Thursday, August 06, 2009

If you don't like the mountains, skip this post!

Finally! Some pictures of our vacation last week. Forty-six photos with minimum commentary--the perfect vacation post!

Our trip started out in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I took very few pics. A couple of these are of the kids walking the prayer labyrinth at this cathedral. Santa Fe is gorgeous. My only disappointment was that we didn't get to eat at The Shed because we were there on the one day of the week it is closed. 

From there we drove to Durango, CO. We rented this cabin for the week. 
We found it through this site (Vacation Rentals By Owner). John has used this website several times to find cabin rentals and we really can't say enough great things about it. 

A few pics of the interior.

Our view from the deck--overlooking Lemon Reservoir. Gorgeous. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you can probably see some of the bare trees and damage from the Missionary Ridge Fire in 2002. (On the left side of the ridge). 

The kids loved playing outside. They especially loved the fire pit and feeding the healthy population of chipmunks.
We had a rainy week, but one night John got a fire going and we made s'mores!

And one morning we drove down to the reservoir and let the kids do some fishing. We didn't catch a thing and we got rained out to boot.

The highlight of our trip was a train ride on the Narrow Guage Railroad from Durango to Silverton. Everyone got a train ticket from John's parents on their birthday this year! Before we left for the train station on the morning of our ride, all the kids sang "Happy Birthday" to us all. Cute.

The train is pulled by a steam engine so we had several water stops along the way. 

By the way, all of the really good pics of the train ride (and all the other good ones in this post) were taken by John's brother. He has an awesome camera and I'm thankful he shared them with us!

Yeah, don't stick your head too far out the train windows!!! The distance between rock and train got even narrower than this pic reveals!

The train stopped in Silverton and we had time to eat lunch and do some quick shopping. It was a LONG day. It took about 3.5 hours to get to Silverton and the same amount of time to get back. The scenery was amazing though!

We also spent some time in downtown Durango. 

LOVED this car. Because I love Life is Good stuff. 

We decided to take the scenic route home and detour through Ouray, CO. 

OH. MY. GOSH. That was the most gorgeous drive. In fact, I think that southwest Colorado may have surpassed my beloved Estes Park as my favorite place in the state. It was THAT beautiful. See?

The two pics above were taken at the top of Molas Pass. 

(Don't know who the biker dude is, but he didn't seem to be leaving and John said it would be rude to ask him to move for my pic.)

Now tell this not the most amazing scenery? I want this to be the view from my future home in the mountains. 

Downtown Ouray, "The Switzerland of the Rockies". 

From Ouray, we traveled through Montrose, Gunnison, Salida, Buena Vista (true Coloradoans know how to properly pronounce that!) before entering our home turf. I lost count of all the mountain passes we climbed, but each one was awe inspiring. I truly love this state! Love vacationing here as well. It was a great week. 

And we only saw one of these. Of course it was immediately after I told my brother and sister in law that there aren't any snakes in Colorado. Go figure.


Cathy said...

I love the I LOVED this post!!

You have one beautiful family, too, yes you do.

Tiffani said...

okay, definitely inspired and definitely putting CO on my list...breathtaking, Mer! Some of those pics w/ the train need to be on a postcard!

I know you'll have fun scrappin' this vaca!!!

I love that pic of Sarah showin' off the AWESOME purse!! Too cute!

Nina Diane said...

I love the mountains...and we really have some beautiful ones here in Virginia but I would love to see the ones out west. Great pics...looks like fun

Becky said...

I love the mountains....can we build our house next to yours! Breathtaking!

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...


I love Durango. That's one of my favorite places we've ever vacationed. We were there during the winter so Wes could ski but I hate skiing so I rode THAT VERY SAME TRAIN to Silverton! So fun!

Tracey said...

I'm in Albuquerque...hour south of Santa should have stopped by! Great trip!

Brenda said...

What beautiful pictures.
And the locals from Buena Vista call it Bueny. My dad was raised around there, and our yearly camping trip is about 10 miles out of Salida.
Yep, I definitely agree Colorado is the best, and I'm so glad I'm home!

Amber said...

Simply beautimus.

The mountains are precious. Your family is precious. That car was precious.

The snake...not so much.

So glad you had a great time.

Lauren said...


Seriously, Meredith, how can one not believe in God with scenery like that? That's pure perfection!!

Absolutely G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S!!!!

Lindsay said...

Love your pictures and reading about your vacation. Some friends from OBU say that Steamboat Springs is the place to go and prefer it during summer or fall as compared to the wintry months. Have you been there?

*carrie* said...


Beautiful pix. Love the scenery. I remember taking that train ride as a kid.

By the way, I've tried a couple of your recipes and will link to them soon.

Thinking of you this weekend!

Kendra said...

You have made me want to make another trip out to Colorado! Gorgeous! And I love Santa Fe. If we go out there we'd definately have to do that steam train ride, too. So many fun, wonderful things to see and do there! And it's nice to see kids playing with sticks and chipmunks, not just texting, listening to their ipod, playing video games, and in general tuning life out.

Stephanie Kay said...

We've watched a few PBS shows about train rides you can take around the US. The look like a ton of fun!

I also love vacationing in the mountains. I'd be super jealous right now if we hadn't had a great vacation in Maine. I highly recommend Maine & New Hampshire for vacations in the mountains. In Maine you can even combine mountains and ocean in one vacation. :)

Susan said...

I love CO! Great pictures. Glad you had a great time. And thanks for sharing in the previous post about feeling resentful. It is amazing what women can really hear from the enemy. I have been guilty too! I am reading a book by John Bevere called the "Bait of Satan", very good.

Elizabeth said...

That is the perfect vacation, and the exact one I've been dreaming about for years. I am so glad you and your family had such a great time. Colorado is beautiful!

Becca~CapturingSimpleJoys said...

Just beautiful pictures! Love the cabin!

Melissa Stover said...

beautiful! i think colorado is just as pretty as alaska. and probably warmer.

Barb said...

I love all these photos, Mer. I'd love to ride the train from Durango to Silverton. Since I live pretty darn close, it could happen.

Love your bear bell too. :-)

And I'm sorry you didn't get to make the trip with the other women. Gretchen's post was very moving and I know you were missed. Hopefully it will happen again and you'll get to go.

Katie Patterson said...

We just visited Colorado and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE. I am from Florida so going from 7 feet above sea level to the 14,000 feet at Pike's Peak was spectacular!!! We want to visit again!!!

Angie @ Flibbertigibberish said...

GREAT post, Mer. (Yeah, I know I'm a little behind in commenting on this - I starred it so I'd have more time to gaze at the pics!) Is that not the most beautiful place? It's one of my most memorable trips as a family growing up. I always dreamed I'd marry someone from Colorado who shares my love of the mountains - but I married a surfer dude. He's not so into the mountains. *sigh* I hope one day he'll be up for a trip like yours!