Wednesday, June 7, 2017

My Frugal Retirement Summer-Exploring the Local (and my big trip).

No matter where you live, there are ups and downs. When I first shared the possiblity of moving to Denver from Texas, readers were worried about how I would deal with the cold, and some didn't understand the move to a "cold climate". The truth is, Denver really isn't cold. When it snows, and it does, it generally melts a day later. That mile high thing combined with the sun almost every day thing means that most days are temperate. My biggest adjustment to moving to Denver is the spring-because there really isn't much to speak of. 

Trip Idea one (by train or car). Denver to San Francisco down the coast to San Diego to Phoenix/Tuscon and then home!
Whether it's Washington DC, Dallas, or even Frankfurt, I have generally lived in places where early April signaled the true beginning of spring. In Denver, the last freeze generally comes on Mother's Day, and we had snow while I was in Texas-probably to make up for the eighty degree weather in January and February. The spring is why I look at snow birding. On occasion, and only for the spring.

All of which is to say that Denver is now in summer mode. The weather is beautiful, it's mainly down time, and the summer clothes are out. And I am ready for some "doing". I generally try and keep long vacations to the fall or spring, because summer in Denver is so beautiful. And in fact, I have a temporary plan for the fall. See my route options in this post

Old Colorado City, underneath Pikes Peak

Meanwhile, about Denver (and Colorado) in the summer.......My goal is to take a long weekend a month, at least a full day once a week, and perhaps a one week trip and fully enjoy the summer. So, how do decide where to go and what to do? I started with trips planned last summer that got put by the wayside due to other travel! I added the festivals and events that I (we) wanted to see, and then finally decided on one single week of travel. Because, seriously, a Montana driving trip requires the summer-at least in my world. 

I'll stay below this one, thank you!
This way I can look through the skylight and see the rafters on the Arkansas
Looking ahead to June, July and August, I really want to try and take a long weekend once each month. Last month, we had planned to take the Highway of Legends between Walsenburg and Trinidad and just never made it. And since the drive itself is only two hours, we'll probably take a side trip and explore the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado.  Then I thought in July I would take a drive along I70 to Glenwood Springs-where I could go into the caverns, check into the resort hotel and spend a day in and out of the hot springs. And perhaps, take a quick drive to the Storm King Mountain memorial. And finally, a quick drive up to Wyoming, via scenic Poudre Canyon and Fort Collins to the Cheyenne Frontier Days.  After all, a rodeo by any other name, you know?

As if that wasn't enough, I joked around with friends (sometime in April) that I wanted to take a day trip once a week. And not just in the summer. While that's probably not realistic (at least in terms of day trips out of town), I do really love the idea of "doing something" on my normal Fun Fridays/Girls Day out Fridays for the summer. So far my list includes The Royal Gorge. Or rather, under the Royal Gorge Bridge on a scenic train ride. Am I walking on that bridge?  Am I leaning over the side of that bridge?  Not a snowball's chance in hell, girls and boys! 

My bookmarked list of adventure ideas also includes Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs (In the shadow of Pikes Peak); a trip with my son to Fort Collins to check out the campus and area;  a drive the Lariat Loop through Evergreen by way of Red Rocks and the Buffalo Preserve; and a trip to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Hey, I'm just getting started.  

Possible long trip number two South through San Antonio and Austin along the gulf coast to Mobile and back tracking along the River Road to St. Louis with stops in between

Of course, all these plans sound exciting, but most of my summer will be spent at home nesting or enjoying the local, literally,  here at home. First Friday Art Walks, taking the Denver "Brew Trail", visiting as many farmers markets as I can are all part of my planned summer. 

As is working on my craft and retirement book, sewing for fall craft fairs, spending a great deal of time at the pool or in the sun, and streamlining this house.

Week long summer trip through Jackson Hole and various parks to Missoula and back . With a possible side trip over the pass into Cour D'alene and it's lakes.

The fifty dollar question of course is, how much of these plans will actually see follow through, let's just say we'll talk about that in August!


  1. It's always good to have plans and options. That is half the fun! Your plans look very good.

  2. Sounds like a lot of fun.It's good to have lots of options, then do whatever tickles your fancy as the summer comes along!

  3. We really enjoyed exploring Georgetown and Empire when we lived in Colorado.

  4. You're a great planner. I hope to get down that way this fall and visit my niece in Fort Collins. I watch the web cams around the area and it looks so beautiful.

  5. Your trips sound really interesting much like the type we enjoyed. My husband enjoyed planning our trips and "reading" his Rand McNally we gifted him every year. Haven't come across anyone since to companion with on a trip and best to not be traveling alone for me now, I think. Unlike when I was a decade or so younger.
    Probably couldn't cover as much territory as I once did., either.


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