Skip to content

Weekend Colorado trip

July 23, 2015

One of the benefits of living in western Nebraska: we’re close to the Rocky Mountains and the population center of the Front Range, which has all kinds of businesses and services you can’t get in rural Nebraska.

This past weekend, Bugman and I made the 2.5-hour trip to Fort Collins to get our nearly 10-year-old Subaru worked on (thank you, Dellenbach Subaru, for making our car drive like new again, and for treating us so well). As a friend said, bringing a Subaru to a Colorado dealership is like taking it back to the mother ship. There are a TON of Subarus in Colorado. I think it’s the state vehicle or something. (As opposed to Nebraska, where the pickup tuck clearly rules. See also the fifth photo in this post, about the time Bugman and I attended a spring cattle branding.)

We brought our tandem along for the ride, so we could get in some Cycle Greater Yellowstone training while our car was being worked on. Many thanks to the Fort Collins Cycling Club for their excellent website, which enabled us to find a route of just the right length and difficulty. We chose the Five Dams and Bellevue Loop, which gave us some good hill climbing along with lovely views of Horsetooth Reservoir and the city below.

Oh, yes - there was some climbing.

Oh, yes – there was some climbing.

 And some nice vantage points to watch people waterskiing and paddleboarding on the reservoir.

And some nice vantage points to watch people waterskiing and paddleboarding on the reservoir.

That night, we did some more things we can’t do back home: checked out a microbrewery and ate Ethiopian food.

The next morning, we hit the Spring Creek Trail in Fort Collins for a Virtual Beat The Blerch 10K a friend had organized, starting from Ross Natural Area. Fort Collins really has an excellent trails system.

So Blerchy!

So Blerchy!

We took the long way home, heading west out of Fort Collins into the mountains on Poudre Canyon Road . . .

This is not a fast drive, but it is pretty, and there are lots of picnic areas along the way.

This is not a fast drive, but it is pretty, and there are lots of picnic areas along the way.

. . . so we could visit some friends in Walden, Colorado – Dan and Kathi Manville. They run the Paradise Lanes bowling alley and restaurant on the south end of Walden. I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area, for the food if not for the bowling. Plenty of comfort food options, good side salads, and some craft beer selections, including our favorite for this visit – Wooly Booger, from Grand Lake Brewing. (We cracked up every time we said Wooly Booger. Yes, we know it’s a fly fishing term, but still . . .)

This was my not-so-great drive-by picture on the way out of town.

This was my not-so-great drive-by picture of Paradise Lanes on our way out of town.

We had the opportunity to explore North Park with the Manvilles, which was a real treat because Dan grew up on a ranch in the area.

visit with friends

We saw some bighorn sheep and deer. No moose, alas, despite Walden’s claim to fame as the “Moose Viewing Capital of Colorado.” We did see plenty of wildflowers, though!

The place was lousy with asters, with a few Indian paintbrush thrown in for variety.

The place was lousy with asters, with a few Indian paintbrush thrown in for variety.

Some alpine paintbrush, too.

Some alpine paintbrush, too.

We looked to be on the tail end of fairy trumpet flower season.

We looked to be on the tail end of fairy trumpet flower season.

There was a good amount of larkspur blooming as well, with some giant hyssop blooming here in the background.

There was a good amount of larkspur blooming as well, with some giant hyssop here in the background.

The yellow toadflax was pretty (AKA butter-n-eggs), but I later found out it's a non-native invasive plant that's escaped from domestic gardens.

The yellow toadflax was pretty (AKA butter-n-eggs), but I later found out it’s a non-native invasive plant that’s escaped from domestic gardens.

The toadflax was also crawling with insects, which Bugman had to check out.

The toadflax was also crawling with insects, which Bugman had to check out.

The dusky beardtongue was lovely.

The dusky beardtongue was lovely. This photo does not do justice to the deep, glowing maroon color.

And my favorite - the mariposa lily.

And my favorite – the mariposa lily.

It’s only a 3 1/2 -hour drive between Walden and Scottsbluff, via Laramie and Cheyenne in Wyoming. Really, we ought to be getting out there more often!

Copyright 2015 by Katie Bradshaw

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: