Colorado is a beautiful place. Luckily for us we also know some beautiful people on Colorado! Dominick has a lot of family out here, and once he knew that we were heading to Mesa Verde National Park he hopped on the phone and called his great Aunt and Uncle Jo and Carmen. We got to stay a few days and nights at their wonderful house in Cortez where we hunted prairie dogs and watched a lot of Glen Beck. Jo and Carmen really took care of us and treated us like kings. Thanks Jo and Carmen for opening your house to us and being so fun and caring during our stay!
Dom, Carmen and Jo
We spent a few days checking out Mesa Verde where dwellings remain from when Native Americans lived in the caves about 800 years ago. We went on 2 ranger-guided tours and learned a lot of interesting stuff about Mesa Verde and the Native Americans that lived there so long ago.
We had to get on our hands and knees at one point to barely squeeze through the tunnel.
Before we left Mesa Verde Carmen told us that we had to check out a little town called Telluride. He and Jo had lived there for a long time before moving to Cortez, and they loved it. We only spent a few hours there at sunset, but could tell that it was a beautiful place!
Night shot in town
After Telluride We checked out the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The Gunnison is a huge river that cut through rock to create a massive and amazing Canyon. We did a scenic drive through the park and hiked to a few viewpoints to get an upclose look at the Canyon and the Gunnison River running through it. The camera can't really do justice to the Canyon or River and we are really blessed to get to see these places with our own eyes.
Leaving the Black Canyon we had a long 6 hour drive ahead of us towards Boulder, CO. We stopped for lunch in the town of Gunnison and I gave a high school friend a call. He went to school in Boulder but is now living in Colorado Springs where he got a job at a bank. I asked if he might want to grab dinner or something, and he offered to have us over at his place for the night! He even cooked up some amazing burgers for us and sang along to all the songs while we watched CMT's Singing Bee. We met his awesome girlfriend and went on a hike at Garden of the Gods the next morning. Thanks Kev for taking care of us!
Ally, Kev, Danielle and I
After hiking arond the Garden of the Gods we loaded up and headed off to Boulder CO. About an hour later the Rolls started to overhead so we stopped at a Starbucks and let the RV cool down for at least an hour. Mallory and Danielle loaded up on Iced Teas and refilled 3 times each at just 50 cents a pop. We also used Starbuck's free wifi as we sat in the parking lot and played a few games of Hearts. It was a pretty fun way to pass the time.
Once the Rolls was ready to Rumble again we headed towards Longmont CO where Dominick's Granparents Dick and Mary Kay live. Dom had told us about Mary Kay's amazing cooking. He also mentioned their awesome basement that had a poker table, PingPong/Pool table, a fridge full of drinks, and a brand new bathroom! We pulled in just around dinner time. Mary Kay had cooked chicken and had biscuits, corn on the cob, cole slaw and all types of veggies and fruit as side dishes. The next morning we all headed out to see the Rocky Mountain National Park. Before reaching the park we stopped at They Stanley Hotel where the movie The Shining was shot.
Some "fun" playing PingPong
At Rocky Mountain Park had a picnic and tried to avoid getting rained on. On the way home we stopped by their favorite ice cream shop in Estes Park and treated us all to some great homemade ice cream. They have spoiled us non stop since we showed up and we are really grateful. Thanks Dick and Mary Kay for taking care of us and showing us around Colorado!
Dom, Dick and Mary Kay!