Monday, July 24, 2017

Our First Camping Trip




It is never too late, and one is never too old, to learn new things. My husband and I may be in our 60's, and never camped in our lives, but that did not stop us from deciding that it was about time we joined our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter for at least one day and night during their camping vacation. We wanted to challenge our "life long city dwelling selves" to an outdoor, under the stars adventure, even though we were slightly nervous about bears and possible lightning and thunderstorms. 


We drove west to central Colorado, and Grand County, enjoying the scenic views as we drove over Berthoud Pass, which crosses the Continental Divide at 11,307 feet (3446 m).  Even in July there was some snow at the summit of the mountains.




...and soon reached Lake Granby, the third largest body of water in the state. It is popular for trout and salmon fishing, and ice fishing in winter.


At this point we turned off toward our daughter's family campsite, driving on a long winding dirt road. We could see some of the high mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park in the distance.


We finally arrived at the campsite! Our daughter and family had been there three days already, and we were joining them for their last day and night. Their tent was very large and comfortable, plus they had a nearby sun shade addition to sit under.  Sadly this camp's pine trees had been hit in prior years by the mountain pine beetle epidemic that was caused by warming trends and extended drought. The forest service cut down many dead pine trees around the campsites and replanted new healthy trees that will now take many years to grow and provide shade again.


Their campsite, however, faced this beautiful view!


There were also many beautiful wildflowers surrounding the campsite.


I had a good time photographing as many varieties of wildflowers as I saw, with the help of my granddaughter. All photos will enlarge when clicked on, for easier viewing.


The flowers were all exquisite!


We even saw a hummingbird feeder near the campsite manager's trailer, and there were many hummingbirds buzzing around enjoying both the flowers and the feeder's nectar


Our hours at the campsite were spent enjoying each other's company, playing by the lake shore, fishing, going for boat rides and barbecuing lunch and dinner in the fire pit.  Our granddaughter was so excited to show us how to camp!


We also enjoyed just relaxing and watching the weather and sky change during the day. The sunset was magnificent!


As the sun went down we roasted marshmallows over the fire. When it got dark my granddaughter sat on on my lap and we snuggled under a blanket.  At our over 8,000 foot elevation the temperature goes down many degrees at night.   The night sky soon began to display more and more stars. Soon the entire sky seemed aglow with twinkling diamonds and we saw the Milky Way high above us!  That was another first for me, as I never saw such a spectacular night sky!  Soon my granddaughter told us her eyes were sleepy, so we all went into the tent to go to sleep under our down comforters.  We all slept very soundly and happily did not hear a bear or thunderstorm all night  


The next morning, as I headed down the hill from the restroom, I took this photo of the campsite, knowing we would soon have to break it down and pack it all away.  Our first camping experience was so pleasant that now we are excited to go again. It is hard not to want to enjoy the great outdoors when we live in such a beautiful state!

Living in the great state of Colorado gives residents many wonderful areas to camp in.  Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages over 4,000 campsites and the USDA Forest Service manages 53 multi site campgrounds in Colorado.  For a comprehensive guide to campgrounds check out this Colorado Tourism link.


After my husband and I said goodbye to our daughter and family we headed west again, towards the western part of Rocky Mountain National Park.


We stopped briefly at the historic Grand Lake Lodge outside the park. It had a fabulous view of Grand Lake and a wonderful rustic western charm.


When we reached the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park I was able to complete my mission of buying my own lifetime America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass. My husband bought his when he reached the age of 62, and I decided I needed my own too, as soon the cost of the pass will be raised on August 28, 2017, from $10 to $80.  It will still be a bargain at that new price, as it will enable a holder with card and ID to enter any National Park in the US for free over the rest of their lifetime.  Our National Parks are our national treasures--59 National Parks and 417 Federal National Recreational Land sites for all to enjoy!  How many National Parks have you visited?

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45 comments:

Daniela said...

Good Morning, my Lovely Lady,
and thank you for sharing your so lovely experience !
Actually I'm feeling in awe, I'm so amazed at your stunning shots, thank you for sharing the images of these gorgeous places too, Dearest Pat !

