Todd's Pictures now available. (posted 12/18/07)
We've just returned from a fabulous vacation in the Colorado Rockies. It's been almost a year since we both had a whole week off and that was for the arrival of Duncan—not much of a vacation but well worth it nonetheless. This year we took our time and drove to Durango, Pagosa Springs and Alamosa before meeting Tiffany's family in the mountains outside of Colorado Springs for some camping. To recoup from three nights of camping, we spent two nights in Telluride.
We left Phoenix early in the morning, making our way through Flagstaff, Ariz. We drove for the better part of the day, stopping at nearly every McDonald's along the rout that had a playground for Duncan to blow off a little steam. He was quite the trooper considering his tuckus was strapped in to his car seat for nearly seven hours. Our truck was packed to the brim with toys and activities to keep Duncan happy. It worked most of the time.We stopped in Four Corners where the boarders of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado converge. Nothing else to see there except the monument. It is in the middle of nowhere after all.
We Loved Durango, but can't seem to find any of the pictures we took there. Hmm. I'm sure the roll of film will turn up. We stayed at the Lodge at Tamarron which is about 13 miles north of Durango near the Purgatory ski area. We loved the resort. We unwound in their indoor/outdoor pool and ate at their restaurant which was surprisingly good. We wished we could have stayed another night as we only got to explore the town on our way out of town.
As we made our way out of Durango, we soon arrived in Pagosa Springs, just about 50 miles east of Durango. This little town as the name implies is famous for it's hot springs so we decided to check them out. There are 18 pools which vary in temperature from about 94 degrees to 113 (this pool was called the lobster pot). You also had the option of dunking in the river that flowed next to the pools which was 54 degrees. We enjoyed jumping from one pool to the next, being careful not to put Duncan in pools that were too hot.
As we left town, we drove on the most scenic highway I think I've ever been on. We saw water falls, 14,000 foot peaks, and the prettiest meadows.
On Friday, Aug. 13 we pushed on to Colorado Springs to meet up with Tiffany's family. Timing could not have been better as we all converged at the campground within minutes of each other.
Camping was fun and Duncan seemed to enjoy himself. We purchased an incredibly large tent for the trip (10 ft x 18 ft x 6 ft) which accommodated Duncan, his plethora of toys, food, clothes, blanket, and other baby stuff, plus mom and dad and their sleeping bags. Duncan's Cousins, Arianna (6 1/2 years ) and McKinley (5 years) jumped right in to help us pitch the tent.
Days were spent exploring Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods, riding the Pikes Peak Cog Railway to the summit of Pikes Peak (see photo gallery below), swimming and bocce ball.
One of the highlights of the trip was the ride on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. This train cuts through some very scenic but steep back country and drops you off at the summit of Pikes Peak (14,110 ft. ASL). From the summit you can see down town Denver, the great plains, and the surrounding Rockies.
This was by far the best stop on our trip. The town of Telluride is only about a mile long and half a mile wide, nestled in a steep valley. At the far end lies Bridal Veil Falls, which you can see from just about anywhere in town. We stayed in a very luxurious hotel, and we didn't need to drive once we arrived. We walked everywhere, or took the free town gondola to get up the mountain or down to the village on the other side. We can't wait to go back and ski in the winter or fly-fish in the summer. This part of Colorado is spectacular!