Chasing Wild Horses

Have you ever seen wild horses... living and running free? Did you know such a thing still existed? Here in the Wild West, you *can* still find wild horse herds.  Exciting, isn't it?! (Or is it just me... the girl who used to cry herself to sleep at night, in wont of her own horse?) There are even a few dedicated sections of government owned land set aside as wild horse preserves, to protect these lovely creatures.  Located in Western Colorado, the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Refuge is one of three such ranges in the United States. Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Refuge There are a few rules to accessing and enjoying the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Refuge area, but for the most part they let outdoor enthusiasts have at it.  You can camp, hike, and horseback ride through this preserve... enjoying the scenery while you pursue your Ultimate Quest:  viewing wild horses. Horses were re-introduced (post Ice Age) to North America by the Spaniards in the 1500's.  Known as … [Read more...]

Climbing Mt. Garfield With My Brother (& Losing My Toenails…)

Towards the end of May I had talked about getting to climb Mt. Garfield with my little brother. The opportunity for a hike of this kind, and some true child-free adventuring, does not happen often these days, for either one of us. It would be my first time, and my brother's second, summiting Mt. Garfield. We were both looking forward to some adult-sibling-bonding time, spent in the Great Outdoors. Getting Paid to Hike?! So get a load of this: I got paid $500 to hike that day! A few weeks prior, I stumbled across an outdoor blog post describing how Grape Nuts was looking for 60 people who were interested in getting paid to climb a mountain, as part of their Summit Sampler campaign. Sponsored to play outside? Where do I sign up for this again? Turns out Sir Edmund Hillary had munched on Grape Nuts during his historical "first person confirmed to have reached the summit of Mt. Everest" climb, 60 years ago. To celebrate, Grape Nuts decided to have some hikers hit the trail.  … [Read more...]

10 Moments From Everyday Life in the West, Vol 1 For the most part, I think there are remarkable similarities between all people, no matter where they live.  But every once in awhile I travel to a completely different part of the US, and it amuses and intrigues me to take in all the culture related differences. I recently traveled to West Virginia, for work.   It was an enjoyable experience, but I'm always glad to return back home to Western Colorado.  I feel I'm a better fit here.   It's a good feeling to be able to live where you feel that way, and it's something that I do not take for granted. So allow me give you a little glimpse of my everyday life here in the West.   I've decided to take a lesson from one of my favorite social media moms, Amy of Using Our Words.  Amy writes a funny, heartwarming series called 10 Things I Learned This Week, which I thoroughly enjoy. So I'm going to try out a similar new feature, here on Colorado Mountain Mom.  An occasional post of just random, … [Read more...]

Colorado National Monument Hiking With Kids

If you ever find yourself in Western Colorado, be sure to check out the Colorado National Monument.  With beautiful red rock terrain, and even some wild mountain goats running around - this is an outdoor hidden gem, with a nice variety of trails for you to enjoy hiking with kids. Colorado National Monument ~ Hiking With Kids There are two entrances to the park, an east and a west.  Currently the entrance fee is $10 per vehicle, or free with a National Parks pass.  Be sure to grab a map at the drive-by entrance station on the way in.   If you have a specific length and type of hike you are interested in, ask the ranger working the booth for suggestions of a trail. Be aware that you can't bring dogs along on the trails, even on a leash.  And bring plenty of water, as this can be a high temperature area. If you enter from the west, you'll get to pass through a couple of tunnels.  My kids always find this exciting.  (Ok... I do, too!)  After about 5 winding miles of road, you will … [Read more...]