Wishing you a blessed new week,
I'm sending all my love to you

XOXO Dany

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat - I think it's wonderful that you and Vinny have embraced camping at this stage in your lives. We did it many times when our kids were young, and it gave them an appreciation of the great outdoors, as well as quality family time together. I don't know if my back could take it at this stage in my life though. Your daughter and her family are sure lucky to have you in Colorado, and vice versa.

Stacey said...

I bet that was just heavenly! There are so many flowers in your photos. Amazing beauty!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, your first camping trip sounds like fun. It was in a beautiful spot too. The lake views are beautiful. Your granddaughter is so cute. I have to say I have not camped in a long time, I am not sure if my back could take it, lol. Beautiful collection of photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

Maggie said...

What a great experience to enjoy with you family, your granddaughter will remember stargazing with you that night forever.
I look forward to visiting many more of the National Parks with you in the future now that you have your lifetime pass!
You might even purchase your own tent!
I hope that the National Parks remain unspoiled and available for many, many more generations to enjoy.
Happy Mosaic Monday.

Rajesh said...

Very beautiful and scenic place.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Beautiful photos from your trip. My favorite shots are the wildflowers.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Grand vistas, with grand splashes of blue! Thanks for linking to Blue Monday.

Vee said...

Sure is pretty there! I hate camping, but I could handle a day of that for sure!

Tamar SB said...

So fun! What a location to do it!

Ruth Hiebert said...

The camping sounds and looks like fun.Glad you had a great time.

tourbangladeshtips said...

Beautiful place.
Hope you and your family enjoyed a great day..

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Such a spectacular place to camp. I'm so glad your first time was enjoyable. When our children were small we went camping a few times, but unfortunately it rained every time! I loved seeing the beautiful wildflowers, Pat! Have a nice week. ♥

Gillena Cox said...

Lovely images for Blue and Moasic Monday


my Blue is HERE
my Mosaic is HERE

much love...

Linda W. said...

Glad to hear you and your hubby survived your first camping trip. Looks like you picked a beautiful place!

Tom said...

...I'm feeling that 'Rocky Mountain High.' What a gorgeous part of the world you are in. Thanks for stopping by, I hope to see you again.

Michelle said...

I am so glad you enjoyed this experience. I grew up camping with my parents and have such great memories from those moments.

A Colorful World said...

Great fist-time camping experience. Looks like you had an awesome time! Loved the views, and the wildflowers.

aspiritofsimplicity said...

That sounds wonderful. And everything looks so pretty. I used to camp quite a bit but haven't done so in over 20 years.

The Furry Gnome said...

Glad your camping was successful!

Kalantikan said...

OhMyGod! How wonderful that camping experience is! I would like to do that too. The environment and the landscape is so wonderful, fantastic and i can take a lot of photos too! I am dreaming to do that at least once, and in landscapes like those in the US.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I'm glad you had a good first camping trip. I am the only who likes camping in our house. I'm all set up for it with a large tent that is easy to put up and a nice cot and sleeping bag and even a nightstand.

I have a good time on the geocaching campouts I participate in. They cater the food and so much the easier.

Erica Sta said...

A wonderful landscape. I enjoyed this Post again for the Tuesday theme IMAGE-IN-ING.
HEIDRUN

https://happy-hour-with-picts.blogspot.de/2017/07/liebe-auch-im-sommer.html

NC Sue said...

What a beautiful place for a family to celebrate God's glory together. Thank you for joining this week's linkup at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2017/07/hhhhiiiiiiiisssssssss.html

Bill Nicholls said...

What a great place to Camp looks a lot nicer that were I stay. Noting like camping no matter what age you are

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

I camp several times each year and enjoy it but never have I camped anywhere nearly so dramatic. And the worst I've ever needed to fear is cold water in the showers - not lightening and bears!

Photo Cache said...

I go camping once a year; I hope I liked it as much as my husband does, but when you don't get exposed to it in childhood I think it's hard to stick to one's bones.

Sylvia said...

Pat, I see you enjoyed time with family which is always precious. Congrats on the pass. That is a great deal. Thanks for sharing and have a great week. Sylvia D.

