Winter Family Adventure Day in Ouray

I've written in the past about my family packing up and heading out for a no-definite-plans Family Adventure Day.  We love to explore our area through day trips, and see what outdoor fun we can find. Winter is not exactly my favorite season.  Sometimes I just feel like ADVENTURING by reading a book next to my fireplace at home.   But I have to admit, if you bundle up before heading out.... you can have a pretty awesome Winter Edition of Family Adventure Day. Our Family Adventure Day in Ouray, Colorado Known worldwide for its Ice Climbing Festival, Ouray is one of our favorite mountain towns in Colorado.   Although we've seen climbers practicing in December, we don't attend the January festival.  While it's impressive to watch those crazies tackle a frozen waterfall climb, it's a little too crowded for the casual wanderer that weekend. But any other time... Ouray, Colorado is downright charming.   It's known as the "Switzerland of America" because of being enclosed on three … [Read more...]

Fall in Colorado (…and Finding a Lost Love)

One could argue that the combination of Aspen trees turned golden, interspersed with evergreens, against the back drop of the Rocky Mountains is one of the most beautiful sights offered up by nature. Behold Fall in Colorado! From my valley home location, I can literally gaze up and do a visual check of the Fall color level on the ginormous, nearby Grand Mesa.  It was clearly peaking.  So it was clearly time for my family to head up last weekend and soak it all in.   As you drive up the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway (Hwy 65), you'll pass the Powderhorn Ski Area.  Shortly after that, on your right will be a rest area and fairly large parking lot pull off, at the base of a cleared hillside. This is what locals call "Old Powderhorn", the site of the original ski hill, turned  to the very-fun-yet-somewhat-treacherous sledding hill of today.  There's a scary disclaimer sign with death and paralysis warnings.  No life threatening ice and snow last weekend, though... and this is a great spot … [Read more...]

Day Trip to Arches National Park

Just outside of the charming town of Radiator Springs... er... I mean Moab, Utah... sits the majestic Arches National Park.   Being an easy drive away from our home, my family likes to day trip here.  Especially during the Spring months, before that desert climate starts to really heat up those lovely red rocks, and the temperatures effortlessly soar above 100 degrees. Wait...is this the real Radiator Springs? I can't help but think of Disney's Cars every time we are in this area.   Here you'll find the Southwest's grand open vistas decorated with red rock formations, which were clearly the inspiration for the movie's setting.  This is the REAL Radiator Springs, people!  As proof of my theory, we spotted this on our way there - at the Crescent Junction, turnoff. After posting this to instagram, my Utah outdoor blogger friend Melissa (Adventure Tykes) let me know that Mater is often nearby, too.  Shoot, we missed him.  He musta been out tractor tippin'. Our Day Trip to Arches … [Read more...]

Plan A Family Adventure Day

Every once in awhile, we sneak off together as a family and have a “Family Adventure Day”.  We pack a snack bag and the cooler.  Gather some gear – making sure to bring lots of water, SPF, bug spray, and a variety of clothing layers and hats.  Then we load up the car with backpacks, baby carriers, (sometimes) fishing poles, and the family dog … and head out with a rough idea of a destination. While Family Adventure Day typically involves a brief road trip at the beginning and end, we try to keep it less than 2 hours travel time each way.  And unlike other road trips of varying duration, we leave the portable electronic entertainment at home. These brief journeys are about looking out of the car windows and enjoying the scenery, trying to spot wildlife, or a particularly nice view.  Just like the good old days when we were kids.  Ideally, the journey is part of the adventure itself! Stick With It I'll admit, Family Adventure Day sometimes starts out a little rocky, with … [Read more...]