Rocky Mountain High
Colorado you are so beautiful. Our 3 nights in and around the Denver area were great. Just a few miles into the state we were met with a snow storm. After a quick but super enjoyable last minute stop at the Colorado National Monument we were met with snow blowing all around us. And not like an Alabama snow storm where everything shuts down for an inch but 3 inches coming down and folks going about business as usual. We loved it. We gathered groceries and checked into our campsite and spent the night simply wathcing the snow come down.
It was majestic. Our original plans were to hit Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday and Denver on Sunday but with all the snow fall we flipped our days and spent Saturday playing in the snow and exploring downtown. Gray and Kyrie spent HOURS throwing and eating snow before we forced them to change for the city (Gray has mentioned more than once that he plans to move to Colorado when he grows up and we are allowed to visit so that’s good news I guess…that boy loves him some snow). Our first stop downtown was (as per usual) the REI store. We’ve had a lot of REI in our lives and visited some pretty cool stores. The Seattle store had been at the top of our list as a favorite for years but now Denver is right up there with it. The Denver flagship store is in an old restored 90,000 square foot railroad building and it’s awesome. Even if you aren’t into outdoorsy stuff it’s a neat place to visit. Having a playground inside was obviously a bonus for our crew as well. We ended up spending 2.5 hours there. Oops.
After REI we enjoyed dinner amongst the sky scrapers and then went for ice-cream on Colfax Street. Ice Cream Riot was a cool experience and they have some good/weird combinations. I’m so glad our friend Julie told us about it! There was a goldfish cracker ice-cream that we didn’t try and now I'm regretting now finding out what in the World that was all about. They have ice-cream sandwiches with pop tarts as the bookends and cereal toppings galore. Sweet huh? After being downtown for a while I have a Denver observation: I know it was coined as the mile high city due to it’s elevation but I’m pretty sure that name is now shifting to the mile high city due to the amount of marijuana shops. Lucrative business that one is.
After more snow playing we finally convinced the kids to go to sleep with the promise that they would get to see more of the white stuff the next day. Incase you were wondering, Phoenix decided to skip the snowball fights this year but took a raincheck for next time so he can work on his mad throwing skills.
Sunday we woke up to a thermometer that said “23 degrees….feels like 0.” Good thing we like the cold! Once the sun came through it warmed up significantly as we headed to the park and all the snow began to melt. We were surprised when the rest of us had wished we would have worn shorts like Evan did once it reached the 60s. It was like weather whiplash. We fueled up with carbs and water on the road as not to be trapped by altitude sickness and proudly asked for one of our last bouts of Junior Ranger assignments as we arrived in the park. For anyone ever visiting national parks with kids, the Junior Ranger program has really been a neat experience for us. It has been incredible for the kids to really take park in what they are seeing in all the National Parks and learn without realizing they are learning. And it’s FREE.
As you can guess, Rocky Mountain National Park was gorgeous! The tall mountains over the meadows don’t disappoint. Because of the time of year there were several places we still couldn’t visit due to road closures but there was more than enough to fill a full day. A highlight of the day was walking on top of Bear Lake. The snow in that area measured 43 inches. 43 INCHES! I simply can’t wrap my head around that number. Alabama folk don’t spend a lot of time walking on frozen water or seeing that much snow so we were mesmerized. Beyond the ice, a bonus for the day went to Phoenix. He turned 4 months old and as a gift got to ride in his pouch facing forward for one of the hikes and actually got to see a few sights for a change. What a trooper that kid has been all these weeks! On the way back to the Airstream Starship we went through Boulder Colorado for supper where we learned that we aren’t cool enough to live in Boulder. It’s a super modern and cool town where super cool and modern people live. We simply don’t measure up to that level of awesomeness but glad they allowed us to visit for nourishment anyway.
We set the alarm for 5am this morning to get up and get on the road. It’s a 700 mile drive today with the promise of Kansas City BBQ for supper tonight. That better be some good BBQ! It’s hard to believe that its just 3 days until sweet home Alabama. We better make the most of it!