Our 4,000 Mile Journey

The Plains of Kansas

After spending a little over two weeks in the car Amanda and I are back in New England.  We traveled through 10 states (NH, VT, NY, PA, OH, IN, IL, MO, KS, and CO) in 13 days and had an unforgettable time with friends and family.

Our time spent in STL and KC with friends and family was hot and humid but the amount of art, music and fun we had was worth the heat.  St. Louis’ highlights include a night at The Muny, climbing at Upper Limits, Free art museums with Jim Allen, and a funky night grooving to tunes provided by Jakes Leg at the Kirkwood Brewery.

From St. Louis, Amanda and I drove west to Kansas City for a night in the Plaza with Bryce and Bobby.  The following morning we wished my nephew a happy third Birthday and traveled to Paradise Lake in Lone Jack, MO where we linked up with Reelfoot at the Dawg Daze of Summer Festival.

Such an amazing and happy time spent with old friends and new friends on a beautiful lake in the hills of Missouri.  The music was great and the dancing lasted well into the night listening to Kang bust out a funky Crosseyed and Painless cover along with the Ghostbusters Theme Song to end the night.

Below a picture of Reelfoot.  From left: James, Andrew and a little bit of Sams head. Ted not pictured.

Reelfoot

From Lone Jack, MO we continued our adventure West toward Colorado Springs.  We camped the night out in the mountains and woke up early to enjoy a hot day at the Garden of the Gods.  Amanda and I walked around the garden and enjoyed its huge beautiful red rocks.

Amanda
Mule Deer

After an enjoyable day at the Garden of the Gods Amanda and I got back into the car (see the 4000 miles is adding up quick!) and headed North to Boulder, CO to meet with an old friend from NOLS Alaska.  We enjoyed a dinner and beer (x 4) at the beautiful Mountain Sun Brewery in Boulder, CO.  A great place to eat and drink with friends, beautiful people all around and wonderful service.

Thank you Rob for letting us crash at your place.  And for you folks reading this that have always wanted to raise chickens at your home but think you don’t have space… check out this awesome chicken coop that Rob has outside his apartment in Boulder.

Chickens in the City

Our next day in Boulder was spent at the Library and Book store trying to plan out a little backcounty hike.  Lucky for us we had friendly people around that wanted to tell us of some remote and beautiful places we should visit.  A lady at the Boulder Bookstore informed us of this beautiful trial off of Independence Pass (highway 82) just outside of Leadville, CO.

The hike was gorgeous and the views spectacular.  The size of the mountains in Colorado are so different then the ones here in the North East and our time spent hiking through them was amazing.  I will keep this little gem to myself for now but if you would like to know where the following pictures were taken just send me an e-mail and I can fill you in on some beta.

San Isabel National Forest
Hiking out of the valley
View to our lakes
Atop the saddle
Camp for the night

Our stay at the Lakes was short and after a hearty dinner of pizza and a well deserved breakfast of eggs and veggies we headed out only to embark on a summit hike of La Plata.

This next picture was taken right after a late afternoon thunderstorm.

The next morning we awoke around 6am and headed for the summit of La Plata, Colorado’s fifth highest peak standing at 14, 336 feet and an elevation gain of 4,300 feet.  The views were amazing from the top of our first fourteener and although it kicked my butt I am anxious to take on another summit of that height.

View of La Plata summit
The hike up
False Summit View
I took many breaks on the way up
Amanda on the summit of La Plata
Marmot on the summit

The hike to the summit took a bit longer than expected but being our first fourteener I think we hiked it in a fairly quick and efficient manner.  Thankfully I had Amanda with me for encouragement to get to the top and we both enjoyed views that pictures can’t truly capture.

It was sad to drive out of Colorado heading East on Highway 70 and see that beautiful big mountain sky line in the rearview mirror slowly disappear.  My resume building experience (vacation) was amazing and I am very happy to have been able to spend another week out in the Rockies.  Next time more climbing and more summit hikes!

Although we don’t have fourteen thousand foot mountains around us in New England we have the  beautiful White Mountains and Lakes Region and I’m very happy to be back in a place I love calling home.  It’s relaxing to be home in Plymouth and I’m super stoked on the upcoming school year.

I’ll keep you all posted and thank you for reading.

Cheers  –

Matthew

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