Two hours after receiving the call from my buddy Chris, Zach and I hit the road for Colorado on our first Father and Son off-roading trip together. And, what an epic trip it was! We arrived to the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort in Nathrop, CO a little after Midnight on Thursday night, and Zach held up the entire road trip. He was so excited to stay up that late with Daddy, and I promise Jamie, we ate healthy the entire day...lol.
Friday morning, we were up and at it early. We had a long day planned, and both of us were super excited to get rolling. Our first adventure was walking through the woods at the resort. Then, we loaded up and headed 12 miles up the road to St. Elmo, CO to feed the chipmunks. And, boy was that a hit with Zach. They climbed and jumped all over him...it was awesome. After that we bought a few souvenirs and shirts in the store and hit the trails. Our first trail was Tin Cup, which took us from St. Elmo to Tincup Pass and down into the town of Tin Cup. On the way, we stopped for lunch at Mirror Lake, and outside of having a few people pass by and folks on the far side, we had the whole spot to ourselves. After Tin Cup we headed up to the Taylor Park Reservoir, bought a few more things, filled the cooler with ice, and got back on the pavement towards Gunnison and then down to Lake City to meet up with Chris. Once we hit the road, Zach assured me he wasn't tired, yet shortly into the ride he was fast asleep. We rolled into Lake City about 3pm, and Chris wasn't going to arrive till around 5pm. So, we had a nice late lunch at the Southern Vittles restaurant. Zach quickly found some friends playing cops and robbers in the field next to the restaurant. So, I grabbed a real estate magazine and dreamed of owning something in the CO mountains while Zach had a ball with his new friends. 5pm rolled around, and we met Chris at the gas station and headed up Cinnamon Pass. We had to cross the Southern loop of the famous Alpine Loop to get over to Ouray, CO that evening.
Of course, it started raining as soon as we hit the trail, but it made for some cool pics. Once we got to Animas Forks, we dropped into Mineral Creek and over to Ouray around 8:15pm. We made a quick stop at Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs to checkin, then off to dinner at the Ouray Brewery...nearly all the restaurants close at 9pm in town even on a Friday night, so we were glad to make it there just in time. Food was really good, and of course Zach was super excited about going to the hot springs at our hotel. So, we left everybody and headed back to the hotel to soak in the hot springs till a little after 10pm. We loved every minute of it, but I think Zach was most excited about staying up so late...lol. Overall, our first day in the mountains of Colorado was spectacular! A huge thanks to my beautiful wife Jamie for letting us escape the Des Moines West KOA and enjoy our favorite past time. Day 1 was a success, and we were looking forward to another exciting day on Saturday. Our plan was to do Black Bear down to Telluride then back up to Ouray on Imogene.