My daughter happy to finally be in Colorado after a very long car ride.
Well it took me the whole week, but I finally managed to make it through all my Colorado vacation photos so that I could share a handful of my favorites with you all today.
Our trip started with a 14 hour drive in two parts (broken by a stay at a very questionable motel). Thank goodness for an air-conditioned car and the yummy snack foods we had packed to keep us going! After all those hours on the road (and my little sister asking “are we there yet” about a zillion times — no joke), we couldn’t have been more delighted when the mountains of Colorado finally appeared in the distance. As soon as we turned off the main road and headed towards our campground I had my Mom stop the car so that I could get out and take this panoramic shot of the gorgeous scenery:
Click the image for a larger view (will open in a pop-up window).
An abandoned schoolhouse down another stretch of road.
Once at the campground we were eager to get set up. Unfortunately after pulling up to our reserved site, we immediately discovered that the ground was swarming with biting red ants (ouch…so painful). That’s also about the same time that I began to feel the effects of elevation sickness (something I had no idea existed until that moment). For the next two hours I nauseously dozed in and out of consciousness as my Mom drove around inspecting every last remaining campsite to see if any of them fared better in the venomous ant department than our original one. At last we settled on a spot at the far end of the campground, set up our tents, and got ourselves settled in for the evening.
The next day was a whole lot more fun and relaxing (other than the water that made us feel not so great).
Yum…noodles for breakfast! My littlest sister, Mom, and daughter.
I honestly can’t remember what we did all day long, but I did capture a few photos of an adorable hummingbird who was certain that the clothespins my mom had strung up on a wash line were filled with nectar.
It was equal parts sweet and sad to see it working so hard to extract a meal out of the hard plastic. At one point it even laid down on the rope to rest (I have never seen a bird do that before)!
Then on Thursday (my Mom’s birthday) we had an adventure-filled day: white water rafting in the morning (ridiculously fun) and then a trip to a nearby hot spring afterwards. The whole day was blissful until we arrived back to our campsite that night and discovered that my Mom’s enormous food cooler was gone (the thing is at least 4 feet long and with food weighed around 100 pounds). It seemed that somebody had stolen it in our absence…that is until we came across my little cooler with it’s handle ripped off and 2 huge puncture marks through the hard plastic top. Yes…we had been visited by a bear!!! I couldn’t shove my daughter in the car fast enough, and we all drove over to report the incident to the owners of the campground. It turns out they knew there was a bear around and had been chasing it through the park in broad daylight when they saw it grab my Mom’s cooler rip it open and then run off. So the good news is that we got the cooler back. The bad news is that this is what it looked like:
Mind you this is just one quick grab and bite from the bear’s claws and mouth (the long lines near my fingers are each from one claw – to the right of my hand is where it bit through the plastic)! There was no way were were about to stay in our tents that night. Thankfully there was a teeny-tiny empty cabin available, so we stayed there Thursday night. The next morning we went back to our campsite to pack our remaining things up and discovered this:
I have no idea if this was from the same bear or a different one (we heard that there was also a mother bear and her two cubs in the area as well), but I didn’t really care to wait around and find out. We said our farewells to the campground and decided to spend our last night in relative tranquility at a nearby rental cabin. It turned out to be the loveliest place possible…with nature (not the scary type) all around us, a babbling brook to stroll beside, and ample opportunity to snap a few final vacation photos.
And my favorite photo of all: My wonderful daughter in the most exquisite evening light.
So there you have it. We had a great trip filled with all sorts of memorable moments, however I learned that I’m not as tough as I used to be (or at least imagine that I was). I mean I can paddle a raft through rapids (I didn’t even flinch when my fingernail got ripped off mid-paddle) and can set up a tent easy-peezy…but at the nibble of malicious bugs or hint of a hungry bear I want out. I guess there’s a reason why my blog is called “Creature Comforts” after all! Oh, and my mom did love her surprise S’mores Kit! Yay!
All photos taken by Ez Pudewa (me).