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Colorado is a spectacular state, and we made the most of it during our short stay. We left North Platte, Nebraska after partaking of tacos, tamales, and burritos at the San Pedros Mexican Restaurant. We knew this was going to be a non-chase day. You simply have those in every chase. The atmosphere needs a chance to recharge its batteries. And it will. So in the spirit of adventure, we decided to hike the Rocky Mountains.

We pulled into Fort Collins, Colorado around 5:30 p.m. and it was a beautiful evening. Around 80 degrees and a cool breeze. One of the best places to hike is Lory State Park right on the edge of Fort Collins. We chose the more sedate trail of 1.6 miles (one way) and headed on up.

The smell of the piney woods and amazing rock features made this a spectacular climb. I made it up to the first overlook and give you a look on one of the videos below. We definitely have some athletes on our team. They jogged up and back in record time. Terry is still recovering from surgery, infections, and medical whatnot, so he only made it 3/4ths of the way....(Which is a good thing...he also needs to recharge his batteries.) We climbed to an elevation of 7000 ft.

The only surprising thing was NO BUGS! Wow...I would have figured there would have been Rocky Mountain-sized mosquitoes, but no such thing. Maybe we were just lucky.

After exploring the mountains, we ended up at the Longhorn Restaurant to wrap up the evening with a steak dinner. No, no we haven't "earned" it yet, but we will. (There is a chaser tradition that after every tornado captured, you eat steak.) As you can see from the video, the high altitudes apparently made us a bit giddy (okay, maybe just me.) We are coming down the mountain now so promise I am a bit more grounded now.

The road now leads us to Billings, Montana where we will likely spend the night. Tomorrow we are back in the chase game and expect storms to fire in the high Plains of Montana. Meantime we are passing through Casper, Wyoming. Maybe we'll see a ghost (bad joke)!

Well, settle back cowboys and enjoy. This ride is far from over. We've saddled up and are headed north to hunt the ever elusive tornado. The weather's world's most interesting animal.

We'll keep you posted!

Carolyn (and Terry)

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