Wednesday, June 11, 2014

colorado & utah.

Last month, Shane and I had the opportunity to go with my family to see my cousin graduate from the United States Air Force Academy! This was such an awesome experience and we also decided to see as much of Colorado and Utah that we could squeeze into the trip! We had lots of fun and some serious family bonding! Here's some of my favorite photos from our adventures!

We landed in Denver, rented a car, and started driving to Breckenridge, CO.  However,we were not expecting the snow storm that awaited us! Shane thought we were going to hike a trail that afternoon, but we arrived to the trailhead looking like this, and the only other hikers were wearing snow shoes and equipped with some serious cold weather and snow gear:)

 After Breckenridge, we headed to Alamosa, CO to see Great Sand Dunes National Park. Think... biggest sandbox you have ever seen.  It is one of the most unique things ever! We rented sand boards and sand sleds which I highly recommend if you ever go!

 It was also insanely windy! We quickly learned just how these great dunes are formed!
After Alamosa, we headed to Colorado Springs, CO for all of the graduation festivities. I am so proud of my cousin, Bo for his incredible amount of hard work, motivation, and dedication to our country!
Do you see the planes? As the graduates threw their hats, the Thunderbirds flew over & performed an airshow! Such a crazy feeling!
 Before leaving Colorado Springs, we also went to Garden of the Gods.
We saw these guys just hanging out on our way to Utah.  Just 5 minutes before this, we stopped at a viewing area for these big horn sheep and looked through those tourist binoculars for at least 20 minutes searching for these hiding in the mountain. They were right down the road all along!
 We stayed in Moab, UT the rest of the week and hiked and explored Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

My awesome parents.

Some of these hikes were a little too high and scary at some points:) Found a little more adventure than we were looking for!
This was my scariest moment:)  Walking along the trail, furthest behind taking pictures, and this guy leaps out in front of me on the trail.  And.... I only have a picture because after screaming and leaping backward thinking I was going to be eaten, all my sister could yell behind to me was  "take a picture, take a picture, take a picture!" Thanks Savannah:) Thought it was a rattlesnake, but later saw one of those too!

My brother:)

 I loved all of the textures and different plant life we found on the trails!

And some of the most breathtaking views on our way back to Denver...

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