This is the first summer, since having children that it has just flown by. I feel like the kids just got out of school but I think that’s just because we’ve literally filled every minute of summer with something to do. From swim lessons to road trips to camping and fishing to having people come to visit. We haven’t stopped. We’ve just added more to it.
But I can tell you right now, there is something to be appreciated about routine. I never realized how much I crave a certain routine that fuels productivity right after big events. But really you only live once so I say fit in as much fun as you possibly can, when you can, before the winter months hit and you are tied to school schedules and the winter blahs.
So this weekend, we went out on our final camping trip of the summer. Never have we experienced this much nature in all our lives! My kids have learned how to fish and swim this summer and they’ve been to four states they’ve never been to before. They’ve truly had one of the best summers yet. I hope they remember this summer when they have grown and flown the next.
We camped inside the Rocky Mountain National Park at the AspenGlen campsite! Of all the sites we camped at this summer, this last one had to have been my favorite.
I’ll tell you the reasons why:
- We were able to camp right where our truck was and the tent pad was super large and fit out tent. (previous sites had smaller tent pads that didn’t quite fit ours.)
- Bear Lockers! (Bears are found all over Colorado, but not many camping sites include bear lockers, this was our first experience with them and I love them, it makes keeping food at your site so much safer and more convenient)
- So much to explore! We stayed at the AspenGlen campsite directly inside RMNP. We explored a trail that went down to the Fall River and the next morning we took one of the RMNP’s shuttles up to a few lakes we checked out nearby. The shuttles were free too! (As long as you had a national park pass)
- They sold ice, firewood and even ice cream right on site each evening. So if you forgot some, or needed to stock up on your ice, they had you covered!
- Flushable toilets and an outdoor sink to wash your camp dishes! Now I’ve been told all national park campgrounds have flushable toilets but the campgrounds we’ve stayed in this summer only had stinky vault toilets, so this was a nice treat.
- Wildlife: I saw my first moose yo! I’ve lived in Colorado for over a year now and I’ve heard about them and hoped to see them and finally did! Now I just need to spot a black bear and then I’ll be a true resident. 😉
Not only were the amenities awesome, it was really fun walking on a little trail down to the Fall River and taking in its beauty for a little while. Jaydon and I even attended a park ranger meeting at the little amphitheater they had there and learned a lot about climate and weather in the Rocky Mountain National Forest.
Everything was peachy though until we got rained out. We discovered while we were out hiking that our tent took in some water from a storm that hit and left before we got back. Because we happened to glimpse more storms heading our way on radar when we had a brief moment of cell coverage, we decided to pack it up and leave a little early. We could see lots of cloud walls heading our direction. We feared that it would pour at like 1 am and we wouldn’t be able to sleep or stay warm and dry, so we took the break in the weather and packed up before the next wave of storms hit.
Braidy and I weren’t feeling very well heading back into town, so it was probably a good thing we left early. I think I got dehydrated on one of our hikes and it just made me feel really ill until I consumed more water at home. I think Braidy was in the same boat as me and didn’t drink enough water either. Regardless, isn’t Bear Lake beautiful!? I think this is my favorite place here in RMNP.
Pictures don’t do this experience justice! The Rocky Mountain National Forest is simply the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen with my own eyes. I know there are more beautiful places out there, and maybe I’ll see them one day, but for now RMNP will hold a special place in my heart.
We have a YouTube Video of Our Experience coming soon and we’ll add it to this blog post when it’s finally published.
What was the last national monument or park you’ve visited?
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