Active Travel, Featured, National Parks, Photo Essay, Road Trips

Defining DINK Travel Take Two: A Colorado Photo Essay


A couple of months ago, I attempted to define DINK travel–that is, the type of traveling two working adults, sans kids, enjoy. And then I immediately left on said trip: an almost-thousand mile drive around the great state of Colorado.

I’m happy to report that I’ve finally learned how to plan a DINK trip.  The secret?  An open mind and a flexible itinerary, which is one of the best–if not the best–things about being a grown up traveling without children.  You are basically free to do whatever you want, and that’s exactly what we did.  We changed plans often and at-the-last-minute, and our final trip looked nothing whatsoever like the trip we initially planned.  Case and point: our second to last day in Boulder. Being disenchanted by the town, I suggested we leave all of our stuff in our paid-for-with points Marriott room and drive back to Estes Park to (eventually) sleep in a gross and overpriced motel in order to do some more hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park (which was totally worth it).  I made this suggestion while in the shower; my husband got online and looked for rooms (there was one left in all of Estes Park, and we got it).  I got out of the shower, got dressed, and we left for the mountains within the hour.

And then, after a day of hiking, we found a tiki bar on Yelp that listed itself as not child friendly and enjoyed beer and corn dogs with a view for dinner–without a wait, in a crowded tourist town on a sunny, summer Friday night.  Ah yes. DINK lifestyle.  I’ll take it.

So what does a DINK trip really look like? I’ll be writing about that in many, many Colorado posts to come, but for now, I bring you:

DINK Travel: Sixteen Days in Sixteen Photos


The view from our first hotel room of the trip: the Cliff House in Manitou Springs. Loved it there.


On our way to the summit of Pikes Peak, PIkes Peak pictured in the distance (tallest peak, left).


Great Sand Dunes at sunset.


The view from our table at dinner in Durango, Colorado.


‘Downtown’ Silverton, Colorado.


Doug watering Samson, after a two hour epic trail ride through the San Juan National Forest.


Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde. Perhaps not the best time of day to visit. That sun was bright!


Here are the beer photos! Doug at Mr. Grumpy Pants ‘brewery’, Ouray, Colorado.


One of the most interesting museums I’ve ever visited–and definitely the best docent. The Museum of the Mountain West. Detailed post coming soon!


Colorado National Monument.


The view from our room/balcony in Grand Lake, the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.


A stop off along trail ridge road, RMNP.


Drinking at the Hotel Stanley, Estes Park. Got whiskey?


A busker on Pearl Street in Boulder.


Having returned to Rocky Mountain National Park, we hiked to Mills Lake. Yes. So much yes.

Note: If you counted, you’ll realize that this is not really sixteen photos in sixteen days. It is fifteen photos in sixteen days. Want to know why?  Because sometimes, you need a vacation from your vacation. This is also a DINK travel benefit–when you need a day off, you can take one. And, say, sleep in in a Marriott in Glenwood Springs and then spend the entire afternoon getting drunk with two local guys (because their wives were both away for the weekend so they went out together) at a brewery down the street. And you don’t even have to take any photos of that day.  Actually, you really probably shouldn’t.

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