Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Day in the Mountains


I hope everyone had a very Happy 4th of July! We had a beautiful day here, and celebrated with a barbecue at our house. As part of my month long celebration of my special "double 30" birthday, we had another ice cream cake for dessert, and my grandchildren helped to blow out the candles. Afterward, the boys went to a fireworks display. Older brother lasted till the end, while little brother fell asleep in his stroller. Baby granddaughter also fell asleep in my arms that evening, and as often as that happens, as I watch her during the day Monday through Friday, I still never tire of the joy of holding her.


Last weekend my husband and I decided we needed a break from house chores and decided to hop into the car and take a day trip drive up into the mountains. We had no set agenda---we just wanted to sight see!


After the multitude of forest fires that occurred in Colorado this summer, it was nice to pass beautiful, thick pristine pine woods along the way.


We stopped in a town called Evergreen, at the Country Road Cafe, to try one of their legendary breakfasts.  They are a popular place, full of rustic charm and funny signs. Their menu was extensive, and it was hard to decide on what to order, but I finally decided to try something different and had the "Wildwood" (photo bottom left) which was two potato pancakes, topped with two poached eggs, pulled pork, avocado slices, Hollander sauce, cheese, crispy onions and sweet jalapeno jam.  My husband went all out and ordered the "Holy Cow," which was a platter of mashed potatoes, topped with scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, cheese, country fried steak and sausage gravy--it was all surrounded by french toast! His eyes were bigger than his stomach, and although he enjoyed it, he only ate half.


Well fortified, we started on our way again and passed Evergeen Lake.


I admired the houses built on hillsides that captured mountain views



On State Highway 103, at Squaw Pass Road, we passed the beautiful "Noble Meadow Preservation," which is 408 acres of a scenic wildlife corridor, preserved in 1994.


This land is important for the elks to graze and for calving, and their story is told on informational placards on the site. To enlarge this collage, and all photos in this post, click on them once,  and then again when they open larger, to see more detail.


There were rolling ranges of mountains in the background of this peaceful meadow.


This old log barn like structure stands in the preserve.


We continued to climb higher on the road, with mountains looming in the distance, their heads in the clouds.


My husband and I were amazed by the large number of bicyclists we passed on the way, peddling heartily uphill!



As we rose in elevation I began to feel as if I were on top of the world and could touch the sky!


Even though clouds were steadily building up, the views and vistas we saw were awe inspiring.


The Rocky Mountains seems to ripple on and on forever.  Notice the abundance of pine cones on the tallest subalpine fir tree in the foreground.



The road twisted and turned with ever changing mountain scenery .....


.....whose colors changed with the light between sunshine and clouds.


We decided to take our next break at Echo Lake Park, which at 10,600 feet is Denver's only subalpine park.


The 24 acre lake was formed by glacial moraine. It is a popular as a fishing spot and for views of Mt. Evans, although the cloud cover obscured that view the day we were there.


The historic Echo Lake Lodge was built in 1926.


Click on the photo above to enlarge it to read more about this structure. Initially built as a shelter house for mountain park visitors, it is now a gift shop and restaurant.


The skies opened up and it began to rain heavily. We could not begrudge any rain that falls after the severe drought Colorado has been experiencing.


Even the bicyclists did not let the rain stop them!


Delicate alpine flowers were blossoming alongside the roadway.


Just look at the colors of these Mountain Bluebells!


Marsh marigolds were also in bloom.


I especially loved a field of poppies that we came across near a stream.


Their long stems and ruffled petals made them dance like faeries in the breeze.


They certainly added a bright touch to a cloudy, rainy day!


Due to the inclement weather we decided not to continue on towards the summit of Mt.Evans, that has an elevation of 14,260 feet, and instead headed back towards the town of Idaho Springs. I'll write more about that well preserved Colorado gold rush town on a future post!


I'm linking this post to the following blog events:

Mosaic Monday
Blue Monday
Our World Tuesday
Outdoor Wednesday
Alphabe Thursday
Oh, the Places I've Been


Many thanks to all the blog hosts!


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58 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Pat, you are so lucky to live so close to these beautiful mountains. The scenery is gorgeous. The meadows, mountains and lakes. I love the poppies, what a pretty sight. Lovely photos. Have a happy weekend!

