Colorado Roadtrip : Pagosa to Ouray

You can find more of our Colorado adventures here, and if you like travel posts, we have a lot! We took this road trip in our *new* van (can’t wait to tell you more about it); this post gives you a little overview of what we pack in the van. And here are some of our basic tips for camping with kids.

Yesterday I shared a glimpse of our 36 hours in Great Sand Dunes, today I’m sharing from the rest of our trip as we visited Pagosa, Ouray, and the scenic highways in between!

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First up, the most breathtaking pit-stop that we made for a certain 4 y.o. that had to go. Look at those cliffs! This is somewhere east of Pagosa along US route 160. I stayed neared the van where Luc was sleeping while Alex and Calder took a short walk to stretch their legs. Can you see them in the first pic? They’re just little dots holding hands and being careful not to lose each other down the cliff.

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Two Bits

We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned

Katie here :

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I’m giving myself a major high five for checking in this Friday, because as far as my mind is concerned, it’s only Wednesday. Our little family took off for the mountains on Monday and Tuesday. The days were beautifully blue, perfect for skiing, and the afternoons were perfectly cool, perfect for swimming in the local hot springs! These photos are from our visit to Strawberry Park Hot Springs. If you’re ever in the Steamboat Springs area, this little oasis is worth the visit… and if you’re anything like us, you’ll drive away scheming up plans to create your own artificial hot spring in your backyard (I think they call that a hot tub?).

ps. It’s been a while since we’ve used a timer to take a family portrait. I think we have to work on our composition and explaining things to the boys… Alex was so confused!

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Seasoned View: Vol 17

Each month we share our Seasoned View.  Snapshots of nature and daily life taken by the Seasoned sisters. Find last month’s past months’ here.

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Happy Monday! It’s August. Holy crap. Time to get movin’ on all your summer plans.  This month will surely be my busiest and most fun yet.  I actually have to work on another task so I’ll keep it brief.  You can upload one or all of these photos to use as your desktop background or as phone and tablet wallpapers.  Simply click on the download link below each photo and save the image.  Enjoy!

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Two Bits

We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned.

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Sarah here :

Can you see it? Yep, that’s three adobe programs open at once.  My to do list is a mile long this week month and while it’s a little intimidating, it’s also thrilling and I love trying to squeeze it all in.  There are never enough hours in a day, but that’s why I organize my list by week! I’m definitely a list person.

As you know, I’m preparing for my trip to Nepal, which means I’m squeezing in all kinds of odd jobs and activities before go.  Right now I’m focusing a lot of energy on my RAW gallery show in Raleigh.  I’m digging through my archives and ordering prints, designing postcards and trying to envision my space.  I’m  shooting a wedding this Saturday and working in the darkroom on Sunday then next week I’m off to visit Katie (the other half of Seasoned) in Colorado :)! I’m also trying to iron out all the details of the upcoming Schu Farm Fest, a mini music and arts festival, the Schu siblings hold every year. Okay, last year was the first year, but it was amazing and it will go on forever.  Of course, I’m always working on organizing and creating materials for Haand, the lovely housewares company where I work.

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Oh yeah, I’m 26 now! My birthday was last Saturday.  I spent the morning at The Honeysuckle Tea House, hiked in the afternoon with Cash and Kevin, and then went to an event held at a local goat cheese and milk farm.  While the farm party was not exactly what we envisioned (beer flowing freely from a dozen spouts and baby goats in pajamas), we had a great time.  While we waited for the local brewery reps to arrive, K and I rowed a boat across the pond, mooed at innocent calves, ate our weight in Middle Eastern food and kissed baby goats.

I shopped online for health insurance yesterday.  It was worse than doing taxes.

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Katie here :

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Ack! This week flew by in a flash. Ready for it?

  • Monday : I don’t even remember.
  • Tuesday : Drove to Aspen for a meeting and back. I couldn’t help but stop at the top of Independence Pass for a photo! It never gets old.
  • Wednesday : Recovered from Tuesday just in time for a little picnic dinner in our favorite park.
  • Thursday : I had one goal all day. Make a kicka$$ dinner, and I did. More on that soon!
  • Friday : We’re heading out of town tonight for a weekend camping trip with five other families! It’s going to be crazy. Let’s hope the kiddos sleep.

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In between all of that I’ve been working to repair my broken hard drive. The one with all of my photos since 2003 (yikes!). We’re in the homestretch and everything is going to be recovered! And if you’re wondering where my backup was, this was my main copy and my backup. Thanks LaCie.

 

How was your week?

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Travel, travel, travel: always on the brain.

