Since deciding to become full-time RVers in early 2017, we have been filled with many conflicting emotions. Although we will always love Colorado and plan to be back to visit, we can’t help but feel a little sad to leave this wonderful place behind. However, we are beyond excited for life on the road!
So, before our next chapter begins, it only seems right to take some time to reminisce on our 4.5 years here. And although we have had countless unforgettable days, we have put together our 20 favorite Colorado memories to share a small snapshot of how amazing this beautiful state is!
1. Reaching the top of our first 14er – Mt. Bierstadt
This is the quintessential bucket-list item for Coloradans, and the first memory that comes to mind when I think of our best memories here. Getting to hike Mt. Bierstadt together was a highlight of our time in Colorado. It was so difficult! But the wildflowers, fresh air, and insanely beautiful views made the effort more than worth it.
2. Building our first snowman
This one technically happened on our honeymoon a year before we officially moved to Colorado, but it is one of our all-time-favorite memories. Neither of us had any idea what we were doing. We just kept heaping snow together until we made a mound that somewhat resembled what we had seen in the movies. We built sandcastles growing up in Florida, but this was not the same thing at all!
3. Whitewater rafting for the first time
This was another honeymoon adventure, and probably one of the first truly daring things we did as a couple. On the last full day of our honeymoon, we spontaneously booked a trip to go whitewater rafting down Clear Creek. It was cold and raining and we were freezing the entire time but we couldn’t stop smiling.
4. Our 1st annual Christmas Day Hike in Rocky Mountain National Park
We had no plan and no idea where we were going. We just strapped on our snowshoes and went exploring near Bear Lake. At one point we realized we were walking on a frozen lake and got a little freaked out. Then, we got a little lost on our way back and barely made it to the car before sunset. Dummies!!! We were so ill-prepared and made so many mistakes that first day out in the snow! But, luckily, we lived to laugh about our naivety.
5. My dad’s freak-out moment on top of Trail Ridge Road
A few months after we moved to Colorado, my dad came to visit. He was the first to come out so we ran him ragged showing him all of the places we had fallen in love with.
Of course, Rocky Mountain National Park took up an entire day. When we took him over Trail Ridge Road to see the awesome views, hilarity ensued.
My dad, who is usually super calm and chill, freaked out as we got near the top. He said something along the lines of: “There is a drop off to my right and a 10-foot-high wall of snow to my left, this is insane!” Except with one or two f-bombs thrown in for effect. Buddy and I still laugh about this. Luckily, my dad forgave us for scaring him when he saw the mountain panorama!
6. Sledding in RMNP
Since we grew up in Florida, Colorado brought a lot of firsts for us. And, sledding was definitely one of them! We felt so silly as full-grown adults climbing up the sledding hill in Rocky Mountain National Park. But as soon as we slid down for the first time, we stopped caring how ridiculous we looked as we rode down the hill laughing hysterically.
7. Driving Pikes Peak
We knew we had to see the views from the summit of Pikes Peak, but we had no idea what an ordeal it would be to get to the top. After countless sharp twists and turns, and many stops for checking out the views, we were psyched to finally make it safely to the top!
This is just one of those places you have to experience in person. And, I’m really glad we got to take my mom to the top during her visit so she could experience the dizzying wonder of being so high up.
8. Paddleboarding with my BFF
When my best friend of 20+ years and her boyfriend finally came to visit us, we couldn’t wait to take them to our favorite paddleboarding spot up in Fort Collins. We had such a great time laughing, chilling and chatting on the relaxing waters of Horsetooth Reservoir.
9. Cutting down our own Christmas tree
Another first for us! This is a Christmas activity I had on my bucket list for years! We had no idea you were supposed to “claim” your tree earlier in the season. So, we ended up with the most pathetically scrawny tree, but the experience will never be forgotten. Racing around trying to find the best option before it got too dark, then taking turns sawing at the trunk was only the start.
Getting it in the car was the most hilarious part! They ended up just shoving it in our brand-new SUV before we had time to say no! We had to drive home with a tree in between us and it made a total mess. Buddy was pissed at the time, but it makes for a good laugh now.
