Stories from our lives here on the Front Range of Colorado. Lots of mountain bike adventures, ski days, hikes, pictures of Cooper and Lauren, our two dogs and anything else I choose to pontificate about.
Cooper is 6..... and I can not believe it. I was thinking than having a party at the park, would be easy. In case you are interested in, it is not. Instead of just showing up at a place and party... you have to bring everything. But the things we do for our little ones. Well I think everyone had fun, so it was all worth it, but I see Monkey Business in my future for Lauren's 4th.
We showed up about a half an hour before everyone else showed up and we were blessed with great weather, about 80 degrees. Joel put up our slack line, and I getting out the sandwich and other snacks ready. We also brought up our peddle car and scooter in case the little ones wanted a spin.
Skylar going down the slide
Dad pushing Lauren in the swing
Reese, Jaxon, and Lauren on top of one of the climbing rocks
After playing and we headed down for some sandwiches, and of course birthday cake. It was a great party and I am glad we had good weather and great friends to help us celebrate. We had 11 kids between 1 1/2 and 6 years, and no real tears, or any blood. So success!
Birthday Boy looking for trouble :)
Little girl just like her Momma.... we love our cake!!!
The next day we get to celebrate Reese's 5th birthday. Sarah held it at her community pool and we all had a great time. The big surprise was a visit from Anna and Elsa. Cooper was not as impressed, but let me tell you how excited those little girls were.
We need pretty dresses to spend time with the Princesses of Arendelle
Reese, The Birthday Girl
We were able to get our face paint to match our swim suit
Listening to a story
Again, Cooper not too excited, when we asked if he wanted to listen to a story, he said "No Thank you"
Jaxon and Lauren playing "Who has the Crown" with the Princesses
Cooper told Dad that if he never saw another Princess it would be too soon! I am guessing at some point in the future his feelings toward girls might change, but for now I will enjoy his disinterest in them.
Still avoiding all the girly girls on the playground
More Proof Lauren is a champ of birthday cake eating (Sadly I did not get a photo from Reese's party, because she had chocolate cake all over her face)
Joel and I have discussed for a decade now that we needed to hike a 14k foot peak. It was always a little daunting for me to think about it, but I must say since having little ones, and starting to run has helped my asthma quite a bit. So when several people at Joel's office decided in January to start training for Fourteener I decided I would try to. The biggest factor would be getting a sitter. Thankfully Auntie Sarah came to the rescue. So on Friday night we had dinner with Sarah and the girls, then headed to her place to get everyone cleaned up and in bed. Now I am not sure they stayed in bed, but there were in bed when we headed home around 8. We went home and prepared for a early morning. Our alarm went off around 3:45 and we were on the road by 4. Thankfully traffic is pretty light, so we made to Breckenridge, by about 5:30. Grabbing something quick to eat we meet the Markwest group at the trailhead before 6. Sadly one of Joel's co workers meet up with a deer on the way in and had cause quite a bit of damage to his car. Thankfully it was still drivable, but would need some bodywork. We had about twenty people in our group, so grouping up in the parking lot we headed up. Quickly after leaving the parking lot, we started to all set our own pace. Clark (I think still pumped up from the car accident) quickly left the rest of in the dust, but I was feeling pretty good. The altitude at the trailhead is just under 11k(10,850), so I was starting to get a good feeling about making it to the top.
Taking a break at about 12k feet
We continued to make pretty good time, Only stopping ever 3/4 mile to catch our breath. They we hit the last mile. I think at this point someone attached cement blocks to feet. The last mile was TOUGH! We climbed almost 1k in that mile and with the thinner air, it was really hard. I am guessing I was taking breaks about 50 feet. But Joel and I were the second and third of our group to make it to the summit. (behind Clark who had to wait an hour for us to arrive). We had great weather and were able to take a break on the summit, From what others told us it was pretty uncommon to be able to do, since weather and wind are pretty harsh at the higher altitudes. We had climbed 3,340 feet and made it to an altitude of 14,265.
Joel and I at the peak
View from the peak
Several of our local friends we saw on the way up.