I think about traveling every. single. day. Sometimes it’s motivating, sometimes I feel bummed that I’m not off romping around and sometimes those thoughts encourage me to search for travel jobs and update my website.  Tonight I did the later and after working a couple twelve hour not-so-exciting days in a row, all I want is to live in a van and drive, drive, drive.  Instead I’ll post some photos – a few of these didn’t make the cut for my website.  Maybe they’ll give you the urge to get out there or maybe the lottery gods will read this post and my numbers will win tonight 😉

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Colorado Hike: Flatirons 1 & 2

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About a month ago, Katie, Jeff (our brother) and I hiked the Flatirons 1 & 2 trail.  I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time since it was one of the most scenic hikes in Boulder, CO, so here goes:

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The hike starts at the Chautauqua Park trailhead.  Parking in the lot can be pretty tricky, especially on the weekends, but you can find additional parking on Baseline Road.  That being said, the trail is extremely crowded.  You won’t have the views to yourself, but hey, at least there is no chance of getting lost. After you find a parking spot, continue to the Chautauqua Park trailhead where the trail takes you through a lovely green meadow.  (Note that if you’re hiking right after a rainstorm, it will be pretty muddy since the trail is basically a path for runoff water. ) The Chautauqua trail connects with the Flatirons 1&2 trail and the signage is very clear as is the flow of people flocking to the Flatirons 😉

Over the course of this relatively short hike (about 2.5 miles), you will climb 1,400 feet in elevation.  Flatiron 1 is approximately 7,100 ft high, which makes for stunning views.  As you hike up the trail, there are plenty of outcroppings that are perfect for taking a break and enjoying the vistas.  The Flatiron trail is mainly switchbacks through thick forests of ponderosa pine that cut around enormous boulders.  Along the way, there are also several rock climbing access points.  Speaking of climbing, there is a very short section of the trail (about 15 feet) where you have to climb up a boulder.  There are footholds and handholds worn into the rock making it easy for adults, but I wouldn’t recommend taking children on this hike.  I would also turn back immediately if it starts to rain because the rocks will become slippery making a large portion of this trail fairly dangerous.

Once you finally wind up, up and up, the views are spectacular.  There are clear views of the city of Boulder as well as amazing views of Flatiron 3, which is sure to have rock climbers scrambling up it.  The top of the trail is a perfect spot to stop and have a snack or a picnic, but remember to hike all your waste out with you, even banana peels!  The top of the trail is like an adult jungle gym.  You’ll see folks in all different nooks and crannies.  It goes without saying that you should be careful when you’re climbing from boulder to boulder, don’t knock into any rocks that may fall and injure someone at a lower elevation.  After you’ve climbed your heart out and took a bajillion pictures, it’s time to make your way down the ridge.  Be mindful of other hikers who are still making their way up and if they look like they need encouraging remind them that they’re almost there!

Geology Rocks! I say that far too often, but I just can’t resist.  Here’s a quick rundown of some geological properties of the flatirons.  I’m going to give some definitions in case you slept through your geology lab class.

  • A flat iron is a steeply sloping triangular landform created by the differential erosion of a steeply dipping, erosion resistant layer of rock overlying softer strata. Differential erosion is erosion that occurs at varying rates, caused by the differences in the hardness and resistance of surface materials so softer and weaker rocks erode rapidly, while harder rocks remain to form ridges, mountains, or ding, ding, ding, flat irons!  Strata is simply sedimentary rock. Sedimentary rocks are those formed by the deposition of material either on the earth’s surface or in water.   And wouldn’t you know it, the Flatirons of Boulder coined this term, flatiron, in general geology.
  • Now you may be wondering how the Flatirons first got their name, which then coined the geography term. Well, there are two theories: the rock faces close resemblance to old fashioned clothing irons or their resemblance to the Flatiron building in NYC, which was completed in 1902. (It’s a pretty sweet building, but personally, I think it’s more likely they were named after the clothes iron, an object which many more folks were familiar with during the early 1900s)
  • The flatirons are made up of conglomerate sandstone of the Fountain Formation. Conglomerate sandstone basically means there are little clasts (bits of rock particles) mixed into the sandstone (rock comprised mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains). I don’t want to wind way down into a geological rabbit hole (for your benefit), but the Fountain Formation is a Pennsylvanian (the subsystem, not the state) bedrock unit found in Colorado and Utah that consists mostly of conglomerate sandstone or arkose.
  • The flatirons are estimated to be 290-296 million years old and they were tilted to their current orientation (the steep dip I referenced earlier) about 35-80 million years ago during the Laramide orogeny. The Laramide orogeny was a period of mountain building in western North America, which created the Rocky Mountains along with many other formations. I won’t go into right now, but it’s definitely interesting; if you like geology and want to learn more, read this.

What to expect:

  • Lots of hikers on the weekend.
  • Dogs both on and off leash.
  • Plenty of wildflowers, various vegetation and trees and beautiful views.
  • Two hours (or more) of hiking.
  • A couple tough climbs over boulders, but mainly a moderately steep and well-maintained trail.

 

Before of after your hike, be sure to stop by the historic ranger cottage near the parking lot – you can’t miss it.  It has a wealth of information, free maps and dozens of stuffed birds and mammals.  I really enjoyed the station because I gained a better sense of what animals were sharing the forest with me.  It’s especially cool to see the animals you have very little chance of seeing in the wild like mountain lions, coyotes, and bobcats.  If you want a little snack, continue past the ranger station for about a block and you’ll see a little refreshment cottage with homemade hard ice cream and just about everything else.

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After the hike and the ice cream, you should probably treat yourself to an afternoon snooze! Happy hiking!

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