Vee said...

Glorious mountain views! That meal looked enough to feed a family of eight!

From the Kitchen said...

Lovely! It's so sad to think or so much destruction going on in those fires.

I do hope those cyclists had one of those breakfasts.
Wow!

Best,
Bonnie

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

I guess you've gotten used to the higher elevation by now, but were you tired at first? I've never been to Colorado, but your pictures show how beautiful it is.

ellen b. said...

Such wonderful views and landscapes Pat. Did you find it hard to breathe way up high? Love the alpine flowers and those poppies are so nice...

camp and cottage living said...

Pat
It is so beautiful where you live. It makes me long for the mountains again!
It looks like you all had a fun fourth. The g'kiddies are so cute!

Manju Modiyani said...

Lovely mountain views..Alpines look so gorgeous! Looks like you had a lot of fun :)

Brenda said...

Pat, your Colorado blog is as wonderful as your NYC one! The pictures of the mountains were great (as are all of your pictures), and those breakfasts made my mouth water!

Your grandchildren are adorable! I know you & your husband are thrilled to be there to watch them grow up.

Barbara F. said...

Beautiful photos of beautiful scenery. Your breakfasts looked awesome! xo

Kris said...

Your blog posts are always a treat! Loved the photos!
XO Kris

Betsy Adams said...

Oh how I love your state... There are so many wonderful things to see and do... amazing!!!! We want to come back sometime and take that trip up to Mt. Evans... Mountains like that are my favorite places to go.. Beautiful!!!!! Great set of photos--and wow--what a breakfast...

Hugs,
Betsy

Theanne said...

beautiful photos and views Pat...especially liked the old log cabin :)

My name is Riet said...

Hi Pat.
Beautiful photo's of a beautiful country. That breakfast looks great but I don't know id i could eat it all. It must be so wonderful to have your family so close and take care of your granddaughter . Have a Nice week.

The Gathering Place said...

what a beautiful drive! You took some stunning photos of the majestic Rocky Mountains. It must be so fun to be close to your family, too.

Nellie said...

Thank you for taking us along on this wonderful excursion! That breakfast sounded unbelievable!

Cindy said...

What an interesting and beautiful drive you took. I enjoyed it.
Hugs, Cindy

Margaret said...

Hi Pat, what an awesome post! Darling grandchildren, beautiful mountain scenery, lodges, alpine flowers, and food, what you had looked delicious, I would order that too! Thank-you I really loved all your wonderful photos, especially the poppies, gorgeous! Note: I have read that deer do not like poppies, so they would not nibble on them! It is always such a pleasure to go exploring with you :) You're living in a little bit of heaven on earth. Colorado is stunning. Margaret from B.C.

Lorrie said...

Your road trip to the mountains resulted in some beautiful vistas. So glad you shared them with us. The alpine flowers are so sweet.
Those breakfast plates are massive! But delicious!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Look at those spectacular views and the wildflowers in bloom - gorgeous. Don't you just love days with no agenda!
Sam

Snap said...

I love being in the mountains. I always found such peace *up there*. Love your adventuring and thanks so much for taking us along. While I do love breakfast, I think I would have been in shock just looking at the menu!!! :D :D :D

ox

diane b said...

What fabulous mountain scenery. Lovely flowers too and super photos.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

It looks like you found the perfect way to spend 'a day off'...exploring your new 'neighbourhood'. Beautiful!

The breakfast looked fabulous too.

La Petite Gallery said...

That is truly America the beautiful. Thanks for sharing these great photo's and trip. yvonne

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What glorious views, Pat! We had our first summer visit to the mountains last August when we attended a wedding in Vail. It was so beautiful!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Forgot to say Happy Belated Birthday :) Love that babe asleep in your arms!

Pondside said...

A Belated Happy Birthday, Pat! Your day in the mountains must have been wonderfully refreshing. I always find it so.
It was lovely to see and to read about how much you are enjoying being so close to your children and grandchildren. Isn't it just the best?

SmilingSally said...

I know how a soft baby feels in your arms, and I'm glad that you're enjoying these special times with her. They grow up so soon!

Thanks for taking me along on your road trip. That breakfast was something to see.

Have a good Blue Monday, Pat.

acreativeharbor.com said...

