual mountain. It was pretty amazing. They're also opening up a location in Denver soon!
The weekend was one I'll never forget! And as always, I cannot wait to get back to Colorado. Here are some extra pics of the trip, complete with some moosies. Enjoy!
There ya have it! For more pics, head on over to my Facebook page!
Where's the best place you've gone this summer?
Until next time,
My love of Moose: Okay. So this story begins on the day of my birth. A joyous occasion, I've been told, but a painful one. You see, I was nearly two pounds heavier than my brothers and sister, and my parents remarked that I was "as big as a moose." Hurtful. And so Canadian. But, a life mascot was born. I have innumerable moose stuffed animals, figurines, you name it. My college best friends even call me "Kelly Moose." That's an entirely different story and not one I'm prepared to share here. Let's just say the moose stuffed animals (that yes I brought to college) needed to go in a hurry, and my friends laughed so hard at my retelling of the story that a nickname was born. So much history with moose, and I went nearly 30 years without ever seeing one. Until this weekend!