Rocky Mountain Tot Goes to Cub Lake

Last week we headed to Colorado to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary, because what could be more romantic than bringing a one-and-a-half year old hiking? Well, maybe it wasn’t the most romantic trip we’ve been on, but I couldn’t think of a prettier place to celebrate than Rocky Mountain National Park.

Weather
When we plan hikes with our little one the first thing we think about is the weather conditions. The Bear Lake area currently has 40 inches of snow. We wanted to stay in lower elevation, so we decided to check out the Cub Lake trail which is in the majestic Moraine Valley. We were lucky to arrive on a sunny day, but melting snow made the trail muddy in places and we went through a few snow patches.

Gear
It’s amazing how fast Cecy is growing.  We are planning to replace her beloved baby carrier for a sturdier kid carrier soon, but for this trip we rented one at the Warming House in Estes Park for $10 per day (similar). I bought trekking poles (similar) which helped keep our balance especially in the snow, and took some of the impact off our knees and back. I was also very thankful for my waterproof hiking boots!

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The Cub Lake trail is 2.5 miles each way. The trail-head starts out in the Moraine Valley where we spotted elk grazing right off the trail.

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Feeling the Burn
Beyond the valley you enter a wooded section of the trail that is scarred by fire damage. Truthfully, the first time I hiked through this area I didn’t think it was very pretty. This time I decided to find the unique beauty in it which made a big difference on how much more I enjoyed this section of the hike.

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There were a few uphill bursts before the lake – made more challenging by snow and baby.

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We made it to Cub Lake and took a little refreshment break! Later in the season we’d likely see lily pads on top.

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After our break I offered to take turns and have Cecy ride on my back. This lasted about 25 minutes going down hill. Aren’t I nice? But honestly, I couldn’t have gone much further. It was tough work!! I’m excited to try again and build up some endurance and muscles this summer.

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I took Cecy for about 10% of the hike (downhill). 

 

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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.

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

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Woods to Sea near Whalers Cove