Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rocky Mountain National Park: Fall Foliage, Hiking and Elk (and some good news)

Last year, around this time, our family visited Rocky Mountain National Park for the very first time. We purchased an annual park pass at the main entry gate, knowing full well that we would try and visit several more times over the upcoming year. 
We went once more in the fall, skipped the winter, and visited again in the spring. At that time the park was magnificent, but it was still pretty cold and a lot of the trails we had intended on hiking still had snow on them. So we waited a bit...
This summer was really crazy-- my husband was still commuting back-and-forth from Brooklyn to Denver, we hosted visiting relatives and friends, and then there were those heat-waves and wildfires. Before I knew it, the final days of summer were upon us.
So this past week, while my husband was in town, we decided to head back to this spectacular national treasure...which just happens to be located only an hour and a half away from our home.

We met an elk calf at the entrance of the park...
Last year we fell in love with Colorado's fall foliage-- the orange, golden and yellow shades of the Aspen trees... 
Aspens at Bear Lake...
This year we decided head back to the park and do a hike near Hidden Valley. We were told that the hike was appropriate for a toddler--and we felt pretty confident since our 3-year-old son can climb boulders at high altitude.  
Somehow we unintentionally strayed off the path in search of a bull (elk) male that was rumored to be in the area. We pushed ourselves up a steep hill, kids in tow, for a strenuous climb. I struggled and I shvitzed! But looking back, the off-the-beaten-path part of the hike was really the best part of the day. 
When people ask me what I love about Colorado, I can list the things I like the most: the people, the local farms, the burgeoning food scene, the neighborhoods in Denver and quality of life we are enjoying. And how can I forget those awesome, positively breathtaking, mountains? I love the beauty and the nature of the state...and the fact that our oldest son looks forward to long treks and shlepping his "hiking bucket" up the mountain. I think we are doing right by our kids by raising them in this environment.
I don't know, I just feel like this is where we are meant to be. And now it looks like we are going to stay! After one (exhausting ) year of networking and job applications, the ups and downs of not knowing whether or not we could stay, the 7 months my husband commuted back-and-forth from Brooklyn to Denver...well, all the hard work has paid off. A job offer was made. We are officially staying. We are Coloradans! I am thrilled. I am hopeful. And I am happy. 
That being said, you will never, ever, ever, find me wearing a fleece. I can only go so far, you know?! You can take the girl out of New York City, but you can't take New York City out of the girl. 
I'm (now) learning the rules of footballs and this season I'll be rooting for the Broncos. Who knows, I might even exchange my pinot noir for a locally crafted beer! Am I turning "native?" You betcha! 
A street pigeon it's not...
Hopefully we will get to visit once more before some of the roads close for the peak fall foliage is still a few weeks away. 
Enjoy the autumn in your neck of the woods. Or you can come visit us here in Colorado and enjoy ours! xoxo
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  1. Gorgeous post and congratulations on the job offer! That's great news.

  2. B, we are so happy for you! Gotta come visit soon. :) Let's set up a Skype date soon too!

    1. Yay. We are happy too! Once we are settled (i.e. have purchased a home), you can have your own wing and come any time! See you super soon. Skype over the weekend? Once Matt gets here things will be much easier! xoxo mrs.-m-to-be!

  3. There is a God. He is awesome. He answers prayer.

    Gorgeous photography.

    As a side note, how tall is your husband?

    1. Thanks, Dara. We are happy...everything is falling into place. 5'9ish.

  4. If I see one more gorgeous post from this blog about Denver or Colorado, I'm packing up my things and heading West. What a stunning place to live. Wow! The recipes look delicious too :)

    1. Thanks Elizabeth. We love it here. Sure, we miss our family and close friends, but this is a wonderful place to live. Come visit. :) Yes, the cookies are deelish.

  5. Congrats on the fabulous news. I knew it would work out for you!

    1. Thank you. It took a long time, but it worked!