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!

Mother’s Day

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day this past Sunday with my husband and both our children.  We were still camped at Horsetooth Reservoir and the weather couldn’t have been more agreeable.  Our son had flown in from Phoenix for a long weekend.  We had a lot to celebrate…..daughter’s graduation, Mother’s Day, and son’s birthday.

family photo

Not knowing when the next time the four of us will be in the same place together, I made it a top priority to take some family photos.  Shortly after our arrival at Horsetooth Reservoir, I went on a scouting drive in search of the perfect backdrop.  What I discovered was a multitude of potential locations.  The area just west of Fort Collins is lovely and just about any stop would work beautifully for a family portrait.  I decide on one particular overlook…..overlooking Horsetooth Reservoir.  Sunday morning the weather was clear and photo-op time it is.

As I arrange the family, I set the self-timer on the camera, and run to take my place.  Running in flip-flops near rock ledges, makes my husband extremely nervous.  I admit, it did present some challenges.  After an hour of fun and a change of shirts, we return to camp for lunch.

Lunch….for lunch today we will be having Bison burgers.  Yep, we’re having Buffalo.  Bison is extremely lean, thus I mix an egg in the ground Bison prior to patting into burgers.  Even with the aid of the egg, I flip the burgers minimally as I sense they may start to fall apart.  I grill the burgers to a medium – medium rare….perfect. I serve the Bison burgers on freshly baked rolls that I had purchased that morning.   The burgers are delicious and Al hopes Bison becomes a regular addition to our diet.

Bison burgers

When I purchased the ground Buffalo I also purchased some jerky.  The fact that my kids are in their twenties and on their own, does not stop the sibling rivalry.  We laugh as brother and sister jokingly fight over the jerky.  So, we will definitely be purchasing more meat from Black Forest Bison.  They offer five seasoned flavors of jerky.  I sampled all five flavors and purchased one package of the Teriyaki and one of the Pepper.

After lunch, we go for a hike and explore Lory State Park.

Lory State Park

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.