Hi again! I know it’s been a little while since I went, but I never really shared anything about my trip to Colorado with you guys.
At the beginning of August, Jake and I headed to Colorado to celebrate our two-year anniversary. It’s kind of a tradition now that we have gone two years in a row. We only had three days, so we really had to pack everything in.
When we got there, we went to get our rental car, only to find out we still had another 200 to pay for not being over 25. Stupid, right? We ended up getting a cute Kia Soul though, so I can’t complain too much about that. Once that was settled, we headed towards The Rocky Mountain National Park where we would be camping. We stopped in Boulder on the way to get some breakfast from The Buff, where I got a combination of my two favorite things: breakfast and nachos. We also hadn’t eaten yet, besides the coffee and little snack we got at a Paleo coffee shop in Denver that I forgot to mention, so our breakfast was extra good. The free mimosa and mountain view could’ve had something to do with that too.
After breakfast we went to Pearl Street Mall to walk around, and see the shops. The only thing I left with was some chopsticks from this amazing kitchen store. They had every kitchen prop you could ever think of! After that we hiked a quick 2 miles or so around the Flatiron Mountains at Chautauqua Park, and then headed to our campsite.
We were staying at Moraine Campground inside the National Park. Once camp was set up, we walked around the campground to see what was going on. We met up with one of Jake’s co-workers who happened to be there, and did a little more hiking at a nearby lake, where I saw a moose for the first time!! For dinner, we went back into town where we got very mediocre elk and bison burgers. We were not impressed at all.
Day two, our anniversary, we woke up early to watch the sunrise over Sprague Lake, where we saw a moose taking his morning bath. It was a pretty cool experience! To fuel up for the hiking we were going to be doing, we went back into Estes Park to get some breakfast from Claire’s, where everything is made from local, high-quality ingredients. I got a greek omelet, and Jake got banana bread french toast that was made out of actual homemade banana bread, which he said was amazing. My omelet was pretty awesome as well.
Now that we were all fueled up, we parked our car at the Fern Lake Trailhead which wasn’t too far from our campground, but far enough to drive. Our destination was Lake Odessa. I loved this hike so much because you’d start off next to a creek, then later you’d have a waterfall next to you, then you come to some giant boulders, then it would look like a meadow, and then you got to this final stretch, and it just opens up to where you can see the mountain peaking through, and a slight view of Lake Odessa. You’ve been looking at your feet all this time so you don’t trip, and then you get to this opening, and you look up, and it’s gorgeous. You forget how tired you are because you are so excited to finally be there. We only sat at the lake for about 10 minutes before we started heading back, but it was so beautiful.
When we finally made it back to our car, we had hiked a little over 10 miles. We enjoyed some peanut butter sandwiches, and decided to drive to the highest peak of the park before we went to dinner. As we were just about to reach the top, it started hailing pretty heavily so we opted to turn around to try to avoid hail damage on our rental car. God forbid they would probably charge me an extra 200 dollars for that.
Before dinner we stopped at our campground to change into some nicer clothing, since we were a little grungy from hiking. We originally had Mexican food in mind for dinner, but after trying two different places that both had over an hour wait, we ended up at Poppy’s Pizza, which was way better than I expected just by looking at the outside. We got Thai lettuce wraps as an appetizer, and then Jake got a burger, which he said was way better than the last ones we ate, and I got Mediterranean pizza toppings baked over zucchini. It was very interesting, but I enjoyed it!
Day three, the last day we were there, we woke up extra early again so we could drive up through the mountains as the sun was rising. Jake drove the car, and I pointed out every pretty cloud in the sky, and probably said, “Look how pretty that is!” ten different times. Finally as the sun was really peaking over the mountains, we pulled over and watched it for a bit. We ate breakfast in Estes Park again. Jake was down for more banana bread french toast because of how good it was, but we went to Notchtop Mountain Cafe instead. They were known for having some of the best gluten free items in town, which made it really tempting to go for that GF pancake, but the build your own frittata was calling my name. I’m not super into the dessert for breakfast kind of thing, I would much rather have eggs. After breakfast we went on another hike through lumpy ridge trail, which was about 2 miles. Our feet were a little sore from yesterday, so we didn’t want to go to far.
By 11am we started slowly making our way back to Denver. We stopped in Boulder again, and drove to the top of Flaggstaff Mountain to explore a bit. Mad props to all the bikers biking up the mountain, I could never. Three miles of just straight incline is insane. We ate lunch at Fuji, an Asian cafe, where I enjoyed a Teriyaki Salmon Bowl, and Jake got Chicken Momos. Then it was off to return our rental car, and just hang out in the airport for a little longer than we needed to. There were some nasty storms in Minneapolis, so that made for a very bumpy flight home. I was pretty exhausted though, so I slept through part of it.
It was a great three days, but three days was hardly enough. Since I have not given you guys enough recipes lately, here’s a very comforting breakfast dish that reheats great!
Sweet Potato & Apple Hash
3 TBS Coconut Oil
2 large Sweet Potatoes, shredded
1 large yellow onion, Chopped
3 green apples, Chopped
1 tsp Garlic, Minced
Protein (Beef, Pulled pork, Breakfast sausage), I used 2 cups Pulled pork
3 Cups Kale, Chopped
Generous amount of Pepper
1.Peel sweet potatoes, and then shred using a grater, or Julian peeler.
2.Once they are shredded, heat coconut oil in a pan, and add the sweet potatoes.
3.While the sweet potatoes are starting, peel, and chop your apples, onion, and generous amount of pepper. Then add to pan. Stir, and cover.
4.Mean while, make sure your meat is cooked.
5.Once the sweet potatoes, apple, and onion begin to get soft, add in your meat. Stir, and cover.
6.Continue to let cook, occasionally stirring.
7. Once everything has begun to really cook down, add in chopped kale, since this will not take long to soften.
8. Once everything is soft, make small crater like holes in the hash, and crack in egg in each hole. Cover, and cook until egg is no longer liquid on top. You can keep cooking longer if you would like a harder yolk.
9. Serve, and enjoy!