Our first night we stayed just outside of Durango, at the Purgatory ski area. This place is amazing, it was like an outdoor playground for adults. The next day we headed to Crestone, where Tessa and Connie live. Every visit with them is memorable and wonderful, and this visit was nothing short of that!
Enjoying a beer at Steamworks Brewery in Durango.
We did the Alpine Slide at Purgatory, one of Mike's childhood memories.
That's our course.
Headed down the hill!
I just had to insert this short video because we were having so much fun!
Enjoying a beer on the mountain.
And a game of horseshoes!
I love those mountains in the background!
The locals pointed us to the pizza joint, The Olde Schoolhouse. This is a must eat place if you're ever in the area!
On our way out of town, we decided to take a side road and fate gave us the crossing of the Durango & Silverton Train. Add this to your bucket list if you haven't done it, the views are amazing!
We stopped in Pagosa Springs for the traditional (and famous) Malt Shoppe break.
I always love to stop at the waterfall at Wolf Creek Pass.
And I absolutely love these thistles, so pretty!
We passed through Del Norte, where I spent a few summers as a child when my grandma and papa lived there.
Almost to Crestone! Recognize those mountains? I had to get a shot of Mike carrying his camera; we had a lot of photo opp stops on this trip.
We stayed in Juliana for this stay.
I always love Connie's welcome cards and wine! :)
Seriously LOVE this place and the people in it.
Our very colorful dinner the first night. The salad had edible flowers, that were super tasty!
We hit the Dunes the next day.
And Zapata Falls for a refreshing hike through the creek.
The following day Connie and Tessa took us to Salida for some antique shopping and lunch with a walk next to the river.
Mike was doing some hard-core Colorado rock climbing!
Hanging out next to the river.
We loved this wall that was covered with old canoes and kayaks.
On our way back from Salida, it started pouring rain. We couldn't see the valley, let alone the mountains across the valley. It was such a cozy day and it meant that Mike and I could work on our last DIY project for our engagement shoot.
I just love these clouds sitting down at the base of the mountain.
Mike was in charge of making our template and cutting the fabric.
I was in charge of painting the stencils.
Our finished product!
The next day we were really hoping the clouds would part so we could see if it snowed on the peaks, we were in luck! It was so beautiful when they did part and it was so special to be there for the first dusting of snow.
That night we checked out Tessa's new hermitage, which is out of this world beautiful! And then we had dinner at Father Dave's house. It was a fun evening of drinks, food, and conversation. I couldn't find the photo we all took together from this night and it breaks my heart. So I will tell you guys that Mike and I asked Connie to officiate our service and Tessa and Father Dave to say a reading or a blessing at our ceremony. We are so excited to have these three play such an intimate role in our day, as they mean so much to us!
The next morning we were off early to Utah because we had one long drive! The whole day was overcast and cool, which we love!
We made a stop at Blue Mesa Reservoir, just outside of Gunnison, Co. It's huge and the landscape is out of this world beautiful.
We made it to Utah!
Ok, I don't have very many photos from Utah and I truly think it was the nerves of our engagement shoot that got to me, so I'll fill in a few of the blanks. We stayed in Park City, which is one cool ski town. When we drove in, we went through Provo Canyon and the views are breathtaking. We met with our photographer, Alix, for lunch in downtown Salt Lake City at a restaurant called Tin Angel. If you're ever in the Salt Lake City area, this place was delicious! It was great to meet her before our shoot and for us to all get to know one another just a little. I'll save more about this for the engagement photo post, but let me just say that I absolutely adore her!
That night we went to dinner at the Wasatch Brewery in the main part of Park City. Mike had gotten a jalapeno beer and let's just say he was not a fan of the tingling lips the beer caused! :)
Mike and I had a late brunch the next day because we knew we'd have a long drive to our engagement shoot and wouldn't get back until well after dinner. After brunch we stumbled on the Park Silly Sunday Market. It was full of local artists, clothing and jewelry makers, food, and live music. This is where I discovered this adorable band, The Folka Dots. After they sang their first song, I was hooked and had to grab a cd to add to our road trip rotation.
The morning after our shoot we were up early and headed to Arches National Park. On our way out of town, we stopped at a restaurant called Magleby's that a childhood friend of mine recommended. So again, if you're ever in the Orem area, this was one of the best breakfast burritos I've ever had!
Mike and I have never been to Arches, so this was an absolute must see on this trip!
Never in my life has a three mile hike in our ninety degree temperatures been more worth it than this hike to delicate arch! What a treat it was to see something like this! And I even got to break out my sun hat! :)
That night we wrapped things up with dinner at Moab Brewery, where we shared the biggest plate of nachos I have ever seen in my life and we camped down by the river. Needless to say, after a night in a tent with very little sleep, I was thrilled to finally pull in our drive way.
We had such a wonderful time on our trip and thank you Connie, Tessa, and Father Dave for all of your wonderful hospitality! We are on the edge of our seats (well, I am:) to get our engagement photos and to share them with everyone!