Friday, July 10, 2009

happy july 4th!

Happy 4th! We weren't sure how the weekend was going to pan out. The camping trip we'd planned hit a few snags right before we were set to leave town. Jen came down with a cold and wasn't well enough to go, so she and Micah were out. When we checked the weather the forecast was thundershowers for our entire stay. Then the day of our departure we learned Roan had a double ear infection and spiked a 101* fever.

We had visions of being stuck in the woods in the pouring rain with a screaming feverish toddler. But the car was already packed and the food was already bought, so we decided to just go for it. And I'm so glad we did! The trip turned out great, and it was just what we needed.

The weather cooperated for the most part. We only had a few sprinkles at camp. Mostly it was sunny. When it did downpour, we were either in the car on the way to the fireworks, on the way home from the fireworks, or on the way to the hot springs. When we were actually out and about the skies cleared up!

Roan was a trooper. The antibiotics and motrin kpet her in good shape. And she is such a, well, a happy camper! (Like us) she just loves being outside day and night. And who could blame her with a place this gorgeous?

The Rio Grande was just across from our campsite.

Our friends Adam, Elisa and Ethan came along as well. We enjoyed beautiful scenery, the sound of the rushing river, lots of good food and drink, and excellent company. There were a ton of fun activites available to do in our campground and the surrounding area: kayaking, hiking, ladder ball, washers, horseshoes. We did almost none of it, and yet it still felt like an action-packed weekend.

Hanging out at camp

By the river

We got up and cooked a hot breakfast every morning, we went for a 3 mile hike with the kiddos, dipped our toes on the Rio Grande, made s'mores, and drank top shelf margaritas. But mostly we put away our watches, our phones and our computers, rose with the sun, spent all day outside, watched for wildlife, played in the dirt with the kids, drank and ate well, and collapsed exhausted at the end of the day.

Here's Roan "reading" to Ethan and Sasha

Bliss is shoveling carrots into a dirty face

What is she up to here? She looks awfully mischievous! Notice the red chucks. She got them especially for this trip.

We managed to overlap our trip just barely with Micah's mom & stepdad (Mimi & Grandy as they're known to their grandkids) and Micah's niece Samantha. Here the guys are sitting around camp enjoying a few adult beverages.

Feeding the chipmunks over at their cabin

Exploring the trails near their cabin

Here's Tresa with Ethan. Don't they have the exact same expression on their faces?!

All smiles

Roan spent a fair amount of time in the baby backpack with few complaints.

The Maines family on our "big" 3 mile hike.

Ethan & Elisa

On our way out of the forest we did get a little rained on, truth be told. And devoured by mosquitos. It was humid too. For a second I thought I was back on the AT!

We played down by the river one afternoon. We watched some kayakers put in, which was pretty exciting for Roan. We also took our shoes off and dipped our feet in the water.

Ethan got his toes dipped too! He didn't seem to mind a bit.

Hanging out at the river

Roan entertained herself by throwing rocks into the river. Notice her painted toenails. "Just like Mommy's" she'll tell you.

Sasha thoroughly enjoyed taking a swim

Arwen went into biologist mode and gave us a crash course in Aquatic Entomology 101.

He found some stoneflies, which are indicators of excellent water quality.

Later at our campsite he found a pretty impressive longhorn beetle.

While we're talking about bugs and Arwen, I think we should pause to review some of his bolder fashion choices over the weekend.

Gotta love the do-rag + socks n sandals + dangling keys

His hair went a little crazy

Here he is cooking us up a yummy breakfast

And looking like Mr. GQ as we set out on our hike

Maybe I'm crazy, but even after all these years and all his crazy get-ups, he still makes my heart go pitter-pat!

On our last night - July 4th - we ventured into Creede, a small town about 30 minutes from our campsite. It rained on our way in but pretty much stopped once we arrived. We had fresh squeezed margaritas at Kip's, the local hot spot, and enjoyed some live music. We also tried their bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos, with mixed success. Elisa got a dangerously spicy one! When we stepped out of the restaurant, we were greeted by this lovely rainbow.

We took a stroll through Creede, which is a charming small town. I got a kick out of this restaurant, the Wild Beaver, "House of Hooch and Fine Drinkables."

The rain held off just long enough for us to enjoy some fireworks that night. We got set up in our camp chairs at a beautiful overlook of the town and mountains. I was worried Roan was going to be scared of noise. She was a little apprehensive as people started to set off smaller fireworks before the town's show started. I told her, "Fireworks go pop, sparkle, sparkle." She replied, "I like the sparkle. I no like the pop." But when the big show started, she settled into my lap and enjoyed it from start to finish. I so enjoyed being cuddled up with her, watching the magic together.

The next day we had another great breakfast at camp (pancakes with berries and whipped cream) and then headed out. We wanted to have plenty of time so we could go home at a leisurely pace. We stopped for a picinic lunch at a small campground. Here is Ethan enjoying a pickle of all things!

And here's Roan pigging out on cherries. I thought I was never going to get her clean.

We also stopped off in the town of Saguache to see an old bank turned private home. Arwen's dad had brought him here 15 or 20 years ago to meet an old jazz musician, who lived there like a hermit. They stayed up listening to old tapes of his performances with all kinds of legendary musicians, and they made a trip out to some very special hot springs nearby. Then they had a harrowing drive home in the dark with no headlights in the car, using flashlights instead.

We also made a stop off at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs, this time with kiddos in tow. As Roan was getting into her swimsuit she vowed, "No pool Mama. Not want to get in." I reassured her she didn't have to do anything she didn't want to.

But the minute she saw the water she wanted to go for it. Ethan had a great time too.

And the fun didn't end there. We headed over to Buena Vista to enjoy a popular hamburger stand. Lucky for Roan it's located right across from a huge playground, so she got some more playtime in while we savored our cheeseburgers. And then we got ice cream to boot!
To cap off our incredible weekend, the evening ended with a beautiful sunrise and a huge full moonrise over the mountains. I didn't want the weekend to end!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does anyone else think it is cool that through a twist of fate two UT grads would find and photograph a Longhorn beetle? Arwen on crazy hair day-let's see, that face, mountains, a river, yep-I hear a banjo. hehe
And Roan - OMG- I think it is so beneficial for her to be experiencing the beauty and wonders of nature at such a young age. H & A, you two are doing a super job as parents.
H,A,R,J and M - I love you all.