Sunday, July 27, 2014

Fourteeners Finally!

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. 

                                                     Scott even hauled up a banner 

                                  See why that last mile hurt sooooo bad



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summertime fun....

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
 Ancient Mayans
 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.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wyoming!!!!

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
                                                                  Yummy
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.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

One Down, Uh lot to go

Cooper finished Pre K, and boy, did that do by fast. I knew getting him started even for a few days a week would be the start of a very busy time in our lives. He did an amazing job and I a very proud of all the things he has learned and give thanks to Primrose for taking such great care of Cooper this year. Cooper and Lauren will both start school this fall. (Cooper in Kindergarden and Lauren in PreSchool)
So I know next year will go even faster. So I will try and enjoy the summer as much as possible.

Cooper's First Day at School

Cooper's Last Day at School

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Museums & Parks

We were able to get in some fun, and educational things on our trip to Arkansas. Kim knowing how much Cooper loves Putt Putt, suggested we try the Safari Park in Hot Springs. After a short drive we arrived an were excited to not only see putt putt, but water bumper cars, Go Carts, and an arcade. After buying passes we headed out.

 Now, I had seem the bumper cars before, but had not realized they were armed. Cooper found his button and got me wet (and I was on the other side of the fence) .From then on, it was a all out war. It seemed that Lauren and Cooper were good at ganging up on Uncle J. It was good we rode the Go carts next so the could all dry off.  Boy did they have fun!
   A Very Happy Boy.
Now I did not get any pictures of the Go Carts, since I was also driving. The kids loved it, and some smart person, probably a women, had put a steering wheel in for the kids, so Lauren and Kate were loving "driving" the carts. Joel, Cooper and Justin were quickly in a race for first place. I am not sure who won, but I know I was in last. Up next Putt Putt.
Not sure Lauren really played, but she was in on the action
Girls looking for their balls
Next up was the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock. We had visited it last year, but it is a really great museum and I am very glad we went again. 

Checking out what happens to the ground when a earthquake happens.
Moving a ball thru a maze
Happy Cousins
Can't forget about Elise
This game was very cool, you needed to calm your brain activity to move your ball toward your opponent. The kids did not really have the concentration for it, but the parents were soon in a heated battle. Justin and I could both turn if "off" pretty quick, which I am not at all sure is something to brag about.

My incredibly tough girl laying on a bed of nails!
Dress up time

After the Children's Museum we walked a block down to the Wildlife Museum of Arkansas. It was part of the tourism department and showed all the local wildlife. It was very nice and a great addition to the day. 

Looking at the fish

Feeling black bear fur
Hands on display


We all enjoyed the day, and I think the adults had as much fun at the Museum of Discovery as the kids did.