We are currently in Jackson, Wyoming after spending the last couple weeks in Colorado (spoiler alert: we didn’t actually go to Taos as I indicated we would in my most recent post). Themes from our time in Colorado include:
We were prepared to leave Salt Lake City to head to Taos, allured by the prospect of sunny skies, slopeside parking, and pretzels and beer we had seen on a van friend’s Instagram. However, when we looked at the snow and weather forecast the night before leaving, we realized a cold front was on its way to Taos, bringing single-digit temperatures. We also saw that Colorado was due for some big storms, while Taos wasn’t expected to get much snow in the near-term. The luxury of living in a van with little to no commitments – you can change plans as often as you want! So we plugged Steamboat Springs into the GPS and left Utah for sunnier, snowier Colorado. We stopped at Dinosaur National Monument for a night on the way and were the only one in the campground. A ranger even had to open the Quarry Exhibit Hall for us since we were the only guests. The perks of visiting National Parks and Monuments in the winter! This place was so much cooler than I expected. If you find dinosaurs the least bit interesting or enjoyed Land Before Time half as much as I did it is definitely worth a visit.
After a few days in Steamboat Springs, we planned to head to Aspen and then Copper before spending a few days in Denver with my sister. However, we again changed plans and opted for a single day at Copper and a few extra days in Denver. I needed a break from skiing and really wanted more time to spend with my sister. We filled our time in Denver with ski boot buying (I got a pair of $75 backcountry boots on Craigslist that are so comfy), ski boot adjusting (David’s saga of boot adjustments continued at the Denver Evo), bike frame paint stripping (my sister has become a little addicted to buying cheap bikes and fixing them up), couch lounging, beer drinking, dog photographing, and exercising with Lauren (I took my first Orange Theory class and failed terribly, with almost the whole workout in the red zone).
Our time in Steamboat Springs coincidentally lined up with the town’s annual winter carnival. David quickly decided Steamboat Springs is one of his favorite ski towns, with the local ski hill, family feel, cute downtown, and hot springs. We got to feel a little like locals during the carnival, attending a charity pancake breakfast, kid’s skijoring, hilarious downhill bike race on a ski course, and ski/fireworks show. The best part was witnessing the world record for largest firework.
Here are links for more information on the record setting firework and Lighted Man.
We experienced a lot of snow in Colorado, especially Steamboat Springs, which got around 3 feet of snow while we were there. I don’t know if this was technically a record, but everyone was talking about it like it was. At least a foot of snow fell the night before we went backcountry skiing with my sister at Bluebird Backcountry.
*I may have slightly bumped into David
I think we also set a personal record for dirtiest van before David washed our van for the first time ever in Denver.
Lastly, we experienced our coldest temperatures yet in Colorado. The negative temperatures and high elevation proved too much for our poor van, resulting in a dead furnace and frozen water tank. We are learning to work around these winter issues, with David perfecting his technique for fixing the furnace (involving climbing under the van to pinch the fuel line), taking out the drawers and running a van to get more warm air to the water tank, and washing the dishes with water bottles. On the positive side, David is getting lots of opportunities to perfect his ice beard.
For accuracy, I should note not all these photos were taken in Colorado. However, I only picked six photos out of at least fifty.
An added benefit of spending so much time with my sister was spending time with her dog, Pip. David is honing his pet photography skills for a potential future career change. Again, I picked a few examples from an extremely large sample size. Having access to David’s photos is amazing.
We took significantly less photos with Lauren, but here are a couple.
Thanks for an excellent stay, Colorado!