Today’s main mission was climbing a mountain! The Flatiron Mountain to be exact.
After about 45 minuets of driving from Denver, we arrived at Chautauqua Park, where the trail starts. Looking at the mountain from distance, its imposing formations didn’t seem very friendly. We eagerly started walking toward it, couldn’t wait to conquer it!
The first part of the trail is paved, weaving through the meadows going upward. The dirt trail was followed by rocky road and lovely trees. As we climbed higher and higher, the trail became increasingly more difficult. Some parts required us to climb with our hands on the ground.
We were surprised at how many people brought their dogs with them, and that those obedient animals were all really well behaved and had no problem climbing the large rocks.
After more than one hour of climbing, we finally reached the top of one of the peaks. We were met by a very strong and cold wind. That didn’t deter Evan from climbing to a notch at the edge of the cliff, telling me to take a photo of him. My body was swaying in the wind, my hat was about to be blown off the mountain top, and I was having trouble holding my phone to take a photo. So Steve climbed to the edge of the cliff and took a photo of Evan. I told them to come back from the edge. I only dared a couple of peeks of the lovely valley 1,400 feet below us, trying not to imagine Evan slipping and falling. I couldn’t even look at him as he made his way back from the notch, climbing at the very edge of the cliff against the strong wind.
We met a very nice lady from CA, about 60 years old. I was very impressed she made this far all by herself. She took some photos of us and I took some of her. Believe or not, she was brave enough to also climb to the notch so Steve could take photos of her sitting there, inches away from more than 1,000 feet drop. Good for her!
We continued our climb towards the peak next to us but we had almost run out of water. Not knowing exactly how far away the next peak was, we turned back.
Climbing down was a lot easier than going up! Although many times I had to use my hands to hold the rocks behind me, and place my feet at the tiny holes, so I didn’t slip too far down. Unfortunately, this was also the moment when I realized that my walking shoes have lost most of the traction, placing me in more danger of slipping. Fortunately, when I did slip, it happened at less dangerous places. Well, god reason from me to get new shoes! YAY!
Once we got back down from the mountain, we drove to Downtown Boulder, took a well deserved break at a local coffee shop called Laughing Goat.
Our next destination is Estes Park, which is located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountain National Park. We started our one hour drive in the lovely mountain roads. By the time we arrived at the Estes Park, we noticed a lot of police cars around and many families with kids walking on the road. We didn’t think much about it and went to a nice restaurant, and had a great dinner.
However, after dinner, as we were trying to leave the town, we realized that the whole town was blocked off for their Thanksgiving parade! We drove around and around, couldn’t pass the police barricades. Finally we had to stop the car and asked a policeman for directions to our hotel. He was nice enough to point a way out of town for us.
After much twists and turns, we finally arrived at our hotel called Della Terra Mountain Chateau, and checked into our mountain cabin. After we turned on the cozy fireplace, everything was all good!Read more