Every good and perfect gift is from above...James 1:17

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Rocky Mountain High {High, Colorado}

Getting my children to write this summer was like pulling teeth. So as my personal celebration of the few times they did, I had planned each to be guest bloggers on our Colorado vacation. Two of three wrote about it, and we can't find one of them now. So here is what I got for ya.

Our vacation in the eyes of Elijah:
We went to Colratoa. We swam. We went on the royal brij. We rode the choly (trolley) on the way bac.

That's all I got. One out of three isn't such good odds. Nor is it a good explanation of our vacay. So here is my version.

Adventure 1: Cadillac Ranch
Here in front of the 2nd Amendment guy (we were still in Texas, after all), I told them to show me their guns. I was thinking the bang! bang! type. Leave it to my hubs to show me those guns.
The kids each standing by John Wayne, Willie Nelson and Elvis' caddies that they are driving.
Cadillac Ranch, in Amarillo, is a bunch of old Cadillacs half-buried nose-first into the ground at an angle corresponding to the Great Pyramidof Giza in Egypt. They represent the evolution of the car line from 1942-1963. It was created in 1974. It was always encouraged to touch the cars, and somehow along the way graffiti snuck in. Instead of being angry about it, they encouraged it. Layers upon layers upon layers of spray paint have covered the cars throughout the years.

And here they are, basking in their glory. Just sitting out there in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere.
We were warned by a local store owner that it would be pretty muddy since it had just rained. We didn't really understand what she meant when she said muddy. Maybe if she told us the cars were surrounded by a small lake we would have gotten the right idea.
A little {ha!} mud and water didn't stop us! Well, actually the mud stopped me, but it didn't stop the kids. They waded through the mess to do their fair share of graffiti.
We just watched.
Getting back in the swag wag covered in mud was kind of a nightmare, but the cars reflected off the water nicely and the colors were a beautiful contrast to the mud all around.
Adventure 2: Clayton Lake State Park, NM
Frito enjoyed the wind in her face as we drove along the winding New Mexico back roads.
Home to over 500 dinosaur tracks, we took a hike around the lake to check out the tracks for ourselves.
This is a man-made lake, and when they started moving the earth all of these tracks were uncovered. About 500 tracks from 3 different species are found here, ranging in size from a one-foot long baby dino to 30-feet long adults. Some studies suggest these prints are about 91-100 million years old!
 You can see some of the tracks in front of Lijee.
 There are a couple deep racks behind Daisy.
 This looks like the skin from a gigantic dinosaur. That would be cool if it was, but it's not. It's fossilized dried mud.
 This lone plant on the right was dubbed Lady Felicia by the boys before they started using her as a sword to fight each other.
  Adventure 3: the hotel
A room, a pool and the Disney chanel is all they need for a fun time.
 Frito's bed of choice--my suitcase. Every night.
Adventure 4: Road Trip to Colorado!
The DanFam5 at the CO border.
Adventure 5: Pike's Peak Cog
The Cog Railway has been moving people up the 14,115 feet to the top of Pike's Peak since 1891. 
 You can see across the Great Plains all the way to Kansas from here. At least that what they told us.
 We saw big horn sheep and yellow-bellied marmots.
 There are 2 little brown spots in the middle of the picture, one on a big rock to the left and a smaller one on a smaller rock in the middle. Those are the marmots.
  We all got a little altitude sickness when we got to the top.
 A snack and fresh air helped. 
The Daiser found a penny.
America The Beautiful was composed here.
 DanFam5 at the top of Pike's Peak!
They say some of the trees on the way up are over 2,000 years old--making them the oldest living things on earth.
 A quick cat nap on the way down.
Adventure 6: hotel with an indoor-connected to-outdoor combo pool
Love the free dinner!
Adventure 7: Garden Of The Gods
So this is obviously beautiful and a fun place to hike with the family and the family pet. The best part: it's FREE! The man who purchased it wanted it to be free to the entire world; when he passed away  in 1909 his children made sure that happened. Yay for kind, thoughtful people.

Back in 1859 a group of surveyors came upon the land. The first man said it would be a great place for a beer garden; the next man said due to its incredible beauty it was a place fit for gods to assemble. Hence, The Garden of the Gods got its name.
Still my favorite guy.
First one to make it to the top.
†brothers†
Can't stop this one from climbing.
Mission accomplished!
My fashionista.
Adventure 8: White Water Rafting
I have wanted to do this forever! I must admit, being a parent I was a bit more nervous doing this than I would have been without little people aboard, specifically my little people aboard. They did great! 
 Well, they mostly did great. That was until Zeke fell out. Thank goodness it was not a place with rapids so I didn't totally freak out, although it was a little scary. Zeke did exactly what they tell you to do if you fall out. After he was back in the boat we were able to laugh about it.
 We made it!
We made an impromptu stop at my friend Teina's while driving back from rafting trip. Why didn't I get a picture of that??

Adventure 8: Royal Gorge Bridge
The bridge is 955 feet above the Arkansas River. Built in 1929, it is still the highest bridge in the US.
The famous Water Clock.
 
All 50 flags line the bridge.
 "I dropped my pencil."
the Plaza Theater
 This doggy loves to see the country and road trip with us.
Tommy Knocker Children's Playland
A wildfire destroyed most of the park's buildings and aerial tram in 2013. Amazingly, only a few of the wooden planks on the bridge were harmed. There are still a few trees in the peripheral that are burned. 
Zekers, Daisy and I decided to do the Royal Rush Skycoaster.
The longer it took for it to be our turn, the more scared Daisy became. This picture is the point that I was trying to talk Daisy back to the ledge. But she was freaking out, so we stepped back. We paid for 3 and they wouldn't let us get our money back, so Daddy said he would go with me and Zekers.
 Daisy was a great photographer and much happier once her feet were on the ground.
Abe and I were holding hands, but Zeke was fearless.
 We left Daisy in charge of pictures and Lijee in charge of Frito Pie. However, he also had a phone in his hands, which means that he was oblivious to the outside world. We nearly lost our doggy as she wandered off whilst Eli had both hands on the phone and his head in the game. No worries; we got her back.
 We're all about to die on the Aerial Gondola!
...Or not.
 Even Frito got to ride.
This rock was all sparkly. Zeke said it was salt. I told him to taste it. He claims it tasted salty.
 Ice cream time!
 On the way back we stopped at a park we happened upon while on our way to Pike's Peak.
 You can see the sprinkles on the ground. This was minutes before the downpour.
 Seeking shelter.
 We saw a cool rainbow cloud on the drive home to Texas.
And that concludes our Colorado trip. Great time with great people! (And a great dog.)

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