Family Time #1

For the first time in 3 years, I had the chance to spend time with my mom. Having not seen my mom since 2016, I wanted to make sure that this visit was both awesome and chock full of memorable activities! With that in mind, I was surely going to be a long memorial day weekend to remember for years to come.

Day #1

On Friday, May 24th, I went to pick her up from the Denver International Airport after I got done with work. Shortly thereafter, we went to Lucha Cantina to enjoy some margaritas and tacos while catching up. Once we got done with our meal, we then walked around the reservoir in Clement Park in Littleton, Colorado.

Walking around this reservoir after having a great meal and a margarita is pretty much a right of passage. I’ve literally done this after every meal at this restaurant too. After having a long travel day involving flying out to Colorado from Pennsylvania, it was time to rest and get ready for the long weekend festivities.

Day #2

On Saturday, May 25th, we woke up somewhat early as we had tickets to ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad. It was a perfect day for it as the mountains had actually had a late spring snowstorm just four or five days earlier. It was an awesome scenic train ride that connects Georgetown and Silver Plume, Colorado.

Looking at the large trestle that goes over Clear Creek.
Good view of the engine as we go around a curve.
The engine as it loops back around.

As a part of our scenic railroad ride, we also got tickets for the extended Lebanon Mine tour. Definitely an awesome experience!

Shortly before touring the Lebanon Mine.

After touring the Lebanon Mine for about an hour, we got back on the train and returned to Georgetown. From there, we then proceeded further west through the Eisenhower tunnel on Interstate 70 to reach Silverthorne. After having lunch at the Dillon Dam Brewery, it was time to get some exercise and walk on the trails that are close to the Dillon Reservoir.

Pretty low water levels at the Dillon Reservoir.
Zoom in of the snow capped mountains.

After taking in the views for awhile, I decided to see just how much snow they had in the mountains. With that being said, I then drove up to Berthoud Pass outside of Winter Park, Colorado. And I was nothing short of amazed at how much snow was still on the ground.

From the Berthoud Pass Overlook.
Standing by the Berthoud Pass sign. Has to be at least 4 feet of snow still standing.

Although it was a busy day, it was definitely a lot of fun!

Day #3

On Sunday, May 26th, we all woke up early to depart for the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. It was a pretty easy drive and before too long we reached our destination before the big weekend crowds arrived.

Kissing Danielle by the entrance sign.
At the entrance sign to the Great Sand Dunes.
The Sand Dunes really are incredible.
The Sand Dunes with the nearby higher peaks.

After a quick trip to the visitor center, we then found a parking spot and made our way out to the sand dunes. I also made sure to bring out my lawn chair because I wanted to make sure that we could all enjoy the splendid view.

To reach the sand dunes, you must first cross Medano creek at the base of the dunes which was very cold due to the snowmelt. Once we made it across, we hiked a decent way up the first major dune before calling it a day. At this point, we all took turns sitting in the lawn chair and relaxing.

Always bring your lawn chair to get the best results!

I figured we probably hike 2 miles round trip. It was pretty tough because the wind was absolutely howling and constantly changing direction. On the way back, we stopped at the Moonlight Pizza and Brewpub in Salida, Colorado for some unforgettable pizza and beer. Can’t wait to go back!

Day #4

On Monday, May 27th, we woke up and stopped over in Golden, Colorado for a quick lunch at the Windy Saddle Cafe. Afterwards, we headed up to Boulder, Colorado because Danielle was volunteering at the Boulder Creek Festival as she is an active volunteer for the W.O.L.F Sanctuary.

It was relaxing to sit by Boulder Creek and watch the water quickly rush by and just take in the sights and sounds of the whole event. Later on, we also walked around the Pearl Street Mall before we headed back to Lakewood.

It was a pretty laid back day as I had to wake up super early to take my mom to the airport and then go straight to work at 3am on Tuesday morning.

Day #5

On Tuesday, May 28th, my mom and I woke up ridiculously early so I could get her to the airport and subsequently make it to work on time at 3am.

With that being said, we left around 1:45am with a crazy thunderstorm going on. By the time we got about maybe 15 miles from the airport, hail was starting to accumulate on the road and before long their was easily 2 inches of hail on the road with constant nearby lightning illuminating the landscape around us.

When all was said and done, we made it safe and sound to the airport and I made it to work with plenty of time to spare.

Overall, it was definitely a memorable long weekend that I will probably never forget!!!

Author: David Higham

Spending time in nature calms my soul.

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