Rocky mountain high

We spent this past week in the Rocky Mountains and Denver. We flew out on Wednesday and spent time with Barry (my brother). Barry is a lawyer in Denver and cleared his schedule for our visit. He took us to the Denver museum of nature and science. The kids loved it as we all did. We ate lunch in Cherry Creek at the Cherry Cricket (best burgers in town).

We spent day 2 in Boulder. We took a tour of the CU campus. When we got to the football stadium, I thought it’d be neat to take my JD and Ellie out onto the field. We walked into one of the gates only to find that the whole place was gated up and locked. Dang. As we were sitting there contemplating our next move, a guy walked by us to enter a door marked “women’s restroom.” He stopped and looked over to us and said, “do you guys want to go see the field?” Of course we took him up on it. The women’s restroom was actually a hallway to the sports information office. From there we took a passageway through some back halls that took us out into the stadium. He gave us a tour of the place. As it turned out, this gentleman was an ex-player who played against gale sayers (KU great) and he’s now an assistant athletic director. Neat stuff.

We had a big go-cart race with Ellie and I destroying JD and Barry. They had us in the early going, but eventually Ellie and I made it around them and left them far behind to eat our dust. Just as you’d expect.

That evening, we drove up to Fort Collins and had dinner with my aunt and uncle and their kids (Pete, Barbie, Mallory, and Bridget). The next evening, we had dinner at my cousin’s, Laura, house. She is soon expecting twins with her husband, Joe. We also visited the Children’s museum and went swimming at Barry apartment complex — very nice facilities.

Early Saturday morning, we left for the Rockies — Estes Park. We arrived and spent time exploring the YMCA of the Rockies. We played miniature golf. We then went on a long horseback ride. Ellie was able to ride her own horse and was the first horse in the line. JD rode with Paula and chatted the whole time. At one point, Ellie’s horse started eating grass and Ellie had to pull back on the reigns and get the horse back on track by kicking her heels into the horse. She handled it like a champ.

Our cabin was a beautiful 3-bedroom cabin located about 1 mile up the mountain from the YMCA. It was secluded enough to feel like we were roughing it. No television; no internet — I’ll say that was roughing it. I woke up pretty early every morning (around 6 AM — we live in eastern standard time, so it wasn’t hard). On our last morning, I spotted a male and female deer. I used my telephoto lens and got some neat shots from our balcony. Speaking of our balcony . . . it had the most incredible view. Mountains all around and nothing to obstruct our view. Spectacular, to say the least.

On Sunday, we spent the WHOLE day in the Rocky Mountain National Park. We drove up Old Falls Road (1 way — up) to the top of Trail Ridge road and over the 12,000+ foot mountain. We ate lunch on Grand Lake. We spent mucho time stopping along they way to see marmots and elk and to hike and climb rocks and boulders. The kids loved climbing. We even spotted the most beautiful rainbow as we had a picnic in the park for dinner. After dinner, we found a rocky waterfall area and climbed once again. Fun, fun times.

Nobody wanted to fly home, but the fun had to end. We can’t wait to go back again and explore more hiking trails.

here’s a pic from high on a cliff in Rocky Mtn National Park (I am wearing my new contacts):

and a photo from a waterfall area down the side of a mountain: