Great Smoky Mountains

Great Smoky Mountains

Great Smoky Mountains

Which country music icon was born in the Great Smoky Mountains? Let me give you a couple of hints. They have written many songs, sung by various artists, notably Whitney Huston who had a huge hit with one of them. Sung hit duets with Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson. Has a theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Hopefully your answer is Dolly Parton. She was born in Pittman Centre, Sevier County in the Great Smoky Mountains in 1946. As well as Dolly Parton, Ben Jones (Cooter from Dukes of Hazard), Johnny Knoxville and Christina Hendricks were all born in the shadows of the Great Smoky Mountains. Dolly Parton once said, A lot of people don’t realise I came out of the Smoky Mountains with a load of songs.”

great smoky mountains vintage cabin travel is sweet

The Great Smoky Mountains are situated on the state lines of Tennessee and North Carolina USA. They are a subrange of The Appalachian Mountains and are commonly shortened to the “Smokies”. Eventually, in 1934 the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established within the Great Smoky Mountains. In fact, this park is the most visited park in the United States with over a 11 million visitors a year. *“The name “Smoky” comes from the natural fog that often hangs over the range and presents as large smoke plumes from a distance. This fog is caused by the vegetation exhaling volatile organic compounds, chemicals that have a high vapor pressure and easily form vapours at normal temperature and pressure”. Additionally, in 2016 the Smokies were devastated by a wildfire that claimed 14 lives and injured 134.

great smoky mountains lookout travel is sweet

Surprising Welcome

As a result of a change in our itinerary, thanks to my father in-law. Adding the Great Smoky Mountains turns out to be the best “audible call” we have made this road trip. Consequently, modifying our itinerary we now go via a town called Pigeon Forge. Home to an amazing range of family orientated entertainment, which is total unexpected. In  addition, it is also home to Dollywood and Dollywood Stampede, unfortunately we haven’t time to take in a show. This is only one, of many reasons, we will definitely organise to visit here again and spend time exploring this town.

great smoky mountains fall colours travel is sweet

However, it obviously is not a secret to Americans as it is incredibly busy. We later find out that this is very normal for this time of year, however it gets busier in summer. In fact, as we get closer to Gatlinburg the amount of people seems to double. Gatlinburg is to be our base for a couple of days and is centrally located to reach many trails and outlooks. Surprisingly, we are also greeted by a black bear foraging on the side of the road. Unfortunately we are unable to get a picture.

great smoky mountains gatlinburg travel is sweet

Fall Colours

As Aussies living in Queensland autumn colours is something we don’t see. Consequently, we are amazed by the colours that are on show when we arrive in the Great Smoky Mountains. We have seen movies and TV shows from the USA that show the colours of fall but seeing them close up was truly spectacular. The vivid shades of reds, oranges and yellows blow our minds. As a result, many photographs followed at every vantage point that we stop at. Jaw dropping vistas, stunning water views and picture-perfect vintage cabin scenes are everywhere. Driving along the “Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail” is quickly becoming our favourite destination on this road trip. Looking out over rolling mountains splashed with diverse shades of reds, greens, oranges and yellows is awe inspiring. Images burnt into our memories that will not be forgotten, as well as captured in camera.

great smoky mountains river travel is sweet

Our next exploration is Cades Cove Loop Road which according to research we may see some wildlife, notably bears. The road leading to this trail is truly breath taking. Winding side by side with Laurel Creek, dropping over small waterfalls and cascading over rocky beds. Trees in the process of changing, providing a canopy of colours of Fall across the road. Driving this trail, we are presented with amazing vista and colours, but unfortunately no bears. The serenity of this gorgeous area is only tainted by the number of vehicles traveling along the trail. Which is ironic, because we are one of those vehicles 😊. I would highly recommend a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains if you have the chance. Ultimately you will be glad you took the time to see this incredible piece of Americas National Parks.

great smoky mountains outlook travel is sweet

Join Us

We would love for you to follow our exciting journey by joining our friends list here on our website and following us on our social media pages below.

If you have any comments or questions we would love you to leave them below or email us.

Take care

Andrew & Carolyn

Travel is Sweet (Dream It, Experience It, Treasure It)

*Insert comes from “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Smoky_Mountains”

Home » USA

Travel Tips

Find Your Flights

Skyscanner is a great tool for searching websites and airlines around the world to make sure you get the best available price possible.

