Honeymoon 2.0, Jeep Trip

As our first anniversary was approaching my wife and I decided to take a little trip to Colorado. We didn’t have a ton of excess money so we chose to spend about 4 nights camping in different locations. Here is our story.

Day 1

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We arrived at Beaver Ranch just west of Denver about 10pm Thursday night. As we entered the remote park, we were greeted by a group of deer grazing at the front gate.

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As I got out of the jeep I was blown away by how quiet and serene the camp site was. I spent a few minutes gathering wood for a fire while my wife got the jeep ready to sleep in. We kept looking over our shoulders for bears and mountain lions every time the wind would rustle the leaves. As much as I love tent camping, we choose to spend the week in the back of my 4 door wrangler. Even as a 6’4″ guy sleeping in my jeep is my new favorite way to camp.

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We sure didn’t hate not having to pitch and tear down a tent everyday. Even in the mountains in October we were super cozy with just a fleece blanket.

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Day 2

We woke up with the sun streaming in the jeep as our alarm clock. Of course I had to make some coffee over the fire. We also made some fantastic breakfast burritos. Not bad for a $15 Wal-mart camp grill. After breakfast we drove into Denver for a workout.

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We beelined for CrossFit Verve in the heart of Denver. I won’t spend long on how awesome this place is because I already wrote a review about it. Afterwords we started what I hope will be a post workout tradition and went to a local brewery.

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I didn’t realize it until we drove by  but Blue Moon is brewed in Denver! Of course we had to check it out.

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We love flights and the food was amazing. 20161014_144436

Later that night we made out way down the Devil’s head lookout camp. Camp was only 3 miles out of town, but it took us about 30 minutes to make our way down the windy, dirt mountain road.

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Day 3

We got up with the sun and set out to hike the trail to Devil’s Head lookout. It was a beautiful hike with the leaves turning for the fall.

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The trail was only 1.4 miles but it took us an hour to climb up to 9750′!  For two Oklahoman’s it was a lung burner. The view once we got to the top was well worth it.

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Some fun stairs if the hike wasn’t enough of a workout
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The guy with the beard works in the fire lookout and stays in a little cabin down the stairs

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Needless to say the hike back down the mountain was much easier than going up.

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The view was great and the trees look good too.

Still fresh of the runners’s high we got from the hike, we set off towards Colorado Springs. It was one of the most scenic and beautiful drives I’ve ever made.

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At this point my wife and I went to a coffee shop in Colorado Springs so she could do some homework. I guess fall break doesn’t exist anymore.

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This little place is on my short list for best coffee shops ever. They of course had a mustachioed, hipster-ish guy fixing particularly damn good coffee. They also had a great beer and wine menu as well as the best food I’ve ever had at a coffee shop. Take that Starbucks!

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Later that night we settled down in Cheyenne Mountain State Park. As far as parks go, this place deserves 5 stars. Leslie Knope would be proud. It felt more like an outdoor hotel than a camp site. The views in the morning were amazing.

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Day 4

After breakfast we headed to Garden of the Gods.

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I highly recommend the jeep tour but the park itself is free to just dive through

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Kissing Camels

The man who owned the land sold it to Colorado under the condition that no permanent structure ever be built inside the park, and the park will always have free access.

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This place was breathtaking and we saw lots of climbers throughout the park.

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Colorado by jeep is the only way to do it

Our tour also took us through Manitou Springs.

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Manitou is a cute little town outside of Colorado Springs where there are actual live springs. You can just ride up and fill your  bottle with some fresh spring water.

Afterwords we drove up to Pikes Peak.

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I didn’t know there was this amazing lake on Pike’s Peak

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Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to drive all the way up. It was so windy that people were getting blown over and windows were getting blown out of cars. 911 dispatch was getting a lot of broken calls from people on the mountain.

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My little Jeep did okay on the big Mountain

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I could easily live out here, just for the views.

That night we ended up at Golden Eagle Campground outside of Colorado Springs

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This was a nice little place tucked away in the hills of Rock Creek Canyon. That night I saw a pair of creepy eye staring at me under our table.

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They belonged to this sweet girl. I don’t like cats but I squatted down and this one just crawled into my lap. We’re pretty sure someone dropped her off at the camp site and she just survives on donations from other campers. We gave her some tuna and she slept under our Jeep that night.

Day 5

 

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Her name is Gravy

Our campsite was just fine for our needs but they hosed us at $37 a night. And the owners drove by 3 times before I finished making breakfast to see if I was going to pay. Kinda rude.

 

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Colorful Sunrises every day

After breakfast we drove down to Pueblo and got a great workout at Pueblo Crossfit

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Awesome little gym that shares a space with a globo gym. The people were super friendly and made us feel welcome.

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After days of Jeep camping it felt so wonderful to take a nice shower in a hotel. Having an actual bed didn’t suck either.

Monday was the actual day of our anniversary so of course we had to get some Sushi!

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They went a little crazy with the sauce

Day 6

It was a little weird to wake up in a hotel room. I always dread the last day of a trip but all good things must come to an end. We packed up and started our 8 hour journey back home.

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We chose to avoid Kansas and drive back through New Mexico for scenery reasons. As we drove through the North East corner of New Mexico we happened upon a volcano. I didn’t know there was one so close to home.

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At just 3 miles up we had to stop by.

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We hiked down into the crater
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I never miss a chance to take her picture

A short 6.5 hours later we made it back home

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We landed back home at just over 1700 miles! We had such an amazing time and I highly recommend Colorado to anyone willing to make the trip.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this far and letting me share our trip with you. If you enjoyed following along with us, say something in the comments and I’ll post more trips. Have a blessed day!

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