Hanging Lake, Colorado

And just like that, it's the end of August. Luckily in Colorado, we still have plenty of sun-drenched afternoons and warm weather ahead of us. But still. Where does the time go? I'm currently sitting at my desk, thinking about all of the places and activities I planned to see and do this summer. Hike a 14er! SUP! Go to the farmers' market every Saturday! Try new restaurants! Listen to music at Red Rocks!

At the very least, I did knock a few of those things off my to-do list. And in all reality, summer isn't over yet. Looking back, this has been a season of travel. I've been gone more weekends than I can count. Or so it seems. Between multiple trips to California, Chicago, Philly, Hawaii, and Las Vegas, I've accumulated quite a bit of flying time. Weddings, graduations, family events, etc. All wonderful milestones and equally wonderful memories. So, while I've foregone a few hikes and other summer activities here, I'm exponentially more grateful for the places my passport has taken me (and my husband). And, we're saving the best for last. We're off to Finland very soon! Bon voyage. We're so, so excited.

Before jetting off, we knew there was one more thing to do here this summer—hike Hanging Lake. Hanging Lake has been on our list for quite some time. Nestled in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, it's about seven miles east of Glenwood Springs. For my Colorado friends, it's not terribly far from either Vail or Aspen. It's not a walk in the park, but it's definitely easier than the Manitou Incline. You'll gain about 1,000 feet in elevation, so wear sturdy running shoes or hiking boots. I wore relatively unsupportive Nikes. No bueno. Not recommended.

In addition to dressing appropriately, you'll want to leave early. We got in the car around 5 a.m. and started the hike a bit after 7. My husband ate breakfast before we left, and I packed overnight oats with chia seeds and granola for the car ride. We also brought a few snacks with us. Oh, and water. If you're a hungry hiker (like moi), a few other easy and portable snacks you can pack are: almond butter + jam sandwiches, homemade trail mix, bananas + packets of peanut butter, and protein bars. If you have a fast metabolism, having something to munch on, mid-hike, will save you from becoming ravenous and depleted of energy. No one likes a hashtag hangry hiker.

Round trip, it took us about two hours. We also continued to Spouting Rock which I would highly recommend. It's only another 200 yards from Hanging Lake and the waterfall is gorgeous. The hike to Hanging Lake / Spouting Rock is about three miles in total (out and back to the car). It's 10/10 worth it. And, because things are changing (for preservation reasons), go sooner than later. They'll be limiting the number of visitors to the lake and you'll have to take a shuttle.

After we finished, we drove back to Vail for brunch at Big Bear Bistro. It's a quaint little cafe with delicious sandwiches, breakfast plates, crepes, etc. We sat outside and it was perfect. Then, because I was craving ice cream and my husband is always a good sport, we grabbed a few generous scoops at Joe's Famous Deli. The almond joy and chocolate peanut butter were so, so sweet. Also, the woman serving us gave us like, four scoops. Insert sugar coma. We drove back to Denver and promptly napped. Because let's be honest, lazy Saturday afternoons are what I live for.

I hope you're all having a wonderful start to the week, soaking up the last few days of August. Much love.