Sunday, July 28, 2013

Colorado Road Trip 2013 - Part 2

There was a time I envied the people I'd see far overhead, cruising along at 37,000 feet in their airplane, wondering what cool place they were flying to. But then I started cramming the family into the car and driving the empty highways of the West. And now I'm fairly certain most of those people far overhead are straining their eyes, looking down, trying to see what they are missing.

Those who think America is crowded need to take a drive from Missoula to Steamboat Springs. Let me show you what you'll see from your car window for approximately 400 miles:

That's not entirely fair of me. We drove through a lot of beautiful country between Montana and Colorado. But it's always a thrill to drive those long, lost stretches of highway, plentiful in the West, where at any moment you could be a 3 hour wait for a tow truck. My advice is to travel with a full cooler...

On the back side of our Steamboat visit we traveled farther south, into central Colorado, a place Carrie and I really wanted to see. Our first post-Steamboat camping site was spectacular. We drove a road called Kebler Pass, per a recommendation I had received at the KettleHouse in Missoula, and traveled through forests of Aspen... reach our campsite - Lake Irwin at 10,500 feet elevation - to be rewarded with this view from the back Forty from our tent:

Lake Irwin was a great spot to camp, and we wish we could have spent a little more time there. Jacob, who has recently taken up fly fishing, really wanted to stay on.

But we had other sites to see. We first visited the ski nirvana of Crested Butte...

...and then lunched in Gunnison, so I could meet up with an old friend. Following a few beers, we headed to Blue Mesa Reservoir at Curecanti NRA for another night of camping. We really wanted to see Curecanti, a national park very similar to our old home at Lake Powell, and it didn't disappoint. 

We love camping. Much better than a hotel room (although we did spend a night in a hotel on the way home - the shower was much appreciated). Where else can you have so much fun? All these great places, out in the middle of nowhere. We were far often more alone than crowded. And we had a great time along the way...

If ever you want to join us, just drop a line. We're already packed...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Colorado Road Trip 2013 - Part 1

Another summer, another Sweatland family road trip. This year we returned to Steamboat Springs to spend time with Carrie's family and do a little camping in the mountains. It was a great visit and the kids enjoyed hanging out with their cousins. Here's a family photo from taken at Stagecoach Reservoir:

Steamboat is a fun little town. We spent our days fishing, swimming, and running around town, and filled our evenings with dinner, board games, and lots of pool time. There was a little pond just down the street from the place we stayed, and Jacob, his cousin Johnny, and the men spent many a day fishing. Here's Jacob and Johnny with the catch:

Annie and Carrie must have spent 80 percent of their time in the pool. Truth be told we all spent a lot of time in the water. The weather was hot and sunny and the pool was a great relief from the heat of July.

Here's a photo of Annie and cousin Kelly, with Annie doing what Annie does - enjoying a soda:

Being a family, there had to be a little friendly competition, so we hit the putt-putt course for a quick game. Carrie and the McVay clan played pretty well, but unfortunately I don't think Jacob will be earning a golfing scholarship to college.

 With family spread all over the states, it was really nice for Carrie's dad to get us a place where we could spend time together. We'll definitely plan more family get-togethers like this in the future.