Full Circle – Back to Palisade, CO

After a year + on the road during which we resided in Western Colorado, Austin Texas, The Central Coast of California and Northwestern Montana one idea became clear: going back to live in Philadelphia – or any major city for that matter – was NOT happening.

So we headed back to where the adventure began, a place that remained top of mind since we left it, Palisade Colorado.  Our two day drive from Montana took us through Utah where we spent a night and when we woke up, the sheer beauty of the sun rise confirmed that we were on the correct path.


There were definitely a lot of emotions as we neared the Colorado border.  The butterflies that accompanied us in the previous four transitions were not there as we rolled through familiar territory.  Did this mark the end of an era in our lifetime?  Were we really planning on moving to Palisade for the foreseeable future?  Three weeks into our stay and we still are not clear on all this, but one thing is for certain: seeing the Welcome to Colorado sign felt good!


Our first week consisted of unpacking, settling in and reuniting with the amazing friends we left exactly one year ago.  Then Amy was packing up to go to Florida for Ryder Love’s baby naming and I was on my own for a week.  Fortunately, there is plenty to do!  I got the camping gear together and headed to the Utah desert for a camping trip with Chica Bear.


We drove to Goblin Valley and posted up on Wild Horse Road near the Little Wile Horse Canyon trailhead.  While it was a beautiful night, next time I’ll scout for a site a bit further from the trailhead as a family of 14 decided to post up right next to me – there goes a quiet night in the desert.

The next morning we woke up, Chica ate some kibble and I enjoyed spaghetti and meat sauce left overs from the night before.  All fed, we were off to check out Little Wild Horse Canyon.


The plan was to do the 8 mile loop through Little Wild Horse and come back from Bell Canyon.  Unfortunately, there were very deep pools about half way into the hike and we had to head back the way we came.  Still an amazing experience!

On the way back home Chica and I decided to stop in Rabbit Valley where I saw signs for The Trail Through Time which piqued my interest.  Turns out this area has massive amounts of dinosaur fossils and in this picture you can see bones preserved in the rock.


On Sunday, we watched the Eagles game and after a stinging loss, hung out at the river beach right by our house.


Then I dropped an exhausted Chica back at the house and went to a desert party with Ashley and Dusty.  The picture doesn’t reflect how beautiful the night sky was, but you get the point.


Definitely getting used to country life.

Final Weeks of Mission Montana

Winding down our time in Montana was fittingly fantastic.  The wrap up session began with us FINALLY having an opportunity to paddle board from Big Arm to Wild Horse Island which we estimate to be about a 6-8 mile round trip paddle.


Chillin’ on Wild Horse Island

We didn’t plan on making the trek, but when we went down for a casual trip on the lake the weather was perfect and the water was glassed over; we had to give it a go.  The fact that it was spontaneous made the triumph of reaching the island all the better.

Jewel Basin – Mt. Aeneas – 6 Mile round trip elevating 1,700 ft

Our final hike in Montana ended up kicking off at the same trailhead from which we began our outdoor adventures: Camp Misery.  There are a bunch of hikes that begin at this location and along with the various trail options an explosion of autumn colors provided for a completely unique and beautiful experience in the Jewel Basin.

The hike up to Mt. Aeneas elevates quickly and provides for an unbelievable view of the Flathead Valley including the entire 27 mile length of Flathead Lake.

Hike 1

As we continued to climb the visibility became more limited

Hike 2

And by the time we arrived at the summit we were completely surrounded by the clouds.

Hike 3

During our descent the clouds dissipated and the fall colors never ceased to impress.

Hike 4

For the remainder of our final week we lit our last fire on the property enjoying the breathtaking view that NEVER got old


Took our final bike ride down and up the massive hill leading to the house


I was really tired!

Enjoyed a final evening hanging out by the lake

Lake 2

And had a goodbye party with our neighbors.

Hood 5

While the horses were disappointed, they accepted our departure; the cattle on the other hand seemed to be angry.

It was a bit of a downer knowing this would be our final trot down Walking Horse Lane, however our reflection of the journey thus far left us feeling larger than life.

Hood 4

And just like that, a familiar combination of sadness and excitement reared its head as we packed up for the next part of our adventure.

Packing 1

Our final morning was graced by a gorgeous sunrise.

Last Sunrise

And just like that it was time to say goodbye.


Leaving is always tough, but the fun continues.

That sentiment was exemplified when an hour into our drive south to Colorado, we continued the essence of our journey with our exploration of Montana’s Ewam and Garden of One Thousand Buddha’s.

Garden 5

Garden 2

Garden 1

Definitely not what you’d expect to see in middle-of-nowhere Montana, but amazing nonetheless.

Montana, it’s truly been an incredible experience and we fully plan on returning for round two.

Forever Grateful!