Thursday, August 3, 2017

Colorado is Calling Me Home

There are some beautiful places in the United States and in this world, but there is just something about Colorado in the summertime that I love more than any other place.

I was super lucky to get to go to Denver/Boulder/Estes Park with friends AND take our family vacation to Durango all in the same month. I feel like I could permanently pick up and move the summer that is.

I was a little nervous to see how the boys would do on a 17 hour road trip on top of a very active week, but they did awesome! I should have known that anything that involved being active and staying outside would hold their interest.

DAY ONE: Full of just exploring the town we stayed in, Durango. The boys swam and played basketball at the hotel (daily), we explored the train museum, fed the fish at the fish hatchery, explored downtown, and hiked a tiny bit of the Colorado trail. We didn't have to hike far to find a good river spot to throw rocks and get our feet wet. The water was freezing!

DAY TWO: Today was all about the train! Again, I was a little nervous to see how the boys would do, because it was almost a four hour train ride, followed by a few hours in a small mining town, and then an hour and a half bus ride back to Durango. The boys loved every second! The train ride captivated them. Henry got a little fussy here and there, but other than that, it was a great day.

DAY THREE: Today was all about the journey to Ouray. It was a two hour mountain drive, so we took our time and stopped when we thought we wanted out. The town was gorgeous! Lots of cute shops and places to eat. Lots of four wheeling in this town. We chose a short hike in Box Canyon to see a waterfall, no great photos of it though.

DAY FOUR: National Park day! It was a last minute decision, one we don't regret, but we decided to pack up a day early and hit two of the national parks before leaving Colorado. First stop was Mesa Verde. Didn't think the boys could handle a walking tour, but we enjoyed the scenic drive.

Second up was the Great Sand Dunes National park. Wow, it was so neat to see. We had no expectations going into it, but it impressed us. Unfortunately, a rain storm had come through and they wouldn't allow us to rent the sand sleds (too dangerous on wet sand?)...this turned out to be a huge blessing. What comes down, must walk back up some very steep dunes. The boys wore themselves out just running up and down the dunes.

The weather also allowed us to get into the park for free AND we also got some neat photos. So the weather turned out to be not so bad. Win, win.

Besides our four days of actually vacation fun, there were four days of travel, which we made fun along the way. Since we had a change of plans on our last day, we changed our travel direction, which allowed us to meet up with my parents on our way home. And then on our final day of travel we met my sister and her family in Fort Worth as they were traveling on vacation. Such a bonus to see family on the way!
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