COLORADO
,
Day 1: Chicago -> Denver

Oh boy was it an early
morning!  After an
weekend of camping
followed by my brother
graduation party and
finally a 0330 Uber pick up
for the airport, let's just say
the plane had us asleep
before takeoff.

Once we landed in Denver,
we shuttled over to our car
pick up...GOT THE BEST
SURPRISE OF A RED JEEP
WRANGLER UPGRADE,
then set off for a day in
Boulder!  Initially the plan
was to go to downtown
Denver but basically
couldn't find a good eye
catching coffee shop so we
went to Boulder instead.

(coffee shop needs so Jon
could work)

And Boulder was the good
choice!  it was so much fun!
I had been before but Jon
hadn't and it felt so good to
be back!

We found a cute little coffee
shop (the point) up On the
Hill, found free parking
and all of it was within
walking distance to trails
and pearl street mall!

Jon worked, I shopped and
explored and when he met
me later we tackled some
hiking trails, went down to
Pearl Street for dinner at
SALT and some beers at a
brewery!

After dinner we went back
up the hill to our Jeep and
went on the 1.5 hour trek to
our cottage in Colorado
Springs.

On the way we stopped in
Denver since we had to
drive through it anyway
and had some Little Man
Ice Cream (a
recommendation from
Alyssa) and it was such a
cool place (in a shady area)
but cool! Ice cream flavors
were super unique, they
had buckets on a ceiling
belt that brought ice cream
down to the serving area
and the factory just looked
so old school, like we were
in the movie Grease or
something!

After our ice cream pit stop,
we finally got to our Airbnb
cottage in the Broadmoor
neighborhood of Colorado
Springs!  Well ok after
stopping at King Soopers
for eggs and fruit for
breakfast.

The cottage was so cute!
Super close to things...not
like Lakeview, Chicago but
still close and right
basically in the mountains!
It was small but had
everything we needed and
they even mention a daily
hear visit which I REALLY
hope appears while we are
here!

We basically went right to
bed, we were exhausted and
because of that planned to
sleep amazingly!

Goooooooodnjght y'all!
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Boulder
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Mallory Caves Trail,
Boulder, CO
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Little Man Ice Cream
Factory
 
Denver
,
Day 2:  Colorado Springs

Yessss that night was one
fantastic night of sleep!  I
am now ready for allllllll
the activities!

In the morning Jon worked
and I drove out (in the
jeep!) Sorry!  I'll just never
get tired of saying that haha

anyways
..drove out to Trader Joe's
for some groceries for the
week!  As I was driving
back, I decided to just drive
and explore....which led me
to a mountain of millions
of trails and crazy driving
mountain roads and
amazing views!  And it was
down the street from where
we were staying!

I finally came back,
unloaded the groceries,
hoped to see a bear but still
no, we had lunch then we
both drove around the
neighborhoods before Jon
had to go back to work and
I kept exploring!  I had to
come back because I had to
pee soooo very badly and
ended up taking a nap..
guess I still wasn't caught
up from our busyness
before we left for CO.

My nap finished when Jon
finished work so we drove
out to go off roading!!
Yeah, turns out it wasn't for
cars but motorcycles and
ATVs so we drove to
another spot!

which was closed

But!  it led us to Manitou
Springs and Cave of the
Winds and Old Colorado
City and dinner at Rocky
Mountain Brewery!

Food was delicious! Beer
was great!

We drove around
downtown then out to
Briargate (neighborhood
we'd move to if we come
out here permanently) and
checked out the childrens
hospital!

After all of our exploring,
again so ready for bed so
once we got home, that's
what we did!

Good night good night!
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the rocky
mountains
 
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just a girl and her Wrangler
Cave of the Winds Mountain Park
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at Cave of the Winds
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Day 3

After an ok night of sleep
(sooo hot in our bedroom
per usual) we had eggs and
arugula and yogurt and
strawberries for breakfast!

Jon logged in to work and I
went for a drive in the
Wrangler to go hike the
Incline in Manitou Springs!
It was only about 15 min
from our cottage but let's
be real here, driving the
Wrangler with endless
mountain views? I was not
complaining about driving
any distance!

I drove through the town of
Manitou Springs (actually
where we were yesterday
when we tried to go off
roadinfg but it was closed)
and it was a cute little
mountain touristy town!
So many souviner and ice
cream shops, restaurants
and people!

I kept driving through the
town and then through the
neighborhoods, which was
a pretty little mountain
town for sure!  At the end
of one of the roads was the
turn to get to the trailhead
of the Incline.  Which of
course was super steep and
then full once me and the
Wrangler made it up to the
top.

