Friday, July 16, 2010

Hiking, Camping and Laughing: OH MY!

Over 4th of July weekend, we had our first house guests! Well, our first house guests that weren't family members! :) Our friend, Chuck, came out to visit Colorado with his two oldest boys and we all went camping to enjoy the mountains!
The campground was gorgeous and we got two camping spots right next to each other. Here is Sebastian reading while the dad's are setting up tents.

Brighton was SO happy to be out in nature and to be free to walk around and explore! He busily went from one rock to a pile of sticks to a tree and back again! Fiona helped me keep track of him when she wasn't busy playing with the other kids.

Here is Dave and Chuck (and one of Chuck's sweet sons) setting up the tent that Chuck and his boys slept in.

Brighton found this cool piece of bark and used it like a gun!?! He's only 20 months old! He made the cutest little shooting sound effects for it, too! Such a sweet, busy boy!
Scarlett is a hair twirler! :) Here she is taking a little break to twirl her hair. :)

The kids all had tons of fun exploring the woods and chatting with one another!

Our little tree-hugger!! :) Literally: Brighton hugs trees. They are pretty great and easy to love....

Food always tastes better in the mountains! Here is everyone eating a yummy lunch before our hike!
Elijah and Charlie had a lot of fun while the dad's were setting up camp.

While I was following busy Brighton around camp, Duncan was taking a nice, cozy nap in the sling. I thought we were mostly in the shade, but after a few hours it became clear to me that we had been in the sun a enough for this to happen:
The half of poor baby Duncan's face that was exposed in the sling got FRIED! I felt terrible! You can see how swollen his eye was and he even got little blisters on his cheek the next day! I have never sun burned a baby before...I guess at 10,000 feet above sea level you HAVE to wear sunscreen, even if you are mostly in the shade!

The kids all had a lot of fun hanging out and joking around the campfire. :) I think campfires and hanging out around them are one of the very best things about camping!

Just on the edge of our campground was a meadow where elk come down to graze in every evening like clockwork! We enjoyed seeing these amazingly gorgeous animals!

My dream property would look like this!! I love the combination of pine trees and open meadow. Can't you just picture a lovely house with a wrap-around porch and large decks there on the hill?

We went on a very fast paced hike to the reservoir. (Chuck is apparently a very fast hiker!) :) Here is a cool rock on the reservoir the kids all scrambled on...they are the small dots on top!

Chuck pushed the double jogger with Brighton in it most of the entire hike! :)

It was a long hike to the reservoir and Scarlett started dragging right before we got there. Luckily, I had brought several different baby carriers and Scarlett got to ride on her Daddy's back for a bit!
I had been carrying Duncan in various slings for most of the hike and we were both getting sweaty! Here is Dave holding Duncan and giving me a bit of a break from the sweat! :)

Brighton really enjoyed getting out of the stroller and climbing rocks!! He didn't seem to mind he was missing a shoe...

There were TONS of cool, gorgeous rock formations on our hike! We stopped at this one to let everyone have a bit of a break and climb on cool rocks. Why is it so hard to get boys to smile for pictures?? :)
Our friend, Chuck, was very happy (dare I say "obsessed?") with the gorgeous mountain views...we stopped at the above spot several times on our excursions so he could inhale it all and take pictures. :) Fiona and I thought it was a gorgeous view too. :)

Driving back down the mountain, we took a back road that was supposed to be more scenic than the highway. It totally was a gorgeous drive (see above view!) but ended up taking almost 2 hours while the highway takes about 30 minutes! It was worth it, though.

After our weekend of camping, we went on a hike with our friends through Garden of the Gods. It was hot and dry, but we had great company and got plenty of good exercise! Here is Fiona, the consummate scrambler, with a gorgeous view of Pikes Peak in the background.

All the kids LOVE this cool rock formation! It's fun to wedge yourself between these two rocks and there are lots of little perches to hang out on!

Here is most of the group!
After our hike through Garden of the Gods, we headed over to Helen Hunt Falls. The kids had fun playing in the creek to cool off while I nursed Duncan before our hike up the falls.

After hiking several miles through Garden of the Gods, we drove this cool back road to Helen Hunt Falls (not named after the actress.) You hike up about a billion stairs made in the dirt to get to the falls. It was a GREAT work-out! And a pretty view. :)
It was a busy, whirl-wind weekend with lots of activity, good exercise, great company and lots of smiles! :)


  1. I <3 Calvin & Hobbes!!

    Also, this is VERY tardy info, but for sunburns: slather on plain yogurt (make sure it's live culture), allow to dry, then rinse off in a tepid-to-warm shower. Arizona-tested.

    Though I have an acquaintace from Long Island who grew up with the same remedy except they first dabbed white vinegar on the burn, then slathered the yogurt.

    And a homeschooling family we were acquainted with in northern California used liquid vitamin C as their sunscreen (they slathered it on their skin). I haven't gone looking for it yet to try it out.

    I like to use the floppy bucket hats on babies...helps to cover tender skin, ears, eyebrows, and nape.

    Hope he healed quickly!!

  2. Thanks for the sunburn cure suggestion! Hopefully, after a summer full of sunburns, we have learned our lesson and won't let ourselves get anymore and won't need to test it out....but I will try it should we need it! Thanks!