I grew up in Colorado, so I am no stranger to the Rocky Mountains and its favorite past time… skiing. I have been skiing since I was out of diapers and I have many favorite places to ski. If you want to know about any of those send me a quick message and I can fill ya in or maybe even write a review of places such as Breckenridge or Telluride, but today’s post is about Keystone!
I was blessed with the opportunity to try out a new place this year, so I was super excited. Sadly, it ended up being somewhat of a letdown, which in no way is Keystone’s fault, but more of a whole Colorado-wide issue. There is no snow really anywhere yet in Colorado which has really been a problem this ski season for all winter athletes.
When we got to Keystone only a few slopes were open, and it was pretty crowded which always stinks. They had the snow makers blowing and if you got out early enough like we did the first half of the day was not too shabby. By midday though the slopes were melty and icing over pretty bad. They had been thoroughly skied over and when the slopes are icy like that I do not find the skiing as enjoyable. I preferably hate the terrible screeching noise my skis make on ice and like most skiers prefer the soft powder to float through on my way down a slope. After getting out on the slopes by 8am I was over it by 2 pm.
I can only hope the ski season gets better and Colorado finally gets some much-needed snow, if I were to make a guess, the mountains are just having a late start to the season and it may carry out longer into March than it usually would, at least I hope.
When I get back down to school I would like to check out Mount Lemmon. I have heard the skiing does not even compare to skiing in Colorado, but it sounds like a fun little day trip. Any suggestions of recommendations on Mount Lemmon my Tucson friends? Comment or message me!
Had the pleasure of going up to Michigan for New Years Eve this year. It was about a six-hour drive from where I have been staying in Chicago. The six hours were surprisingly not dreadful. I slept the majority of the time which definitely made the hours go by a little faster. I have been spending a lot of time in cars and planes recently, and especially in the last year, so honestly six hours seemed like a piece of cake.
We drove past Lake Superior, which was frozen solid with many people out ice fishing on it. Ice shantys were everywhere which was surprising this early in the winter season. There was lots and lots of snow, and if I remember correctly I think it snowed the whole entire time we were there. We stayed in a beautiful little cabin that was very isolated from the rest of the world, at least it felt that way. No internet, cozy, warm inside, but carrying with it that extremely wintery feeling that comes with Cabins. It was one of those places right off the page of a story book.
I got to go snowmobiling for the first time which I really enjoyed. The only downside was that there were certain trails that had yet to be groomed so they were super bumpy which hurt my neck. Unfortunately, before our trip I had a little accident and injured my neck and back. I fell down a flight of stairs the next day which definitely made the injury worse, so the bumpy parts took a toll on me in that way, but when we were smooth sailing I really had fun. After stopping for lunch at a lodge in Shingleton, Michigan we decided to make our way back to the cabin on the snowmobiles, this is where things took a turn.
The belt on the snowmobile broke! Anyone who knows me knows that the thing I hate most in this world is being cold. So being stranded for an hour in the cold was not my favorite moment, but I napped in the snow (I know counterproductive) while everyone else built a snowman.
We were finally able to get home and relax where we spent the night playing cards and watching movies while ringing in the new year – cabin style!
All in all a very calm but warm and fuzzy new year!
Let’s make this new year a great Ranch Bucket style one!
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
I have one FINAL post about my favorite place in all of Australia, Sydney.
So, I have not done an outdoorsy review since my hike of Mount Warning in New South Wales. Unfortunately, I have nothing to rave about when it comes to the Blue Mountains in Sydney. I had much higher expectations for this endeavor. The Blue Mountains have a lot of rules that come along with it, which often impedes on your ability to truly hike and explore them on your own as far as I found. We somehow got roped into being with a tour guide. I have said this before and I will say it again, I hate hate hate looking and feeling like a tourist, so naturally I hate guided tours. I wanted to hike the mountains and explore all that the nature had to offer on my own with my friends but that is not the experience I necessarily got. We hike enough to know what we are doing, and I feel we are all in good enough shape to do so. This is not what we got to do though this time around but hopefully next time.
We started off with the Scenic Skyway. This was cool since you got a full view of the rainforest and The Three Sisters (which I will discuss here in a minute), but it was over almost as soon as it started. It also just felt super touristy being smooshed into a small space, with a guy on a loud speaker, and little kids strapped to their dads in those hiking baby carriers. I would not pay to do this portion again honestly.
After this we were given a guided tour through a little path at the bottom of the rainforest. It was a path that should have been fifteen minutes, but our tour guide had to stop and talk about some piece of nature every two minutes, this just made me antsy. If you are looking for in depth information about the rainforest in Sydney, then I do highly suggest taking one of these tours, it was just not my cup of tea. The path eventually would lead us back to a railway where we took a train up and it released us back at the top of the Skyway where the gift shop was. All in all, we were done within an hour and a half.
All that aside, the rainforest was beautiful. It was super green, lush, and I felt like I was in the amazon jungle. There were so many weird sounds coming from within the forest. Ranging from intriguing birds and other unknown animals to me.
The Blue Mountains are full of history. Particularly they are known for the story of The Three Sisters. I am not going to go into detail about this story, but I will include a link below, so you can read about the legend. The story made the actual natural wonder seem even more mysterious and beautiful. I would have loved to explore and hike more on my own with the girls but maybe there will be other places and other times for that. I am just glad I got to experience another glorious creation within our world.
The Three Sisters Story
Other Articles on Sydney
Other Articles on Sydney
Springbrook National Park should be on your list of places to visit if you are in Queensland. It is a beautiful place to explore, with plenty of ground to cover and differing aspects of nature. I spent a day there roaming and hiking through its beautiful forests and I was not disappointed. We went in August so the temperature was perfect for hiking. Not too hot, not too cold with a nice breeze and sunlight peeking through the leaves and branches up above us. The trees were the most fascinating aspect to me. They were trees like I had never seen before and many were even hollowed out, making it where we could get inside them or stand in them. You could tell they were hundreds of years old if not more, which is always mind boggling to me, I always remember as a small child counting the rings on the inside of chopped down tree to figure out how old they were. We hiked all around but my favorite was the hike to the bottom of the waterfall. It is not too difficult of a hike, and the water is something like I have never seen. The water was green, like moss. Against a black rock background. It reminded me of Hawaii a lot, which was fitting since I went with my good friend Veronica who is from Hawaii and my boyfriend.
The waterfall was not incredibly large but beautiful nonetheless. The water was FREEZING, at this time of year no one was getting in. It was even too cold to stand next to for a long period of time. We got some good pictures though before moving out of the way and off the very slippery rocks. There were plenty of trails and plenty of things to do in Springbrook. I enjoyed meandering through different pathways. It was not far from the Gold Coast where I live, so that was nice as well since I constantly find myself driving and flying all over the place to see all that I have to see.
I really liked these hikes and the location better than Mount Warning. It just was more versatile and I felt like I had more control over my pace and the difficultly level. All ages and skill levels can explore this park and even if you do not want to walk around or hike you can drive through many portions of the national forest. The drive up into the park was probably one of the most beautiful experiences. It reminded me of the Redwood Forest up in California. If you look close enough you can maybe even see some kangaroos!
Mount Warning Review: https://ranchbucket.blog/2017/08/01/mount-warning/