I made the trip from snowy, 30 degree weather in Jersey to sunny, 75 degree weather in Colorado for a week of fun and exploring with cousins and friends. It started with a road trip from Denver over to Moab, Utah to Arches National Park.
We hiked up to Delicate Arch, which towers out on the open rock 64 feet high and 45 feet wide. I towers over the landscape, delicate but powerful. We then hiked through the Firery Furance, a natural labyrinth of narrow passages between towering sandstone walls. Getting to walk through the sandy washes in the canyon, explore the different passages, and climb up between the passages was amazing. I wish we had more time to explore every nook and cranny. I highly recommend applying for the permits and getting the opportunity to experience the Firery Furance. Even without a ranger, we managed to find our way and enjoy the twists and turns without issue.
Next up was camping and hiking in Canyonlands National Park. The past 5 years, I’ve made a point of picking a new National Park to explore each year, making reservations for camping in the park and plan out hikes. This was my 3rd trip to Arches, but first time to Canyonlands. I was blown away by the majesty of Canyonlands, and regret having skipped it all the other times (it’s only 30 min from Arches!). We camped in the Needles District in the heart of Canyonlands. The campsite had a rock outcropping which allowed us to watch the sunrise and sunset each day with our fellow campers.
We hiked through Big Canyon Spring, and got to explore some of the remote canyons. The area feels so remote, with primitive trail markers in the form of cairns and hardly any hiker traffic. The colorful, towering sandstone looks intimidating, but make for a jungle-gym of fun! You can climb straight up the sandstone surfaces, getting into climb into and out of canyon after canyon.
I wish I could have spent the entire week continuing to explore. I will definitely be back to Canyonlands again!! The next stop on the tour was back up to Denver and Fort Collins to spend time with some friends and family. The long car ride was a perfect opportunity to catch-up on knitting while taking in the gorgeous landscape. And some new friends were made along the way.
Fort Collins is a cute town, and super bike friendly. We biked around downtown and over to the New Belgium Brewery and Odells. Which was then followed be a brewery bike tour through the rest of town! I have recently discovered sour beers in the past year, and am obsessed. I was impressed by how many sours were available at the local breweries. New Belgium even has an entire flutter forest of sours aging in their giant wooden barrels, I was in heaven. I had to make room in my checked bag for a couple bottles from their Lips of Faith Series. A follow-up bike tour was then conducted in Boulder for more sours!
I wasn’t ready for the trip to end, or the sunshine, shorts, bikes, and hikes! But I’m back with the snow and cold, looking forward to springs arrival.