Rocky Mountain Therapy

I’m going to start off by sounding like a HUGE brat here. It’s been cloudy and gray for the last two days here- and that is something that just doesn’t happen in Colorado! It even rained on Sunday morning, which is also weird. It often rains briefly in the afternoon/evening but never in the morning. Our wonderful state has over 300 days of sunshine each year. Of the 92 days that I’ve lived here, it’s been sunny for 89 of them. Putting it in that perspective makes me see that I have no right to complain… but man, I want that sunshine back! Hopefully Mother Nature will make that happen for me today.

It was beautiful and sunny last Saturday, so Greg and I made sure to take full advantage! We headed up north to Estes Park with Paige, Shane and their friends (and our new friends!) Katie and David. I had heard Paige talk about how beautiful the hike to Gem Lake is and I was excited to check it our for myself! We packed up some lunch, grabbed our backpacks and headed out on the trail.


I loved this trail right away. It was the perfect balance of strenuous climbing followed by flat sections (followed by more climbing). There were beautiful views along the trail as well.


We stopped a few times to climb around on some rocks and do a little posing…



The boys went on ahead (because they are all super human and speedy) and it was good to have some girl talk.:)

Paige showed us her “favorite tree” in all of Colorado:


Or… at least she thinks that’s the three. ;)

When we made it to the top, we were rewarded with beautiful Gem Lake! I love mountain lakes!!

gem lake

The water was actually not too cold. There were a lot of people wading around, but it was still a bit chilly for any of us to want to get in. Instead, we enjoyed a picnic lunch on a nearby rock (which included some delicious Colorado craft beer):


We had some visitors try to join us. These little guys are not shy!


This guy was such a piggie- he was trying to steal all of our food (and his cheeks were already stuffed!)


The chipmunks are definitely entertaining!

We were all having a great time- and reminding ourselves of just how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place (all six of us have moved to Colorado within the last year).

girls rock


Some of the guys decided to climb up high on the rocks (I did not join in on their shenanigans).


red rock

I just soaked in this beautiful view until it was time to head back down.

lunch view

Speaking of beautiful views, there were definitely more on the hike back to the trail head!


We made our way back down pretty quickly and I was sad to see the hike end! But I have to just keep reminding myself (still) that there’s no rush. There’s plenty of beautiful hikes to come for a long, long time.

Thanks for a great Saturday- you guys are the best!

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Hiking is most definitely therapeutic for me. It’s impossible to be in a bad mood when I’m out on the trail (especially when the sun is shining!) and I never take it for granted!

If you haven’t yet checked out the awesome KIND giveaway I’ve got going on- get on over there!

What’s your favorite “therapy?”


  1. Haha! The chipmunk–so cute!

  2. OMG. You’re Colorado posts make me miss living there SO MUCH!!! Lived there 10 years ago while I was going to massage school in Boulder. I would move back in a heartbeat! It still holds such a special place in my heart! Good for you for making the jump! :)

  3. Heading outside for me too– best therapy ever! And I’ve actually been loving this rain– so nice for a change, even though it did ruin our weekend plans!

  4. Such beautiful views – wow!! But I think I’d be freaking out if that chipmunk was trying to eat my lunch…or drink my beer!!

  5. Those views are amazing! I’m so jealous of all your hiking & outside activities in CO!! I need to come visit!!!!!!! That chipmunk is adorable!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. I need you to scoop up one of those sweet chipmunks for me! Sooooo cute :)

  7. Such beautiful views! I LOVE Estes park & the chipmunks. they are so so darn cute!

  8. Backpacking is definitely my therapy. There’s nothing quite like throwing on a backpack and disappearing into the mountains for a few days!

  9. I’m into dog and retail therapy. :)

    Cute little chipmunk! There really is such a thing as chipmunk cheeks!

  10. PUPPY Therapy. Okay and retail like Erin. Lol. So gorgeous. And yeah. What’s up with the gray????

  11. That looks like a beautiful hike – just gorgeous!! And I’ve been complaining about the weather too, I think that means we’re real Coloradans now. :)

  12. i thought the same thing on Saturday night when it rained from 11p-5a – so unusual! I definitely don’t mind it though. I definitely love the sun but it’s nice to have a cloudy day every so often!

  13. Lovely photos!
    Walking my dog, running, yoga. Actually baking and cooking are very relaxing for me.

  14. When we were in WI this weekend it was gloomy for the majority of 4 days. that is fairly normal for WI (although, its usually in the winter, not July) but we were complaining! Where was the sun!? At least it wasn’t humid while we were visiting!

    We did that Gem Lake hike a few weeks ago when we weren’t brave enough to venture into the chaos of the main RMNP entrance, it was really pretty and peaceful. Did you feed the chipmunks? Not to sound bitchy, but please don’t feed the chipmunks! I know people do it all the time but when they get fed a ton of (unhealthy-to-them) food in the summer time they are completely unprepared for the winter weather and are far more likely to die of starvation! Sorry, I had to say something, it drives me batty when people feed them, especially parents letting their kids feed them right next to signs that say “Don’t feed the wildlife”!

    • Ha- I KNEW that someone would comment about not feeding the chipmunks (I almost wrote something in the post!). Trust me- we weren’t feeding them- they just kept trying to steal our food. I know ALL about why you shouldn’t feed them. :)

  15. What breath-taking views!! Love all the pictures! And that chipmunk! Omg, sooooo cute!!

    Besides the times where only a good dose of retail therapy will do, I find the best therapy for me is a good walk or hike outdoors…there’s just something about the quiet stillness and the fresh air…it opens you up!

  16. My family has a cabin in Estes Park- it’s my favorite place! Town is a zoo in the summer, but definitely worth exploring, especially when the sun’s just going down. Great Thai restaurants and coffee shops (especially Kind Coffee, the first shop on the left when you drive in). Drive up Fishcreek Road (first left after the Welcome to Estes Park sign) for some amaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing views!

Comments are welcome (and encouraged)!