I ended up finding parking
below for $10 but since the
ATM didn't work, got it for
free!  I paid for it though in
the climb up the road to
the trailhead haha

I started out by hiking Barr
trail for about 1.5 miles till I
got to the Incline.  Barr
Trail I really want to come
back to and do the while
thing...hike halfway up,
camp, home the second
half and end up at the top
of Pikes Peak!  Next time
CO, next time!

The Incline was a crazy,
steep and exhaust sting
hike. Honestly probably
one of the hardest I have
ever done! But such a fun
and different workout and
the reward of the view at
the top made it totally
worth it!

Met some people along the
way and even an Elk that
scared the bajeezies outta
me as I was hiking back
down Barr Trail (no hiking
down the Incline).
Seriously though, at first I
thought it was a deer, it
startled me because they
just don't care you're right
next to them, but then
some other hikers said it
was an elk, Soo cool! But
then I came across another
elk in the middle of the
trail blocking my way and I
wasn't sure if he was afraid
of humans or if they attack
humans or if a momma elk
was nearby to defwnd her
baby, so I stood stock still
until thankfully not much
later another hikers
movement scared it away!

Once I got back to the
Wrangler, I headed home
to have a lunch of jicama
tacos with Jon and just
enjoy sitting out in the
yard!

I took every opportunity to
ride in the Wrangler so
after lunch I went to get
gas, explored by driving
aroundnd and found a
mountain store and made a
foldable water bottle
purchase until going back
to pick up Jon to head to
Garden of the Gods!

That park I had been to
before when I was younger
but if was Jon's first time
and it was still just as
gorgeous! The red rocks,
splash of green in the trees
and unique boulders were
so much fun to hike
around, climb and drive
through!  Plus the red
Wrangler just looked so
cool out there!

We hiked around the
gardens for a whole then
took the long way out
before heading over to Red
Rock Canyon open space
and hike around there!

It was very different!
Tdailjs and hills and
mountain views but also
tons of grassy fields and so
many rock climbers!  It was
a fun, was and scenic hike!

After all the exploring, we
went back to Manitou
Springs to really walk
around and mainly for
some Colorado ice cream!
We found the cutest little
custard shop with a happy
old man running it and it
was delicious!!  Added in
some shop stops and then
headed back home to do a
workout in the yard, grill
some mahi mahi and then
take an amazing shower
before sleeping the night
away!

This time though I set an
alarm for 2:50am to try and
see a bear that has been
know to come around then
and dig in the garbage!  I
just want to see a
bear...safely from my
window!

Well anyway, goodnight
y'all, see ya tomorrow!
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Barr Trail, Pikes Peak
National Forest
Barr Trailhead
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Barr Trail Views
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Garden of
the Gods
journal
Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center
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Garden of the Gods, CO
Springs
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Wrangler and the Gods
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Day 4

Ahhhhh another good
sleep!  Still hot but sleep so
well otherwise!  This
morning my plan was to
get on some running trail
and mix that in with some
scenic views...which isn't
hard, I mean, it is CO!

After breakfast, per usual,
Jon went outside to work
and I took the Wrangler to
Ute Valley and ran some
trails!  It was definitely trail
running but had the views
that I was looking for too!  I
would definitely go back to
this park of trails!  I ran
about 20 min out and then
the 20 min back then drive
out to Cottonwood Trails
Park which turned out to
be a community park with
mountain views, frisbee
golf and sidewalks!
Definitely a little easier
than the trail running so it
was nice to get some speed
and the views were still
impeccable!

Picture a sidewalk and off
in the distance are
mountains and the
sidewalk disappear off in
the distance as you go
toward the mountains!

AMAZING!

One I did about a half hour
run there, I drove back
home and grill some turkey
burgers and veggies with
Jon for lunch! They were
delicious and even better
since it waso utsidd in our
cottage yard in CO!

Once filled up and stuffed, I
relaxed outside and
journaled while Jon worked
another hour or so and
then the plan was to head
back out to the Incline and
Barr Trail because Jon
really wanted to do that!
And I didn't mind, if was
fun yesterday and I wanted
to share that with him...I
was however worried about
my glutes! They were
already sore from
yesterday's climb and
workout Haha

Well it was a great second
climb!  Cooler, less sunny,
actual parking at the
trailhead and Jon really
enjoyed it! Anddddd it was
harder than he thought it
would be too!  Once at the
top, we climbed back down
solely on the trail and
drove back to our
neighborhood but explored
North Canon Trails!

