Vacation Planning in the Pandemic

I was very fortunate to travel to Italy last September.  In a nutshell: my husband and I flew into Milan, took a quick side trip to Lake Como, then continued down to Florence for a few days, hopped on another train to Naples, transferred to the Circumvesuviana train to Pompei and Sorrento, and ended our trip in a wonderful 400 year-old apartment (updated of course, but still with original wooden ceiling beams) in Rome. So many wonderful experiences. We couldn’t wait to get back to Europe, with the planned destination being Spain (with a sidetrip to Morocco).

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Outside our apartment in Rome

Then Covid-19 happened.

Even my spring birthday getaway to Arizona got cancelled. Fortunately, however, I had made campground reservations for this summer. Campgrounds book up quickly for the weekends and typically you need to do it 6 months in advance. Fortunately, we’re allowed to go camping here in Colorado and judging by the line at REI the other week, a lot of people are opting for this.

We’ll be camping near Twin Lakes just south of Leadville. The campground is at 9,500 feet – I think that’s the highest elevation I’ve ever camped at. Leadville itself is the highest incorporated city in North America (10,152 feet).

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Lakeview Campground, near Twin Lakes and Leadville

As it so happens, my oldest brother will be passing through on the Colorado Trail (part of the Continental Divide Trail) that same weekend. It’ll be nice to meet up with him.

His hike also presented us with another opportunity to do another Colorado staycation. The CT terminates in Durango, about 6 hours from Denver. Since I volunteered to pick him up, naturally I decided to  turn it into a mini getaway. We’ll sightsee  on some of the scenic mountain highways and visit the former mining town of Silverton. We’ll also stay a night in Pagosa Springs. Their hot springs resort has been on my bucket list for years.

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The Springs Resort at Pagosa Springs – check this one off the bucket list!Silverton-Valley-COSilverton, Colorado

Once September comes (when we had planned to go to Spain) it would take nothing short of a miracle to make it to Europe. We still have our tickets as Norwegian Airlines has not officially cancelled our flight to London Gatwick. But we’re expecting that to happen. So in the meantime we’re talking about some things we can do here in the US. One is to rent an RV and do a road trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s a 2-day drive. I’m not sure if I could stand my husband’s driving. But it might be fun as we could bring our pug. He’s almost 12, getting up there in years, and he’s never been on a road trip. We’ll see.

In the meantime I hope you all manage to do something fun and still STAY SAFE!

Crazy Colorado weather

I usually love this time of year. Temps are typically in the 80s and we get afternoon thunderstorms to cool things off and keep everything green without having to water so much. But this June is anything but typical. We haven’t had any of our usual thunderstorms and the temperatures have been hot. (I must add that some people are happy about the lack of thunderstorms because we’ve had a lot of hail damage in recent years).

Earlier this week it was in the 90s (94 on Tuesday). I did an evening run between 7 and 8 – about the latest I can go – and the temperature was 85.  But thankfully the weather changed today. I felt like I was back in Oregon with the continual rain we had most of the afternoon and again this evening. I was able to go for a late afternoon run. It was 54 and only a raindrop or two at the time. My pace was 1 minute 30 seconds faster per mile than it was 2 days ago. I felt like I was flying. This is one reason I’d love to live back in the NW as I love cool, drizzly weather.

Tonight I walked our dog, a 12-year-old pug. Typically my husband walks him but he doesn’t like the rain. Our pug Spanky grew up in Colorado and does fantastic with snow. But he is not a fan of the rain. We just did a quick walk around the circle as it was a steady rain. Once he ran home with us when a huge thunderstorm came in quickly and we had lightning all around (later followed by huge hail that damaged my car). He’s a tough little dog but he’s older now and can’t run as fast.

I think tomorrow will be similar and I’m just fine with that!104416693_1138438396529760_3907492351450700061_n