The hung out just a few feet from the trail (Scott Parker and Joel selfie with a goat)
After a group photo, we headed back down. Now, normally I love to descend. But this was so rocky I think it was just a hard or harder going down. The other issue was that the trail was very crowded. I love that Coloradans and other visitors get out and about in our beautiful state, but I was surprised so many were on this peak.... a would guess about 1000 people were on the mountain that day.
Here are the stats - 2 hours 45 mins to ascent
Total Time Around 5 hours 30 mins
Total Altitude -14,250 feet
Total Climb - 3,450 feet
Total Miles - 6.75
We grabbed some lunch in Breck before heading back down to get the kids. Had a great time, but was a little sore (okay very sore) for a few days. I would do another one, if it works out again sometime in the future.
The summer is half over and we have been having some fun. Just a few pics from what we have been doing to last few weeks.
We all love the splash pads
New discovery Zone at the Museum of Nature and Science
Very Cool water table
Cooper volunteering to help with a presentation about Microbials
Up. Up and Away
Getting Ready to watch the fireworks, from the top of our hill we could see several different cities at once
All dolled up and ready to Dance at the WOW Children's Museum
At Last finishing Cooper's new room. Since we redid Lauren's when we moved in last summer I told Cooper he could redo his room for his 6th birthday. We picked out new Pirate bedding and painted one of the walls. I have a treasure map, and a few more things to decorated. Thankfully it was a pretty easy transition.
Joel has spent more time in Wyoming with his Casper project a few years ago, so I am not sure if he enjoys the time we spend there as much as I do. I really love the state and the wide open spaces. Sarah asked if we would be interested in heading up to the Tetons for a short trip and I do not have to be asked twice. We decided, since I have wanted to start camping with the kids a few summers now, to make this the opportunity to start. So we headed out on Saturday morning to do a few nights camping before the rest of the White family showed up in Jackson on Monday. We drove a little over half way, having lunch in Cheyenne and stopping at a park in Casper, ending up at Boysen State Park. When we arrived the sky did not look very friendly. We decided to get our tent up and then go in search of food. The wind really started to pick up and we had some help from a neighbor camper in getting the tent going. Then it started to get interesting. The wind was blowing so hard our tent poles were bending inward at a severe angle. At this point Joel is not very happy with my persistence in wanting to camp with the little ones. We sat in the tent keeping the poles from collapsing in on themselves for about 30 minutes, and once we were pretty sure the tent would be there when we got back we headed out. The small town next to the park only had one restaurant, so we knew where we were going. The dinner was nice and thankfully when we got back to the campground the stroms had blown thru and the tent was still there.
Cooper and Lauren playing near out campsite
Lauren hugging brother and Cooper trying to be done with pictures
The next morning we headed on into Grand Tetons and were able to find a nice spot near Jenny Lake.
We went on a small hike, then after dinner headed over to the campground for a fire. The kids really thought that was amazing.
Hike near Lake Jackson, see the weather was not the best, but we were still able to enjoy
Cooper wanting to take a picture :)
All three kids checking out the Lake..... we must throw in at least one rock
Such a beautiful place
S'mores in front of a fire
The next morning we quickly walked a little around Jenny Lake, packed up and found some lunch. Then we did another short hike up to a Phelps lake overlook. When we were headed out some hikers coming down told us they thought they head seen a bear, but we were unable to locate. That evening the rest of the fam arrived and we had a very nice dinner.
Throwing more rocks into Jenny Lake... who knew this was so much fun
My sweeties... at the campground
If it can be climbed on, we must do it
Kids getting a little tired of my photos
Tuesday morning we headed over the Yellowstone and did a marathon day seeing all the sights, even taking a wrong turn and ending up in Montana for a few minutes. We were able to spot a brown bear, black bear, elk, buffalo, and even a fox with some dinner in it's mouth. It was a long, but great day in the park. Sadly I did not get a whole lot of picts.
Group at Old Faithful
Cooper at Old Faithful
We had a great time and the kids were awesome. I am glad because this means we will have more trips in our future. I will say about the time we hit the Colorado boarder on Wednesday Lauren was starting to get a little loopy. I am not sure this is where the stickers are suppose to go.