We’ve been awake for about an hour – just sipping on some local coffee we picked up yesterday, reading about what to do next in our RMNP literature, and gazing out the window at the Rockies.
I decided to take a peak (pun!) at the pictures we took from yesterday, and now want to write about it while the memories are second day fresh in my mind
Yesterday after breakfast and some walking around the town, Shane and I decided to go on our first hike of the trip! We decided on Gem Lake – a 4 mile hike with about 1,000 feet elevation. As we made our trek down the mountain from our condo, the clouds looked a little ominous.
OK, a lot ominous. That was our view upon pulling up to the hiking spot
After playing a game of should-we? shouldn’t-we? for about 15 minutes, we decided heck with it, and started into the mountains and onto our hike.
And about 10 minutes in, we heard several huge BOOMS! of thunder before I said “screw this!” and started running (literally – I can be a baby) back up the trail. Shane was not amused that I took off in a full sprint. About 5 minutes into our “run” the skies opened up and soaked us.
Although we only got a half mile in, it felt good to get my blood pumping.
With hiking plans foiled by the storm – for now – we drove a couple miles down the road and stopped at the famous Stanley Hotel – the hotel at which The Shining was filmed.
We hung out and scoped the place out for about 30 minutes, and when we came back outside, we saw the sky cleared and the storm had passed.
Shane asked, “should we go back and try the hike again?” And it was go time.
Funnily enough, when we returned to the trails, we realized we had actually taken the wrong trail the first time! We went the wrong way – and so this hike was completely new for us. It was also a workout. We huffed and puffed and climbed our way up. Luckily, the views we experienced are worth my sore calves and glutes this morning.
We took quite a few rest/view stops, and then continued our way up, up, up!
Until finally, about an hour and 10 minutes in, we saw the sign…
WE MADE IT!!!! And even though the views along the way made it worth it, the lake at the top of the mountain was the most serene, peaceful place I’ve ever visited.
Although we packed and ate sandwiches before the (first) hike, by the time we got to the top, we’d worked up an appetite! So we dug into the trail mix we packed…
…and then very quickly realized someone else wanted in on our goods.
There were about 5 of them, and they came right up to us! One even climbed on my shoe!! It was the craziest and cutest thing ever.
The hike back down was much easier physically, but I think I almost biffed about 8 times. Luckily, there were no injuries or twisted ankles…just great memories! And some sore muscles
By the time we were done, we were so tired from the hike, the day, and not sleeping much the night before. So we grabbed some pork chops and wine for dinner – and Shane cooked them on the grill. A nice relaxing night of hot tub, grilling out, and trivia was exactly what we needed.
And kudos to you if you made it this far in this lengthy post!
Do you consider yourself an outdoorsy person?
I actually don’t consider myself very outdoorsy. I told Shane when we came here that although I was super excited to hike, I didn’t want to do any 2 + day hikes. I’m not a fan of camping out in a tent! Running water for me, thanks