10. Soaking at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs
For his 30th birthday, I surprised Buddy with a trip to this amazing place. We got to soak all of our cares away in the naturally-heated hot spring pool while a blanket of stars filled the sky above us. We were all by ourselves for most of the night and it felt like pure magic.
11. Hot air balloon ride
Another 30th birthday surprise for Buddy! I drove him to an open field at 6 a.m. without him having any idea what was in store. He was really caught off-guard when he found out we were going on a hot air balloon ride. Especially because he isn’t a big fan of heights… not sure why I always forget that (oops)! But, he got in it anyway and we had a great time.
12. Snowshoeing alone up Trail Ridge Road
One of our favorite hiking days was when we decided to take a leisurely snowshoe hike up Trail Ridge Road. Since no cars are allowed up there in winter, we were all alone and had the amazing views all to ourselves. It was so silent and peaceful there that day and we cherish that special memory.
13. Hiking to the 1st Flatiron in Boulder
One year for our anniversary, we both took off of work to spend a day hiking in Boulder. We decided to hike to the 1st Flatiron because we heard the views were great. And they totally did not disappoint! We even climbed up into a little alcove to get a better vantage point. A little sketchy, but definitely worth it!
14. Watching Fight Club at Red Rocks
We have gotten to see a handful of movies and shows at Red Rocks. We have some great memories of time spent there with friends, watching the sunset and looking for shooting stars surrounded by gorgeous red rock formations. However, getting to watch Fight Club (one of my all-time favorites) there was so much fun! The fight scenes were extra intense on the big screen (almost too much so!), with every crack echoing through the amphitheater.
15. Hiking to The Loch in RMNP
We didn’t know what to expect when we set out on this hike and after enjoying the beautiful Alberta Falls, we were surprised to find lots of snow still on the trail. But, The Loch was stunning. This is probably my favorite place that I’ve been in RMNP and that is really saying something.
Afterward, we tried to get to Sky Pond but it was a little too treacherous at the time, so we turned around and got to use a snow slide someone had built into the mountain on our way back!
16. Seeing Hummingbirds at the Denver Botanic Gardens
Buddy has a deep love for macro photography, so wandering around the Denver Botanic Gardens to take pictures is something we have enjoyed dozens of times. But one day we lucked out by seeing lots of hummingbirds. It was such a special treat!
17. Spending our 5th Anniversary in RMNP
Sometimes life just gets too hectic and you need to sit still in beautiful places to catch your balance. And, that’s exactly what we did on our 5th wedding anniversary. We spent the day in Rocky Mountain National Park sitting by relaxing lakes and streams and in front of gorgeous mountain views. It was awesome to just focus on being together, being in love and being happy.
We didn’t do anything particularly adventurous or exciting, yet it is probably my favorite memory and a reason I’ll always love Colorado. (P.S. on a return visit years later, we actually renewed our vows in RMNP also!)
18. Buying (and selling) our first home
Lucky for us we got to experience the huge housing boom in Colorado! We bought our house just as things were starting to get busy and sold it two years later before the market slowed down a little.
Although we had no intention of selling our home so quickly, we felt like it would be silly to miss out on such a great seller’s market. And we don’t miss all that space at all!
19. Snuggling Baby Goats at Broken Shovels Farm
When I found out that there was an animal rescue farm nearby I couldn’t wait to go spend time with the animals at Broken Shovels. Little did I know, we were visiting during baby season! There was so much cuteness I could barely handle it, so I just snuggled it instead.
If you’ve never been around goats you are really missing out. They are some of the sweetest and most entertaining creatures. We are always all smiles and laughs when we visit with them.
20. Stargazing in RMNP
This is one of our most recent cherished memories. While staying in Grand Lake, we left our hotel room late at night to go enjoy the stars. We drove up to the top of Trail Ridge Road and snuggled up as we admired the beautiful starry scene above us. Since it was a new moon and a clear night, we were able to see thousands of stars and even the milky way! We also saw a handful of shooting stars, which always feels like a special gift.
We obviously love Colorado. It certainly included many firsts and special moments that we will cherish always. I think it has definitely prepared us for a life of adventure and lots of time enjoying the outdoors together. We look forward to visiting often and enjoying many more memorable Colorado moments.
Want more? Read more tips for visiting Colorado here.