Rocky Mountain Off-roading with the perfect summer picnic

This post is sponsored by AVA Grace Vineyards. Photos by Dylan H. Brown

When Dylan and I first started dating, we’d often hop in his truck, picnic in tow, and hit the road with absolutely no expectations. But as life has gotten busier the thought of abandoning all obligation and responsibility for an aimless drive-about can feel reckless and anxiety-inducing! My mind immediately goes to the millions of other things I should could be getting done.

Having too many emails to answer, chores to do and deadlines to meet, I’ve completely lost the art of slowing down and giving into the spontaneous afternoon.

I am trying though.

So when Dylan suggested a romp about in the mountains like old times, I took a deep breath and leaned in. Time spent adventuring, exploring and taking in a long-dep breath from the top of a mountain is exactly what my soul needs right now.

Within minutes we were piled into Dylan’s truck headed for Pearl Pass, just outside of Aspen, CO. Surrounded by the awe inspiring Maroon Bells, Castle Peak and Elk Mountain Range, this pass is not of the faint of heart. Even experienced off-road drivers were caught in the stair-step, eroded road left abanobing their plans for adventure. The drive along the treacherous road is narrow and steep but every bit as exhilarating!

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After 12 miles of clinging-on for dear life, we reached the summit of Pearl Pass, just in time to see some magic. July in Colorado high country is the beginning of wildflower season and we were in luck to stumble upon the most lush, rolling meadows atop the craggly, shale peak.

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Despite enormous black thunder clouds rolling in over the range, we were determined to have our picnic and soak in the cooler air! My go-to picnic: meat, cheese and WINE, obviously. Now that AVA Grace Vineyards sells their delicious Rosé and Pinot Grigio in cans, these favorites can come with wherever adventure may lead us. We can just throw a few in the cooler and away we go. The cans are also GORGEOUS – which if you’re like me – matters. I also can never decide if I’m in a Rosé mood or a white wine mood when picking a wine so the best part with AVA Grace is you can have a little bit of both worlds!

Just as we finished our picnic and reveled in the painterly scenery, raindrops began to fall and we decided to continue on with the adventure home. I’m so happy I decided to take an afternoon away from the chaos to get back to where my head and heart feel so refreshed – on top of a mountain.

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Be sure to try out AVA Grace responsibly on your adventures this summer!

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sarah herron