And then we were a wolfpack of four…

Addie getting a bath in the hotel sink in Moab, UT.We had a slow start yesterday morning – Addison had an early morning poo-plosion. I won’t got into the details – I think the name is descriptive enough. Anyway, it resulted in a hotel sink bath, and a later departure time than we anticipated. Despite this, we made it to Carbondale, CO by 2:30pm, and got to see Super Steve! (Steve is one of our former rowers turned coach, and now is a major player in the regattas we run.) Anyway, we spent some time at the Carbondale Mountain Fair before heading into Aspen, where Steve currently works on Aspen Mountain. We had quite an adventure finding a campsite, and ended up camping in the day area of Difficult Campground (with permission, of course). While I put Addie down, Steve cooked us a great meal, and we had an awesome time catching up.

Kendra woke us up early today – Addison actually slept the entire time we packed up the site. She even slept through us moving her pack and play outside of the tent so we could pack it up. Our first stop of the day was the Paradise Bakery & Cafe for coffee and pastry. I found the cappuccino a bit strong, but my chocolate croissant was the best I ever had. Light and flaky, not only did it have a chocolate center, but a layer of chocolate icing on top as well.

With full tummies, we headed to Maroon Bells in the White River National Forest and spent 2 hours hiking through beautiful aspen groves and along the edges of Maroon Lake.

Maroon Bells, Aspen, CO

Maroon Bells, Colorado Maroon Bells, Colorado Maroon Bells, Colorado

Addison fell asleep in her backpack, her snoring a gentle soundtrack to my hike. :) I still think Yosemite is the most beautiful place I have ever seen, but I think Colorado is a very close second.

After our hike, we headed back to Aspen for lunch. We had tasty panini’s at the Aspen Cheese Shop. Our next stop was up Aspen Mountain on the gondola. The views from the top were incredible!

Jen, Kendra and Addison atop a mountain in Aspen, CO

Steve showed us his bunk, and we explored the top of the mountain. On the way down, we got into one of the red gondolas, which not only played music, but had a hookup for my iPhone. Addie loved the ride down, and danced to the music!

While Kendra and Steve went to go snag us a good spot for an afternoon concert at the Benedict Music Tent, Addie and I went back to Paradise Bakery and had gelato with Max, one of my PA students. It was great to catch up :)

Jen and Max in Aspen.

After buying some brie, strawberries, raspberries, french bread, and prosecco, Kendra and Steve picked up Addie and me, and we all went to listen to the Aspen Festival Orchestra play Barber’s Violin Concerto, op. 14 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. Just as they began Mahler’s Symphony, thunder began rolling and a light rain fell upon us. It was actually very beautiful and moving. Addison loved the music, and was so good during the concert.

Aspen, CO

We ended our evening with great food cooked on the campfire and Kendra’s awesome strawberry & avocado salsa. Tomorrow we begin the long journey back home – with no more planned stops, we’re hoping to be home by the 3rd of August.

About Jen

Outdoor adventurer and traveler. Writer, Photographer & Communications Professor. Wife. Mom of twins plus one. Tubbs Snowshoes Ambassador. Blogger at gayfamilytrips.com.

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