These pictures from our camping trip this weekend

It's no secret that Colorado is fairly stunning. The "purple mountain majesties" described in "America the Beautiful" referred to none other than Colorado's Pikes Peak, the sight of which reportedly inspired Katharine Lee Bates to pen the song in the first place. New Mexico native John Deutschendorf renamed himself John Denver because it was the capital of his favorite state, and songs like "Rocky Mountain High" and "Guess He'd Rather Be in Colorado" told legions that they could be reborn if only they could get to those mountains

It's slightly more of a secret how easy it is to get out into all that mountain majesty. For example, just this past weekend, John and I joined some friends near Red Feather Lakes, CO, for a quick camping trip. Taking the most direct route, it was a little over a two-hour trip one-way. We didn't have campground reservations, but we didn't need them. Our friends had found a secluded backcountry spot with an impressive fire pit, an unlimited supply of freshly cut wood for our campfire, and amazing views all around.

Starting around 9pm Saturday, it rained on and off through Sunday morning. But it just made all the colors and clouds even more captivating. 

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For those of you who don't spend all your free time hanging around REI, I'll explain that this is a suspended tree tent owned by our friends Eric and Sabrina. When I tried it out, it felt way more stable than I anticipated. Though it did beg the age-old question: "If I slept here, would a bear try to bite my butt?"

For those of you who don't spend all your free time hanging around REI, I'll explain that this is a suspended tree tent owned by our friends Eric and Sabrina. When I tried it out, it felt way more stable than I anticipated. Though it did beg the age-old question: "If I slept here, would a bear try to bite my butt?"

Andrew, Jerilyn, and canine companion (and first-time camper) Luna easily approximate the cover of an REI catalog.

Andrew, Jerilyn, and canine companion (and first-time camper) Luna easily approximate the cover of an REI catalog.