Taking Over Golden Gate

The Haveman clan rolled into town last Wednesday to spend their Fall Break with us. We were excited to take some time off and get up to the mountains for some much needed R&R. The plan was to spend a couple of nights camping at Golden Gate Canyon State Park and go for some fun outings in the nearby area. We packed up every last bit of camping gear we could find in the house and with 2 full trucks, 2 dogs, and 5 kids, headed up on Thursday morning. We finally purchased a larger tent and were pretty excited to have some decent space in the 6-person size upgrade.

Later that day we went for a short hike. Ron was going to pick us up at another trail-head that somehow we all missed. So after hiking probably an extra mile and waiting at a different trail-head, Ron finally found us. On the way back, the kids all piled up into our truck. Well almost! James had to ride on the dog bed in the back with Maddy! Luckily no rangers pulled us over.

Back at the campsite we enjoyed a big campfire, hot dogs, and for desert, marshmellow chocolate peanut-butter packed, fire-roasted ice-cream cones. Thanks to our friend Melanie for the great idea! The next morning was a little chilly but nothing a good fire couldn’t fix. We headed up to Brainard Lakes area for a hike.

It was a beautiful fall day and we hiked up to Lake Isabelle. The kids were all about the snow, running all over it, throwing snow-balls, and falling on the ice. William did great and we brought him up in the backpack. Near the top, we enjoyed a nice lunch and then continued on in search of more snow!

Brayden and Maddy enjoyed doing ‘snow-angels’ together. On the way out, we came across a huge bull-moose, right off the trail! It was just peacefully grazing and we all watched it for good while.


The hike turned out to be a little longer than I calculated — maybe 8 to 9 miles but the kids did great! Like father like son though. Brayden got a little altitude sickness back at the bottom and had a hard time keeping his salami and cheese down. Luckily he wasn’t in our truck!

After some more nice campfires, we packed up camp on Saturday morning. We only had one little run-in with a ranger about some rules and other than that everything was great. We did some top-rope climbing near the ‘Dudes Fishing Hole.’ All the kids loved it, even with a lot of tears shed!

To top of the day, we drove out toward Idaho Springs and ended up at Saint Mary’s Glacier. The kids just couldn’t get enough of the snow. We warmed up by a nice fire in the trees and had hobo-pies and more desert. Finally we got back home in the early evening and after some hot-tub soaking, we all crashed hard! Thanks Haveman’s for making the trip out. I’m sure Beth will have a lot more pictures posted on their blog soon.