8 Things to See in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is located in north-central Colorado. The size of the area is around 266,714 acres and consists of 60% forests, 18% bare rock and 13% alpine tundra. According to statistics, about 11% of the site is 11,000 feet high. Here is a description of 8 things you should see in Rocky Mountains.

1. Roads/Trails

You can explore the roads and rails on a vehicle or horseback, but if you are fit, you can also visit the sights on foot. Trail Ridge Road is a long stretch in the park and offers a spectacular view at a height of 12,183.

2. Peaks

The Rocky Mountain has over 100 peaks at a height of over 11,000 feet. Moreover, in the North, you can see snow-covered Never Summer Mountains in addition to 17 other peaks. Aside from this, Longs Peak is 14,259 feet high and is one of the most favorite destinations for hikers and climbers.

3. Glaciers

While the glaciers are retreating because of the global warming and other temperature changes, you can still find the sky-high glaciers over there, such as Sprague, Moomaw, Mills and Andrews, just to name a few.

4. Alpine Visitor Center

At a height of 11,796 feet, you can see the Alpine Visitor Center, which runs along the popular Trail Ridge Road. This is one of the top rest stop in the Rocky Mountains.

5. Water Sites

In the Rocky Mountains, you can find a lot of waterfalls, rivers, lakes and streams. They are ideal for photography, rafting, kayaking, fishing and sightseeing. Once there, you can choose Bear Lake Road, The Lock Sky Pond or Glass Lake, for instance.

6. Plants

The many environmental zones of the park offer a host of flora and fauna. For instance, the park offers meadows with tall grass and amazing wildflowers, dense forests, wetlands and Roosevelt National Forest. On the other hand, the high zones offer subalpine fir trees, shrubs and wildflowers. These plants will steal your heart and you won’t want to come back home.

7. Animals

The fauna section of the Rocky Mountains include larks, sparrows, ravens, finches, falcons, eagles, mule deer, elk, sheep, bighorn, black bears, coyotes, lions and so on. Aside from this, if you are at higher elevations, you can find beautiful pikas, marmots, rabbits, deer mice, ermine, bobcats and red foxes.

Besides, the park is home to some endangered species, such as cutthroat trout, yellow-billed cuckoo and the Canada lynx. In addition, you can find over 140 species of butterflies and tons of species of other insects.

8. People

Every year, over 3 million individuals from different corners of the world head for the Rocky Mountain National Park. Visiting the RMNP will be a multi-cultural experience for you. You can talk to other park visitors in order to find out about their languages and cultures.

So, if you are getting bored, we suggest that you choose the Rocky Mountain as your next tour destination. We bet this destination will take all your boredom away from you.

Is Rocky Mountains your next travel destination? If so, we hope that the information given in this article will make your trip more enjoyable.

The Best Backpacking Europe Routes

An adventurous backpacking trip to Europe can be the international trip of a lifetime and one to add to your bucket list. I was on the fence when the idea was presented to me, but it didn’t take long to change my mind. I was promised by some experienced travelers that backpacking is the only way to go especially if you’re looking for gorgeous nature, a cultural melting pot, world famous sites and a whole world of adventure. There are few time restraints when you backpack and unparalleled when compared to other ways to travel. There is no right or wrong way to enjoy hiking in Europe, but here is a sample of our route that worked for us.

1. London
Our first stop was Heathrow Airport because it is connected to the public transportation that will safely get you to some very famous landmarks. Our first stop was Buckingham Palace and it was even better in person than any picture or video can relay. The home of the Royal family is as incredible on the outside as it is on the inside. We missed the iconic changing of the guards but I hear it’s spectacular. Make sure you add it to your “while in London list” as well as the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. They, too have historical significance and are must-sees during your hike throughout the city.

2. Paris
Trust me on this. Paris, known as the City Of Love is awesome. Take the Eurostar, underground train from London to Paris. Just the thought of traveling underneath the English Channel is unbelievable. There is so, so much to experience here. How about the one and only Eiffel Tower. My wife and I enjoyed a leisurely picnic lunch (French staples cheese, wine, and bread) from the outside, but my travel partners paid for a ticket to get a bird’s eye view from the top. Either way, get a photo or two because seeing this iconic tower in person was to say the least, surreal. We could’ve stayed on the grass forever but when they came down from the top, we were off again to see the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Montemartre art district that features the Sacre Coeur Basilica. The architecture alone is amazing. Whether you appreciate art or not, these landmarks will impress you.

