Monday, February 1, 2016

Finish of the trip

We had an amazing rest of the trip.
We went up into Wyoming to Vedawoo for the Fourth of July have a great downpoured  on us on the way. Luckily we found a great spot, I was worried about it because of it being the fourth, but it worked out well. Chelseas leg was still sore so we did not push it, just a quick hike.
The next morning we did a small hike and ran into a moose with her two small calfes. We hung out for awhile and watched them eat and walk around. 

We went to chimney rock and Scott's bluff national monument. Went on short hikes at both stops, but the Rangers told us because of the amount of rattle snakes we should keep it short. So we did, but that left us done with those spots way early. So we decided to head up to Agate fossil beds. The heat was over 100 degrees and the van was not happy. We had to pull of for a little bit. But luckily it started right back up and we made it to the beds. We went to the visitors center and saw some really cool stuff. Hat night we went up to fort Robinson for some camping. This place was really cool and we had the whole campsite to ourselves. It was right next to the cemetery. We made some amazing hamburgers and let the rain come. Had a nice night reading with the sound of rain on the top of the van.

Then went into South Dakota for some amazing caving at Jewel Cave and Wind Cave. Both were amazing.  When we got to wind cave we quickly picked out a really nice campsite, away from all the other campers. We then went to sign up for some caving! They were very surprised when I got to the counter and said I want to sign up for all of them. Each tour was on average a hour long and we could just barely make it from the end of one to the start of the next. But we made it work and only required a few hundred yards of running. But we made it to all of them. Some of the tours stared with an elevator ride, 20 stories underground! By the end of the day we had learned so much from the amazing tour guides that we could have given the tours ourselves. I personally had a great time when they turned off the lights completely, you have never seen true black until you have seen cave black. I did realize that I had been on that tour when we got to the spot to turn the lights  off, I must have been 7 or younger, but I still remembered the lights off experience. It's that memorable. We finished that day off with a nice fire, and dinner at the campsite. 

The next day we went to Jewel Cave. It's amazing how different theses caves are from each other, being so close to each other. 

Had a nice trip up to Devils Tower. A wonderful drive, even had some subway for lunch. Chelsea fell asleep and missed out on some really nice scenery. When we got to the tower we got our stickers first then started hiking up to the base of the tower. Where we saw people climbing up the side. We also hung out with the prairie dogs and got some really nice photos of them. Chelsea loved when they scream at each other.

Then finished up our trip in the Badlands. We did a quick drive though and short hike, but Chelsea and I were not feeling well so we decided to head home a day early.  

We then drove home from the badlands. The van ran great at 80mph downhills and loved it for the the rest of the trip.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Getting Caught Up Part II

That first post seemed pretty crappy, but the crap had just started.
July 4th-  We left the Estes Park hotel and we were making our way to Vedauwoo.  We were driving along and I looked at Brad and said something along the lines of "You know, yesterday sucked but at least we are healthy, happy and continuing on our journey!  Karma will come around for those people that stole our site."  I shouldn't have said anything.  We pulled into a gas station right outside Loveland, CO to fill up.  We filled up and then the van would start.  The fuel pump had bit the dust.  We were about 6 miles away from anything, so Brad called O'Rielly's and found a fuel pump and called AAA for a tow.  It would not be a trip without a tow.  Luckily, the tow truck came quick and we headed to O'Rielly's.  We were at the parts store for about 2 hours and Brad had fixed the van!  My hero!  We left the store, got some lunch and then finally made it to Vedauwoo.  We snagged a great spot and spent a little bit of time just unwinding after the past few days.

The next morning, we went on a nice 1/2 mile hike around Vedauwoo.  It was a really cool place.  Upon finishing the trail, we spotted a mama moose with her two babies.   This was so cool!  I had never seen a moose before.  We watched them for quite awhile and snapped a lot of photos.   What a great start to the day!

After leaving Vedauwoo, we stopped by Chimney Rock, Scotts Bluff and Agate Fossil Beds.  Neat, quick stops.  One of the rangers suggested we stop by Fort Robinson on our way out to Wind Cave.  This was a great suggestion that saved us some time.  We ended up getting a great campsite at the Fort all by ourselves.  Well, kind of all by ourselves.  It was right next to the cemetery of the fort :)
It rained all night, but we had a nice spot in a cool place.
No ghosts found  


Getting Caught Up Part I

Wow!  We have had a crazy week!  I will try and sum it up as quickly as I can.

