Snow Mountain Ranch

What a fabulous Memorial Day weekend we had.  My high school friend Geoff and his lovely wife Karen and their twins came out to visit and we went up to Snow Mountain Ranch for the weekend.

I love that place-if you live in Colorado and haven’t been, you are missing out.  Here’s the view from our cabin:

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ah, mountains!

Not too shabby, eh?

Later that afternoon some of us went for a hike.  There’s been a lot of snow and a lot of snowmelt so it was a bit muddy, and someone slipped and got a muddy butt, which didn’t bother our intrepid explorer one bit.

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just keep hiking, just keep hiking

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what’s in the water?

The next day we rented mountain bikes and tagalongs and went for a ride!

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badass mountain biker

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actually having fun

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mountain biking with a trailer, not for the faint of heart

It just couldn’t have been better. Nights were filled with good food, good drink, and a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity. I wish I could post some of the funnier game responses, but then this wouldn’t be a family blog, now, would it? The other thing that was great was that all the kids were old enough to explore on their own.  There were many hours where they would simply head off into the woods next to the cabin and create their own secret games and just play while the adults would relax in the cabin. If it sounds too idyllic to be true, well, I can’t help that.

The next morning we went for one last hike

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The whole crew

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Walking stick in hand

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Hiking children

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Running to catch up

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Careful apple slicing

And then the trail got super super muddy (as the girl would say) and some of the hikers took off their shoes to squelch through the mud.  One of the hikers simply squelched through with her shoes on.  I’ll let you guess which one that is.

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muddy paws

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barefoot snow survival

When the trail got snowy, the barefoot hiking came to a quick end and we headed back.  By this time I had started to recite the poem, “Mud, Mud, glorius mud! Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood! So follow me, follow me, down to the hollow, where we will wallow in glorious mud!” which is from a children’s book of poems we have at home.

The girl, of course, began to sing this over and over again and then began to take it quite literally.

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mud bath

Sadly, vacation was over after this.  Our friends had to head south and I had to head back to work a night shift at the hospital, which was even less fun than usual given what I’d just been doing.

I know I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again–there is something that is so wonderful about seeing your kids become friends with your old friends’ kids. It makes me feel hopeful and gives me a sense of generations and seeing the future being created now, and it’s good.

Aspen Camping

I’ve probably mentioned somewhere to most of you that I don’t camp.  Humans have evolved to have indoor plumbing, central heat, and carpets and I don’t see any reason why giving that up for “fun” makes any sense.

I may have to rescind that statement after going on an actual camping trip.  Now, we did go on a few camping trips before we had kids, and they were fun, but the last time we went camping was when the boy was 18 months old and it was an unmitigated disaster.  I know many of you camp with toddlers and purport to have a good time, but I find that the work/fun ratio was too high on the work side to make it enjoyable.  Also, he didn’t sleep so we didn’t sleep and it was miserable.

A neighbor family invited us to go camping a few weekends ago, and so we all made it up to a campground just past Kenosha pass. The timing was perfect and we were surrounded by a field of bright yellow aspens.

The first night was freezing, and the ground was hard. I woke up to bruised, cold hips. In the morning, I looked at the tent and saw that the ceiling vents were open, conveniently letting all of the heat out of the tent, which made me feel like a right moron.  We fixed it the next night and were quite toasty.

The rest of the weekend was filled with tree climbing, bike riding, fishing, campfires and exploring the wild wild woods next to the site.

Eric worked especially hard during the trip.

On our hike we even found a beaver pond, complete with dam!

It was a great time away and I *might* even be up for some camping trips in the future…as long as I can bring a fluffier air mattress with me next time.