Colorado is a campers paradise. Just step outside your tent and you can be surrounded by beautiful views. Most of Colorado is just about bug free do to its dry weather, which is an added bonus to making camping more enjoyable. Colorado was the first state I was able to sleep out under the stars and not get eaten alive. However Kremmling CO has the greatest amount of mosquitoes I have ever experienced, and I'm from Minnesota which is the mosquito capital.
There are hundreds of free off the grid camp site all over the state. If you're lucky enough to come to Colorado in early fall, I recommend checking out the Idaho Springs area. All of the leaves are changing colors and and it's amazing. In the mountains the "fall" season is very quick, the leaves turn colors and fall off in a matter of a week so you have a small window of time to change this magnificent site. Meanwhile down in Denver the leaves could just be starting to change colors, while up in the mountains they have already fallen off.
Winter park Colorado.
Gore Canyon not only has Class 5 whitewater rapids on the Colorado River but a gnarly hike along the canyon! The trailhead is at the Pumphouse put-in for our whitewater trips on the Upper Colorado River. When I'm not working at Adventures in Whitewater I spend my free time traveling around Colorado and trying to see those unique views you don't get from the postcards. Gore Canyon trail definitely came through because I've never hiked a trail like it! You start out right along the water and end up fairly high above the river. It was a very narrow path and at times right along the edge of a cliff like the photo above. I went about two miles in before turning back but I can't wait to go back for more hiking (and rafting!)
Living in a van is definitely not for everyone. For some it is their way of life, nothing beats a full tank of freedom and the open road.
Showers for some, are an everyday necessity. Not when you live in a van, showers are few and far between. Usually if we're lucky we find a shower every 3 days or so, however there has been longer periods of time without. In those cases you are so thankful for some warm running water. Living in a van has taught me a lot about what is actually important and necessary in life. For instance you don't need 20 pairs of shoes and 50 matching outfits. What is important is food and happiness. If you learn to enjoy the simple things in life happiness will come to you.
Meals in the van consist of lots of cans; chicken, tuna, vegetables, and soups. Some other favorites are PBJs, tuna sandwiches, rice, pastas, and good ole Ramon noodles. You may wonder how all of this could be worth it? How can you live in your vehicle and survive without a daily shower and a microwave? We actually have noticed that we are so much happier now days and less stressed. One of our favorite sayings is, "We've got nowhere to be and all day to get there". Imagine quitting your job, selling/donating everything you own and moving into a van with your dog and boyfriend of 3 years with no plans of where and what your going to do..... Sounds crazy right!? Well that's just what we did about 5 months ago and we haven't looked back. Being able to go anywhere and see everything has been an amazing experience. We usually camp out in Walmart parking lots because its the most convenient and its FREE. Which is most important when you're budgeting for van life. We have gotten very good at finding free things to do such as; free camping spots, dog parks, hiking trails, swimming and some free museums. If we ever run low on funds we simply find a town we'd like to stay in for a month or so and work until we can leave and continue on our travels. So far we've milked cows in Minnesota for a month. Now working at Adventures in Whitewater for the season.
Our actual plan is to try and hit every state so we can decide where we would like to live. we plan to end our trip with hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.
So far we have gone through; Minnesota, Wisconsin, South and North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Washington. After we finish out the summer in Colorado we are heading back west to see Oregon then work our way south. If you are thinking about doing something like this or even just a long road trip, make sure you pick your fellow roadtrippers carefully. Remember you will be in a confined space for hours on end with this person. Luckily Chris and I haven't killed each other yet.
Check out some of our adventures below!
Pictured above, Williams Fork Reservoir. Near Parshall, Colorado.
Pictured above, Hole in the Wall, Outlaw Hideout. Kaycee, Wyoming.
My favorite place so far. Hiking in Olympia, Washington.
Somewhere in Montana. Moments before Chris's longboard wipeout where he ripped most of his skin off and fractured his wrist. I was driving the van going 55 mph just to keep up.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.
Or.. as some like to call it Kremmtucky.
Kremmling has a little something for everyone. Located right between Winter Park and Steamboat Springs it makes for a nice pit stop as you are surrounded by cliffs and beautiful mountain ranges. Bring your kids, grandparents, and dogs; you are sure to have a great time. Hike to the top of the cliffs to get a magnificent view of the whole town.
Looking to get on the Colorado river? We've got you covered; come rafting with Adventures in Whitewater for a grand time with the whole family. Can't get enough, we also do overnight camping trips right on the river for a full Colorado experience. If you are just passing through, maybe stop and relax at the city park, located conveniently next to the drive through liquor store. Kremmling also has a few restaurants and bars for all you foodies to check out. Seriously you should be here.
Fun fact the Grand Canyon was named after the Grand river. Which is what the Colorado river was originally named because the mouth of the river starts in Grand County and runs 1,450 through the Grand Canyon and to the Gulf of California.