Riding High in New Kid Carrier

On our most recent trip to Colorado we were excited to try out our new kid carrier for a hike up to Gem Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.

After renting packs for our last few trips, we decided to buy a Deuter carrier from REI (similar).


Cecy enjoyed the view riding up high. She seemed very comfortable and there was more space between her and my husband so they didn’t get as hot. We also bought a sun roof and rain cover for the carrier (similar) which will come in handy this summer.


The Deuter carrier came with a little stuffed bear which we nicked named ‘buddy’.Overall, I think this is going to be a great investment for family hiking adventures.


Morning Hike in Point Lobos Park, California

Last week we took a trip to California to visit family. One of the highlights of our trip was a morning hike we took in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. We spent the night in nearby Monterey, CA and ‘benefited’ from the two hour time difference that had us awake around 5:30 AM. The reserve is open from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. As one of the first cars through the gates, we easily found a parking spot near Bird Island Trailhead on the south end of the park. We passed by the park entrance several hours later and the parking lots were completely full. 

California Crown Jewel 
I read that Point Lobos is the ‘crown jewel’ of California Park systems, and I can see why. We started at the Bird Island Trailhead, and walked the .8 mile round-trip loop. Our 16 month old Cecilia refused to get inside her Ergobaby carrier, so we couldn’t make the hike long. Lucky for us, we didn’t have to go far to see gorgeous ocean vistas, beautiful woods, sea life and private sandy beach coves.

Pacific waves crashing against rocky shores
Green waters
Seals resting in China Cove
Bird Island
Ocean Baby


We took a quick drive to the other side of Point Lobos park by Whalers Cove to enjoy the forest and gorgeous ocean views. We could have spent all day at Point Lobos, but we continued our adventure by driving on scenic Pacific Coast highway 1 to beautiful Morro Bay for more family fun. Topping off an already great morning, Cecy napped during the whole drive down which basically made this the perfect road trip in my book. Yay!

Woods to Sea near Whalers Cove

15 Hikes in 2015

We are days away from our final trip to Rocky Mountain National Park in 2015. I was going through our ‘log book’ and realized we went on 15 hikes with our little girl this year in RMNP and surrounding areas. We hiked over 77 miles with her in Colorado and loved (almost) every moment of it.


I learned a lot about being a Mom on the trail – like how to plan ahead and also how to go with the flow. We made a big commitment to spending a lot of time as a family out in the mountains. For our family it helps us stay healthy, have fun and connect to each other, God and nature.

I’m very thankful when I think back on our list. I hope it’s even longer in 2016. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and an adventurous New Year!

  1. Deer Mountain, 6 miles
  2. Twin Sisters, 7.3 miles
  3. Bear Lake to Bierstadt Lake, 4.4 miles
  4. Indian Peaks Wilderness Area – Brainard Lake/Lake Isabelle, 7 miles
  5. Bear Lake to Emerald Lake Lookout, 6.8 miles
  6. Lily Mountain, 3.6 miles
  7. Bear Lake to the Loch, 6 miles
  8. Cub Lake, 4.8 miles
  9. Bear Lake to Emerald Lake, 3.6 miles
  10. Wild Basin Trailhead to Ouzel Falls, 5.5 miles
  11. Fern Lake Trailhead to Fern Falls, 5.2 miles
  12. Bear Lake Trailhead to Mills Lake, 5.6 miles
  13. Longs Peak Trailhead to Estes Cone, 6.6 miles
  14. Lumpy Ridge Trailhead to Gem Lake, 3.6 miles
  15. Lily Lake/Lily Ridge 1.3 miles

*Miles are approximate

Rocky Mountain Tot Goes to Gem Lake

In his guide, ‘Best Hikes Rocky Mountain National Park’, Kent Dannen says, ‘my favorite trail is the one I hiked most recently.’ So true! My heart skips a beat every time I think of our hike to Gem Lake. The autumn aspens, the crisp air, the breathtaking views, 11 month old Cecy content the whole hike…now that’s what my dream hikes are made of!

We started out at Lumpy Ridge trailhead and hiked through boulders and unique rock formations with frequent stops to catch our breath and take in the panoramic views of Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain range behind us. This was a moderately strenuous hike because of the steep steps that lead up to the lake, but the short distance at 1.8 miles each way made it pretty attainable.

Aspens IN rocky mountain National Park
Paul Bunyan's Boot in Rocky Mountain National Park
Paul Bunyan’s Boot
Rocky Mountain views
Rocky Mountain views
Stairs climbing up to Gem Lake
Up, up, up!
Gem Lake
Gem Lake
Ergo baby kid carrier
Cutest little hiker on the trail

If you work up a thirst, you can try out one of the new breweries in town called Lumpy Ridge Brewing Company. Located in an old gas station, the brewery has a small, eclectic tasting room plus a couple of outdoor picnic tables where you can enjoy the beer and Lumpy Ridge views.