Lory State Park

Lory State Park

Just twenty minutes west of Fort Collins sits Lory State Park.  The park covers over 2500 acres of beautiful terrain consisting of unique rock outcroppings, grassy open meadows, shrubby hillsides, and ponderosa pines.  The park offers a variety of activities such as hiking, backcountry camping, rock climbing, and wildlife viewing.

There are twelve clearly marked and mapped trails.  Our first stop is Waterfall Trail for a short stroll to what we hope will be a waterfall.  What we discover is a small trickle of water.  The snow melt isn’t significant enough just yet, thus a mere trickle.  After a little laughing and joking we return to the truck and drive up the road a piece.

son and daughter hiking Lory State Park

We take the road to the far end of the park.  We contemplate the Arthur’s Rock Trail but opt for the Shoreline Trail which takes us toward Horsetooth Reservoir.  The trail is clearly marked and easy.  The red sandstone is a striking background to the grassy meadow.

As residents of Colorado for over fifteen years, we’ve learned to always keep an eye on the sky.  Colorado rates second in the country when it comes to lightning strikes, Florida number one.  Therefore while hiking in Colorado, it is prudent to pay attention to the weather and to the sky.  Weather here can change abruptly and severely and since the ominous clouds are starting to roll in, we head back to the vehicle and call it a day.

If you’re in the Fort Collins area, I would definitely recommend a day trip of picnicking and hiking at Lory State Park.  The drive to get here is also worth seeing.  Allow plenty of time to stop along the way.  You won’t be disappointed!

Advertisements

Graduation

Saturday was graduation day for our daughter from Colorado State University, Fort Collins.  She had an amazing four years in Fort Collins and is off to the “big city” of Denver to start a new chapter.

Fort Collins is located in the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains and is an easy one hour drive north of Denver (45 minute drive south of Cheyenne, WY)  The town is full of charm and character with an abundance of parks and hike/bike trails.  At an elevation of 5000 feet above sea level, residents enjoy 300 days of sunshine a year.  The town offers every shopping convenience that a population of 144,000 would want.  In 2010 Money Magazine ranked Fort Collins sixth amongst “Best Places to Live”.

Horsetooth Reservoir and Lory State Park border Fort Collins and are part of Larimer County.  After the graduation commencement ceremony, we return to our campsite at Horsetooth for a celebration.  Pulled pork, chips, and smores with family and friends around a campfire….yum.

Colorado State University is a vital part to the community of Fort Collins.  The university is home to one of the leading Veterinary colleges in the country.  Fort Collins is probably the most pet friendly town I have ever visited.  There are dogs everywhere.  Last August while moving daughter, we had to stop in at Lowe’s and it was too hot to leave Bear in the truck.  So Bear enjoyed a shopping cart ride and plenty of attention at the Lowes in Fort Collins.

Outstanding university, safe community, great weather, gorgeous enviornment……I’m glad my daughter enjoyed her college years in Fort Collins.  Go Rams!

Go Rams!

Horsetooth Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir, CO

A few days ago, we arrive at Horsetooth Reservoir, just west of Fort Collins, and quickly set up camp. It is a gorgeous Colorado Day.  The Lake is as smooth as a mirror and reflects the landscape.  The drive was easy and uneventful….thank goodness.  Knowing Interstate 25 has some serious construction work in progress near Santa Fe Drive (not far from downtown Denver), we opt to go around Denver by taking I-470.  Although I hate paying tolls, in this case while pulling a Rig it made the drive less stressful and much more enjoyable.  So I gladly pay the tolls.  FYI… the system here does not work on a cash basis.  You never have to slow down to pay.  Your license plate is photographed at various check points, and you are mailed an invoice several weeks later.

Once settled in and all hooked up at Horsetooth Reservoir, daughter joins us for dinner and a campfire.  This will be a busy, fun-filled weekend.  Daughter graduates from Colorado State, it’s Mother’s Day weekend, and son’s birthday is in a couple of days.  Son will fly in from Phoenix and other family members will fly in from Chicago to share in the festivities.

Tomorrow daughter set up a Brewery tour in Fort Collins.