Sunday, November 23, 2008

Keep Rescuing the Prairie Dogs

More info promoting prairie dog conservation...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Moose sighting!!

So, I finally got to see "the elusive moose" as one of my friends recently stated. I drove to north central Colorado to a town called Walden. From Fort Collins you head west on highway 14 for about a couple of hours. The entire drive is complete scenery; from the views of Poudre Canyon to the open landscape surrounding Walden and the surrounding area of North Park.

Although Walden is called "the moose viewing capital of Colorado", I found that the higher concentration of moose are closer to Gould, Colorado (about 30 miles east of Walden). Going on the advice of another blogger and a few other folk, I found that Cameron Pass and Long Draw Road are two great spots to check out. In fact, both days that I went looking for moose, I found them while driving along Long Draw Road. On the first day I went in the evening, just before dusk, and saw 5 moose! On the second day I went in the afternoon and saw 2. Anyway, it was so cool to actually see moose in Colorado! Up until 2 years ago, I had no idea we had them here!

Other Recommendations:

*Antler's Inn (lodging)
*North Park Inn and Suites (lodging

**Moose Creek Cafe (restaurant)
You have got to try their "K and K french toast"--made with raspberry sauce, powdered sugar and corn flakes.

Between Fort Collins and Walden:

There are TONS of campgrounds along the Poudre Canyon and all along highway 14! There are also about a half dozen cabin places to spend the night littered along the drive as well--some more modern or rustic then others.

So, if you'd like to see for yourself that Colorado is home to several hundred moose--be sure to check out north central Colorado.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Excursion of the week: Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

There are redwood trees in Colorado??

That was my first response when a friend invited me to come along with her to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. It turns out there are at least half a dozen PETRIFIED redwood tree stumps in a dusty little town called Florissant, Colorado.

We were told that this area used to be home to a lake many thousands of years ago. Since then, they (read: paleontologists and archaeologists) have found hundreds of fossils of insects, plants, and even a couple of dinosaur fossils.

My friend and I consider ourselves a bit on the geeky side since we actually enjoyed looking at old fossils and tree stumps for a couple of hours. Honestly, this is quite the place for naturalist-minded adventurers. So, if you are into such things as old trees, plant life and digging in the dirt or under rocks--this is the site for you!

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument offers ranger-guided tours and lectures, several fossil specimen trays to observe, and even a hands-on opportunity to scrape away at your own piece of rock to discover buried fossils.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Excursion of the week: Fort Collins and Horsetooth Reservoir

I recently explored Fort Collins, Colorado. Fort Collins is about 1-1.5 hours north of Denver. I was really impressed with this cute town. It was such a balance and seemed to fit almost any different type of person. For instance, the town seemed simultaneously rural and urban, small and big.

One of the best parts of my visit was the discovery of Horsetooth Reservoir. Here you can camp, boat, swim, scuba dive, and hike. This is one of the bigger reservoirs in north-eastern Colorado. The water was surrounded by tall red rock walls and veered around in a snake-like structure--unlike several of the circular reservoirs I've seen. There is a campground on the south side of the park, along with several camping cabins.

The park is just a few minutes from town so you can always drive into town and grab a beer at one of the local breweries.

Anyway, so if you travel north of Denver, be sure to check out Fort Collins and Horsetooth Reservoir.

More Links:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Colorado White-Water Rafting Excursions

The start of summer means the beginning of white-water rafting season here in Colorado. There are a ton of places to enjoy rafting, as well as, multiple rafting outfitters to help you on your journey. As I mentioned in a previous post, one of my favorite rafting destinations is along the Arkansas River, near the town of Buena Vista.

There are several rafting outfitters in this area, however, the one that I have used atleast a half-dozen times is Noah's Ark Rafting Co. Their guides are very skilled and are big on safety. They offer a variety of options, such as; full-day trips, half-day trips, overnight trips, and also rock climbing opportunities.

Anyway, there are literally a ton of places to go rafting, along with just as many rafting agencies.

Here are some links if you want some other options:

This link is very comprehensive and shows you the variety of rivers and outfitters in Colorado.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Save Our Wildlife (continued)

Another prairie dog colony is at risk of decimation due to a residential developer (Shea Home's). There is a way to save the colony but apparently the developers would rather feed them to another endangered species; a group of black-footed ferrets.

Here's the article.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Spiritual Retreats Near Denver

I have long since been fascinated with nuns and monks. I have the utmost of respect for their dedication and sacrifice. Every now and then I long to get away and to escape to such spiritually rich places as a nearby abbey or monastery. If you are looking for a personal spiritual retreat, check out one of the places listed below:

Abbey of St. Walburga
Virginia Dale, Colorado

Franciscan Retreat Center
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Nada Hermitage / Spiritual Life Institute
Crestone, Colorado

For more of a comprehensive list, click here.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Glenwood Springs and Hanging Lake

Well, I finally got to check out Hanging Lake for myself! It was definitely worth the trip! But, I'll tell ya, it was a trek! The trail was definately a work out and very rocky in several places. I had to make several rest stops as I am out of shape these days!

