Utah~Hot as the sun

A travel nurse, is supposed to travel, right? Well, while we lived in Colorado, I feel that we did much of just that. Even though the “travel nurse” is supposed to travel to work, my own definition of “travel nurse” is a nurse (me) who travelled. Doesn’t mean I have to work in many different places, just means I have to work in order to travel to different places…maybe?

September is the usual time we like to travel. The kids are settled back into school, people are getting into the routines of the season, and the weather is cooling down just a touch. We knew that we might soon be moving back to Canada and figured we had better get our butts into gear to see the surrounding states. We had already headed south the summer before and visited much of southern Colorado and heading east towards Kansas really didn’t get us that excited, so we headed west to Utah and the Arches.

Learning and growing should be part of every adventure. Going to the desert in the “off” times, is one of those learning moments as EVERYONE is thinking the same thing! Utah is HOT and going when the weather is cooling down is what people do, it was certainly busy in Moab and perhaps waiting a few more weeks for even cooler weather might have been a better choice. None the less, we joined the tourists and set out to see the amazing structures in the sand!

With 5 national parks and 8 national monuments, Utah has a healthy tourism income. There are lots of camping, hiking, and outdoor activities to partake in. We decided to camp while we were in town and probably should have made reservations; however, despite my planning nature, I was convinced that all would be ok and “no problem” finding a camp spot. After several hours driving and searching, we finally found (what I think was the last and only spot) somewhere to pitch our tent. Although we were next to a road and the morning sun heated up the tent quickly, we did camp across from a Canadian couple in an RV who were lovely to chat with!

We spent our 1st day slowly driving through Arches national park, stopping at all the pull outs and hiking around the trails and arches. It truly is amazing how these rocks and structures sit exposed to the elements. I was in awe at the marvel of the formations way out here in what felt like nowhere. We found petroglyphs to ponder and wondered the riverbank in the afternoon.

On our second morning we had planned to travel to Canyonlands. During the night we had noticed a lot of traffic headed along the road next to our camp; however, we were not aware that that traffic was going to impede our ability to get to the national park. Apparently, some ambitious biking enthusiast have a race along this stretch of this road each year. Well, getting past the finish line to go to the park wasn’t going to happen. Guess we should have planned better…

So, when faced with choices, we decided to head home. After a nice breakfast and coffee, we loaded up the vehicle and decided to leisurely head home, stopping along the way at the Colorado monument. Although the trip was cut shorter than we had originally planned it was not a waste. The landscape of Utah was spectacular and a sight to behold! I’d certainly recommend going to Utah, spending time touring the area and seeing the amazing arches, perhaps just plan the camping better!

Where have you travelled to that pleasantly surprised you the most? I’d love to read your story in the comments!

fullsizeoutput_1e3c Trudi

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The outdoor state…

The outdoor state…

For us, living in Colorado was the most central we could be. With children living on both the east and west coasts of the continent, we could travel almost equally as far in either direction to see family. Although we enjoy the travel, sometimes it is easier to bring family to you and showcase Colorado as the amazing state that it is.

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During our time in Colorado, we travelled to Estes Park multiple times. Only an hour “ish” drive from home, Estes offered sightseeing, shopping, and entertainment. We travelled to Estes Park on a number of occasions, we felt each family member visiting deserved to go! While in Estes, it is important to visit the haunted hotel, The Stanley Hotel! The Stanley is where Steven King was inspired to write The Shining.

Estes Park is also home for many elk. Come here in the fall for rucking season and see your fair share of elk roaming the streets, or just hanging out at the local park.

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Only a few more mile up the road from Estes is the Rocky Mountain National Park. This scenic drive boasts many amazing views of the surrounding mountains. Again, each family member got their tour of the park, and witnessed the changing landscape as the road elevation climbed to and altitude of 12,183 feet! It is so beautiful!

Another national park that we spend several weekends in was Indian Peaks Wilderness. We camped and hiked at Brainard and Isabell lakes and enjoyed a great hike on the 4thof July trail! So many good times in the Colorado outdoors! Colorado is certainly an outdoor state!

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DSC_2559When family visits, some other must do’s are the Westminster Butterfly farm, the Denver museum, and the Colorado Springs Zoo. The Springs Zoo is probably by far the best Zoo I have ever spent time in. The Zoo is built on the side of a mountain, leaving visitors climbing hills, and for some of us struggling for breath in the altitude, but there are so many species of animals and they all seemed so well-cared for! It was a great day feeding the giraffe!

While also in Colorado Springs a must do is the Garden of the Gods. The rock formations were created millions of years ago during geological upheaval along the fault line. The colours and structures of the rocks are pretty amazing! There are lots of hiking trails, animals, and wildflowers.

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The Royal gorge was only on our visit list once. The summer of 2017 allowed us to take family to view this spectacle. At 965’ above the Arkansas river, the Royal Gorge suspension bridge is the highest suspension bridge in the USA! We took the gondola across the gorge and walked the bridge back before having lunch and making the return trip home.

Although our sightseeing through Colorado was not limited to only the sights listed here, we spent lots of time, driving, hiking, an enjoying the outdoors. Colorado boasts plenty of sunny days, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and awesome summer temps that allow for outdoor actives!

Where are some of your favorite places to visit?

fullsizeoutput_1e3c Trudi