It was just like that time when we impulsively went to Egypt. Exactly, because of course, I keed, I keed. We went to the mountains for a camping trip. But rewind. This was a camping trip I wasn’t all that keen to go on, I’ll be honest. We’ve been traveling a lot and I wanted some time at home. But our darling doggy had been cooped up way too much and deserved a weekend out, so we went.
We headed out of the city around 2:30 and after a bit of traffic and some stops (dinner) we arrived at our campground. Matt’s knack for picking a great spot holds and we had a beautiful one – near the restrooms, a stream, and well shaded. The campground as a whole is beautiful. After making camp, we had some time for a bit of exploring on foot and some bedtime stories. With all the fires in CO, there is a burning ban in effect over most of the state so campfires were a no-go. Without ancient TV, it makes for early bedtimes!
So the next morning, we cooked up breakfast and set off to check out the area. We’d heard about a ghost town not too far away and the kids (obsessed with Scooby Doo) wanted to check that out. Unfortunately, it was a total bust. There might have been something there a while back, but now, not much other than some retiree’s houses. We did see some cool stuff on the way … this old house …
So after that we went to check out the castle. It’s just a giant stone castle built by basically one man and his family. It’s been in progress since 1979 and it’s … amazing. It’s ginormous and it just sprawls all over the place. There are staircases going here there and everywhere. The towers go on for what seems like forever. Stories and stories … the kids absolutely loved it but I was scared of the steep narrow stairs and (sometimes) lack of handrails. We did not get to the top, though I think Tabby, in particular, would have happily climbed straight up. They were both enchanted.
After the castle, we had a little lunch in the car and then went to check out a lake, since we were almost the whole way there. When we went to pay our day-use fee for the lake, we got to talking with the person minding the shop and she told us that while we were there, we should take a short hike and check out the ….
Natural Waterslides!!!! Seriously. So we did (duh). Just a 1 mile hike off the road, we hiked down a little canyon and along the river to some amazing natural waterslides – smooth(ish) channels worn in rocks, emptying into a pool below. We were not dressed for it and the water was freezing cold, but Matt and Tabby braved it and reported that it was great fun.
The hike was a challenging one, with some water crossings and scrambling over rocks, but it was fun and beautiful. Most of it was along a stream and there were wildflowers everywhere, some along the trail, in the rocks and some in beautiful meadows flanked by aspen trees.
Just as we were leaving the lake area, the rain started … and it went on for quite while. Cooler temps came with it. We spent most of the rest of the day in the trailer. The games I brought along paid off big. We had a great time with all of them. Tabby particularly liked Showdown and Ben was a big fan of Climb to the Top – we did letters so he could play and I was amazed to find out how many he already knew. We also did some coloring and played some more traditional games including Toy Story 3 Uno and Wildlife Bingo. Having the comfy coziness of the camper was awesome. We had a wonderful time just hanging out together.