We have to back!

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Updated my pebble to reflect that today is the day 30 years into the future where when Marty McFly is brought by Doc Brown to save his kids in Back to the Future II. Though we don’t have hover boards or self lacing shoes after today we can finally put to rest the Facebook posts every October falsely claiming that this is the year. This is the year!

Rising on the third day

On the third day of our trip we left Denver and Boulder behind and headed up the Rockies to Estes Park on the edge of the Rocky Mountain National Park.

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Heading to the Mountains

The morning hike was up the Rattlesnake Gulch trail to see the continental divide.

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I wonder why they call them ‘the Rockies’?

Rattlesnake Gulch was a cake walk compared to hiking up the flat irons.

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A flat trail is a welcome change of pace.

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We found out hotel, they weren’t kidding about the sky lights.

Crags Hotel, a hotel halfway up the mountain that had been very popular in the 1920’s as a swinging getaway. Unfortunately it burned down and no one though to rebuild. Oddly enough, this fireplace was all that survived the flames.

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A selfie at the Crags Hotel.

We (apparently) found the continental divide. Water on the right side of the panorama will drain into the Mississippi River, while water on the left side is destined for the Colorado.

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The Great Continental Divide!

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Don’t Jump!

On the way back in the distance we spotted a train tunnel that could have been right out of a Chuck Jones animation. As we drew closer we were lucky enough to see a very long cargo train go by.

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We found a train, no Wiley Coyote in sight.

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Looking forward and back I am surrounded by derps.

taking the long route to Estes Park we pass by Barker Reservoir and Nederland.

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Barker Reservoir across from Nederland.

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Our trusty steed.

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Lots of water.

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The right season to be in the forest.

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Words to live by.

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A little church that we found by the road.

Estes is just over the ridge and we stop for a short walk around Lilly ‘Lake’.

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Walking around Lilly Lake the sun decided to join us.

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It would take a few days but we eventually went up there.

Once we arrive in Estes we find that the town is beset by a plague of elk, and even worse a plague of nature photographers looking for the elk.

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Look who we found in Estes.

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A nature photographer, in his natural habitat.

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Chocolate cake for dessert

That’s a nice Boulder

For the second day of the trip we packed our bags and checked out of hotel in Denver and drove lengthy 14 minutes to our hotel in Boulder. Maybe we though this state was more spread out than it actually is.

In Boulder it was time for our first hike of the trip. We’ve had a little over a day to acclimate to the high elevations, why not go hike up a mountain, right?

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So naive at the bottom of the trail. We still have to go up that rock.

Our target was the Flat Irons outside of Boulder. Giant red rocks protruding from the ground like teeth in a maw. This massive natural structures are basically the foot hills of the Rockies.

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Mountain goats.

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There are actually climbers on the other Flat Iron.

The hike was a struggle but the amazing view from the top was well worth it.

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Even on the top of a mountain you can’t escape the internet.

The top of the kick was mostly rock scrambles and unfortunately not Jonathan’s watch did not escape unscathed.

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‘Tis but a flesh wound.

Not to be outdone, Justin dropped his phone on a rock and smashed it to bits. It seems that technology and nature don’t get a long too well.

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The mountain has declared war, the poor phone never stood a chance.

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Worth it!

On the way down we found a friend who was very interested in any granola bars that we might have brought.

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Don’t ask how we did it, just appreciate how awesome it is.

After the hike we went into Boulder for some lunch and found some tasty Chinese noodles. The we walked around the Pearl Street Mall, boulder promenade street, and the only lively place on a Sunday night.

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Everyone loves noodles.

To end the night we found a Saloon hidden in the basement of a dark restaurant that had free pool tables and cheap drinks.

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We found a Saloon!

A Day in Denver

As I’m sure most trips to Colorado start I landed in the mile high city of Denver late on Friday. After finding my traveling companions at the airport, waving a quick hello to Bluecifer, we were on our way to start the adventure. The first place we stopped was Great Scott a diner that may have been a play on the retro diner that Marty McFly visits while in the future in Back to The Future II as it was in a 1950’s style but had flat screen everywhere playing clips from music videos and celebrity interviews from the ’50s to the ’80s.

The next morning we we up for our first and only full day in the city of Denver. The day started with a visit to the Denver Botanical Gardens, where we saw all many of flora.

The gardens were hosting an art exhibit of horses made out drift wood.

The gardens were hosting an art exhibit of horses made out drift wood.

The workers of the gardens were out making sure that all the flowers stay BEEautiful.

The workers of the gardens were out making sure that all the flowers stay BEEautiful.

The Botanical Gardens had an amazing bonsai collection.

The Botanical Gardens had an amazing bonsai collection.

The next stop was the downtown area, starting the the capital building. Oddly enough there was a Wicken pride festival in progress on the lawn, though it was mostly people wearing witch hats and selling holistic medicine.wpid-wp-1444359624129.jpg

After a massive lunch at a nearby Gyro restaurant we stopped by the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

I am not an architect, but it seem like it needs more buttresses.

I am not an architect, but it seem like it needs more buttresses.

We had to walk all the way around the building and through some questionable side streets until we found an open door.

We had to walk all the way around the building and through some questionable side streets until we found an open door.

Next we walked down the 16th street mall, the happening promenade of downtown Denver. Finally ending at the train station, which still served trans but also had a fully stocked bar and cafe.

I could have stayed here all day.

I could have stayed here all day.

After resting a weary feet at the terminal we headed towards Coors Light Stadium. On our way there we found that this weekend Denver was celebrating Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest!

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It would be rude to not have a bier, and Spaten in hard to find in Seattle.

After sampling Oktoberfest we haggled with some scalpers outside of the stadium for some cheap tickets to the Rockies’ game.

Always root for the home team.

Always root for the home team.

View of Denver from the Stadium.

View of Denver from the Stadium.

After seeing a grand slam within a minute of walking in the game soon grew tiresome. We headed back to the hotel and called it a night and were in bed promptly before 9pm….

….Well…

We might have sampled some of the Denver night life first.

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WAY TOO LOUD!!!

On Top of Old Smokey

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This week I have been on vacation hiking in the Colorado Rockies. I have hundreds of photos detailing the entire trip but they are waiting for better internet and more time to write a long post.

Above I have included the view from he trail by the Alpine Visitor Center along the Trail Ridge Road from over two miles up in the middle of the Rock Mountain National Park.