Book Your Accommodation

Booking.com is our go to tool for booking hotels. It always gives us a large variety of hotels at great rates. We also use Airbnb as a wonderful alternative for those places you may want to go and live with the locals.

Always Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a must and this is speaking from experience. Comprehensive protection will protect you against illness, injury, theft, accidents and cancellations. Just in case something goes wrong, heaven forbid. We never travel without it, having used it several times over the years. World Nomads have years of experience and knowledge to look after all your travel needs.

All images, photographs, and prints are exclusive property and may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, transmitted, manipulated or used in any way without written permission of the photographer.
Disclosure: "Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission."

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Madison Wisconsin

Madison Wisconsin

Madison Wisconsin

“Sittin on the Dock of the Bay” was sung by which famous artist that was killed in a plane crash? If you said Otis Redding you would be correct. Now, do you know where that plane crash happened? I will give you a hint 😊, we have been house sitting here for the last 10 days. If you have been following our blog you will know that I am talking about Madison, Wisconsin. Now, if you got those two questions right, here is one more. What lake did his plane crash into? This is a little bit harder to answer, unless you were a big Otis Redding fan. It was Lake Monona, Madison, Wisconsin on December the 10th 1967 aged 26. You may think this blog is about Otis, but its about the beautiful city of Madison, Wisconsin. Furthermore, about our house sit with two elderly gentlemanly dogs.

madison lake monona travel is sweet

In general, most Aussies won’t know much about Madison, Wisconsin. Hence, I will give you a small introduction to it. Madison is the capital of the State of Wisconsin USA. It is situated 127 kms (79 miles) west of Milwaukee. It was founded in 1829, becoming the capital of Wisconsin territory in 1836. In 1848 Wisconsin became the 30th State of the Union and Madison became its capitol. It is situated on an isthmus between two lakes (Monona and Mendota). The State Capitol Dome was modelled after the U.S Capitol and sits on the highest point of the isthmus. The capitol building can be seen throughout the Madison area. Madison is home to the University of Wisconsin and their sporting teams, who are called Badgers.

madison_street_travel_is_sweet

Austin and Logan

Having had a magnificent three week road trip on our way to Madison, we now get to care for Austin and Logan. Two beautiful “old soul” dogs, that have such lovely natures. Even though that are not active like younger dogs, they are very affectionate. They love just lying with you, nudging you to pat them. In addition, when it comes time to cook they are like Carolyn’s shadow, it is so fun to watch. Austin has some amusing little oddities, but my favourite is when he barks out of the blue while he is sleeping. He pops up and barks then lies back down, then he will do it again and sometimes again. Logan loves to have his head and ears rubbed and will nudge you until you respond to him. He reminds me a lot of a cat, he loves to sleep and eat 😊.

madison logan travel is sweet madison austin travel is sweet

Alongside caring for these wonderful canines, we are able to live like Wisconsinites. We have done the weekly shopping at Walmart, used public transport and had dinner at a local restaurant. One of the delightful parts of house sitting, is, you get to live as a local, not a tourist. Our amazing Home Owners Jerri and Jeff have taken us out to dinner, shown as around Madison and allowed us use of their car. Needless to say we are having a great time and would recommend a visit to Madison if you are ever in Wisconsin.

madison_our_sit_travel_is_sweet

Join Us

We would love for you to follow our exciting journey by joining our friends list here on our website and following us on our social media pages below.

If you have any comments or questions we would love you to leave them below or email us.

Take care

Andrew & Carolyn

Travel is Sweet (Dream It, Experience It, Treasure It)

Home » USA

Travel Tips

Find Your Flights

Skyscanner is a great tool for searching websites and airlines around the world to make sure you get the best available price possible.

Book Your Accommodation

Booking.com is our go to tool for booking hotels. It always gives us a large variety of hotels at great rates. We also use Airbnb as a wonderful alternative for those places you may want to go and live with the locals.

Always Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a must and this is speaking from experience. Comprehensive protection will protect you against illness, injury, theft, accidents and cancellations. Just in case something goes wrong, heaven forbid. We never travel without it, having used it several times over the years. World Nomads have years of experience and knowledge to look after all your travel needs.

