After a cold night camping in Lost Creek Wilderness (see the full post here), we woke up to snow-covered trees and a picturesque mountain scape in the morning. We were actually just planning to camp one night, but after having so much fun out in the mountains (and away from the stressors of our everyday lives), Allen and I decided it would be fun to drive the scenic route to Aspen instead of going straight back to Boulder.
Fun fact: Shortly after taking these pictures, we saw our first bobcat in the wild! And guys….it was so cool! At first we didn’t know what was happening (as is the case with most cool wildlife sightings). As we were driving down the dirt road that led out of the campground, we saw a small flash of tan fur run across the path in front of us and bound up into the camouflage of trees to our right. A few moments after the incident, we realized what we had seen–there was no mistaking those black tipped pointy ears–and we were so excited!
The snow-covered plants lining the road were also beautiful. The bright pops of color poking out through the glistening snow was stunning.
As we went down in altitude (we were camping around 10,000 ft), the snow was more sparse and the colors of fall began to appear again.
The tenmile mountain range was especially beautiful this morning with its freshly covered, snowy peaks. So beautiful in fact that we decided to stop for some pictures. Can you believe just two days before was the official first day of fall?! How quickly the seasons pass at altitude!
And if the bobcat sighting wasn’t enough, we saw a herd of wild antelope as we were driving down the final stretch of road from the campsite.
Because it had been such a frigid night in camp, we decided to have a warm, cozy breakfast in Breckenridge at one of our all-time favorite spots–the Blue Moose!
We started off “slow” with a warm cinnamon roll and hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream on top. Go big or go home, right? Yummmm!
For breakfast, Allen got a large helping of biscuits and gravy, while I went with a traditional eggs benedict. It was so good and we were so happy to have some warm food in our bellies (and a warm place to eat it too!).
After taking our time with a leisurely breakfast (we had no where else to be, so why rush?), we headed back to the car and continued on our drive to Aspen.
When Allen’s mom visited this past summer, they visited the quaint little town of Leadsville (the highest incorporated city at 10,152 feet). And after seeing all the pictures from their time there (including an awesome train ride), I knew it would be the perfect pit stop for a warm cup of coffee for the drive.
I loved all the colorful buildings in Leadsville on the main street and wish we could’ve done some more exploring there. Another time! But City on a Hill turned out to be the perfect little spot for a quick coffee break.
While in town, I took the opportunity to change out of my camping clothes and into something a little more comfortable for our road trip. Just up the road from our pit stop, we found some of the prettiest fall scenery I’ve ever seen. Naturally, we had to stop for some pictures in front of the bright yellow Aspen trees. You can see my full outfit post (and more Aspen tree pictures) in this post if you’re interested!
On our route to Aspen, we went over several mountain passes. One of our favorites was Independence Pass, where we found a little ghost town nestled into the mountain side. As you can see from the photo below, it was quite snowy and cold! Can you spot the teeny houses at the base of the mountain?
After a few more hours of driving, we finally made it to Aspen! It was my first time visiting the town and without any planned agenda, we just set out to see where the day took us! The best kind of day, in my opinion.
All the little window shops lining the streets were so cute and welcoming. I could have very easily made a whole day out of shopping there.
The one aspect of Aspen I didn’t expect and came to LOVE was all the bright, colorful flowers everywhere you looked! It was almost as if we had stumbled upon spring right in the middle of September.
And of course the Aspen trees were gorgeous as well.
While walking through the center of town, we found this giant bear sculpture that made entirely out of metal nails. He looks like he is soft, but don’t let his furry appearance fool you. He was quite spikey!
We also found this wood paneled house that embodied everything I imagined Aspen to be. Rustic and cozy but with a modern, sophisticated twist.
I loved all the little nooks and crannies of Aspen. Exploring a new place is so much fun!
As Allen can tell you, I was infatuated with the berry trees all over town. From afar, they looked as though they were adorned with giant red flowers, but up close, they were in fact huge bundles of juicy fall berries. So pretty!
After all our driving and exploring, we had worked up quite the appetite. So we stopped into this little pizza shop to split a slice of pepperoni + jalapeno pizza before heading on our way again.
Afterwards, we strolled a bit more around town–taking in as many sights, sounds, and smells of the mountain town as we could get–before getting back in the car to head back towards Boulder.
Earlier this season after a hiking trip he took with some friends, Allen found a killer taco shop in Glenwood Springs that he had wanted to take me to ever since. Because it was on our route back into town, we decided to stop there (Slope & Hatch) for dinner.
Allen got the brisket barbacoa taco with crunchy cabbage slaw, while I chose the jerk chicken taco with sweet mango Jamaican salsa. Both were so GOOD! (Food makes me so happy if you couldn’t tell. 😛 )
After dinner, we continued on our way, all the way back into Boulder. It was the perfect ending to the perfect weekend. Fall camping and hiking, new town exploring, and good eats all around…doesn’t get much better than that in my book! And I already can’t wait to go camping and exploring again! Where should we explore next?!
What about you? Have you explored any new-to-you places lately?
Get the Look…
Look 1– Pull-Over: Under Armour (half-zip, full-zip) | Jacket: North Face | Base Layer: Hot Chillys (top, bottoms) | Jean Shorts: Express (similar) | Socks: J. Crew Factory | Hiking Shoes: Merrell | Boots: Sperry | Hat: Target (similar)