I drove out here the other
day but didn't do any
hiking because it was so
beautiful...the rocks, the
trees, the red, the green! No
way was that going to be as
cool alone as it would be
with my best friend!  So Jon
and I drove up to the top of
the road, hiked some of a
trail, got hailed on (even
though if was 75 degrees...),
Drove down to the falls
then further down to pull
off and hike another trail!
Our legs were burnin and
out mouths reallyyyyyy
were ready for the ice
cream date night Jon
planned so we hiked a bit
then headed back
down...then to ice cream we
went!

It was basically next door to
our cottage and it was
called the caffeinated cow,
which really is just an
awesome name!  I had the
jack Daniels chocolate chip
mixed with espresso bean
and omg was it some of the
most vibrant flavors ever!
Oh and good thing our legs
told our brains to cut the
hike and go get some treats
because it downpoured like
no other!

Back at home we sadly
packed up, made some
homemade pizza and got
ready for bed! Early wake
up for some work to get
done then our drive to
Golden, CO for some
PARAGLIDING!

Sooo goodnightttt and
sleeeeep tight!
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Manitou
Incline
journal
The Incline
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YOU DON'T ALWAYS NEED A PLAN. SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO BREATHE, TRUST, LET GO, AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS.
Helen Hunt Falls
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mountain hikes and views
North Cheyenne Cañon Park
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the back roads of Bear Trap
Roads
Bear Trap Ranch
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North Cheyenne Canon
Park: Mid Columbine Trail
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Day 5
The last day 😣

I thing this is one of the
first vacations that I have
felt like I wasn't ready to
leave.  Not because we
didn't do enough but it was
relaxing and eventful and
we just loved it out in CO!

We treated this trip like a
practice session of living
out here and it was sooo
nice!  We worked (well Jon
did), relaxed and explored
and hiked and just enjoyed
being our there!

When we got up this
morning, Jon worked a bit,
I wrote and packed and
discovered we had hotspot
with visible so that meant
Jon could work on our
drive to Golden and made a
breakfast of basically
everything left over that we
couldn't take on the plane!

We drove to Golden and
the traffic was insane thanks
to construction but oh wow
was Golden beautiful!
Mountains EVERYWHERE!
Golden was basically a
small Napperville like town
in a valley!  We drove down
a highway and pulled over
in this gulch area, met
Jason and Tom, our
paraglider partners then
drove in one car then
another to the top of this
mountain thennnnn
climbed up another chunck
of the mountain and that's
where we were going to run
off of it into the horizon
attached to a parachute!

It was a crazy feeling! You
run but you don't go
anywhere then you keep
running and now that the
wind has caught the wings
of the parachute, you run
like the person on the bike
in wizard of oz and next
thing you know you're
soaring around in the
sky...for 45 m minutes!

It was amazing!  You find
these invisible bubbles
called "thermals" and they
pull you up and let you soar
in a circular pattern....that's
actually how birds soar
instead of flap...because
they are in a thermal
bubble!  And there was just
enough breeze to soar peak
to peak and over the valleys
and spin and I even got to
try flying the chute!  At one
point Jason even asked if I'd
like to "ride it like a roller
coaster" which was
amazing, however,
included so much spinning
I was sooo nauseous! Thank
goodness it was the end of
the flight and don't get me
wrong, was worth it butoh
boy did my stomach not
appreciate those intenst
sound!

Landing was also so fun!
The seat we were each
sitting in was like a cloth
hammock with a pillow
butt and you literally sit
back like your in a
hammock, strapped in to a
harness and tandem to
your partner (the
professional) and then
when you land you just
pick up your legs and glide
and slide into the ground!

Jason gave us a
recommendation of going
to downtown Golden so we
did that after and that's all it
took to finalize Jon living
CO!  It was like the CO
version of Lakeview!  So
many shops and bars and
restaurants, such a cute
downtown and everywhere,
every direction you looked,
MOUNTAINS!

Once we had some lunch
we drove the Wrangler
back to its home and took
the bus to the airport!
Then on the plane, I
realized that I left my new
shirt and favorite shorts
back at the cottage...I still
and fuming at myself!
Howwwwww did I leave
those!? I know I know it
could be worse, but I'm still
sad and super hopeful the
people of the Airbnb will be
super super nice and send
them back to me!

Overall, every minute of
this trip to CO was
fantastic! Perfect and eye
opening!

1. We realized our dream of
CO Springs was actually
more in the Denver area
which we were initially
against

2.  We always had wanted to
move to WI and this was
definitely the WI of the
west making it that much
more perfect

3.  No matter where life
takes us, vaything can be
amazing with your favorite
person by your side taking
it all in with you!

Thanks God for this
amazing opportunity of a
week, we cannot wait to
come back and for our next
Adventures to come!

See y'all later! Not sure
where yet, but by now you
know us and it won't be
(hopefully) too long before
were back out in the world
again!
 
,
paragliding
Golden, CO
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