All images, photographs, and prints are exclusive property and may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, transmitted, manipulated or used in any way without written permission of the photographer.
Disclosure: "Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission."

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Devils Tower

Devils Tower

Devils Tower

What were you doing in 1977? I had turned 11 and Stars Wars came out just after my birthday. What a classic movie, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Hans Solo and Princess Leia who could forget them. Regardless of your sex or nationality, this epic story has captured most of the world’s population. However, some may argue that point, like my wife (let me duck for cover lol). Likewise, another movie in 1977 was released with the Devils Tower as its iconic scenic shot. Can you remember this movie? If you said “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” … Well done. Devils Towers was used as the formation for the location of its climatic scenes. Until now, I had always wondered what it looked like. Due to our epic road trip I can now say Devils Tower is amazing and brings back memories of 1977.

devils tower travel is sweet from a distance

In The Distance

Where is Devils Tower you may ask? It is situated in the state of Wyoming in the USA. Approximately 52 kms north east of Moorcroft and 45 kms north west of Sundance. Rapid City is about 172 kms away. This amazing geologic feature rises from the prairies of the surrounding Black Hills. Particularly significant are the hundreds of parallel cracks that form the outer shell of Devils Tower. They give it a uniqueness that is unquestionably astounding in this area. In fact, this draws climbers from around the world wanting to scale its heights. Entrance fees to the park are $20 for 1-7 days for a private car and its passengers. The prices are set to rise by $5 as of the 1st of January 2019. There is road works happening coming into the park (we were here 8th Oct 2018).

devils tower wyoming travel is sweet

In the distance we initially see the top of Devils Tower as we come over the crest of a hill, but it disappeared quickly. However, it wasn’t until we were about 5 minutes away we got a full view of Devils Tower. It’s presence among the surrounding area is amazing and truly worth the time spent getting there. Arriving at the entrance to the park, the ranger was very helpful and friendly a very nice welcome. The drive to the visitor’s centre circumnavigated the base of Devils Tower and gave you different perspectives of it. Upon reaching the visitors centre you see the sheer walls of Devils Tower and the intricacies of the parallel cracks that run from top to bottom.

devils tower travel is sweet behind

Close Encounter

Winding up the trail, the trees give way to the boulders, rocks and pebbles that have gathered at the base of Devils Tower. Staring up at the sheer cliffs it hits me just how small we are, all things considered. Also, how privileged and blessed, that we have been give this amazing time to experience Gods awesome creation. Having observed the outer crust, I realized it has a greenish tinge, I’m guessing it is some type of moss or algae. It gives Devils Tower a Martianistic vibe to it, maybe “Close Encounters” have happened here lol 😊.

devils tower travel is sweet carolyns view

Having played the complete tourist, taking the obligatory selfie and perusing the gift shop, we head down the trail to the park exit. However, being a photographer there is always room for another photo op. Carolyn knows only too well and waits patiently as we make several stops on the way down. I have to get every possible vantage point of Devils Tower captured in my camera. Overall, we have had an amazing experience, one that will live on in our memories. I highly recommend a visit to Devils Tower if you are in Wyoming you won’t be disappointed. Especially if you are a fan of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Just a quick footnote if you intend travelling and visiting several national parks buy yourself an “America the Beautiful” annual pass. It is worth the $80 as we have saved money after visiting just 3 parks.

devils tower travel is sweet carpark

Join Us

We would love for you to follow our exciting journey by joining our friends list here on our website and following us on our social media pages below.

If you have any comments or questions we would love you to leave them below or email us.

Take care

Andrew & Carolyn

Travel is Sweet (Dream It, Experience It, Treasure It)

Home » USA

Travel Tips

Find Your Flights

Skyscanner is a great tool for searching websites and airlines around the world to make sure you get the best available price possible.

Book Your Accommodation

Booking.com is our go to tool for booking hotels. It always gives us a large variety of hotels at great rates. We also use Airbnb as a wonderful alternative for those places you may want to go and live with the locals.

Always Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a must and this is speaking from experience. Comprehensive protection will protect you against illness, injury, theft, accidents and cancellations. Just in case something goes wrong, heaven forbid. We never travel without it, having used it several times over the years. World Nomads have years of experience and knowledge to look after all your travel needs.

