Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Rocky Mountain High, part 1

We just got back a couple of days ago from our family vacation to Colorado. Mike's family live in the Canon City and Colorado Springs area. From here in North Carolina, it's a two day drive. The first day of driving, through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri isn't too bad of a drive, but the second day is a really long drive through Kansas (The first time we drove out, they boys said "are we out of Kansas yet?" several times). We stayed for 10 days visiting family and having lots of fun.

Sunset entering Colorado
We explored some of our favorite places again. Wherever there is water the boys are in it, so we played several times in creeks and rivers. Plus, it was hot out there, reaching into the 100's.

Rock collecting in the Arkansas River
Bishop's Castle

One of favorite places to visit is Bishop's Castle, begun by Jim Bishop in the 70's. It started out as a plan to build a stone cottage, but when a friend said it was starting to resemble a castle, Jim went all-out with the castle idea. Check out the fire-breathing dragon! Jim is such an interesting character to talk to. Because I have a fear of open heights (like those circular staircases in the above photo), I usually don't go all the way up. I spend the time taking A LOT of photos. This time I got to talk with Jim for awhile while the boys and Daddy climbed. We talked about everything from statism to religion to homeschooling. He saw C's tshirt that says "Caution: Unsocialized Homeschooler" and loved it.

The Arkansas River  in Cotopaxi

We headed out for a scenic drive one afternoon, heading into Cotopaxi. We drove through Leadville, which is at over 10, 000 foot elevation. We stopped for lunch in Buena Vista, which is one of my favorite towns.

mountain view from downtown Leadville

Main Street Leadville

We made a stop in Breckenridge and got frozen yogurt. The boys found the toy store and had a great time browsing. The favorite was of course the Lego section and they bought some minifigures. We also got gifts for their cousins (my sister's boys).

Breckenridge had wonderful art all over town, including the above sweet little dancer. The giraffe was one of my favorites, along with the blue river boulder. The boys loved the rock with the holes the most, as you can see.


J discovered this "Eiffel Tower" made of bicycle parts

We drove through several high mountain passes and into farmland. We saw a few buffalo at a farm, a fox running down a fenceline with dinner in his mouth (we think it was a rabbit), and a young buck.
We saw a sign for moose crossing, but unfortunately didn't see any moose.
a young buck we were about 8 feet from

The following day we went to the Mays Museum of Natural History, which is an entomologist's dream (I think the man who started the museum was entomologist, but I'm not sure) and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (and yes, I know, bad mommy. But the boys really wanted to see the aviary)
beautiful butterfly specimens

black squirrel, which don't see here at home

J meets Piglet

Grizzly wrestling match

My favorite bird, the magpie

The friendly porcupine

Did you know a baby porcupine is called a porcupet? How freaking cute is that?

I'll post part two tomorrow, which includes my birthday rock collecting and thrifting fun. I'll also share all the pictures from the hiking spots we went to, especially Garden of the Gods, which we visit everytime we're in Colorado. Loves to all till then.


  1. Looks like a great time, love the landscapes.

    1. Yes Starr, it was a great time. Part 2 has a lot of pictures of landscapes you'll love :)

  2. So nice to catch up on your blog and read about your Colorado travels! I'm bookmarking this for future trip reference! Also that porcupine is heart-wrenchingly adorable. Your boys are such great explorers!