Photos never do justice. – HYL (a.k.a. my sister)
The quote we said over and over again as we stared at Colorado’s magnificent beauty. Our family decided to do a somewhat last minute road trip after my mom randomly suggested Colorado. She kept talking about this really long bridge that was very, very scary. She had visited it as a teenager when she first arrived in the U.S. and she wanted us to see it as well. So we planned a five day road trip with my parents, grandpa, younger brother and sister.🚙 The first and fifth day were mostly driving days – it takes more than 10 hours to get to Colorado from Dallas! But, here’s the breakdown of all the awesome places we visited:
Royal Gorge Bridge & Park
Our first stop was Royal Gorge Bridge & Park near Cañon City. The bridge is in between a gorge and almost a thousand feet above the ground! Down under there are people white water rafting in the Arkansas River and train tracks running around the gorge. First, we rode a gondola across and then walked back across the bridge. I can’t even describe how beautiful it was. The mountains, rocks, river, trees, sky – everything was so breathtaking!
The Royal Gorge Bridge is made with wooden planks so there are some “holes” where you can see parts of the gorge and river. Cars are also able to drive across the bridge and you can feel the wooden planks twisting under the weight and movement. So cool! The only scary part was that the strong winds kept swaying the bridge. I had wanted to take a family photo on the bridge, (selfie stick!) but literally my family was nowhere to be found… They just walked straight across the bridge without stopping to observe because they were so afraid! 😆
Great Sand Dunes
Our second day was at the Great Sand Dunes near Mosca. This was our most adventurous part of the trip because my brother, sister, and I climbed the tallest sand dune! We also went sand sledding and sand boarding. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! But, the climb, oh the climb was so brutal. Whenever my calves started burning I tried to crawl up the sand dune. And one too many times I just plopped over into the sand because I was too tired to go up.
My brother who led the way was such an angel. 😇 He carried our backpack, board, and sled and kept pushing us by yelling: “keep going!” & “we’re almost there!” It felt like we were climbing together to destroy the ring – Lord of the Rings, anyone? I was Smegel, my brother was Frodo, and my sister was Sam. We joked endlessly about it as we climbed. 😂
The view at the top was amazing and totally worth the struggle! Once you’re at the top you just stand still soak it all in. The view leaves you speechless.
Our third and “final day” was at Pagosa Hot Springs where we relaxed our sore bodies in the hot springs. It was the perfect way to end our trip. Some of the pools were extremely HOT and some of them were really warm and cozy. There were also a lot of pretty sunflowers (my fave), cool plants🌵, and many other green things.
I got to read a bit of Maya Angelou’s autobiography”I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Highly recommend it! She shares what it was like to grow up as a black girl in the late 1960s and 1970s. She experiences harsh racism, prejudice, and trauma, but also learns to love herself, care for others, and find joy in literature.
Visiting Treasure Falls was spontaneous, which made it more fun! The climb up was very short only about 15 minutes so very doable for all you non-hikers out there (including myself!). It’s definitely a lot cooler next to the falls and you can feel the water spraying onto your face.💦 This was written about it at the deck:
I stood beside this river with its spray in my face and watched it thunder into foam, smooth to green glass over sunken rocks, shatter to foam again. – Wallace Stegner
No other words needed to describe this treasure!🌟
Echo Amphitheater in New Mexico
This was also a pleasant surprise on our way back home through New Mexico. New Mexico is SO different from Colorado. It’s definitely more red and orange while Colorado is very green and blue. There are a lot more rocks than mountains. Even the sky looks different! ⛅️ We only saw the Echo Amphitheater from a distance in our parked car but it was so legit! The rocks have an ombre effect on them too.
That sums up our family road trip to Colorado. Hope you enjoyed and go visit it someday!
Camera: Canon A-1 Film camera
Film: Kodak Portra 800 35mm