All images, photographs, and prints are exclusive property and may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, transmitted, manipulated or used in any way without written permission of the photographer.
Disclosure: "Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission."

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Boulder Exploring

Boulder Exploring

Boulder Exploring

Mork, calling Orson. Come in, Orson!!! Na-Nuu, Na-Nuu, today we are heading into Boulder Colorado to survey the earthly surroundings. Our spaceship is being piloted by Kate our earthling home owner’s daughter. Mork (aka Andrew) and Mindy (aka Carolyn) are buckled in to their respective space sits. Launch has commenced, driveway clear, engines on and all systems go for launch. As we hurtle along through the universe we see new and wonderful scenes. Alongside us, dozens of other spaceships are speeding along to see who reaches their destination first. Our pilot is keeping up with them, so it’s a good thing we are buckled in tight. In the foreground the outer reaches of our planet are changing from open country with a backdrop of mountains. Into a cluster of asteroids (aka houses) as we begin our descent into Boulder.

boulder treelined st travel is sweet

In the distance a landing pad is open, so our pilot careful moves the spaceship into position. But wait, from the outer cosmos another spaceship hurtles in and steals our landing pad. Shazbot!!! Mork exclaims, dam Martians!!! Hence, our pilot surveys the horizon and finds an underground spaceship landing dock. She manoeuvres our spaceship delicately into position and lands softly. Upon exiting our spaceship, we follow the signs to enter our new earthly frontier. Surprisingly we are greeted by a cooler climate to what we have had over the last three weeks with temperatures in the mid to late 30’s. However, this changed as the earthling’s day went on.

boulder cafe travel is sweet

Boulder Acclimation Complete     

Time has come to explore our unique environment of Boulder. As a result of our acclimation our alter egos come to the fore. Boulder is situated at the base of the Rocky Mountains and 40 Kms northwest of Denver. It sits 1655 metres above sea level and it is home to the main campus of the University of Colorado. To the west of the city sits the iconic rock formation called the Flatirons made up of sedimentary rock. Average temperatures range from a low of -6 c in winter to a high of 31 c in summer. Outdoor activities within and around Boulder include rock climbing, hiking, and mountain biking just to name a few. For a comprehensive guide to Boulder please check out this link.

boulder flatirons travel is sweet

In the middle of Boulder lies the Pearl Street Mall which has been blocked to traffic and is vibrant and full of pedestrians. Across both sides of the mall, shops with rustic facades, cafes, restaurants and bars line its edges. In the centre of the mall lovely flower beds with flowering plants dot the landscapes. Also, numerous sculptures, food vans and a water fountain for kids to play are incorporated into the mall. As we stroll through the mall we feel a sense of freedom as three months ago we were both stuck in a rut. The air is beginning to warm as we approach noon, we head into Starbucks for a coffee and a chat.

boulder pearl st mall travel is sweet

Tree Lined Streets

Finishing our coffee’s, we head back into the mall and wind our way back on the other side. We stop for pictures along the way, to capture the beauty that is Boulder as well as recording our memories. As we approach the middle of the mall, a beautiful building the court house connects via a garden path. With a lovely paved path and surrounding gardens, people sit eating their lunch soaking up the tranquillity. Continuing up the mall we see a candy store, we make a detour inside to explore and maybe buy something. In spite of my sweet tooth we ended up buy nothing but had a laugh at some of the bottles of drinks, pictured below. Finally, we reached the end of the mall, we continue to meander up the tree lined street. To the right we pass some lovely ornate houses with beautiful gardens.

boulder candy soda travel is sweet boulder candy store travel is sweet

Further up the street and to the right of us we get a view of the Flatirons behind a cute building. I was able to grab some images but because of the position of the sun they weren’t the best. Anyway, we still got a shot so I’m happy with that. In view of the time we decided to head back to the spaceship and bid a fond farewell to Boulder. On the whole we have had an awesome time exploring downtown Boulder and all it has to offer. We would highly recommend a visit if you are close by, as Boulder won’t disappoint you.

Until next week, this is Mork signing off.

We would love for you to follow our exciting journey by joining our friends list here on our website and following us on our social media pages below.

