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Friday, August 27, 2010

Colorado Trip 2010...Days 5 & 6

We spent our last day at the zoo and at a great indoor rock climbing place. I'd read a lot of good stuff about the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, so I was very excited to see it. It turned out to be just as good as we expected, and the weather was beautiful. It did rain and storm, but it didn't happen until we were getting ready to leave. We spent about 3 hours there.

Feeding he giraffes Carter answered one of the trainer's questions right, so he got to toss the monkey some food.We got to see some of the animals up very close during a show with some of the trainers.We had so much fun watching all of the chipmunks around Colorado. They have chipmunks running around there like we have squirrels here. The chipmunks were so much bigger than our Alvin. He looked so tiny to us when we got back home to him.Baby kangarooCarter got excited when he spotted this bee pollinating a flower.
The rock climbing place was SO AMAZING! Carter thought he had walked into heaven!
Madison, Patrick, Carter, and Jeff had to go through some training beforehand to learn to belay. It was scary for me at first to think of them having to depend on each other to climb so high. They learned well and were all able to both climb and belay.
We ended up spending four hours rock climbing!! Patrick hurt his foot jumping off of one of the high climbing surfaces, but at least he was able to do some rock climbing before he got hurt!JeffMadisonCarterCarter BelayingMadison Belaying

We got up early the next morning and headed home. It was so hard for me to leave that park.
We had traveled through Oklahoma and Kansas on the way to Colorado so that we could stop and see my dad, stepmom, and nephew on a pipelining job. We decided to travel through New Mexico and Texas on the way home. I was glad we did because there are some beautiful things to see south of Colorado City and into New Mexico. It's always hard for me to watch the last mountain disappear in the distance from my rear view mirror. I only hope that it doesn't take us five years to go back this time!

Colorado Trip 2010...Days 3 & 4

We spent our second full day in Colorado white water rafting. We did this with the kids when we were in Colorado five years ago, but we chose a longer, more difficult trip this time since the kids were older. Last time our guide did all of the work while we went along for the ride. This time, our guide sat in the back and directed us while we all did the work. It was harder but much funner than last time. After a while, the guide let the kids take turns sitting in the front for the best "splash position". Half-way through the trip, all of the rafts stopped to let the kids, or anyone who wanted to, swim. It was a bit cold for us, but Patrick, Jeff, and Carter still got in. We were all tired after rafting, so we went back to the camp for the evening. The weather was so beautiful, and the kids had lots of room to ride their stuff and just explore.The next day we headed to Rocky Mountain National Park. This was the part of the trip that I was the most excited about. It did not disappoint!! Even though our view from the scenic drive we took was 2,000 feet lower than Pikes Peak, it was more breathtaking because of the clearer weather. There was a moment when I climbed upon a rock to sit and look out over the tops of all of the mountains below that I felt as if I was the only person in the world. It was the moment that the entire trip had led up to for me. Yes, it was hard to breath up there and my nose was bleeding from the altitude, but it didn't matter. The only thing that mattered was that moment. It was fun watching my kids climb the rocks and ooohh and aahhh over the amazing view as well.
Pikes Peak as we were leaving Colorado Springs for Rocky Mountain National ParkDenverOn the alpine tundraJeff and Carter climbing upMade it!!!Patrick on top of the rock that he climbedMadison and me We were all excited to finally make it to the snow!! It was so hard for me to try to imagine what it would look like up there in a few more months. The kids also got to see and walk on more of the tundra there. I told them that the little bit of green that we were seeing hadn't had a chance to be there for very long and would soon be covered with snow.

It was an amazing day....for me, the best of the trip!!!