Western Colorado is a great location for many reasons, one of which is our close proximity to many fun towns for day trips. You can make quick trips on a tight budget and still have a day filled with fun.
A few weeks ago I decided to pack the kids in the car with a picnic and drive up to Telluride, CO. It is really one of the most beautiful towns I have visited, and there are so many reasons why it is one of our favorites. Even the drive there is lovely.
I checked my weather report before we left, and though it did say a chance for rain in the afternoon (which is pretty common for the colorado mountain towns) it looked pretty decent. Unfortunately we got off to a late start and it started raining about an hour out and didn’t stop for another hour or so after our arrival. Not just a sprinkle, big fat drops of heavy rain.
That’s okay, this mom is always prepared. Ha! Well, almost. I had gathered the jackets, but they had not made it into the car. They sat in a nice pile by the front door at home. We circle the town and finally find parking on this busy, tourist-filled day. Our first stop was the local thrift shop to find 6 jackets.
We found a few that worked nicely and hit up the “free box” for the remaining two.
The free box is this amazing set of shelves full of stuff that is free for the taking. Take something, leave something. All in the spirit of sharing and not wasting what you don’t need. I love it.
We have found some pretty cool stuff over the years.
At this point, it is still pouring rain and everyone is quite irritable. I spot just the remedy for such an occasion. The Telluride Truffle shop.
Everyone picked one delicious chocolate and we all left with smiles
As we sat together, enjoying our treats, the rain begins to fade away and my oldest son says “see mom, chocolate fixes everything.” Oh, I have taught that boy well!
Now that we are all in better spirits, and the rain has moved out of our way, it is time to hit up the free gondola. Sporting my thrift store hoodie of course.
We brought our goldendoodle puppy, Crosby, along for this adventure. He was only 5 months old on this trip, and still has quite a bit to learn. Trying to socialize him can be embarrassing and frustrating at times, but he will never learn the proper way to react to situations if we don’t take him out in the world. Luckily, they offer pet-friendly gondolas and as we waited in line he only let out one bark before ours was ready to board and he quickly got on and sat down. After sniffing a bit, he just laid at our feet for the ride.
The kids love the ride and the scenery is amazing. Did I mention it is free?! In the summer the ski hills are open to mountain bikers and it is fun to see them tearing down the dirt paths.
Happy kids. Lu in her thrift store jacket and Cal in his awesome denim jacket from the free box!
We got off at mountain village and walked around a bit before heading to the playground. The kids got out some energy and Crosby got to walk around, explore, and get more leash training. The air was misty and the clouds were low. It was lovely.
We wanted to still have time to play in the river, so we loaded back onto a gondola for the trip back down to the town of Telluride. Note the boy in the adorable denim jacket found in the free box!
The sun was trying its best to make an appearance, but we weren’t sure how long it would last. We took a chance and headed to the river trail which runs along the edge of town. If you park in town you can reach all of these attractions by foot, without having to get back in the car. This is great, especially with a bunch of kids to buckle/unbuckle at every stop.
The trail along the river was the perfect I am pretty sure this was the kids’ favorite attraction, as well as Crosby’s. The water was freezing, but they didn’t care. Most of them had even ditched their jackets at this point. Throwing rocks, wading in the water, and looking for creatures below its surface kept them quite entertained. It is just such a beautiful spot to be on a summer day. A little slice of heaven.
After our river playtime we made a trip up to main street for a bathroom break and a stroll down the charming streets decorated with flower boxes and flags from around the world. Telluride offers a very charming downtown area filled with shops and restaurants.
We had packed our picnic and ended up eating in the car on our drive out of town as the little kids were getting sleepy. As we drove away the sun finally broke through the clouds and the mountains lit up, giving us amazing scenery to enjoy. A beautiful good-bye.
We got home around 9:30pm and I put 5 tired kids and one exhausted pup to bed before crashing myself. I think we may try more “Adventure Fridays” this year since they kids don’t have school on those days. There are so many more fun places to explore around our area, and no need to break the bank. Next time I will remember the jackets!