1. Pueblo, Colorado - 8/1 - 8/3
Pueblo itself isn’t very special, but the stuff that we did while we were staying in Pueblo were beyond compare. On our way to Pueblo, we drove through Fairplay, where we stopped and took a tour of an old town called South Park City that had been burned down and rebuilt as a museum. We walked through nearly forty buildings and a train, and got a real taste of what gold-towns were like 150 years ago. We ate lunch in the town saloon where we played pool, and then drove to Pueblo to stay in for the night. Our first morning, we woke up at 6am to drive to Cañon Springs for white water rafting on the Arkansas River. We did 8 miles in under two hours, speeding through class 2 and 3 rapids. From there we drove to Cripple Creek to get lunch. After that, we drove to the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine, where we descended 1000 feet for an incredible tour through gold mines from the 1800s. We were given miners jackets and helmets, stacked with no breathing room into an elevator, and sent down to the bottom of the mine. Down there, we saw the original tools and strategies, rode a train through the tunnels, saw gold veins, and received souvenir rocks. After that, we returned to Pueblo with a new appreciation for miners and those who traveled to find gold in the Old West.
2. Rocky Mountain National Park (Part 2), Colorado - 7/30 - 7/31
Our last day in Rocky Mountain National Park was one to remember. We woke up at 6am to drive to the beginning of our hike, because there were thunderstorms expected by 11am, and our hike would take us above the tree-line. Basically, we had to start early so we could just as early and not get struck by lightning. The hike was beautiful to begin - the journey was cool, sunny, and pretty easygoing. We scaled a waterfall, climbing alongside water rushing the opposite direction, and had a variety of incredible views to go with it. We finally got to our destination - Sky Pond - at about 10:30, so we had time to spare. We stopped to have a snack, scared off the marmots that wouldn’t stop trying to get our food, and enjoyed the view. That was, until we felt rain. This would be the turning point of the day, because once the rain began, it did not stop. We started the trek back immediately so that we could get down the waterfall before it was overflowing, and hopefully take it slow from there. Once we got to the bottom though, the weather had other plans: the sky opened up, and it started pouring rain, hailing, and then pouring harder. Our 5 miles up in the sun were no match for the 5 mile return to the parking lot. We walked through the rain for almost two hours, and finally reached the car. From the park, we went straight to get pizza, sat and ate it in the car, and returned to the hotel to shower and watch movies. Some of us fell asleep on the floor (if you’ve read previous blogs, you know who), while the rest of us slept in beds. It was a great day.
3. Denver/Boulder, Colorado - 7/31 - 8/1
Our drive from the national park to Denver had a lot of stops on the way. Before we even got to Boulder, we went on a factory tour of Celestial Seasonings and walked through a sculpture garden at Leanin’ Tree. Once we got to Boulder, we did a driving tour of Colorado University, including a walk into the football stadium, and then walked up and down Pearl Street for a couple of hours. From there, we drove right into Denver, where we went to Union Station, walked along 16th Street, saw the Capitol, and stood at Mile High Point on the thirteenth step of the building. On our way to the hotel, we stopped to see Mile High Stadium (home of the Broncos), Coors Field (Rockies), and from a distance the Pepsi Center (Nuggets). At our hotel, we were greeted with the pleasant surprise of a room with two bedrooms and a full kitchen and living space, which was a very exciting way to end the long day.
4. Amarillo, Texas - 8/3 - 8/4
Amarillo was the first of four cities that we stopped in as we traveled across Texas. On our way into town, we stopped at Cadillac Ranch, which was more of a pond due to the storm that had just passed through. We ‘cruised’ down the historic Route 66, stopping in all different kinds of restaurants that didn’t have vegetarian options, eventually leading us to Chili’s instead.
5. Dallas (Part 1), Texas - 8/4 - 8/5
Our first couple of days in Dallas were not as exciting as the rest would be, other than the incredible book talk that was given! We played pool, swam in the pool, and even learned how to fix a toilet! We saw a lot of how big Dallas’ suburbs are, and ate some delicious fish and macaroni. We also got to watch all of the adults tell stories, and remember all of the funny things they did when they were growing up. Don’t get us wrong. Dallas was just as great as Pueblo, but we had to rank them and Pueblo was more exciting and exhilarating than Dallas this week!
Week 5 showed us an incredible amount of Colorado, and began our journey through Texas. If you want to see more pictures of us and what we did, follow our Instagram account @dumbndumber17.
Jeremy and Danny