We had a few days in Rocky Mountain National Park.  The first day we hiked like Brad had mentioned in the previous post and I somehow pulled my groin muscle.  Super painful and I have no clue how I did it.  We were hiking at a pretty steep incline, but nothing too crazy.  Anyways, we hiked back down and returned to our campsite for the night inside the park.  The next morning, we drove to the Long's Peak campground and found an amazing spot!  We were very surprised by this because we were convinced we would not find a spot there.  The campsite was also free, so that was cool!  We claimed our spot and then headed back to the park.  Brad went and did the Bear Lake hike and I sat in the van trying not to move my leg too much.  This sucked!  Brad enjoyed his hike though, so that was great.  When leaving the park, we saw the Stanley Hotel and drove up there to take our chances on getting a tour.  We lucked out and got the last two spots on one of the last tours for the day.  Awesome tour!  We enjoyed hearing about the history, the Steven King of it and the ghost stories.  The beautiful stairs in the place were a little difficult, but well worth it.  After that we headed back to our Long's Peak site and hung out for the night.

The next morning we woke up, had some breakfast and then headed out for a hike down in the Wild Basin Area.  We left a sign on our site post and both of our chairs out in the parking spot to make sure everyone knew that our spot was taken.  REMEMBER THIS!  We headed back into the park and I was anxious to see how the 1/2 mile hike was going to feel on my healing muscle.  I was hoping that it was better and I could get back to it.  We made our way to Wild Basin and the parking lots were full!  Every single spot was taken except for the spots that were 2.5 miles away from the trail head.  For my first day out hiking again, Brad did not want to push it, so we headed out of the park.  We decided to hit up a couple of breweries.  We first went to Left Hand Brewery which we were both very excited about.  We enjoyed a few beers and the awesome atmosphere and then headed to Oskar Blues.  We were not too impressed with this place or the beer.  Meh. Last stop was Boulder Brewing Company.  On the way to Boulder, I was not feeling too great, but we headed in and got some beers and lunch.  About 15 mins into our lovely lunch, I had such a bad head ache that I could not keep my eyes open.  I had to leave and lay down in the van.  Brad was very sweet and got the tab and drove me back to the campsite while I tried not to puke in the van.  I awoke to Brad slamming on the breaks and jumping out of the van.  We had made it back to our campsite to find a large family camping there.  Brad lost it.  They had ripped down our sign and threw our chairs into the trees.   I was so dazed that it took me a min to figure out what was going on.  Brad got back in the van and we went around the loop again.  No sites in sight.  We pulled back up and my anger then took over and I had to give them a piece of my mind.  Let's just say that the lady I was "talking"to was very lucky that she had small children present...
Brad was fuming, I was ready to hurl.  Brad admitted defeat and took me to a hotel.  It was Fourth of July weekend and he knew better than to think that we would ever find a campsite.  Thank goodness he made this choice.  Arriving at the hotel in Estes Park, I got extremely sick and was grateful for a bathroom of my own.  The rest of the night was terrible with a pounding headache, chills and bad cable shows.

The next morning, Brad had calmed down, I was holding down food and we were ready to hit the road.  Our next stop was Vedauwoo on the Fourth of July.
Dream lake
found a friend 
Stanley Hotel
Had to get a drink at the hotel.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Rocky Mountain National Park

We had a reservation in the park at the moraine campground for two days. With it being the week of the Fourth of July camping was hard to find. So we were happy to have half of our stay here be reserved and in a great spot. 
The first day we went on a really nice hike. Followed a river up a canyon to a wroaring waterfall.  It was a really nice hike. But unfortunately chelsea pulled her groin muscle somehow, so she had to walk the whole way back in pain.
The next day I went up to the bear lake area. I had to take the shuttle from a huge parking lot. I personally love when parks do this. Zion has it so you have to use the shuttle, after seeing how many people were in Rocky Mountain I think they should do the same. 
The shuttle took only 15 minutes to get to the trailhead. I walked up to bear lake and took some photos of the huge mountain lake. I then headed up on another trail. I decided to go up to dream lake. This is a really accurate name. It was a bit of a hike to get there but it was one of the most beautiful lakes I've been to. 

