Liv did great--she was mellow and enjoyed soaking everything in. Nighttime was an interesting time :) but as soon as we turned out the light and went to bed ourselves, she followed suit. She is an adventuresome little girl, and it was fun toting her around with us.
ON THE WAY UP: MONDAY
Anyway, we stopped to take some pictures and stretch our legs, and saw some crazy southern guys jumping into a pond with snowpack, their families cheering them on. Good times, dude.
Raul was soo excited to see the Maroon Bells, the most photographed peaks in North America. Breathtaking. That's all I can really say. Even on a rainy day! I had never heard of these mountains before (whoops), and so I was glad Raul knew about them. We read on a plaque that quite a few people have died trying to climb them--8 people on different occasions in 1965, and the most recent last fall. They're deceitful as the rock looks sturdy, but is extremely loose, rotted, and unstable and gives way underfoot without warning. Um, yikes. So beautiful, but so dangerous!
We spent our first day wandering around the national park, walking downtown, and letting Liv play in a water fountain in the square. So cute. The next morning we hit up a little bakery for some pastries and coffee, and sat in the park while Liv played on the playground. I didn't realize how happy I would be about going to such a quaint little bakery, but I think that was my favorite morning of the whole trip.
CRESTED BUTTE: TUESDAY
My favorite place we visited... flowers, flowers everywhere. The town is adorable. Friendly people. And bikes! So many bikes.
On Wednesday morning, we took a chairlift up the mountain and got some awesome scenic pictures. We had so many strangers take our pictures, and vice versa... fun. And of course, I love the ole "take it ourselves" picture--someone's head is bound to be cut off. R did a much better job than I did!
Liv fell asleep in Daddy's arms on the way down. What a way to nap. This was Raul's favorite moment of the trip. (She usually doesn't go down this easy ;)
We drove into Ouray later that day, and were amazed at how close the town was to the mountains! Again, beautiful! Completely different vibe from Crested Butte; I don't know if it was just the day we were there, but it felt almost ghost-townish. We didn't hit up the hot springs this trip--hopefully next time.
SILVERTON & GLENWOOD SPRINGS: THURSDAY
We drove into Silverton the next day via the Million Dollar Highway. Lots of four-wheeling trails this way; we saw lots of jeeps rumbling up the mountain, and ATVS on the side of the road.
We stopped at Red Mountain Pass and were loving all the views and different mountain ranges. (It's really amazing what a brief pitstop can do... a little snack, stretch the legs, and everyone is happy again, especially a one-year-old.)
And then, Silverton. A charming little town, and much busier than I was anticipating! We stopped and had lunch and wandered around before heading out to Glenwood Springs, driving back through Ouray. We both thought the drive into Ouray from the South was prettier than coming in from the North.
Sadly, we really didn't take many pictures aside from driving shots in Glenwood, maybe because we had been there before? Lame excuse, I know.
We went to the Hot Springs, which was great, and the Bavarian Bakery, and a cute little Italian place for dinner, PeppoNino, where we sat on the patio listening to live guitar music. Liv clapped after every song and chowed down on their ravioli--I wish I hadn't forgotten the camera in the hotel room!
On Friday, we packed everything up and headed home. I began calling this trip a "town tasting"--stopping long enough for a sip of the place before moving on, and comparing how different each one of them was to the next.
We have lived in Colorado for so long, and it's ridiculous how much of it we've never seen. We loved it. I didn't grow up road-tripping, but I think it will be a regular memory for Liv and little-sister-on-the-way, or so I hope!