If you have any comments or questions we would love you to leave them below or email us.

Take care

Andrew & Carolyn

Travel is Sweet (Dream It, Experience It, Treasure It)

Home » USA

Travel Tips

Find Your Flights

Skyscanner is a great tool for searching websites and airlines around the world to make sure you get the best available price possible.

Book Your Accommodation

Booking.com is our go to tool for booking hotels. It always gives us a large variety of hotels at great rates. We also use Airbnb as a wonderful alternative for those places you may want to go and live with the locals.

Always Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a must and this is speaking from experience. Comprehensive protection will protect you against illness, injury, theft, accidents and cancellations. Just in case something goes wrong, heaven forbid. We never travel without it, having used it several times over the years. World Nomads have years of experience and knowledge to look after all your travel needs.

All images, photographs, and prints are exclusive property and may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, transmitted, manipulated or used in any way without written permission of the photographer.
Disclosure: "Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission."

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Road Trip

Road Trip

Road Trip

What is a house sit without a road trip in between!!!! Iconic movies have been made about them. Long running family tales of adventures gone wrong have been told about them. To say nothing about that small scar from a paper cut that has morphed, to being savaged by a ferrel squirrel. Road trips will rekindle those long lost memories from our childhood in everyone. Even if you were just going to Grandpa and Grandmas place.  

A road trip in our family always brings up a Griswold’s comparison and hoots of laughter around the kitchen table. My dad is the quintessential father figure in the driver’s seat cracking the one liners. Mum playing the straight man in the passage seat keeping dad inline, saying Stu…. the children. In the background the unruly kids farting, belching and saying are we there yet!!! Such great memories from those long never ending road trips. Sooner or later we have all experienced our own version of a Griswold trip to Wally World.

Joining the Ranks

Carolyn and I joined the ranks of House and Pet Sitters in August 2018. We have jumped in whole hog, we sold our unit on the beach, and our lovely car and pretty much all of our possessions to be able to finance fulltime house sitting. Crazy you say!!! Maybe, would be the response. But after years of working to make the banks rich and doing that dirty word…. WORK. Definitely no, would be our final response. How much worse could it be? After all, if we have a year off and travel the world, experience new things, meet new people and oh yeah, some road trips thrown into the mix. If we then have to come back and start over again, well, so be it.

We have now completed two house sits in Australia and nearly completed a month long sit in Colorado. Our next house sit is in Wisconsin three weeks away, so what to do? You got it “Road Trip”!!!

As Clark Griswold says: “Getting there is half the fun”.

But Carolyn my wife would say: “The other half is planning it”

So, all good road trips require decent planning!!!

With house sitting we have a plan of where we would like to sit and when. Therefore, we spend time researching house sitting websites to find sits we believe to be a good fit for us. We then go about applying, and hopefully skyping with home owners and fingers crossed, getting that house sit. Planning your road trip is no different. Hence the basic structure of where and when, is always a wonderful place to begin. Twenty one days was our allotted road trip to reach Madison, Wisconsin from Loveland, Colorado. Thus, having our basic frame work I could now, fill in our itinerary. The must see places to incorporate into our trip were Denver, Grand Teton NP, Yellowstone NP, Mount Rushmore and Le Claire. In addition, allow days for travel, time to sight see and for any unforeseen situations must be considered.

Having now organized, what I believed would be a great road trip I enter the data it into a excel spreadsheet. Tweaking it to cater for the distance needed to travel versus time to relax and enjoy the trip, I must admit it took a considerable amount of time. Even though this took over a week to fine tune and get the finalized itinerary, it would be worth it in the long run. Adding to this I have also incorporated a list of sights to visit within our major stops. Hopefully this will cover most, if not all of the things we wish to see.

Benjamin Franklin said: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

So, what has our road trip got in store for us?

