Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dear Colorado

We have lived in beautiful Colorado for ten years together... and we thought it was high time to show our kids just how lovely this state truly is. So, this summer, we did a little hiking, a little camping, and a little fishing all right here in Colorado. Here's the McOmber Fam Summer 2010 Colorado Adventure recap:

Yes, we're wearing our coats in June. It was a chilly day, but striking still the same. We hiked through this state park, stopping at the Visitor Center where we learned all about animal poop. We took a rest to eat our picnic lunch {that Dan put together all by himself!}.
On the way out, we ran into a herd of deer. Azure was positive that they would come closer if she used her duck call on them. They did respond. And some did come closer, but I don't think they were smiling. We took to the safety of the van, and continued annoying them from there. What a fun morning!

We pass this park every time we drive to Grammy's house, but had never stopped with the kids there. We decided to make a morning of it, and take them to hike the trails. Calvin started whining within 20 ft. of the van, and kept begging me for a shoulder ride. He got a few short ones, but toughened up enough to finish on his own. We found a couple of ducks at the pond who were very willing to eat Emmett's baby snacks. We were sitting right next to a sign that specifically instructed to NOT feed the animals, but we just couldn't help it. Our kids {and the ducks for that matter} were just so darned excited!

Our kids have been a little crazy about hunting for frogs this summer. Dan, being the good sport that he is, led the search almost nightly during the season. We would only allow them to keep the frogs over night, and then release them the next morning. {we certainly didn't want to lead insect hunts to keep our froggies fed}. These pics are from one release morning, at a little pond close by. They were being so careful to bring him back to the exact spot they had found him so he wouldn't be confused. Azure had the honors of releasing him, and was cradling him goodbye - until she was startled by a horsefly on her arm. I sure hope that frog had some good landing skills, because she threw him higher than I care to say. We couldn't find him again after that, but as I told the girls, I'm sure he was just swimming away, and glad to be home!

Camp Firewalker is a high adventure camp that the scouts in our area attend. We heard that if you call and make a reservation for when they don't have scouters - you can utilize all of their facilities for the weekend. We ended up being the ONLY people in the entire camp the weekend we went, and we had a blast! We at all the delicacies that camping allows, ie. hot dogs, s'mores, hot cocoa, blueberry pancakes, sausage, s'mores, hashbrowns, hoagies and s'mores. Mmm. Mama does love her s'mores. Our kids' favorite activity at our site was catching sticks on fire. {luckily, no burning down of the forest ensued.}
We attempted to sleep in two separate tents {Dan, Emmett, and I in one, and the older kids in the other} just five feet apart...but it wasn't super successful. We had been warned about the local bear, so were extremely careful about keeping our site clear of food...but we still had lots of little critters visit our site all night long. We were kept up by several foxes, racoons, and then around 2am, when Azure couldn't sleep, I got up to help her and saw something huge moving through the bushes right next to us. I hopped in the kids' tent, and Dan came out with his little pistol to investigate. He spooked it, and the animal took off running. Luckily, it was just an enormous bull elk and not a big, hungry bear. It was enough to scare me for the rest of the night though!
The kids got up around 5:30am, and we started our day of adventure. We helped ourselves to the trails, the zipline, the archery area, and Jacob's ladder - which looks so much easier to complete than it really is. Dan was a champ there, of course. He showed all of us up. The girls LOVED the archery - and actually got some really good shots in. Maybe someday they'll go hunting with Dad, and show him how it's done! All in all, such a fun time. But, we decided next time we go camping, that we'd rent a cabin so we could all get a little more sleep. Which is, exactly what we did...

I have to say, this trip was one of the most relaxed, best camping/fishing trips I've ever been on, and that's with taking four kids, seven and under. Kind of amazing. We stopped in Buena Vista on the way to our cabin for burgers & shakes {so yummy!} and ate & played at a nearby park. The kids wanted to go fishing as soon as we got in to Taylor Park Reservoir, so we suited up {the girls were all about wearing their fishing hats} and headed out to do a little stream fishing. Bella landed a foot in a fresh cow-pie on the way. Fortunately, she was wearing big boots - so no harm done - just part of the adventure.
When we got back to camp, the girls unpacked all of their belongings into the chest of drawers & closet in their room, decorated with their stuffed animals, and made the bed just right using their own blankets. It was adorable. When they were done making the cabin a home-sweet-home, Bella decided she wanted to start our campfire the old fashioned way. She got two sticks, and challenged Dan to a race to see who could get a fire started first. He used kindling, and paper towels, and logs and a lighter. He won, but it sure was a good fight.
The next day, we rented a pontoon boat, and fished the day away. It was blazing hot in that high mountain sun. Poor little Emmett hated his life jacket, and cried and cried until he finally fell asleep for a nap on the boat's floor. Calvin caught the only fish of the day, all by himself. So proud of that kid. He was such a good sport all day long. So patient. We all had a great time - especially when the clouds came out!
I'm pretty sure I could spend at least half a day, every day, just out on a boat. I love it. So even with the occasional gripe of fishing being boring, or about it being soooo hot, or "can't we just go back to the cabin?", I was in boat lounging heaven. So, I choose to only remember the comments like, "this is the best day ever!", and "cool! a fish at half my worm!", and "when can we do that again!?", and "we love you mom and dad, you are the greatest parents ever and we are so super lucky to have you, and we'll do whatever you ask of us from here on out, we promise!" Oh, I might have made that last one up...but that's pretty much how it felt.
Here's to Colorado. Here's to awesome memories. Here's to Family. Love it all.


Julie said...

What fun memories you've made! It looks like you had a blast together!

paulak said...

Wow, what a great summer.