Well it truly would have been Mulder madness in Colorado if the family reunion planned at Snow Mountain Ranch took place, but Doug, Robyn, and Zoe still made the long drive out to Colorado for a whirlwind visit. They arrived on Sunday afternoon, one of the hottest days to date out here. It was a relaxing night, and we enjoyed catching up over some much needed barbecue chicken and refreshments. We quickly found out what it is like to have a near 2 year old running around and the house was transformed! Little William looked happy to see some new faces too.
It was off to an early start on Monday, and we all piled up into two cars to make the short trip up to Saint Mary’s Glacier for a picnic, hike, and fun in the snow. We all made it up the lake and Zoe wasn’t shy about getting her feet wet in the water. Of course all the hard hiking made William extra hungry.
It was beautiful weather up there, with a little wind, and it was nice to escape the Denver heat. I tried to convince Doug to take a dip but no luck. After some snacks, we headed up the snow field.
We had come prepared with our plastic sleds from Rima and Linnea and Doug climbed further up. Out of control and fast pretty much summed up their rides. Luckily no one ate it on the rocks below, but both were close! Maddy had a blast running along.
Linnea and Robyn did a tandem ride and even little Zoe was up for a short one. I was in charge of William, and he didn’t quite know what to think about the cool mountain air and all the craziness.
We made the trek back and a quick detour to the mechanic since the mountains proved to be too much for the flatlander’s car. Later, we headed up to Golden for pizza at our favorite shop — Doug and Robyn’s treat. It really hit the spot after a big day and we had no problem polishing it all off.
I’ve been itching to tube Clear Creek and had no problem convincing Doug to go. After a couple trips to the gas station to fill up our tubes, we hit the river. A couple of the rapids ate us up and spit us out and it didn’t help when Doug took the lead. Of course we had to go back for a second trip. It was a real hoot.
Rocky Mountain National Park was on the docket for Tuesday, and we were on the road by 5:30a, minus Linnea and William. I guess they ate too much pizza and had to sleep it off. After a quick stop at McDonald’s in Estes, we headed to the park.
First up was Bear Lake. We were one of the first family’s up there and Doug found a loud echo on the backside of the lake. It was a pretty overcast morning so good views were hard to come by. The drive down to Spraque lake was nice, a whole lot better than chasing my dad down the switch backs on foot like the last time we were there. After stops at Sheep Lake and the Alluvial Fan, it was time to drive up Trail Ridge road. It was mostly in the clouds and I had two other drivers in the backseat. There were only a couple times when I couldn’t see the yellow-line and the visibility was terrible. As we got higher, it started getting lighter and finally we broke out of the clouds for amazing views of the Rockies and Longs Peak.
We went for a short tundra walk near the top and Robyn quickly found out what hiking at high elevation is like.
We finished off the drive to the visitor center and refueled with more beautiful views.
It turned out to be a perfect day and we even spotted some herds of elk in the high mountain tundra.
After enduring the hot sun on the drive back — I don’t think Doug will ride in the Saturn again, we hit up On the Border just in time for happy hour and much needed margaritas and food. Linnea met us and we all enjoyed a nice dinner after a great day in the Park.
On Wednesday, Doug and I went golfing. It was nice to finally check out a course near our house. My game was pretty rough to begin, but I gradually found my swing and even pulled out some pars with a few birdie chances. We saw a coyote running around the course, enjoying the freshly cut grass.
We decided to relax a little during the afternoon and then made our way to Heritage Square for some carousal and go-cart racing. It was a blast and the racing was more like a knock-out round with perhaps a some “bumping.”
Linnea proved she couldn’t hang with big boys and her cart mysteriously lost power half-way through the race.
To top off the day, it was back to Golden for more pizza and tubing. We dodged the rain and found a nice sheltered spot on the river.
What a crazy and fun packed 3 days. We had a blast and so happy Doug, Robyn, and Zoe came out for a very special visit.