We are now 16 days into our road trip and what an adventure we are having. Having seen some truly amazing sights, that fill our soul with pure joy as we sit in awe of Gods wonderful creation. Photography is a major passion and to capture the Grand Tetons in all its splendour was one of the highlights of our road trip. The below image was captured there, just one of many.

road trip grand teton nation park travel is sweet

Equally important to the majestic scenery, has been the array of wildlife that we have encountered along our travels. Creatures that we Aussies have only seen in movies, tv, pictures or zoos. To actually observe them in their natural habit has been exhilarating to say the least. Bears have been the number one creature on our list and though not exactly in their native surrounds, seeing them in a nature park was pretty close. The image below was taken at Bear Country USA just outside Rapid City South Dakota.

brown bear south dakota travel is sweet

Issues Arise

Having travelled well over 4800 kilometres so far and planning to the best of our abilities there was always a chance that something may go astray and of course it did. Believing I had considered all the places we wanted to visit, two notable spots I had completely forgotten about. This is where allowing for any unforeseen issues in our plan saved my butt. I had missed Little Bighorn Battlefield Monument and Devils Tower in my original travel plan. They added considerably more travel time in between 2 legs of our road trip. But as I had allowed for this we could easily accommodate this extra travel. The other dilemma we came up against was the weather, which as we all know can be very unpredictable. Mount Rushmore was a priority point to see, and I had allocated three days in Rapid City to relax and see the surrounding sights.

The day we arrived the weather decided to give us a glimpse of what we could expect over the coming winter in the USA and Europe. Day 1 we went up to Mount Rushmore and we couldn’t see anything because of the snow and mist. Second day the weather deteriorated, no chance of seeing anything. Final day last chance to see it, but I knew in the back of my mind we could actually extend our stay in Rapid City 2 more days if needed. I had made the next few travelling days only very small mileage trips. So, we could stay and then just drive a big day if needed, but lucky for us we had a small window where the snow and mist cleared and hallelujah we saw the Presidents.

mount rushmore travel is sweet

As a result of our preparation we were able to easily adjust our trip to overcome the problems that had arisen.

Our Field of Dreams

“Sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take.”  – Angela N. Blount

The quote above was so apt, that on our penultimate day we didn’t know what sights were around to see. Therefore, I typed into the Navman places to see around me and one popped up. We were surprised, as neither of us knew that this spot even existed. Let alone was in the vicinity, but we were excited to go and visit it. Can you guess where it is from the picture below?

field of dreams travel is sweet

This famous quote is from the movie “If you build it, he will come”. You would be correct if you said, “Field of Dreams”. This movie has now become sort of a theme for our life as house sitters. When Ray hears the voice again and it says: “Go the distance”. How many times in your life have you started a journey, but due to life’s distraction, never finished. As house sitters this can happen due to many circumstances having difficulties getting sits, losing your passion or any number other issues that hinder you from going the distance. Balance is the key.

Balance for House Sitters

We are loving house sitting as a way of life and we hope it becomes our way of life permanently. The joys and no doubt some lows will come. There will also be times when we just need a break to rejuvenate our souls. Finding a balance is a crucial part of the life of a house and pet sitter, so being able to discover a way to revitalize yourself is of upmost importance. Carolyn and I love to travel so our way to refresh is to do road trips. This current road trip has been wonderful to just slow down and smell the roses. As Jaime Lyn says:‘’Jobs fill your pockets, but adventures fill your soul.’’

Now that our road trip is approaching its end, we look forward to our new house sit in Madison and bonding with the 2 dogs we are to take care of, for 10 days. With a fresh outlook and renewed enthusiasm our road trip has provided us that balance we all so richly deserve. Our motto “Travel Is Sweet” (Dream It, Experience It, Treasure It) is ringing true in our lives.

Join Us

We would love for you to follow our exciting journey by joining our friends list here on our website and following us on our social media pages below.

If you have any comments or questions we would love you to leave them below or email us.

Take care

Andrew & Carolyn

Travel is Sweet (Dream It, Experience It, Treasure It)

Home » USA

Travel Tips

Find Your Flights

Skyscanner is a great tool for searching websites and airlines around the world to make sure you get the best available price possible.

Book Your Accommodation

Booking.com is our go to tool for booking hotels. It always gives us a large variety of hotels at great rates. We also use Airbnb as a wonderful alternative for those places you may want to go and live with the locals.

Always Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a must and this is speaking from experience. Comprehensive protection will protect you against illness, injury, theft, accidents and cancellations. Just in case something goes wrong, heaven forbid. We never travel without it, having used it several times over the years. World Nomads have years of experience and knowledge to look after all your travel needs.

