On the top of the world

A couple of weeks ago, Ted took a big spill on his mountain bike. His knee has been swollen and painful ever since. We had grand plans to hike a 14,000+ foot mountain on this trip, but given Ted’s injury, combined with my lack of preparation, we decided to drive into the mountains instead. Our route took us up Clear Creek Canyon to I-70; then to Hwy 40 over Berthed Pass (where we saw elk!); a stop outside of Winter Park in Granby for lunch at a wildlife viewing area; then continuing on through Walden; through the Arapaho NWR; onto Hwy 14 east over Cameron Pass; down Pouder Canyon (big water this year on the river) to Stove Prairie Road; to Buckhorn Road; to Masonville Road; and back through Loveland to Longmont. We saw all kinds of wildlife–elk, mule deer, and a moose (!) were the big ones (literally). I have to say, road trips with Ted are becoming a regular part of my visits and I love them. He’s a great conversationalist and is really good about pointing out where we are and occassionally quizzing me on landmarks and geographic features. As a result, I stay awake and actually enjoy myself (vs. passing the time in neck-straining unconsciousness). Admittedly, I took a 10 minute power-nap right before we got to Stove Prairie, but that was it. Ted’s also a really good, safe driver and doesn’t mind staying behind the wheel the whole time (I’m not a huge fan of driving when others are in the car–I prefer piloting solo road trips).  Dinner was at The Rib House, a new restaruant in Longmont. We took tons of photos, these are only a few of the best:

Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge. This was my favorite part of the trip. Surrounded by mountains, with elk wandering the expansive, green valley, it felt like we were on the top of the world.

Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge. This was my favorite part of the trip. Surrounded by mountains, with elk wandering the expansive, green valley, it felt like we were on the top of the world.

Moose! I spotted him in Pouder Canyon. We snapped a few pictures while he nonchalantly munched on willows.

Moose! I spotted him in Pouder Canyon. We snapped a few pictures while he nonchalantly munched on willows.

A self-timer photo of us and the Pouder River. The water was running high, cold, and fast. We battled mosquitos for a while, hanging out on the rocks and listening to the thundering rapids.

A self-timer photo of us and the Pouder River. The water was running high, cold, and fast. We battled mosquitos for a while, hanging out on the rocks and listening to the thundering rapids.

a view of the valley from Stove Prairie Road.

A view of the valley from Stove Prairie Road. There were ground squirrels chirping and running around in the grass.

As part of the recently instated "new restaruants only" policy, we tried The Rib House in Longmont. There was a line out the door and I'm not surprised. The food was to die for. We may have to cancel the "new only" policy so we can go back! We ordered ribs, beef brisket, smoked sausage, spicy potato salad, cole slaw, and this cheesy corn thing. Plus rolls and a bottle of red wine. It was gluttonous, delicious, perfectly situated on the patio in cool new Longmont neighborhood (which we strolled around after dinner). A perfect ending to a perfect day.

As part of the recently instated "new restaurants only" policy, we tried The Rib House in Longmont. There was a line out the door and I'm not surprised. The food was to die for. Honestly. We may have to cancel the "new only" policy so we can go back! We ordered ribs, beef brisket, smoked sausage, spicy potato salad, cole slaw, and this cheesy corn thing. Plus rolls and a bottle of red wine. Oh yeah, we ate it all. It was gluttonous, delicious, perfectly situated on the patio in cool new Longmont neighborhood (which we strolled around after dinner). A perfect ending to a perfect day.

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