Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Summer 2014 Road Trip: Mountain Streams and Heading Home

I hope y'all are having a wonderful week!
I am in disbelief that we are already in the second week
of May!

I am excited to be sharing some photos that make up "Part 3" of
my summer road trip that I last shared about back in, I believe, October.
Time has just gotten away from me with my studies and
family and the seasons flying by and it hit me about January that I 
still needed to share the third part of the photos from my trip!
Since then, I have not had the chance to finish
going through the last set of photos completely until just recently.
So here I am about nine months after we got back
to share the last of the photos.  
I am sorry for taking so long!
But here they are, the last photos from our
summer road trip to Colorado this past July.

If you would like to see what came before these,
you can find Part One of my photos HERE and 
Part Two HERE.

I hope you enjoy!




Oh, Colorado sunsets.
Last time I went to Colorado and came back and shared
photos, I think there were a good amount of sunset photos.
I took way too many again because the sunsets over this range never
cease to amaze me with their vibrance and glow and the
way the mountains become just an ominous silhouette against 
their light.


At the end of our trip, we drove up into the Sangre De Cristo
mountains... it is always so awe-inspiring to get closer and closer
to them after looking at them from afar for awhile.

And as we drove closer on that country road, I admired
the skies above and the prairie grasses that went on endlessly before the
mountains, making me feel like Laura Ingalls in Kansas as I looked out.






Heading out from the road, each time we went somewhere it was always
so fun to see the animals on the ranch at the end of the road.  The little
goats were especially cute.  We actually ran into their owner one day as we
were walking up the road and she said she uses their wool to create cashmere
and knits with it.  I thought that was so neat.





Back to the mountain trip, I enjoyed the scenery and the meadows
in front of the mountains as we made our way to the base of the mountain
that we would be journeying onto.



Tiny- from our view- cattle and those glorious shadows of the clouds on
the mountains that I have come to fall in love with over these
years I have had the privilege to visit Colorado.




And after parking at the bottom, we made our way up,
leaving this behind us.



Nearing the summit...



Hiking in the mountains is always amazing.  I love getting to see the
different species of trees as I look up, especially because they
are so different from anything down here at home.







This mountain creek that felt more like a rushing river because
of its width and how loud it was made the long trek up so worth it.
I could have sat here forever just listening to the wonderful
sounds of it running over every rock and limb.



This was the view on the other side as it ran down the hill into a 
calm stream.




Here are a couple of
of videos I took so you can be transported to this place, too...
even if just through the sounds, because I know that it is appearing
so grainy on here.
(In the first video, the talking at the end is my family.  I think they are
talking about fishing bait, haha.)

video


video



Exploring the area around the site on which we day-camped at the top
of the mountain, I found a gorgeous display of countless Colorado Columbines.
What a delicately lovely state flower they have.




Doing some fishing in the stream, we sat on the banks next to this tree
with these vivid blossoms.



And here is the picturesque bridge above the stream.
We stood here to take some family pictures and I spent a good
amount of our time there standing on it and looking down,
listening to the water, as well as admiring the height of the trees
all around us and being amazed at how close they all were.



A group of riders came by on what looked like a guided trail ride.
What an experience that must have been.  The poor horses were so afraid to
go over the bridge, but they eventually got across.








The grandness of the trees in the mountains is just indescribable.
In the South, our trees are huge in their girth where we live, but in the mountains
 it was amazing to stand at the base of these mighty trees and stare up at
their height.







It was such a fun end to the day to roast a few marshmallows at a small
campsite near the stream.



We spent almost all day in the mountains, but I was not ready to leave.
As we made our way down the mountain, we encountered a group of
Amish people who were so nice.  There is an Amish settlement in the
town nearby and we always see them around whenever we visit.
They were headed up when we were headed down and they looked like
they were about to go have a good time camping or just riding the trails.

The beginnings of a storm greeted us at the bottom of the mountain.