3. Rome
This is a truly the best place to backpack. It is full of ancient history and cultural sights that look just like postcard photos, only better. I have read about so many of the places this eternal city offers and the fact that we were personally experiencing it is was truly captivating. It takes a while to get there, but it’s well worth the train ride. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, so take your time and spend some extra time here, if your schedule allows. One of the must-sees (actually they are all must-sees) is the Colosseum. Walk around, experience the historical architecture and go back in time when the Romans sat and watched gladiators fight in that same arena. Then I recommend visiting the Pantheon, The Vatican, to say a prayer and take in Michelangelo’s masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel. If time permits go over to the Trevi Fountain and toss a few coins in for good luck. Tradition has it that one coin is for love and the other is to guarantee you will return to Rome again. I wish I had time to discuss the many different restaurants. Our policy was to eat where the locals do and live by the age-old rule, “When in Rome” do as the Romans do. We didn’t have one bad meal.

4. Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre translates into five tiny towns on the western Italian coast that look like a colorful boutique of buildings. The villages are Monterosso, Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Corniglia and Manarola and each one is an individual marvel. I can’t speak a word of Italian but it didn’t matter. My senses were able to drink in all of the culture and personality offered here. We were amazed by one of kind natural cliffs in their National Park that conveniently surround all five towns. It has to be one of Mother Nature’s best creations. It is perfect for backpackers who don’t always like to be in big city crowds. We boarded a train with a day pass that allowed us to ride between these picturesque towns as many times as we wanted. You need to purchase a pass to walk around too. Staying overnight will probably be a good idea. There is a variety of overnight accommodations that offer a comfortable and affordable good night’s rest. Cinque Terre is a place I will return to perhaps without my backpack the next time and stay a little longer.

5. Berlin
Germany is fascinating and never fails to impress me. The sightseeing opportunities and landmarks are full of history, architecture marvels and even castles. This European country is like no other and the scenery is almost like walking back in time through an eclectic collection of modern buildings. For example, the famous Brandenburg Gate landmark, once a symbol of country’s division is not considered just the opposite, unification. The dark granite pillars create a walking tour maze and is the perfect spot for photos. The most disturbing, but emotional place we visited was the underground museum that showcases the plight of the Jews when the Nazi’s had control. Talk about a challenging time. But Berlin has a much lighter, modern side too. There are some hip neighborhoods to explore, really cool locals to meet and delicious food to taste. I ordered the vegan cuisine with Vietnamese noodles that was delicious. Then we took a walk on a closed airport runway that is now open to the public. There is so much to do and see, but the common denominator of Berlin is that no matter where you go, whether you backpack or not, the sky is the limit for awesome sights, sounds, tastes and experiences.

There is never enough time to explore everything Europe in one visit, so don’t expect to. But I recommend planning where you want to go and leaving enough room for some unexpected stops along the way. Europe is one of the most interesting continents in the world, and especially interesting when you take along your best friends and a backpack.

Five Surprising Benefits of Outdoor Recreation

When it comes to exercise, many people head straight to the gym, preferring to work their muscles on a treadmill or elliptical machine. While gyms are certainly useful and can give an athlete a head start on their fitness goals, nothing quite beats the benefits of nature. For those looking to improve their physical fitness, outdoor recreation can help boost both physical and emotional fitness and health, while also transforming exercise from a dull routine into a fun adventure. Here are five reasons everyone should head outside.

Improve Physique

Outdoor recreation can often be physically demanding, but the sports work different muscles than those static machines at the gym. Instead of doing countless repetitions on a weight machine, try canoeing or go fishing with a friend. The motions of the sports work the arm and core stabilizer muscles in a different way, boosting the effectiveness of a gym workout and improving muscle tone and strength. Best of all, because the movements come with a healthy dose of fun, it won’t feel like exercise!

Engage With Others

Working out in a gym is often a solitary activity. Headphones and televisions often keep people from interacting or conversing as they work out. Outside, whether it’s on a hiking trail or at a golf course, people can talk to each other, turning a solitary activity into a social outing. Once the conversations start, many people find they have more in common with their fellow participants than they expected, resulting in new friendships and new connections.

Unplug From the Daily Grind

Technology is everywhere in daily life. At work, many tasks are completed on a computer, and at home, countless hours are devoted to the television. Heading outside for a walk or sitting in a park gives people the opportunity to unplug and relax. Rather than focusing on a screen, individuals can focus on watching the clouds or observe the way the leaves blow in the wind. Disconnecting from technology gives the mind a chance to rest and reset, reducing anxiety and stress associated with an on-demand society.

Better Sleep and Improved Focus

Anyone who is familiar with spending hours outside in the sun knows that at the end of the day, their body is tired. Outdoor recreation changes up the way the body moves, exercising new muscles and stimulating the mind. Physical activity helps the body relax and makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Well-rested individuals are better prepared to focus the next day and often see an improvement in the quality of their work.