Oh so adorable ~ your grand daughter and happy family photos ~ Love the 'trip' photography too! ~ Happy Day to you. ^_^

gracie1961 said...

The view is surely very different from the skyscrapers' of NY but ...wow......isn't it amazing and stunning?

Sara said...

What a beautiful get-away you had! That breakfast looked so good that I sent the link to that cafe to my son in Denver; he hadn't heard of it but is going to check it out! If/when I ever make it out there I want to visit too. Your photos certainly do show us the particular beauty in Colorado and it was so enjoyable riding along with you. I can almost smell the clean air and feel that cooling rain. The ruffled poppies are so pretty, I love those.

Grace said...

I love reading your blog. No mater where in the world you are you have such wonderful stories and pictures. Happy 30 plus!! Grace xoox

LV said...

I have been in this area before, but long ago. Love Colorado and enjoyed taking the trip along with you.

Joy H said...

Beautiful scenery and gorgeous poppies. Have a great week!

Joyful said...

My word, everything is simply gorgeous. How lucky you are to live there.

Cafe au lait said...

Wonderful pics. I played too. Mine are here and here.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Colorado is so beautiful. I admire how you and your husband embrace your new community.

Gary said...

Beautiful area!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Debra @ Homespun said...

the grands are adorable and I especially love that sleeping baby picture :)

Beautiful scenery and tour..! I enjoyed it very much! :)

Jenny said...

Those Grandlittles are really, really Grand!

And so are you!

I love how you embrace your new home and surroundings.

And how generously you share them with us!

Noel Morata said...

what a beautiful tour, you captured just about everything, the vistas, flowers, landmarks, bikers, lakes - what a great day and imagery, thanks for sharing

come and link up with us on Travel photo Mondays....

Cathy said...

Colorado is such a beautiful state. Thanks for taking us along on our day trip, Pat. I remember when my son went to college in Boulder that the weather could change in an hour.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

The photos of the mountains and flowers are glorious Pat. How great that you and Vinny take day trips to sightsee - and there is so much to see out there in Colorado.

Indrani said...

You live in such a beautiful area! Great sights and love those flowers.

Jim said...

Well pat, you had a nice time. But I missed the " h" words.
Sorry am I on the wrong post?

Written from my iPhone, Jim.

Betty Luckhurst said...

What great scenery for a lovely time! Those happy faces say it all.

edenhills said...

Beautiful scenic tour. I'm so glad you allowed us to join you on this day trip.

Annesphamily said...

I am always grateful to be a native of this gorgeous state! Although our state has been plagued by the terrible drought there is no place on earth like it. You always share such wonderful photos. Thanks for the nice share.

A Quiet Corner said...

Stopping in from Rurality Blog Hop...what awesome views out there. I have a BIL/SIL that live in Montana...they are practically neighbors of yours...as the birds fly that is!...:)JP

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

It looks like you are enjoying your new surroundings AND your grand children.

xxoo,

RMW

fredamans said...

Wonderful photos! I love how the hues change the higher up you went.

Mary said...

Travelling with you is always delightful Pat! Your photos of the snow capped mountains look surreal, especially your second one! I wish I could send half of the rain we've had these last two weeks your way :)

Debbie@Mountain Breaths said...

I love a state with elevation! The snow capped mountains and the poppies are my favorites.

Tracy said...

So much celebrating and joy in your life these days, Pat--it is wonderful to see & share in. LOVE the CO views! And it's been good to finally catch up with you here after being away from blogland some days. Glad all is (mostly!) well with you & yours. :o) Happy Weekend ((LOVE & BIG HUGS)) P.S. Now posting from my NEW place:
http://www.lifeofjoy.typepad.com/

Granny-Guru said...

What perfectly beautiful scenery and flowers!

Ann said...

Such a glorious part of our country. Colorado seems to have it all--mountains, rivers, beautiful flowers, such serene places to be. It must have been a great sighseeing trip.
Ann

Pamela Gordon said...

That was a beautiful drive up the mountain road Pat. What views from there! And that was quite the breakfast! I'd never even attempt to eat something like that. LOL

Kara said...

What a beautiful place. that noble meadow preserve is so wonderful. I'd take that over the new houses on the hillside any day.

My Little Home and Garden said...

The scenery is incredibly beautiful!