Travel: Mountain Ranch (Colorado)

Hello friends,

{Pinch me - I have been to Boulder two times in the last eight weeks} My visit in May was for a women's retreat/board meeting.  This visit was an amazing long weekend in Colorado, with my husband and friends. I hope my travel hangover lasts for weeks. 

We have been visiting Boulder, in July, for almost a decade.  Bill plays in a golf tournament while I hike, spend time with friends, and enjoy a break from technology.  Over the five day visit, we see little of each other yet the energy from tournament activities and daily adventures make up for time apart.  It's a bit of a boondoggle! 

Arriving in Denver at noon, we gather our luggage, pick up a rental car, and drive about an hour towards Boulder.  Bill arrives for his practice round one minute before tee time. Whew!  With him dropped off safely, I head to Pearl Street for a lunch/shopping date with a dear friend.  It's the day before my birthday so I treat myself on a mini shopping spree...

A few hours later I met Christy for dinner before driving up the canyon to their home.

I'm up, dressed and out the door by 6am. Eager to hike and start the new year surrounded by nature. A thousand foot climb to the top of Mount Sanitas, followed by a three mile run before meeting a new friend for coffee at 9am.

After my coffee date, I joined the guys for lunch. Their tournament starts at 1PM, two rounds of afternoon golf.  Christy and I played in a golf scramble, barefoot. Happy to report we finished in third place!

Meanwhile, the guys lost both matches. A rough start. In the evening we attended a safari themed social, play 18 holes of mini putt golf, food, travel stories and dancing.

How quickly can we pack and drive an hour to the ranch?  Not to quickly when traveling with two sleepy preteens. {HA} 

Lucky for me, I spent the day with our friends father. A wise man and guidepost for life.

The ranch was established in 1893, located at 9,500 elevation, with almost 400 acres of land and line of sight to the Continental Divide.  This isn't my first visit but the younger boy is finally old enough to ride a four-wheeler and can't wait to explore the property. After visiting the lakes and hidden trails, we drove back to the old horse stable.  It's been converted into a simple target range for archery and 'red rider' style guns. If forgot how much fun this is for eleven year old boys!  We had a fun afternoon.

Friday the guys won both rounds of tournament play and drove up to the ranch for dinner, two birthday celebrations, and evening filled with laughter, games and stories. Perfection. 

For me, vacation is like Christmas morning for children.  I'm not an early riser but am excited to be outside, to watch the sunrise, and enjoy a cup of tea.  I'm up by 5:30 (Colorado is -2 hours for me so it's not really early). 

Round five: 8:15am tee time.  Good luck!

First up, I make an oatmeal breakfast for everyone before setting off on a three hour hike.

The hike... we climb for about an hour, a 1000 feet of rocky terrain.  This gifts us with forest resembling the land of fairies.  June 23 is Fairy Day - my friend must have the children create houses to leave in the forest next year!  

After walking for about 90 minutes we arrive at Coney Creek Lake.  A start point for the Audubon Trail and access to Saw Tooth.

With an hour walk back to the ranch, we finish our adventure jumping into Big Lake.  You know how much I dislike water... I had to record the plunge as proof.

Glacier water lakes are chilly!

We returned to the main house to a golf update "lost our last round, enjoy the ranch".

Driving home with Grandpa and the children, we stopped for lunch in Nederland.  This route  gifted us with a drive through Four Mile Canyon back to the house.

Four Mile Canyon is stunning!  Filled with rock climbers, twists and turns.

Saturday night, we arrive at the golf club and discover the guys won the afternoon 'Slug Fest'. They are in good spirits!  One final dinner celebration before traveling home.

I'm counting the days until my favorite season arrives... winter!