West coast #3 (Colorado continued)

Brian was very excited to show me some of his favorite spots.

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You know it’s extra good when the road has signs saying for motorcycles to use EXTREME caution.

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The road around Horsetooth reservoir was phenomenal and there was a cool graffiti cave just off the road that was neat.20170430_190044 (1)

Over the next few days, Brian grabbed a few items to prepare for the trip from an outdoor gear shop. 20170501_122359

We also explored around the energy filled college town of Fort Collins. The alley cat was a fantastic coffee shop that we checked out. You can tell the people that work there actually want to be there and are enjoying their work. It is open 24 hours with the college students, is tastefully decorated, and makes a delicious sweet Chai. (And its where I am writing this update from now. : ) )

With our driving around we naturally had to try each others bike and let me tell you… they are completely different beasts. I caught Brian jumping up and down a lot with the fun amount of play the Suzuki’s suspension has. His 4 cylinder felt quite smooth over my single cylinder engine. I have already grown very fond of my bike and wouldn’t trade it  for any other though. That’s for sure!

That night we walked around downtown and I knew I made an excellent choice in Brian for this kind of a trip when I mentioned running through the fountain and Brian took off to do it!  20170502_211344

Our adventures were just getting started as we set off to go further into the mountains the next day.

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The winding roads became even more fun as the tarmac ended and the back mountain dirt roads presented themselves to us.

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Forgive the strange expression. I was actually loving it. : )

 

A few times I noticed some rougher side roads and motioned for Brian to wait a second while I took full advantage of the off road capacity of my bike.

We soon saw a sign for Shambhala and drove on to see what is considered to be a mythical place in the Himalayas.

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I could hear the wind in the trees and crickets making themselves known. There was a cool breeze this far up in the mountains as we walked the dirt path. I thought I would miss the Caribbean warmth a bit more, but the contrast of the refreshing mountain air that felt like an enjoyably chilly mountain stream brushing against us, as the wind blew, couldn’t go unappreciated. We kept on to the shiny structure in the distance.

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The stone object in front was covered with all types of objects including money. It seemed strange to me that people would just leave money among other objects.

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We pushed on to see what the inside looked like and were greeted with a large statue. 20170503_142219

We headed out after briefly looking around and headed back down the mountain. Once back in Fort Collins we both decided to set up our hammocks. My hammock hadn’t been used since Puerto Rico and I was missing it! Finding a spot was a slightly more difficult without the coconut trees, but that wouldn’t stop us. 20170503_181736

Before officially setting off further West, our schedule still had a lot of must see’s like Estes Park and Boulder Colorado.

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Boulder had a nice downtown, but I still noticed a lot of homeless people. Brian mentioned how he thinks it could be the legalization of marijuana that brought many of them to Colorado. The others that lived there were quite well dressed in Patagonia and other quality hiking material. There are huge rock formations very close nearby and we headed to hike the Boulder flat irons! Looking back at my pictures I failed to get a good far away shot showing how high they are. : ( (A quick google search does show some great shots of them. )

Anyway. We talked to some park rangers on the way up asking how long it would roughly take us to get to the top of the tall one, and felt great when both of the females rangers said how we looked pretty fit and it should be around a half hour. Niceee… Still got it. : ) haha.

20170504_165111 It was a fairly tough hike not being used to the elevation, BUT so worth it. I kept stopping to take in the vast and juicy view as we kept climbing! It wasn’t hard to spot the Denver skyline from up here.

20170504_17041720170504_171410 There is nothing like being so high up and being able to just see for miles all around you.

The next destination was Estes, Colorado. We headed through the mountain passes to this smaller town.

After a quick bite to eat we headed to our next hiking spot of Gem Lake in the beautiful Rocky mountains.

All of the white capped mountains surrounding us really shouted their magnificence to those who just looked. Our hike to Gem lake had so many spots I had to stop and try and capture some of the awe inspiring view. 20170505_12422420170505_130644

This hike was even higher up than the one we had done yesterday and we both had our heavy motorcycle jackets with us. Neither of us had a lock box on the bikes to shove our gear in and lock up, and the jackets got so heavy.

We made it to the top and marveled at the way the water sparkled like a gem.

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You can see the rock formation around the pool in the first picture and we both noticed it as a great way to go higher and started carefully climbing.  20170505_135455

There were the most amazing little pools in the rock from the rainfall and the best view from the top. Everyone that was at the lake below had no idea how much they were missing out on. 20170505_14021920170505_14023020170505_140809

We felt like kings. From this vantage point we found that there was a great echo by whistling, shouting, and saying random things down in the direction of the lake. I know for a fact that I would have kept yelling things for at least 10 minutes if it hadn’t been for all the other people down at the lake having to hear our voices all around them.

And so we sat, soaking it all in. The sunshine, view, quiet, birds flying below us, and how blessed we are. Today I am particularly thankful for being healthy to do these kind of things and especially being able to see.

P.S. I am sure you saw the hammock up at the lake… I foolishly didn’t bring mine with me that day to really kick back on top of the world.

P.S.S. If you have Instagram and want some extra and sneak peek photos before the full story on the blog comes out you can follow me @joshjourneys

Until the next one my friends… The desert is coming.

 

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