The view was incredible! As you ascend toward the lake, you are basically wandering through Glenwood Canyon (I believe...) and the canyon is literally walled in by squared off rock towers (very Indiana Jone's-like).

Anyway, when you FINALLY get there it is absolutely stunning! The lake is so clear, crisp, and colorful! After taking pictures of the lake area, you can head up toward Sprouting Rock and see another waterfall area.


Hanging Lake (which I mentioned here in another post) is near Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Honestly, I was very surprised by the popularity of this small, cute town! It isn't even summer yet and just about every restaurant, hotel, and site I visited was filled with people! A local said that it is not uncommon, during summertime, for every hotel to be booked up! Very interesting....

The town of Glenwood Springs is surrounded by alpine beauty---with many of the mountain faces blushing with red rocks. The "hot spot", or the place to be, in this town seemed to be the Glenwood Springs Hot Springs--the place was packed!

Anyway, I will definately be back to this surprising jewel of a place!

**Cheap place to stay:
Starlight Motel (no bells and whistles but a decent enough place).

**Nice place to stay:
Hotsprings Lodge ($$$).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Denver's Best Mexican Restaurant

From the moment the food passed my lips, I knew I was tasting delicious, authentic Mexican food--the best in town!

I have since compared several other Mexican restaurants in town but, seriously, none compare!

For some great food and superb margarita's--check out Benny's!

**I recommend the carnitas burrito (if you like pork).

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Pike National Forest

One of my favorite places to go when I want to be in the woods, away from the concrete jungle, is Pike National Forest.

Pike National Forest is southwest of Denver. If you want a scenic drive [Read: taking the long way] on your way to Colorado Springs, you can head through this sanctuary of wooded, spacious beauty.

Here are some links to check out:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Interesting Name For A Park...

I don't know who I'd rather meet more; the guy who named this park...or the woman who inspired the name for this park....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Top Ten Cities in Colorado

My favorite top ten cities in Colorado:

10. Boulder
9. Aspen
8. Grand Lake
7. Glenwood Springs
6. Breckenridge
5. Manitou Springs
4. Salida
3. Estes Park
2. Durango
1. Steamboat Springs

I'll tell you why later....

Monday, March 3, 2008

Excursion of the Week

Perhaps you may have already figured out that one of my favorite places in Colorado is Rocky Mountain National Park. So, for this "Excursion of the Week", I thought I'd share one of my favorite snowshoeing trails in Rocky Mountain National Park:

Bear Lake

This is a popular trail year round--don't be surprised if the parking lot at the trailhead is full!
One of the best things about this spot is that it leads to several lakes (such as Emerald Lake, Nymph Lake, Dream Lake). It is a beautiful area and a relatively easy hike--although if you choose to ascend up further toward Emerald Lake it can be steep in several places. You really can't go wrong with ANY hike in this park! It is absolutely beautiful everywhere you look--like most of the Colorado Rockies!

When you're done snowshoeing or hiking, go check out Moraine Park for elk. You can almost bet on seeing wildlife with each visit--elk, chipmunks, magpie's...If you go in September or October you will be there during the elk mating can hear the elk's bugling and see the male's battling each other of the other's harem--winner takes all! Otherwise, during the rest of the year, the female elk like to hang out over in Moraine Park...while the male's seem to like it over near the start of Fall River Road....

Anyway, here are some links to give you more information about the park itself.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Excursion of the Week: Hammond's Candy Factory

If you're looking for something fun and FREE to do around Denver, check out Hammond's Candy Factory. They offer FREE tours everyday of the week, except for Sundays.

This candy company has been around since 1920. They still make every lollypop, candy-cane, ribbon candy, and every bit of their hard candy by hand! So, for a fun, FREE, and learning experience; check out Hammond's Candy Factory.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Excursion Of The Week: Hanging Lake

(The image above was taken from David Vandervelde's website.)

A friend of mine suggested I check out a place called "Hanging Lake". After researching this place, I have put it on the top of my list to go and explore!

It is located near Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Here is a website that gives more details about the hike and the best directions.

Check it out!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Maxwell Falls Hike

I've been hanging out around Evergreen lately...So, a local told me about a little hike called Maxwell Falls. I hear the falls aren't all that spectacular but it's something to do. Check it out, if you want.

Save The Prairie Dogs

I just ran into someone the other day that is an advocate for saving prairie dogs in Colorado and surrounding states. Honestly, I've never really thought about the plight of the prairie dogs but after learning that they are an endangered species...well, why not get the word out there about the current extermination plans several cities have for these little creatures. So, here is a link where you can vote to save the prairie dogs...and by doing so you can help benefit the Prairie Dog Coalition.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Excursion Of The Week: Ice Skating and Ice Fishing

Excursion of the week: Ice skating and ice fishing in Evergreen, Colorado.

I was planning on going for a walk around Evergreen Lake the other day...but when I arrived I was surprised to see dozens of people ice skating and playing broom hockey on the lake. There were also about a half dozen people just sitting around ice fishing. So, if you are interested in any of these activities you can check out the Evergreen Lake House for more details.

Evergreen is only about 30 to 40 minutes west of Denver; a cute little town with alot of trails and open space nearby. You can also access Mt. Evans via Evergreen, but the route is closed during the winter months.