exploring southwest colorado

mission: we shall explore all the things of southwest colorado! one of the many joys of getting to work with one of your best friends: when your boss gives you some days off after a crazy busy easter weekend, you get to enjoy them together. my adventure-bff charlotte & i hit the road for 3 days back in early april to explore parts of colorado we hadn't visited yet, & for some adventure/girl time in honor of her birthday at the end of the month. we'd made a list of some spots, mapped them out, & hit the road.

mile high clothing co had sent me a bunch of awesome gear for their explorer series, so we were set with adventure gear too! i love their stuff.. it's comfortable & is the best clothing for exploring that i've come across. i love the message on some of their tanks: "get out & explore." not to mention my "peace love mountains" tank is my current fave.

our first stop was colorado national monument. we came across this amazing tunnel. both of us being tunnel-lovers meant of course we had to dance around in it, make vines & snapchats, do jumps... ya know, our regular silly-girls shenanigans.

colorado monument was magnificent. sitting on the edge of those cliffs, you could see for miles. what a thrill, especially when the wind picked up!

eat your heart out, #thatgoldenroad. ;)

next we headed to bridal veil falls. it was frozen over, which was a bummer, but we absolutely loved the city of telluride. so cozy with such awesome mountain views!

there's nothing quite like roadtipping with one of your bests. i highly recommend it.

we drove for a bit, found a place to park the vehicle, & got some sleep for the night. the next morning we barely caught the sunrise in durango & got breakfast at starbucks. (no coffee for me ;)) we then tried to find a certain bridge i'd heard about... we walked & walked for quite a while, along some train tracks, before finally realizing we weren't in the right area. charlotte's such a good friend. never made me feel bad for the fact that we'd just walked the wrong direction in search of something i'd suggested. my kind of travel companion!

we headed back to our vehicle & drove to mesa verde national park next.

we were in awe at the history there. some of it looked a lot like the colorado monument, but it was still so cool to us.

i don't watch the bachelor or the bachelorette, but charlotte told me a funny story about a girl on the show named ashley s who had a moment on the show when she said "i feel like i'm in the mesa veeerrrdeee." so we probably said that in valley girl voices about 1,847 times. inside jokes are great. we got quite a few stares, which is normal.

we didn't stay too long before we began searching for that bridge i'd heard about again. God gave us so much favor on our trip. i'm not even sure i could find it again if i had to, but find it we did. 

& as if that weren't enough, when we randomly stopped to take in the beautiful mount abram...

...we looked below us & found this stuuuuunning waterfall. we both shrieked in excitement & thankfulness. after bridal veil falls was a bust, this was such a sweet surprise. it was way more majestic than my iphone6 photos show. 

& then we found yet another tunnel right around the corner! if you can't tell, we both have a thing for tunnels & waterfalls.

we grabbed dinner to-go, & then drove to black canyon of the gunnison national park to sleep there for the night.

we woke in time for the most beautiful sunrise, & as the light revealed the canyon's depth, our jaws literally dropped. black canyon is utterly breathtaking. 

we sat on the edge of the canyon's cliffs & peered over ledges to take in the canyon's depth. oh my gosh. words & photos don't do it justice. please go see this hidden wonder for yourself. 

i love heights, but even i had to take a moment to calm myself before scooting out to a particular ledge out by itself that we had to sit-slide along a rocky wall to get to. (why, you may ask? because life happens at the end of our comfort zones. & life's about taking risks, or nothing at all!) charlotte was a beast & had gone out on it first & encouraged me past my hesitation.

how exhilarating. probably some of the most exhilarating experiences of my life that'll make for lasting memories. 

next we headed to the great sand dunes national park. we had great weather, but it was super windy... so much that it was painful to go very far. we finally ran back to the parking lot, hollering & laughing at how harsh the grains of sand were smacking our skin.

our last stop was zapata falls. it was pretty frozen over as well, but the water was running underneath the thick layers of ice.

all in all, it was an amazing trip. i love living in such a gorgeous state. colorado has so much to offer, so much to see & explore!

no matter where you live, you don't have to go far for an adventure. just start right where ya live! as they say,

life should be an adventure, or nothing at all.