I will upload some photos when I get a chance.
The last 3 days we had some issues and we will cover them soon.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


We continued to be spoiled for two more days after leaving Colorado Springs. We headed to Denver to stay with our Uncle Tim and Aunt Marylee.  It was a decent two hour drive. When we arrived in mid morning Tim and Marylee decided to take us on a little brewery tour!  We stopped by 38 State Brewing, Grist Brewing, and Lacavore BeerWorks. We enjoyed several great beers with our great hosts. We concluded the evening at the new Farm House Brekenridge.  There we had a few more beers and a delicious dinner.  After our long tour, we all went home and crashed. 
The next morning, we woke up and went to Toast for breakfast. What a yummy place!  Tim and Marylee had to do some work so Brad and I watched car shows on the couch. This was actually quite enjoyable. Nice and relaxing. 
Later that night, we enjoyed steaks and some great laughs while playing cards against humanity.
What a nice visit we had. Brad and I are very lucky to have such great families in one of our favorite states. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Wonderful Colorado Springs

What a great time we have had in Colorado Springs with our Aunt Melissa and Uncle Stu.
On Friday, Brad and I decided to do our own little brewery tour.  We had a list of 14 breweries within 15 miles of where we were staying!  We narrowed it down to 5 of them.  Our first stop was Bristol Brewing Company.  We were both super excited to visit this brewery because we do enjoy their brews.  We enjoyed a couple beers and then spent a little cash on some cool merch :)  I had to have their beehive honey wheat and their mass transit ale.  Brad had their red rocket ale and their compass ipa.  All good stuff.  This brewery was an old elementary school that they made half of it into the brewery and tap room.  The rest of the building was taken by a bike shop and some other little shops.  Really cool place.  The bathrooms were still decorated with paintings and drawings including the solar system and a multiplication table.

We then stopped by Trinity Brewing Company.  We really liked this place.  Very low key and had great brews.  Brad did a flight and I enjoyed their Awaken Coffee Stout.  Cool place and cool people. here!

After Trinity, we needed food!!!  We drove through chic-fil-a and got some grub and headed to manitou brewing company.  This was a very small place with a very small beer selection.  We each had one beer and we hit the road.  I had an Agave Ginger Saison that was actually pretty great.  Brad had a EXP ipa that was good.

It was getting pretty late and we had Stu and Melissa waiting for us to go to dinner, so we stopped at one more brewery.  We went to Smiling Toad Brewery.  This place was really awesome and low key.  The bartender was a big older dude with an awesome mustache and suspenders! This place was not flashy but had a great atmosphere.  I had their vanilla porter that was delicious and Brad had their amberdextrous.   Great brews 
We hurried up and got back home so we could go have dinner.  We went to the Airplane restaurant which is a staple when staying with Stu and Melissa.  We were excited to go back to this place.  It was a lovely dinner with great company.

Saturday, we ended up going to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.  We had a blast!  We walked through the whole zoo and got to ride the skyride.  We also got to pet and feed giraffes!!!!  This was a huge deal!  What a nice treat.  We then headed up the mountain to the beautiful Will Roger's Shrine.  It was very cool.  Headed back down the mountain, we made our way to Colorado Mountain Brewery for a late lunch.  Yummy!  Last stop of the day was the liquor store.  Brad and I were in heaven!  So many amazing beers that we do not get in Omaha.

What a great visit here in Colorado Springs.  Thank you Stu and Melissa for showing us such a great time and for your hospitality.  It is always wonderful seeing you two!
Lots of love,

Friday, June 26, 2015

Bishop's Castle

On our way to my aunts house we had two stops. The first stop was the amazing Bishop's Castle. This "castle" was and is still being built by one person. Jim Bishop has been working on this 10 story castle for over 40 years.  It is incredible. With 3 spires, two rooms big enough to hold receptions, a moat(with working draw bridge) and crazy catwalks to nowhere, this place was insane. The pictures do not do it any justice.

We then made our way down the mountain on a great national forest dirt road. As soon as we got into Pueblo we hit a brewery for some lunch and a few Irish beers. Shamrock Brewing was great. We made our way up to my aunt's and uncle's house and had a nice dinner.

Tomorrow we are doing our own Colorado Springs brewery tour.