Fern Lake Trail RMNP

adventure of the week, colorado, outdoors, Travel, United States

I have been trying to enjoy as much of Rocky Mountain National Park this year as possible. I went to visit twice in July hiking the Cub Lake Loop and last week I did the Fern Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park.

The trail is home to a fantastic variety of river views, wildlife, and some stunning falls. The end of the trail ends at one of the best lakes in the National Park! The area also has the benefit of minimal people if you start early and maybe on a rainy day. This should also improve as the summer months wind down.

Check out some of my shots from the day:

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Fern Lake Trail Falls

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Make sure with any of the longer trails in RMNP that you wear good hiking shoes, bring plenty of water, and use the bathroom (or latrine) when you have a chance. Also, bring a phone or some other emergency device, tell people where you are going, and bring matches just in case. Most of all, be safe.

FernLakeTrail

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Spring Wanderlust

Travel

It is usually around the first of March that I begin getting antsy to get away again. I have usually been stuck at home for a few months; there are events with my stepdaughter and family, girl scouts and other obligations that have us running around Fort Collins like we’re in a marathon.

By March I am ready to get moving, to see new things, to get away from the monotony of life. It is this time of year that I plan out my adventures for the following 10 months of the year. As two months have already left us, I want to make sure the rest of the year is full of the best fun possible.

For those wanting to also plan out their best year, here are my tips for maximizing your time and money.

  1. Know how many vacation days you can afford
    • This may be paid time off or non-paid time off, whatever it looks like be realistic on what you have and don’t have.
  2. Choose one place for a week
    • Hopping around from place to place makes it hard to get the most from a vacation, instead narrow down on one spot you really want to go and then expand from there.
  3. Set a realistic budget
    • Go through your bills for the year and see what you have left to work with. If you don’t have much, see what you can cut back on. Even if you limit your coffee habit, or trips out to eat, you can save a lot of cash.
  4. Stay close
    • If you are short on time or money, choose somewhere nearby or cheap to get to. Flights to Las Vegas are usually cheap, or visit a National Park in your state. Find an AirBnB close by and bum out for a long weekend. Escaping doesn’t need to be hard.
  5. Plan ahead to maximize your time and money
    • Planning ahead means you often get batter airline, hotel, and even activity rates. It can also mean you get to see things that booking last minute won’t allow. Research thoroughly, ask questions, and seek out alternatives to bigger budget activities.
  6. Visit family
    • One way I have saved thousands is by taking time to visit family all over the world. Sometimes I stay with them, sometimes I stay nearby, but the best part is getting a local’s point of view.
  7. Make sure it’s fun
    • Sometimes traveling is not for everyone, so make sure you are actually selecting things everyone wants to do. There is no reason to pay for everyone to go to DisneyWorld all day when only one kid wants to. Instead, take everyone to a cheaper activity everyone will enjoy.

Happy Travels!

Gluten Free Gem of Dublin

Allergen-free eating on the road, Ireland, Travel

note: this bakery closed in 2017

A little over a year ago I reported that in Dublin, Ireland a small group of celiacs would be opening a bakery to serve the Dublin community with gluten free, homemade goods. It was my dream from hearing about them on to visit! And I did!

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In February I took some extra time before going back stateside to get some gluten free treats from Antoinette’s Bakery in Dublin. Oh boy were they amazing! Which has left me feeling there is a void in my life because Antoinette’s is nowhere near Colorado.

Some may have VooDoo Donuts in Portland and Denver, well I have Antoinette’s in Dublin, a treat that is only attainable when I’m passing through. A place that is iconic, delicious, welcoming, full of Irish charm and friendliness and  a total gem of a place for celiacs and non.

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I went not only one afternoon, but the next morning as well for their cinnamon donuts, brownies and other miscellaneous goodies. Not only was the food good, but their array of coffees and lattes were warming in the rainy Dublin February, and the atmosphere of the bakery to die for. Based on a Maria Antoinette, meets punk “Let them eat cake” mash that I wish my own kitchen could compare to.

So if you are in Dublin, or Ireland, or needing an excuse to go there, this is it. You Won’t be disappointed, and make sure to pick up a souvenir or two to remind you to plan a next time.