2024-03-29T10:09:32-06:00Friday, March 29, 2024|

A Journey Through Colorado’s Wilderness With Jim and Vonnie

Meet Jim and Vonnie R., a retired university school faculty duo whose passion for hiking and exploration thrives. Set against the stunning backdrops of Colorado, they proudly call The Avenues Crofton Park Apartments home.

Whether commemorating their 70th birthdays atop Quandary Peak (with Vonnie proudly boasting five months of extra wisdom) or carefully navigating cherished trails like Hanging Lake, they’ve adapted their adventures, now acknowledging their self-imposed altitude limit of 13,000 feet without ever losing momentum. Together, they illustrate that age is no barrier when you’re prepared and embrace adventures with gusto.

Discovering The Avenues

In 1975, Jim and Vonnie first envisioned Colorado as their future home. However, life’s commitments, from raising children to attaining Masters and Doctoral degrees, delayed their relocation for nearly three decades. While visiting their son and family in 2021, they decided to take a quick tour at The Avenues, an award-winning 55+ retirement community in Broomfield. Within an hour, they asked the leasing agent, “Where do we sign?” Now immersed in a tight-knit community, they’ve found comfort and convenience with easy access to an active retirement lifestyle. With their son’s family nearby in Bradburn, they can easily bike over for visits while relishing the state’s natural splendor. Despite delays, their ultimate “playground home” has finally become a reality.

Experience and PreparationA Journey Through Colorado’s Wilderness With Jim and Vonnie

Jim and Vonnie are seasoned adventurers. Their meticulous preparation involves thorough research, strategic planning, and reliance on trusted gear from expert outfitters like REI and Jax. From water and electrolytes to carefully selected snacks (Clif Bars are a safe bet, while chocolate and ham sandwiches are too much of a risk with bears smelling up to five miles away), they leave nothing to chance. It’s places like the Continental Divide, or when they roll up to the parking lot and find themselves the only ones there, that they relish in serene peace and quiet. All the while enjoying the camaraderie of kindred spirits on the trails.

Committing to a weekly two-hour hike is a full-time endeavor, however. They prioritize physical conditioning utilizing stretching, balance, and isometric workouts to sustain their fitness and endurance for hiking. Their age-defying stamina, knowledge, and keen awareness of their body’s signals often draw admiration from fellow hikers. Many passersby express sentiments like, “I hope I’m doing what you’re doing at your age!”

Staying informed about weather conditions, trail updates, and potential hazards is what allows them to truly enjoy the hiking experience. Jim shares how he prepares for a hike with four key aspects: experience, conditioning, equipment, and information. The night before a hike, he dedicates time to gathering critical information, which he considers the most significant aspect of preparation. He reviews the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s maps to identify warning signs and familiarizes himself with topographical maps to understand the terrain. Additionally, he studies wolf maps to gauge potential encounters and fire maps, which are particularly important during the summer.

By arming themselves with crucial information, staying alert on the trails, and consistently consulting the trailhead guide center, they face challenges with confidence, inspiring fellow hikers such as their friend Tom P. who will join them on occasion.

Favorite Aspects of The AvenuesA Journey Through Colorado’s Wilderness With Jim and Vonnie

For Jim and Vonnie, The Avenues Crofton Park isn’t just a place to reside; it’s a community where impromptu gatherings on the patio and leisurely walks around the nearby Metzger Farm trails are relished. With over 54 years of marriage under their belt, they embody the essence of lifelong companionship and adventure.

As Jim and Vonnie continue to blaze new paths and motivate others along the way, their legacy of passion and perseverance will continue to inspire generations of adventurers to come. As for their summer hiking plans? They’re just starting to map it out, but Jim confidently asserts, “It will be built!”

Ready to explore senior boutique living? Spring is the perfect time to schedule a tour and get a glimpse of the carefree lifestyle that awaits. Call 720-799-0915 or contact us online and start planning your next big adventure.