I spent this last weekend visiting two very dear friends of mine who live in the Rocky Mountain high country. They just bought property in Grand County that’s nestled in a valley surrounded by beautiful views and mountain peaks in the distance. Matt and Chris have their own blog that shares lots of fun projects they’ve done to renovate their homestead and their insight on natural health, eating and living at high altitude.
Of course the weekend my boyfriend and I are heading to the mountains is the same weekend that a big spring snow storm hit our state. I was worried we’d have to scrap the trip since the drive through the mountains can get pretty dicey when the weather isn’t cooperating. Fortunately by the time we left on Friday evening, the highway was totally clear and we only had to deal with a few small showers, but still got gorgeous views of snow covered pine trees on the way up.
Even though I don’t live in a huge city, there’s something about getting away from the hustle and bustle of it all and spending time around wide open spaces that’s so soothing. This is the view from the road leading to Matt & Chris’ home. I usually hate being cold. Even my car’s A/C blasting on a hot day can become irritating, but on this trip I really welcomed the crisp cool mountain air… and brought layers which helped.
When we pulled in after the 3 hour drive, it immediately felt like home. Since Matt & Chris live so far away we don’t get to see them very often but try to plan trips and visits whenever we can. And boy does it feel great to see them when we do! Their home is so adorable. The aesthetic is rustic and peppered with parts of their personalities like antique cameras, copper accents holding succulents and canvases of photos they’ve taken. There are so many unique pieces and it seems like each one had their own place in the house. They did a great job furnishing and decorating.
This is a bar they made by hand, it was so cool looking and special. I brought them a lantern with an LED candle for a house warming present, inspired by the chicken coop they are finishing up in their yard.
They also have two incredibly precious little pups. They are as rambunctious as they are cute so it was hard to get a good picture of them because they were always on the move! This little guy is Harvey.
And this is Noah. They are just the sweetest dogs. I don’t want to say I miss them more than my friends but …well… did you see those faces? They were such a great welcoming committee when we got to the house. They must have learned a thing or two from their owners because Matt and Chris are super hosts…
Even though we didn’t get to Grand County until later in the evening. They had craft cocktails waiting for us and a from-scratch dinner finishing up on the stove. Both of them are such awesome chefs. This was a gumbo-ish beans and rice dish with chicken sausage and homemade corn bread from Chef Matt. It was the perfect meal after a chilly drive through the mountains.
Our guestroom had a basket of books including a calming adult coloring book. I obviously chose the first buffalo page I found and it was a lot more tedious than I remember coloring books being. I can see how it helps take your mind off things. Anyways, this is the beginning of my tye-dye buff, I did finish it and left it for my friends to find later.
After coffee and breakfast the next morning, we headed to the Hot Sulphur Springs. Native Americans used the hot springs for medicinal purposes and it was re-discovered in 1840. There are several different hot springs pools of different sizes and different temperatures. One was so extremely hot I got dizzy after being in the water for only a few seconds.
The Ute Pool was our favorite. It has a water fall, a cave and a small but deep pocket of really toasty water that people braver than I squeezed themselves into.
Once we got back to the homestead Chris started making dinner while the rest of us took the pups out for a hike around the property. This is the view from the top of their long drive way. Everything was just so beautiful!
We were fortunate that the clouds cleared because it was so gorgeous once we made our way down toward the Blue River. It was an incredibly muddy trek because of the recent spring storm but S. and I came prepared with boots… Matt wore (and subsequently destroyed) a pair of cozy slippers which was kinda hilarious.
I am so jealous they get to have this little slice of heaven within walking distance of them. There’s even some benches and a fire pit so you could camp, fish or just sit and enjoy the river. Noah was sprinting around like crazy before we had to put him back on a leash to head back.
Here’s Matt hoping to find a moose to take a picture of. Well, we all were hoping something like that would happen. He had to settle on fast moving birds and taking, what I’m assuming is a pretty cute, couple photo of my boyfriend and I.
On our way back to the homestead, Matt took us the back route which is higher above the area we were just in and gave this incredible vantage point of peaks in front of us, and the river gushing down below to our right.
As soon as we peeled off our muddy shoes and took a step back inside, the smell of dinner hit us all right in the face. Chris had made a homemade bouillabaisse with fish, scallops and shrimp and WOW was it so good! He got the recipe out of this super old tattered French cook book he found that explains recipes in a narrative/paragraph form instead of a step-by-step format. It was so interesting!
After dinner we caught up, swapped stories and eventually watched Les Misérables. We had to leave pretty early the very next morning since I work on Sundays. But we were able to squeeze in breakfast before squeezing each other goodbye! It’s always so great to spend time with those two. We have another adventure planned for June so, stay tuned for that. In the meantime, here’s a bonus picture of Harvey in the sun giving me shade.