We made it to Colorado in time for breakfast at a little restaurant called The Pepper Pod just off I-76 in Hudson, Colorado. The eggs were great! As picky as I am, I was genuinely impressed with most the diners we stopped in on our adventure. They had fresh mushrooms for my omelet and the eggs came out perfectly.
We left there and drove through the Rocky Mountain National Park area. It was beautiful. The largest mountains I have ever seen on Highway 40. There were waterfalls beside the road!
Before making it to visit our friends in Kremmling, we stopped at the Hot Sulphur Springs Resort and Spa to take a break from sitting in the car. It was fantastic. The facilities were a little strange and outdated, but terrific and relaxing. The hot pools left us reeking of sulfur when we made it to our friend's place.
Then we went for a hike at Cataract Lake in Colorado. There was an entire field of columbines. Breathtaking! Well the flowers were beautiful and the altitude was breathtaking. Our first hike at 8,652 feet was only 2.25 miles and it felt like forever!
|What I hope is a mayfly.|
|This plant has a lot of names apparently. Green Genetian, Monument Plant, Frasera Speciosa, Elkweed or Deer's Ear.|
|Green Genetian, Monument Plant, Frasera Speciosa, Elkweed or Deer's Ear|
|Rosa Woodsii or Wild Roses.|
|More Columbines. 1000's of columbines!|
|Penstemon or Mountain Lupine.|
|Field Milkvetch Plant, or Astragalus Agrestis I think.|
|View of Cataract Lake in Colorado from the end of the lower trail.|
|View from Sapphire Point in Colorado.|
Just for the record, feeding wildlife is a horrible idea. It is basically animal cruelty. It encourages cute little buggers like these to go near the roads to find more human food and they end up getting run over by cars. It causes their digestive enzymes to change and cease to break down their natural foods. AND it encourages the "aggressive takeover of your backpack." (from the Zion National Park hiking and information guides). These guys are a little ways off the main roads and well known for being hand fed monsters and that is why we chose this location. No other rodents or wildlife were fed during this vacation no matter how adorable.
|Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel.|
We stopped in a place called the Moose Cafe in Kremmling, Colorado. The service is slow but the waitresses are nice, the food is fantastic, and coffee is hot. They had the BEST banana pancakes I have ever eaten. Definitely worth the wait. And by best, I mean better than my southern grandma's pancakes. Again, I am a terribly picky eater and the food was so good we went back again on our way out of town.