Just a few minutes later, it hit full force.



The last photo I took before we headed back was of this wildflower.
I thought it was such a beautiful hue.  I didn't notice until later
when I was zooming in on my camera that, along with it...



I captured this little insect.  His markings are so pretty.
God's handiwork is such a gift to us in being able to see something
so intricate and neat as a little bug or the soft and resplendent petals
of wildflowers like this.



On our last night, we got to eat by the light of this lamp.
I felt more like Laura Ingalls than ever as I sat there and watched the slight
flicker of that antiquated lamp, the cozy feeling of it along with the low, darkening
skies outside.  And then it started raining.  If you have read my blog for even
a short period of time, you know how much I love rain.
It was a lovely evening and supper.



After supper, we went on a walk.
My Aunt, Uncle, and little cousin, who live in Colorado, came up
to see us on our last night.  While the guys stayed at the ranch, we girls,
including my Grandma, and my cousin, went walking up the long road.
The rain had just stopped, but the skies were still looming with the
velvety blue-gray of storms passed.  It was amazing to look out and see
the sun ever so slightly shining behind us in a strange light on the prairie
grasses in contrast to the dark skies ahead and low white clouds
trickling just over the hills.
It looked like twister weather, but at the same time it was a
strangely beautiful, calming sky, and to be so close to those
clouds was surreal.







And this hours after the storm on our way back up the road.
This is my favorite photo I took on the entire trip because of how
heavenly and open and free it feels, taking me back to standing there and
looking out at the Sangre De Cristo range and those amazing 
summer storms.




Heading home!

I have to say that road trippin' ☺ is so different from plane
travel and I love it a thousand times more because every turn of every
corner is an adventure.  There are so many things to see.

To get home, early in our trip we passed through the Texas panhandle
and got to experience being on Route 66!  That was so exciting.
We stopped at this amazing restaurant in Amarillo that was such a fun,
touristy spot, and it had one of the best burgers in all of Texas, in my
opinion.
The huge bull outside definitely catches your eye and makes this
place, The Big Texan, hard to miss.  So, if you're ever going through Amarillo,
I highly recommend stoppin' in.




Inside, it has an old West, old saloon kind of feel that is so neat.


And most fun of all is the fact that they have a 72 oz. steak challenge
where they have contenders sit at this table on a stage in front of everyone.
It is called the Route 66 72 oz. Steak Challenge!
The challenge is to eat the entire steak in an hour. If 
you don't succeed, you have to pay for it, but if you do you get it 
free and I think you get your name up on their wall of fame.
Which is pretty neat!  I love things like that that are fun and challenges
like this, but as far as this one, I liked watching just fine.  I cannot even
imagine eating that entire steak.  I was having trouble just finishing
my burger as I sat in our booth and watched the one guy who was up
on the stage taking on the challenge.  He did not finish.


And the decor above the stage and the entire restaurant?....
Only in Texas.
I kind of felt like that longhorn skull was a little scary to be
sitting under.  That would not put me at ease if I was trying the steak
challenge, haha ;)


The hotel right across the street from the restaurant was so
interesting and colorful.  I loved everything about The Big Texan.
From the food, to the feel of the entire place, to this hotel across the
street, everything was fun and colorful and just something
so neat to see on vacation.



Next, we made our way to our last major stop before heading to our hotel
for the night...
Palo Duro Canyon.  This was an example of something we've flown over
so many times and never got to see that made me so thankful for the
chance to be traveling on the road.



So breathtaking to look out on.
We are hoping to make a trip back here this year or next to actually
hike through and spend an entire day experiencing what it is like
down in the canyon.
But even from the lookout point where we got to see it briefly,
it was gorgeous.





The last stop before making our way home the next day was our hotel.
I think I will always and forever continue to feel five years old at hotels.  I am
never any less excited when we get to a hotel.  This one was absolutely
beautiful.
The lobby had this seat in the middle that reminded me of an old, classy
hotel I saw in a Doris Day movie once.
And the Koi ponds and waterfalls throughout made it so relaxing
 and lovely, too.

