Exploring the west

Before I moved to Torrington at the end of December, I did some research about outdoor opportunities I could take advantage of when I moved here.

Unfortunately, I haven’t taken advantage of all the various outdoor activities that are so close to Torrington and Goshen County as a whole.

Last weekend, I finally had the opportunity to get away and explore some of the natural beauty that is so close to Goshen County.

My childhood best friend, Chris, lives in Snowmass Village, Colorado. He’s lived in Colorado for the past few years, and I’ve always wanted to go out there for a visit. Living in Florida always made things difficult for us to get together, but now that I live closer, I’m finally getting the opportunity to explore Colorado.

I spent Memorial Day weekend exploring various places around Snowmass. On Saturday, we went golfing in Carbondale and had amazing views of Mount Sopris and the Crystal River meandering throughout the course.

On Sunday, we went to the Independence Ghost Town, which is an old mining ghost town on Independence Pass. I’m not the biggest fan of heights, so driving up the pass freaked me out at times, but once we got up to the ghost town, the views were amazing.

When we were walking along the trails and checking out some of the old mining buildings that are still preserved there, it started to sleet/snow on us. I wasn’t expecting weather like that at all, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re at 11,000 feet.

After exploring the Independence Ghost Town, we drove back down the pass and into Aspen. This was my first time in Aspen, and it was a cool little city to walk around and explore. For beer lovers, the Aspen Brewing Company had some great choices. 

When I drove back to Torrington Monday morning, I kept looking around at all of the scenery and seeing various camping and hiking trails along the way. It just made me excited and had me start thinking of places where I might take my next adventure.

I drove through a part of Wyoming I hadn’t been through before during the drive. Instead of taking I25 down to Denver and then I70 across, I decided to go through Laramie and then down through the Medicine Bow National Forest. During my drive, I kept seeing endless perfect camping spots and have now added it to my list of places to see while I’m in Wyoming.

Since I’ve been here, there’s also been a few other places I decided to add to my list of things to see while I’m out west.

The top of my list has always been going out to Laramie Peak. I had it on the list before moving to the area and still haven’t had the opportunity to check it out. Now that the weather is cooperating, that will be my next trip.

There’s a bunch of camping spots around the mountain and my plan is to camp at a spot close to the trail so I can hike up to the peak and back.

Another area I would like to check out while I’m here is the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore. I’ve heard nothing but great things about both places and they’ve been on my list for quite some time. 

I’m a big history buff and love any opportunity I can get to learn about history or to see different historical sites. I’ve never been to South Dakota before and now that I’m so close to the state, I figure this would be the best opportunity to see both and explore the area.

I’ve always been amazed by Mount Rushmore and look at it in awe even when I see it in pictures. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be there in person and looking up at the faces of some of the most important political figures in the history of our country.

Another place on my list is Devil’s Tower. Thankfully, it’s not too far from the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore, so I’m hoping to knock out all three on the same trip.

The only thing left to do before heading out on all these different adventures, is making sure I’m equipped and ready for some car camping.

I watch overlanding videos all the time on YouTube and just think of all the endless options I can take for outfitting my car for adventures. The list of supplies I’ll need is a bit lengthy, but I’m excited to get them and head out into nature now that the weather is perfect for camping.

If anyone has any other places that I need to check out, please feel free to send me an email or if you just want to talk about camping and history, I’m all ears.