Adjust Your Altitude | Steamboat Day 3

There is always something bittersweet about coming back from a vacation. There is something even more bittersweet every time I visit my family then have to go back to Fort Collins. But I can’t complain – the weekend in Steamboat was everything I wanted out of a vacation and more.

Yesterday was a really low-key day where we all just relaxed before coming back today. I was able to sit for a few hours and read the week’s issue of The New Yorker cover to cover, something that usually takes me days to do. Once the afternoon came, Katie, my mom and I went on a little outing to downtown Steamboat since it was something I wanted to see while I was there.

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We were originally going to go on the gondola ride, but we found that it was closed. I watched as my mom was starting to get anxious of how high it was on the car ride over, so I guess it was a good sign it was closed. We ended up on the riverfront walk of the Yampa River, where naturally Katie and I had a photo shoot.

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It was picture perfect, seeing as there was both the mountains and the river in the background. It satisfied my wish for a picture perfect location to take photos. We then just walked around, did a little shopping (of course I got another souvenir shirt) and stopped for gelato. It was the perfect afternoon and the perfect opportunity to get out of the condo for a little bit.

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We came back and had a great night in with some cocktails and just relaxing. We had to do some packing and get to bed relatively early for the drive back today.

When we planned my visit to Steamboat, my parents planned to drive me back to Fort Collins via CO-14 and then drive home from there. We’ve never driven the 14 before so it was a new experience for all of us. It brought me back to our road tripping days with all of us in the fully-loaded Pilot driving cross-country with our favorites CDs (the Mamma Mia musical soundtrack and Elton John’s greatest hits). It was so nostalgic for me, I loved it.

The 14 takes you directly from Steamboat to Fort Collins, taking you through the Roosevelt National Forest, Cameron Pass and the Poudre Canyon before coming into Fort Collins. It is such a remarkable drive, something much different than the I-70. It was definitely very green and very beautiful.

Our first major stop was in Walden before climbing the pass. Walden, I learned at the gas station, is the moose viewing capital of Colorado at about 8,000 feet high. Though we didn’t see a moose in Walden, we were stopped by a female moose (a cow) crossing the highway. The things you see along on the drive.

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Cameron Pass was the major pass we had to cross to get to Fort Collins. It peaked out at about 10,000 feet. However, it took us over two hours to go through the pass and it felt as though we would never get down from the pass. Once we got out of the pass, we drove through Poudre Canyon, which was another beautiful area home to Grey Rock and Lory State Park, places I’ve only heard about but never physically seen.

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We got back to Fort Collins, and I took my family to Raising Cane’s for lunch right before they dropped me off at the apartment before heading back to Denver. After the drive, we were all ravenous so the Box Combo was very satisfying.

Overall, the vacation was the perfect getaway to get me through the rest of work and school before summer ends. It’s hard to believe that I start my final semester of school in about a month. I can’t believe how fast summer has gone, so I’ve got to make sure to enjoy the rest while I can.

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