All images, photographs, and prints are exclusive property and may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, transmitted, manipulated or used in any way without written permission of the photographer.
Disclosure: "Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission."

Recent Comments

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Trail Ridge Road

Trail Ridge Road

Trail Ridge Road

Today we are heading for Trail Ridge Road Colorado. Our hosts Wil and Els are providing the transport and commentary. Given that we know nothing about where we are heading, it will be an interesting ride. Checking my camera equipment, making sure batteries are charged and memory cards formatted. Grabbing some jackets as it may get cold, we jump into the car and begin our day of sightseeing. Carolyn has the front seat as Wils is a gentleman and wants the girls to sit together. Which is a welcome relief for Carolyn, as she gets motion sickness in the back seat.

trail ridge road canyon travel is sweet

In front of us lies Big Thompson Canyon heading towards Estes Park and Rocky Mountains National Park. From time to time this Canyon has been hit by devastating floods. In 1976, 144 people lost their lives to the flood which saw a years’ worth of rain fall in 70 minutes. Again in 2013 the Canyon suffered another disastrous flood. Driving through the Canyon we can still see the recovery works being done on Trail Ridge Road. On the positive side the scenery through the Canyon is amazing and awe inspiring. The road hugs the river that winds it way through the canyon with steep rising cliffs on either side.

Estes Park

trail ridge road estes park

All of a sudden, the canyon fades away and Estes Park comes into view. This lovely hamlet is nestled in between some lovely peaks with a tramway connecting to Prospect Mountain. The main street is lined with gorgeous store fronts, lots of flowering plants and admiring tourists. Estes Parks has an elevation of 2292 metres (7522 feet) a population of 6362 (2016) and was founded in 1859. The town overlooks Estes lake and Olympus Dam. It is well worth the time to take a day and visit this lovely town.

trail ridge road estes park shops

We continue the climb up Trail Ridge Road, winding around the curves slowly climbing to our final height of 3672 metres (11900 feet). Of course, we stop to take photos at various outlooks, finally reaching the Alpine Visitors Centre. Upon exiting the car Carolyn and I are feeling the effects of the high altitude. We both are feeling light headed and nauseous, however we continue to look through the visitor’s centre. Amid the sickly feeling, I still grab some photographs around the visitors centre before finally returning to the car.

trail ridge road alpine centre travel is sweet

Heading Home

Eventually, it was time to bid farewell to the summit and hit the road. The trip back down Trail Ridge Road passed by quickly, as we admired the beautiful scenery. In view of the time we decided not to stop at Estes Park on the way back down. Hence, we missed the chance to take the tramway to the summit of Prospect Mountain and strolling down the main street. However, that gives us a reason to come back and explore this lovely town.

trail ridge road estes park garden

In the distance the sheer cliffs of the canyon come into view, as Estes Park fades in the rear view mirror. The canyon has a different essence as we descend in the opposite direction. I grab some video as we wind our way through the curves and intermingled stream crossings. Ahead of us we navigate the final bend, that brings as out of the canyon and to the end of Trail Ridge Road. In the background the Rocky Mountains bid us adieu and Loveland welcomes us with open arms.

trail ridge road travel is sweet outlook 2

In conclusion, I would highly recommend taking the journey to Trail Ridge Road. Its towering peaks, rocky canyon, meandering creek and awe inspiring scenery will have you craving more.

trail ridge road top travel is sweet

trail ridge road widlife travel is sweet

If you have any comments or questions we would love you to leave them below or email us.

Take care

Andrew & Carolyn

Travel is Sweet (Dream It, Experience It, Treasure It)

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Travel Tips

Find Your Flights

Skyscanner is a great tool for searching websites and airlines around the world to make sure you get the best available price possible.

Book Your Accommodation

Booking.com is our go to tool for booking hotels. It always gives us a large variety of hotels at great rates. We also use Airbnb as a wonderful alternative for those places you may want to go and live with the locals.

Always Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a must and this is speaking from experience. Comprehensive protection will protect you against illness, injury, theft, accidents and cancellations. Just in case something goes wrong, heaven forbid. We never travel without it, having used it several times over the years. World Nomads have years of experience and knowledge to look after all your travel needs.

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Disclosure: "Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission."

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