August 4, 2020

Our 2020 Colorado Roadtrip

My passion is capturing photographs of heartfelt moments for families to savor forever as keepsake memories. Whenever I'm not helping your family, you can find me loving on my own. Camping trips, boba tea, and card games are our favorite ways to connect!  

I'm Kelly

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Indiana Family & Lifestyle Photogapher

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McPhails in Colorado

A Roadtrip to Remember

Many of you have asked about our recent trip to Colorado and instead of overloading FB or IG, I thought why not just share some of the highlights here on the blog!

Back in May, I had amazing camping trip all planned out to Zion, Bryce, Rocky Mountain National Park and a few other stops and well, all of our camping spots were canceled because of Covid. We were all pretty bummed as we had been planning the trip for months and had stops to see my cousins and grandparents in Arizona as well. Let’s just say April felt like a really LOW MONTH as everything was canceling left and right with no end in sight.

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Fast-forward to June and I was getting the itch to go somewhere because I knew most everything was going to be canceled this summer. I started looking into Airb&b places and many of them were opening up again with extra cleaning precautions in place and extended days between bookings. I began to feel much safer about booking a place and taking a road trip out to Colorado where we could enjoy the outdoors while still social distancing and continuing to wear masks when needed.

We found a cute cabin in Winterpark, Colorado where we could still drive 40 min to the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park! I begged and begged Brian to let us go and he kept saying, gosh it’s such a long drive out there… it’s so much work with the kiddos… let’s just stay home… are you sure you really want to go?!?! And on and on. Brian is the logical, rational, level-headed one in this relationship and when he looks at a trip like this, he sees how hard it will be with little kids. I see how fun it will be and brush over the hard parts…ha! Let’s just say it’s good that we balance each other out.

Let’s Drive in one day!

This was what we argued about for the longest time… should we drive it in one or two days?! I didn’t want to stay in a hotel and knew if we could just get going by 4:45am, we could be there by 10pm Colorado time! Brian’s like, do you have any idea how horrible that day is going to be?! The kids are going to lose it being in the car for 19 hours!

Well, he finally agreed to give it a try and if we just got too tired, we would stop and get a hotel. I’m so glad we went for it because the kids did sooo great. Yes, LOOOOTS of tablet time and lots of candy! When we reached Denver, Andrew started yelling, “NO MORE CANDY!” HA!!

Once we arrived at the cabin, the kids were bouncing off the walls with excitement and delirium and I was oh so glad that we were NOT going to be on the road all day tomorrow!

Moose, Deer, and Bears… Oh My!

There were many highlights to our week in Winterpark but one was seeing a bear walk right past our cabin one morning just feet from the glass doors! So thankful we were not in a tent camping for that thrilling experience.

Because of Covid, RMNP was operating on a timed entry ticket system and we could only get tickets for a 12 noon entry each day. I was still surprised to see how crowded the park was even with Covid, limited tickets, no tour buses and no international travelers.

We spent the week going to RMNP a few days, fly fishing, finding streams to play in, biking, and relaxing as much as you can with a 2 and 5yo 😉

Brian was still teaching an online class at Purdue, so he spent some time every day working on the course, grading, and answering student’s questions, but we were so thankful the course was put online so that we could take this trip!

Elsie’s Snowman

The whole trip Elsie talked about wanting to play in the snow and she was soo excited when we finally hiked high enough for her to not only touch snow but make a little snowman and carry a snow ball halfway down the mountain before it completely melted in her hand 🙂

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Camping in Aspen

After our week in Winterpark, we drove over to Independence Pass, which is situated between Twin Lakes and Aspen. We camped at Weller Campground (first come first serve) and we were so grateful to get a spot with only 11 spots!

Let’s just say that doing anything with little kids can be challenging and camping can really seem daunting with kiddos. Ok, it is… it’s hard… but it’s good. It really is worth it if you have just a little extra dose of patience… which some days we did and others we didn’t 😉

Below you can see Brian rolling his eyes as the kids “try” to help put the tent up! ha!

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Independence Ghost Town

Just a few miles from our campground was an old gold-mining ghost town from the 1880’s! We had so much fun exploring through the buildings and remains and trying to imagine what it would be like living through the frigid winters at 12,000ft!

The Ice Caves on Grotto’s Trail

Yet another gem on Independence Pass were these cool ice caves! Yes, there was still ice in them in the middle of July!

if you are still scrolling through these…

Wow you’re amazing and geez that was a total photo overload! Thanks for tagging along on our trip this summer!

It’s certainly not the easiest to travel with little kids and yes, it would be much easier to just stay home…BUT it was totally worth it. At the end of it all, building memories with these precious ones is what it’s all about and as Elsie continues to remind us, “Mommy and Daddy, I will always remember this trip in my mind!”

***A special thanks to my amazing husband for putting up with the three of us and making this trip possible!

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My passion is capturing photographs of heartfelt moments for families to savor forever as keepsake memories. Whenever I'm not helping your family, you can find me loving on my own. Camping trips, boba tea, and card games are our favorite ways to connect!  

I'm Kelly

Hey!

Indiana Family & Lifestyle Photogapher

Categories