Cross Country Skiing to Maroon Bells

Back in January 2015 we drove home to Chicago from California for the holidays. On our way back out West, we stopped in Colorado and visited one of our favorites places, Maroon Bells in Aspen. It had been years since we last visited for the first time, back in 2012 or 2013 on one of our road trips.

So we were really excited to go back and visit in a different season. We asked around how we could get in to see the mountains and they said either through snowmobile (which was not cheap to rent) or cross country skiing. We are both snowboarders so this was our first time cross country skiing. It was a great workout and took quite a while for us to get to the mountain. We started early in the morning and finished by mid afternoon. IMG_5418

It was gorgeous and sunny out and we couldn’t ask for better weather. IMG_5416

We brought snacks and had little picnics when we got hungry. The mountain didn’t seem that far but it was a couple of miles. We kept saying, “we’re almost there, we’re almost there.”


It was absolutely beautiful to see the mountain covered with snow. I love how harsh the lines on the mountain are.


The last time we were here it was cloudy and drizzling and we could barely see the mountain.


Had to get in our jumping pic. IMG_5467

We decided to walk down to get closer to the mountain and had to trudge through some pretty deep snow. IMG_5483IMG_5494-2IMG_5495-2

Oh Maroon Bells, we love you. IMG_5485


Travel Thursdays: Mount Evans, Colorado

Two summers ago my boyfriend and I went to Colorado with his parents to visit their family in Denver. Whenever we go to Colorado we always love to go hiking. That year we went on a hike in Mount Evans in Colorado which is the highest paved road in North America. Mount Evans is one of the 54 mountain peaks over 14,000 feet in Colorado and the closest fourteener (as they are called) to Denver. image_1-1


This is his parents on the way down from our hike. image_1-3



This was our view at the top of our hike, a beautiful pristine mini lake. image_1-2

Travel Thursdays: Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado

The Royal Gorge Bridge is in Canon City, Colorado. I had never heard of it before but found it a brochure about what to do and see in Colorado while I was there. So off we went for the day.

This is our beloved 4Runner right before we went into the park. We’ve been on quite a few cross country road trips with it.


Sadly this picture is a little dark but you get the gist, this is the bridge. image_1-1

I didn’t think I was really that afraid of heights, but depending on the situation I guess I am. It was pretty windy that day.


Here are some awesome white water rafters looking at them from the bridge. It’s pretty high up as you can see. image_1-4

We decided to go down to their level.




And here is the gondola that takes you from one side to the other of the park. And if I remember correctly it was a free ride.


Before we left the park my boyfriend and I went over to a cute little part of the park where it looks like an old Western town.


Travel Thursday : Road Signs!

Coming from the Midwest the only road signs I see are for deer and duck crossings. Not extremely exciting or exotic animals.



So on our road trip last year that we took from Chicago to San Francisco we saw some really fun animal road signs.



image_1-3This is from Utah. I love the open road! I love that it’s not littered, there are no signs of commercialism and no chain restaurants. Make sure to fill up on gas though on road like this because the stations are few and far between!

image_1-4This turtle sign was from Death Valley in California.

image_1-5This was right outside of the Vegas strip.


image_1-7This was by the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

image_1-8This was also near the Grand Canyon.

image_1This was right outside of Maroon Bells in Aspen Colorado.

Sadly we didn’t have the pleasure of encountering any of these animals, maybe next time!

Travel Thursday: Maroon Bells, Colorado

To kickoff Travel Thursdays I thought I’d start with one of my favorite places that I have ever been! I instantly fell in love with Colorado as soon as I crossed the border.

CO signIt is a truly beautiful state. On our last 3 annual road trips we have always stopped in Colorado. My boyfriend has family in Colorado so he grew up visiting and knew he wanted to live there in the future. After being in Colorado I understood right away why he would want to live there. There is so much to do there, the mountains are incredible, there are gorgeous hikes, people are so friendly, and there are so many outdoor activities.

Road trips are an incredible way to travel. I’ll have to do a separate post on my love for them. But one of my favorite things about them is that as much as you can plan and map them out, you find yourself stumbling across amazing places. One of the most unexpected and breathtaking places we came across was Maroons Bells in Aspen, Colorado. We had just left Edwards after staying with my cousin, and were on our way to Arches National Park in Utah. We knew we wanted to stop in Aspen because neither of us had ever been.

The downtown area of Aspen is very ritzy and has high end designer stores such as Ralph Lauren. There are cute little shops as well where you can buy souvenirs, stickers, sweatshirts etc. It is a famous ski town where celebrities often retreat and understandably so! After getting into Aspen in the early evening, we walked around and grabbed dinner. This was last summer so the Summer Olympics 2012 in London were finishing and we caught the closing ceremony featuring none other than my childhood favorites, the Spice Girls!

2495329-2493069-olympics-closing-spice-girls-617-409After reliving my childhood, we headed to Snow mass which is a town about 20 minutes from Aspen and stayed there (much cheaper than a hotel in Aspen). The next morning we found ourselves following signs to see Maroon Bells. We have a running theme of running into people we know or have a connection to Chicago on our many road trips. For example, we ran into friends in the lobby of the Badlands, I saw a friend of mine from junior high in the street of New York (not in a touristy spot either!) we talked to some girls on a hike who were from a rival high school in the West suburbs of Chicago, and at the entrance gate of Maroon Bells we saw a guy we went to high school with and was in my geometry class! Talk about a small world!

From the minute we woke up that morning it was cloudy and lightly drizzling but it made for a serene background to the gorgeous mountains. We kept waiting for the clouds to pass so we could see the top of the mountain, but the clouds kept rolling in. Nonetheless it was incredible and so peaceful. I loved every minute of it and can not wait to go back!! maroonbells1