Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Vacation

To my great relief, and perhaps some small surprise, we pulled off a last-minute Colorado vacation with huge success. As the school year loomed closer and closer the thought of letting the summer pass with no trip whatsoever became unbearable, so we quickly reviewed our options and set off on a Colorado adventure of camping, fishing and canoeing, with some short family visits tucked in.

Our first stop was Loveland where we grilled at a nice little park, and then went boating on Horsetooth Reservoir with my sister Cindy, niece Tiffany, and her new husband, Gary. Great start to our end-of-summer fun!

After that we went over to Golden and took a nice walk along Clear Creek with my brother, Matt, Mysti, and my niece Shayla. Matt pointed out all the best fishing spots, and Madison worked hard at being just like her awesome Cousin Shayla. She may have even been convinced that the Jonas Brothers are NOT cool, after all.

Next was a quick visit with Grandma MaryAnn, then on to the mountains. We found the perfect spot at Peak One campsite, outside Frisco. Restrooms close by, right on the lake, good spot to put the tent in some trees. The area has been pretty hard-hit by beetle kill, and they've done a lot of work clearing out the dead stuff. Madison claims to love fishing, and the action was good enough to supply the first night's delicious fresh trout dinner. Of course, her idea of fishing is having her dad do everything except reel in the fish while she plays in the water and sand, then gets the excitement of bringing in the prize. Brilliant! We went canoeing the second day, which was super fun.

After two nights of camping, we packed up and headed on to Leadville for a hotel room, showers, and some touring of Jay's childhood memories. On the way there, we tried to ride the gondola in Vail, but were stormed out. A nice train ride up the mountain, and somewhat underwhelming tour of an old mine finished off that leg of our adventure, then back through Vail to make another, more successful stab at the gondola ride. Gorgeous views from the top!

A last chunk of quality time with Grandma Mary Ann and a lovely drive around Indian and Elkhorn Mtns rounded out our whirlwind trip. It was quite possibly the smoothest and most relaxing, yet fun-filled trip ever. Perhaps we should do these last minute things more often!


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