We enjoyed our stay so much.





I am so grateful to have seen the scenery we did and enjoy the glorious
 nature on this vacation!!  The land out West is truly an area of the
 country that leaves you speechless.

I wanted to share one experience I had, though, that was most
memorable for me on this trip.... something that actually was not about
the topographical scenery, but instead the scenery skyward.
The stars.  The stars as they appear when you are out
near the mountains are like no sky of stars I have ever seen anywhere
else.  They are like a dream, like something unreal.  There were
absolutely no lights, no hint or glow of light from cities near
or far- we were literally out in the middle of nowhere, and that
made for the most amazing view of the stars ever.
They were incredibly luminous and made me feel closer to God,
like I could touch heaven and those stars and the sky because 
it was SO clear.

One night while we were there, I decided to go sit outside on
the back deck, which faces the mountains.
There were no outside lights on.  It was just me, the pitch black
night, and, an open prairie of grass stretching for miles ahead of me.
That was scary, in a way, because I had no idea what was out
there in front of me... all I could see was the faintest line of the
tops of the mountain range miles away.
But I went out and sat there by myself for about an hour.
Just looking up.  I have never felt closer to God in my entire life.
It was an experience I will never forget.  I prayed, just talked to
God, dreamed, wondered, and just sat there alone with my thoughts.
And those stars looked down on me.

This was also an emotional time because of my aunt being sick
and this was only about a week before she passed. So, I had a
lot on my heart and mind, and sitting out there was indescribably
beautiful and a blessing to me to get that time.

As long as a I live, my heart will forever be left in that spot
on that night in July, when I sat there, just me and those stars and
the night.  And God.


.            .             .


That was my trip!
I am so delighted to share it with you.


Can you tell I was quite camera-happy on this trip?
Or should I say, on every vacation I take ;)



Blessings and hugs!

Wishing y'all a wonderful day!!



And....


I am so happy to be linking up for the second time
to my dear friend, Stephanie's, beautiful blog link-up,
"Roses of Inspiration".  You can click HERE to visit her lovely
blog and see all of the amazing posts of the ladies participating!



5 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing these photos. I liked them all but really liked those last few of the road and sky and yellow fields. God made such an amazingly beautiful world!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jazzmin, I just noticed that you followed my new blog. I have thought of you so many times over the last few months. I took several months off from blogging and started a new blog at the first of the year. I lost so many of my contacts. I thoroughly enjoyed your narrative and photos of your wonderful trip. You visited many of the same areas that my brother and husband took a few years ago. I like that you included video so we could experience the sound! I was touched by your quiet time with the Lord and the stars. Your sunset photos are gorgeous. Please stop and visit some day. I signed up by email to follow you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sweet friend, how I enjoyed this beautiful post! My, your photos are breathtaking! Don't you just LOVE the sunsets in Colorado....I never tire of seeing them :)

    Thank you so much for sharing your loveliness with Roses of Inspiration. You make the party extra wonderful. Love and hugs to you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dearest Jazzmin...the other day I attempted to leave you a little note, and somehow I managed to wipe my comment before publishing it! So aplogies for such a late visit:)

    Oh, how BEAUTIFUL this post was and you are so gifted with your photography! I was able to experience the rich beauty of Colorado through your pictures and oh my! The scenery is simply breathtaking! Just look at those amazing mountains and skies!

    What a special trip and I am sure your family made some wonderful memories! I would love to visit all the places you mentioned...one day:)

    Hugs to you and much love! May you have a delightful weekend!

    Blessings,
    Kelly-Anne

    ReplyDelete
  5. These pictures are beautiful! God's beauty is clearly evident throughout his creation!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by my blog. It is a blessing to read your kind comments. I would love if you would leave me one!

God Bless You,
Jazzmin

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