hike. camp. get outside in northern colorado. with kids.



Long Draw Road

My dad wanted a picture of a moose, so of course we took him down Long Draw Road. Mere minutes after turning off Highway 14 a young bull sauntered in front of our truck, posing briefly, before hoofing it up the other side, into the woods and out of sight. As always Long Draw Road delivered for our out-of-town guests.

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Roadtrip: Turquoise Lake near Leadville, CO

“I’ve been star-ing at the edge of the water, as long as I can remember…”

If you have a young girl you’re probably familiar with this lyric from Disney’s Moana. L sings it inside, outside, in the car and even on stage at her school’s talent show. But my favorite rendition may be on the rocky beach of Turquoise Lake. We haven’t made a family trip to the ocean yet, but we will eventually. In the meantime, we’ll visit the sandy shores of our mountain lakes, watch the waves roll in and listen to the girls sing How Far I’ll Go.  Continue reading “Roadtrip: Turquoise Lake near Leadville, CO”

Silverton, CO Part 1: So I Married a Cruiser Guy

Like most couples my husband and I have a lot in common but we also have our unique interests and hobbies. I think of it as a Venn diagram. Because- see below- I like lists. Continue reading “Silverton, CO Part 1: So I Married a Cruiser Guy”

Big South Trail

She hiked midway up the hill, did a spin and climbed on without missing a beat. I smiled, as I just happened to be taking video, getting my fancy hiker in action. We marched on a bit longer. Stopped for another quick snack and looked farther down the trail, looked at the time, looked back where we had come and, very anti-climatically, called the hike for the day.

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Love the One You’re With- Big South Campground

When it comes to camping along the Cache La Poudre River, we believe the higher up the canyon the better. Heading where the air is cooler, the woods are thicker and the wildlife is bigger- to us- is worth the extra miles.

Unfortunately many of the established campgrounds in the Upper Poudre Canyon don’t open until late June due to snow- Chambers Lake, Tunnel and Grandview Campgrounds to name a few. There’s no way we’ll wait until July to start our camping season. Dispersed camping is always an option in the spring months but sometimes, especially with kids, you want a bathroom, a fire pit and a picnic table. Continue reading “Love the One You’re With- Big South Campground”

Stevens Gulch Picnic Site

You know the scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where the guy takes out the other guy’s heart with his bare hand? While our 5 year old was dragging her feet on Lower Dadd Gulch Trail, her dad may have jokingly told her he was about to do something similar to her if she didn’t pick up the pace. We were all laughing, and no organs were removed from anyone’s body. We really are a nonviolent family. But when she decided to retell this story to the young couple we rescued from the Stevens Gulch Picnic Site there was no telling what was going through their heads. Were they being driven down the canyon to the nearest gas station by serial killers? Or child abusers? I’ve been told this is the first of many times our children will embarrass us in such a manner.

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Lower Dadd Gulch Trail

“We’ve been in the car forever!  I hate hiking!”

“There’s too much wind on my face! ERRRRRRGGHEEFE!!” (sound made while arching back in car seat)

Not the sounds or words you want to hear from your 5 year old for whom you just purchased actual hiking boots. And it appears we are now paying for years of excellent car behavior.

It was already afternoon, and unfortunately L did not nap on our way to Lower Dadd Gulch Trail like her sleeping 18 month old sister beside her.

Maybe we’ve been pushing too hard. We’ve hiked a lot lately…

These thoughts along with her sour mood melted away after a pre-hike snack of Gorp. After getting C on my back I took a handful myself and noticed a (not surprising) disproportionate amount of peanuts and raisins to m&ms…

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