Apple picking at Carter Mountain Orchard had me feeling all the fall vibes this weekend! It was foggy, chilly, and a little muddy up on the mountain but oh so beautiful and mystical. We picked plenty of Fuji apples for eating (they’re our favorite) and Granny Smiths for baking an apple pie. It was so fun to pick them fresh off the trees and snack on them. Although apple picking is such quintessential fall activity, it was actually my first time ever doing it. I love planning little day dates for the weekend so that we get to spend time together doing something fun in nature. It’s always so rewarding and rejuvenating! Hope everyone had a nice weekend!
Over the weekend we camped at the summit of Boreas Pass near Breckenridge in Summit County! We were all itching for an extended dose of mother nature so we packed our packs and hit the road. Spontaneous camping trips are so fun! It was not a far drive from the Boulder/Denver area at all and it was so incredibly beautiful! We camped pretty much right at tree line so around 11,000 ft. There were even still a few patches of pink (bacteria) snow on the mountains. We found the perfect camping spot nestled in the trees with a stunning panoramic view. There were tons of wild bluebells, indian paintbrushes, and purple daises all around. We ate completely paleo while camping- cashews, apples, sliced turkey, hard boiled eggs, and cracklins/pork rinds. It’s most efficient to bring protein rich foods backpacking and camping. I love unplugging and running around with Tyler and Waldo in the mountains!
The #1 thing we wanted to do while in Aspen was to hike the Maroon Bells! It’s the most photographed place in Colorado and for good reason. It’s been on my Colorado to do/bucket list for years now. I was seriously in awe the whole time just soaking up the vast beauty of the lush valley surrounded by 14,000 ft peaks and aspen groves.
My brother Robson, Tyler, and I parked at Aspen Highlands and took the local bus up to Maroon Lake. The bus comes every 15-20 minutes and they do this to limit the traffic that drives over the aspen groves root system. Not sure if this is really true or not haha because we saw a few RV’s and other cars driving up so I think they just do it to limit the number of people parking at the trail head. We were actually glad that Waldo was not with us on this hike because the bus was pretty crowded and standing room only by the time we got on.
Maroon Lake is stunningly beautiful! It’s turquoise blue-green and crystal clear. The wildflowers were blooming EVERYWHERE. Again, I am obsessed with Colorado’s wildflowers- we saw daisies, columbines, lupines, Indian paint brushes, blue & purple bells, berry patches, sunflowers, etc. It was a wildflower wonderland. I love fresh flowers but I am pretty conscious and respectful about not picking them so that everyone can enjoy them and so that I don’t disturb the natural habitat. The massive, snowy peaks behind Maroon Lake are breathtaking.
Tyler and I recently arrived to Aspen for our family vacation/my dad’s wedding (which is today at The Little Nell up on the mountain- another post on that to come). The first full day here we hiked and explored the Grottos!! It was so freaking cool!! It’s up Independence Pass (probably the world’s most beautiful pass) a few miles from Aspen. When I was researching it, it honestly didn’t look that awesome but let me tell you, it’s underrated! It’s not a long trail but there’s a lot to see and do. The Roaring Fork River runs along the trail so there are tons of beautiful river spots to hang out at and foot bridges to cross and cascades that were literally roaring! Tons of wildflowers which are my favorite. The best part by far were the ice caves! You have to climb down in between some sketchy crevices to get to them but it’s so worth it! There are these huge glaciers down there. Highly recommend this hike for anyone in the Aspen area. Check out our pictures below! We have a bunch more adventures planned for while we are here so stay tuned!
Our first high country summer hike this season was to Crater Lakes in James Peak Wilderness! It was exceptionally cool and sunny which made for perfect hiking weather. This was my first real hike where I brought my new camera and it was so much fun taking pictures along the way. Tyler even enjoyed it too! The wildflowers were blooming and there were tons of creeks babbling everywhere from all the snow melt. Truly peaceful. I spotted a few wild columbines and some sweet hydroponic alpine flowers. We crossed over probably 10 foot bridges which are always fun and make me feel like a kid again. We started at the East Portal Trailhead near Rollinsville and it was a 6 mile roundtrip hike with about 1,400 ft elevation gain. The trail was heavily forested but still had great mountain views. We chilled at lower Crater Lake for a while and let Waldo swim/run around. We also climbed some rocks and played on the snow fields. It was really fun sliding down the snow! After a while, I noticed that Waldo’s paw was bleeding and realized that he cut it open somehow so we had to bust out the first aid kit. It was my first backcountry first aid experience and I managed to clean it off and bandage him up pretty nicely! We decided to head back down after that and thankfully he wasn’t limping or in pain. He’s such a tough and sweet boy! He never lets us see him sweat, that’s for sure. We had a great time and plan on backpacking/camping in James Peak Wilderness sometime soon! All the pictures below were taken with my canon rebel camera. None of them are edited due to my lack of expertise in that area.
Over the weekend Tyler and I went to Boulder Falls for the first time ever!! We made the choice not to bring Waldo since we were unsure of the trail conditions and since it’s technically closed. I like to follow the rules (sometimes) but in my opinion, you can’t close nature. C’mon Boulder! The weather forecast wasn’t looking promising to do much else outdoors so we decided to say screw it and adventure anyway!!! I’ve been dying to see Boulder Falls but it has been closed for almost the entire 5 years I’ve lived here. I came to the realization that people safely visit all the time and just go around the closed off rope sign. It was a great day to visit because 1) we were the only ones there so that was really nice and 2) it has been raining recently + snow melt so the falls were raging. The canyon was all foggy and mystical, it was so romantic and relaxing. Pics below 🙂
Tyler & I just got back from a week in Longboat Key, Florida (aka paradise)!! I’m soo glad we missed the blizzard in Colorado. We stayed at his grandparents’ adorable beach bungalow. They are seriously the sweetest for having us! Their backyard is literally a tropical oasis full of palms, beautiful exotic flowers, and an awesome pool–where we spent a lot of time chilling. It’s also right down the street from the beach so we would ride bikes to and from every day, multiple times a day! We forgot how much we love riding bikes together so we are both going to get ours tuned up asap! I desperately needed some salt water therapy & vitamin D in my life and I got my fix! We were able to totally relax, let go, and be in an island state of mind for an entire week. One day we paddle boarded in the ocean which was so much fun! I even busted out a few yoga moves on the board which was challenging but so so cool. It’s probably the most relaxing thing ever to just lay on the paddle board with your eyes closed as the ocean rocks you. The weather really couldn’t have been any nicer! Every day was sunny and warm with a cooling ocean breeze. The beach is where I’m totally in my element. One night we went down to the beach with Tyler’s whole family with our drinks and played bocce ball as the sun set, it was wonderful. We really only had one overcast day and that happened to be the day after Ty dislocated his shoulder body surfing soo we caught up on Better Call Saul and laid out by the pool that day for him to recover. We had lots of fresh seafood and fruit–two of my favorite food groups! Tyler took me out for a date night just us two one night at this awesome restaurant on the water, conveniently across the street from his grandparents’ house. It was such a fabulous getaway! If you can’t tell by my pics, I’m obsessed with high necklines right now–dresses, tops, bikinis, etc.
On another note, I found out that I lost one of my greatest friends the day we left for Longboat Key. It’s been very hard but I am learning to turn my grief into gratitude. Rest in peace Tevis. You will never be forgotten.