Coast to Coast Adventure, Days 4-5

My husband Rob and I have quit our jobs and are moving from Dayton, OH to Medford, OR with our two dogs Moose and Schuyler. Before we settle there, we are embarking on a 2.5 month adventure across the US

Heading west days 4-5. Colby KS to Fraser CO. Camp Dick to Beaver Lake hike. Vasquez Creek trail hike. Max elevation 11,808 feet.

Woo boy, we’ve been busy since yesterday. Drove the last slog through Kansas and Western Colorado, which was again so boring and flat! Then bypassed Denver (thank god I hate Denver traffic!) and went to Boulder. First stop was REI, as we needed to pick up a tent footprint (ours having been mysteriously lost and/or accidentally thrown away or not packed?🧐). Had some awesome fresh southwestern fare from Zolo Grill, and then headed out through Lyons to Camp Dick. Lyons is an amazing little Colorado town, please stop by if you are ever in the area. It is so charming and has so many restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries.

Camp Dick (yes of course I laugh every time, we are all adolescents at heart) is located off the St. Vrain Creek. We got there late afternoon and set up camp. I had picked a short but moderate hike to help us get used to the elevation. For real, elevation is soooo hard on a flat-lander like me. I get altitude sickness easily, and I have to stop and rest all the time. Even when we came out two years ago and I was in amazing shape, it was like moving through water. So we knocked out this little hike, up to Beaver Lake. It wasn’t all that grand, but it was a good workout!

Afterwards, our best laid plans went to hell. It started thundering for like an hour, and then stormed. We tried to wait it out at first but Moose wasn’t having it. At the same time, we’ve been noticing our car taking longer to start, so we wanted to get into town to take it to the shop first thing in the morning. After paying way too much for a Holiday Inn, we crashed and slept like the dead.

Luckily the next morning Rob got the car into a shop first thing. They cleaned the fuel injector and switched the battery, they said the starter looked good. It seemed to work, but didn’t last, the Lexus is still taking a second longer to start. Maybe it’s he spark plugs? I have no clue. Hopefully it doesn’t get worse!

We headed up to Estes Park to drive through RMNP. We stopped at the mountain home cafe for some marginal food- there were no good veggie options in Estes for lunch. This was our first time to RMNP, even though I’ve been to Colorado over a half dozen times. You cannot take dogs on any trails in the park, so it’s always been on my shit list. We did do the scenic drive through on route 34.

We were greeted with sleet at 12,000 feet and then lightning strikes and downpours at lower elevations. Given the nasty weather, we managed a few short jaunts off the road, leaving the dogs safe in the car. We spotted a small group of bighorn sheep way up on the highest ridgeline, a huge herd of elk, and a momma and baby moose. They were as startled as we by the storm, and promptly hightailed it out of there. Moose the dog spent most of his time hiding under the front passenger seat where his Dad was sitting.

We got through to the west side of the park and headed down to Winter Park. We had planned to try to hike somewhere, but the weather remained crappy and stormy, so we drove to the grocery store then our condo. We are spending a week in the area since my brother and his girlfriend live here. Resting up and gonna carb up with some Italian food tonight! Mmmmmm. The weather cleared up before dinner, so we got a quick couple miles in!

Sidebar bummer: I strained my bad knee in NC running intervals. It is acting up and swollen and hurting a bit. May put a damper on our hikes, for now lots of ice and nsaids!

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