Colorado

Begin March/April 2006

Originally I was planning a trip to Las Vegas and Utah. I was going to fly into Las Vegas visit the local parks (i.e. Valley of Fire, Red Rock Canyon) and travel to Bryce and Zion in Utah. Maybe even swing down to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I was just about to start booking hotels when my mother proclaimed, “Looks like a bunch of rocks to me! I think I’d get sick of looking at rocks.” Since she was going to be my travel buddy, I did the next logical thing. I decided to go to Colorado instead. Choosing dates was easy after that. Fall foliage is typically in its prime the last week of September…so, 9/23-30 was going to be ‘the’ time to go. I was able to find a heck of a deal on round trip tickets out of Rochester, NY. They were $197+ fees/taxes each, round trip. It wound up costing a grand total of $498 for the two tickets! It doesn’t get any cheaper than that.

And so the real planning began. Not so easy, was deciding where to go and for how long. I finally narrowed it down to a few places and my trip went like this…

Summary:

Flight: $498 for two RT tickets from Rochester, NY to Denver, CO

Car: $321 ($197 + fees + taxes) for a 4WD SUV, a Toyota Highlander

Day 1: Fly to Denver, Drive to RMNP
Hotel: Alpine Trail Ridge Inn, Estes Park

Day 2: RMNP
Hotel: Alpine Trail Ridge Inn, Estes Park

Day 3: RMNP to Aspen
Hotel: Aspen Mountain Lodge, Aspen

Day 4: Aspen to Crested Butte
Hotel: The Grand Lodge, Crested Butte

Day 5: Crested Butte
Hotel: The Grand Lodge, Crested Butte

Day 6: Crested Butte to Manitou Springs
Hotel: Villa Motel (an America’s Best Value Inn), Manitou Springs

Day 7: Denver
Hotel: Country Inns & Suites by Carlson, near Denver International Airport

Day 8: Fly Home.

A Few Days Prior To Leaving:

A snow storms hits the RMNP region and much of the Colorado mountains, dropping 2+ feet of snow. Reports had many of the passes closed as well as Trail Ridge Road. I was extremely disappointed and was sure our trip would be ruined. However…
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