Develop New Hobbies

Getting outside is a great way to discover new passions and hobbies. Go to a new place, hike a new trail, or play a new sport. Not only will the new experiences help cultivate a passion for the environment, but it will also give individuals an outlet outside of their usual hobbies.

Instead of heading to the gym for a solitary workout session, head outside, take a walk in nature, and breathe the fresh air!

5 Reasons for Cooking Outdoors

Why should you consider cooking outdoors as part of your lifestyle? There are many reasons why one should consider having outdoor cooking every now and then. Here are five great benefits from outdoor cooking:

1. Outdoor cooking is a stress reliever. How can we say so? Well, when you are cooking outside and having the company of your friends or relatives while enjoying some wine or beer, would you not feel relaxed, at ease and felt like the world is just a background? Surely, I do! Having the people whom you cherish and trust as company while cooking and eating outdoors and enjoying the nature, the sunset or the stars above is surely an excellent way to remove stress.

2. Cooking outdoors means healthy living. We are all conscious of our food intake especially when it comes to meats. Grilling outdoors is a healthy way of cooking foods. Unwanted fatty oils of the meat are dripped off the meat, which means calories are reduced, but nutrients like riboflavin and thiamine are maintained. We also don’t use butter when we grill meats which means healthier food! Veggies that are grilled are also more nutritious, especially those which are low in water content. Aside from being healthy and nutritious, the utmost part is that the food tastes finger-licking good!

3. Cooking outside is practical. How? Cooking indoors makes the house warmer and this could lead to air conditioners inside the house working overtime which also leads to bigger electric bills. To avoid such bills, especially in the summertime, outdoor cooking is the best option! Outdoor kitchens can be used as an entertaining area when celebrations arise. No need to have reservations at a hotel banquet hall and no need to worry about the possible mess inside your house if a party is held outdoors.

4. Outdoor cooking is entertaining. I mean, would you not take the opportunity to show off your cooking skills when friends and family are at your home? The best way to do that is when you have your outdoor kitchen complete with a wood-burning pizza oven! When you are outside socializing with family and friends, you don’t want to be left out on the latest happenings just because you are inside your house cooking while everyone is having fun outside. Cooking in an outdoor oven is an excellent choice for togetherness!

5. Outdoor cooking is valuable. Every penny you invest in your outdoor kitchen is worth it. The real estate value of your home increases because of having this trendy outdoor kitchen for outdoor cooking. When you invest in first class outdoor kitchen appliances, you certainly invest wisely! Having the best outdoor kitchen accessory typically means investing in stainless steel grills and island components. Stainless steel is considered an “all-season steel” because it lasts much longer and doesn’t rust despite the weather conditions it must survive.

Where should you put your investments? Definitely on something that would give you a better way of living! You and your family deserve a life that embraces laughter, cherished moments, and healthy living! You can find all that and more in an outdoor kitchen and entertaining area.

Summer Time Outdoors

Summer fun begins when school is out and no more studies, that is for some kids. Schools now offer the kids summer school which might include catching up on hours to graduate or learning new skills and attending classes that need improvement. Other kids go to summer school just to be with their friends and have fun. Many schools plan outside activities like going to the park, swimming pool, or going to places to see the fire department, police headquarters and meet the people who serve their community. Some kids participate in crafts and games at school, but overall most kids enjoy their time at summer school.

Some of the sports outside still are going on in most areas. Boys and girls are involved in playing T-ball or baseball, while parents and grandparents cheer them on. It is just part of summer and being outdoors, even when it is hot and muggy. This is a good time to meet other parents and your neighbors that you don’t always see. Usually, you will share a bag of popcorn, candy, ice cream and soda with your kids or grandkids, what a great time to be together. You, of course, will want to take the camera to be able to take that special picture or video of your kids or grandkids. What memories you can make with them for being there at that special time when they catch the ball or make a home run.

As summer season continues the outdoor sports like swimming, riding bikes, going to camp and just being around their friends is important to them.

While dad and mom are packing and getting the car ready to go on vacation. The kids are getting their special toys ready to take with them. Some families will plan to go to spend their time at an amusement park or to the beach, while other families are getting ready to go camping and spending time up in the mountains and enjoying the outdoors and scenery.

Summer is a busy time, but can also be a great time to enjoy the family and be together. Taking time with your family is so important today since days seem to be so busy and our schedules are so full with work and other activities. Our kids and grandkids grow up so fast and leave home to go off to school or take a job away.

We need to slow down and enjoy them while they are young and at home.

Have a great summer outdoors together as a family.