Angie said...

Pat - congratulations on your first camping trip! It is an activity that my husband and I have enjoyed for many years, before we got married, as a couple and then with our kids. Now that we are retired, we are looking forward to back country camping (you carry everything you need and you are in the back woods for several days). We are proud to say that we have visited 17 National Parks!

Willow said...

Congratulations to you for venturing out for your first camping trip! I've been camping since I was a child and still love it.
You do live a beautiful state! Your photos always make me smile.
National Parks? I did a quick count and stopped at 14 (plus a few monuments). Just this month we added Mt. Lassen and Pinnacles to our list.

Come Away With Me said...

It's beautiful, that's for sure. I know I would be awake all night imagining big bears lumbering about outside the tent. It's been decades since I've gone camping, but there is a lot to be said for all the fresh air and beautiful scenery, and food seems to taste so much better out in the wilds. And the stars at night . . .

Light and Voices said...

I always look forward to viewing your blog. Beautiful area.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Congratulations on your first camping adventure! You hit all the high points ...those skies, waking up to those views, wildflowers (Colorado has the best) and best of all uninterrupted quiet family time. Our first vacation was tent camping and we have always camped in one form or other ...but we started out as westerners so it came more naturally. Your daughter and SIL picked an absolutely perfect spot!

I agree that the Senior NP pass is the best thing going...and I know you are right that it will still be a fantastic benefit at the (much) higher price, but I am glad we have ours already (and have had for over 15 years....wow, we really are senior senior citizens!)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh PS... we have visited all the National Parks except those in Michigan and Hawaii and the those that are not accessible by car in Alaska two I think... ) and one each in California and Florida that we've missed (so far... those two are on our short list).... we have definitely gotten our money's worth!

Al said...

That looks awesome - you're making me want to start camping again as it's been many years.

LA Paylor said...

Aaaaiiiiieeeee! I'm so excited to find your blog! I am also in my early 60's and we're being relocated to a Denver suburb from DC! I'm nervous about fitting in and would love, LOVE to hear from you. Any suggestions will be appreciated. My husband will work in Aurora and we're thinking of Parker or the pinery for a home.
It's a major change to go East coast to the West!
I'm a poodle person, a quilt maker/ writer who works and home and loves to blog.
My blog is "not afraid of color"
My email is leeannaquilts at gmail dot com
please contact me!
LeeAnna

Rambling Woods said...

I LOVE this...My daughter loves to camp and my grandson is getting to the age where they will be able to again...Love the family fun....Michelle

Alexa T said...

Wonderful places to visit and to discover so much about nature, flora and fauna! Lovely views captured!
Thank you! A nice Sunday and new week ahead!

Lady Fi said...

What a fun adventure!

Karren Haller said...

Im glad you had the opportunity to go camping, hope you can do it again. We spent many weekend camping with our kids growing up. It makes for great experience and memories.
Thank you for sharing on Oh My Heartsie Girls Friday Features this week.
Come visit again...soon and we also host a Wordless Wednesday Linky Party as well.
Have a great week!

Jann Olson said...

We use to camp a lot when we were younger. That's about all we could afford to do with our kids. Now days camping is not so cheap. We don't do it often, but I love it and you certainly feel close to God when you are out in his glorious creations. We hiked in the mountains this past weekend and the wildflowers were absolutely gorgeous as well! Glad you got to enjoy them. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

giorno26 ¸¸.•*¨*•. said...

Stupendi luoghi da visitare !!!

Ruth Rieckehoff said...

I can't believe you have never camped before. I thought you were interested on it because of your love on the outdoors. But, I think it is a good way to bond with family especially young kids. We took our nephew camping two weeks ago and he has a lot of fun.

Grammy Dee said...

Looks like you all ha a great time! So much enjoyed seeing your photos! Thank you Pat for linking up at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I shared your post on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Angelique Ouellette-Tower said...

This fantastic post is a HOME feature on the August You're the STAR blog hop: http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/2017/08/youre-star-week4-home-august-2017.html
Thanks
Angie