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Our first visitors!

Before we made the move to Colorado my brother found out that he was going to have to go to Denver for work.  He was able to use some frequent flyer miles and get his wife a ticket too.  They came in on Friday night we had a great time.  Saturday morning we went for a hike in the Open Space Elk park here in Evergreen.  There are tons of trails there and we wanted to get out and enjoy the cool mountain air.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We gave them a tour of town after the hike and then headed back to the house for some rest time.  We went out to dinner in Denver later that night then on the way home it started to snow!  I was hoping we would get more than the 2″ that fell through the night but in the morning there was enough snow to have a pretty serious snowball fight and make a snowman!

 

 

 

We were so glad that they got to come and visit.  Hopefully they can move up here soon!!!

Kolbe Time

Since Keri is back in Texas I decided to take Kolbe on a little camping trip.  The plan was to drive up Owl Creek Pass then ditch the car and hike for a while.  I loaded up all the gear – tent, sleeping bag, dog food, warm clothes, etc…  After driving up the bumpiest road ever we made it to the top of Owl Creek Pass outside of Ridgeway.  Kolbe loved the ride in the bed of my truck.  We got out and hiked about an hour and a half into the Uncompagrhe National Forest.  I wanted to get some pictures of deer and or elk but it appeared that the hunting pressure was too severe.  We did not see so much as a chipmonk.  We did have a good time.  It always feels so good to get out into the wilderness, exposed to the elements.  It reminded me of the summer of 2001 where I spend the entire summer sleeping in a tent in Lake City, Colorado while I was a rafting guide.  Life was simpler then but not near as full.

The "Official "Owl Creek Sign

Pitching the tent

Can't forget the rainfly

Kolbe likes to pack his own stuff in...

Kolbe just watched as I set up our campsite.

As the sun went down, the golden light of evening lit up the mountain side.

View from the tent

It was pretty cold up there. Check out the frost on Kolbe's pack.

Since I was “in the wilderness” I thought it would be fun to try to build a fire without a lighter… Those poor cavemen.  This was not an easy task!  It literally took me almost 30 minutes, plus I got a blister on my finger from holding the striker.  I had to stick with it.  I debated whether or not to post this video because it is pretty boring.  Be warned.  The tool I’m using is a magnesium fire starter.  It’s been in my backpacking gear for a while but I’ve never used it.  You are supposed to gather a small quarter sized pile of the magnesium shavings but since I did not have a way to do that I thought I could just sprinkle the shavings on my kindling.   Magnesium burns at around 5400 degrees, which is more than enough to catch wood on fire (wood burns at 451 degrees Fahrenheit – did you know that is where Fahrenheit 451 got its title??), the problem was that i could not get a good concentration of the magnesium to burn. I finally got lucky and was able to get some sparks from the flintstone to hit a couple of the shavings and got a little flame going.  If this interests you at all, check out the video.

I was little bummed that we did not see any wildlife but still had a blast.  I was watching the Cowboys give another game away then looked outside in the back yard and what do I see- DEER.  That’s right I drove an hour hiked in 1.5 hours, set up a tent, built a fire, and endured the cold in search for wildlife and they were in the back of my house the whole time!!!

This is a few houses down, there is a public commons behind all the houses.

"Got some bird seed?" I guess it's not just for the birds...

I like this picture because the mountains that I was looking for deer in are in the background.

This is the bird feeder in our yard, Joss you missed it!

Four deer just checking out our back yards...

Uncle Jake visits Camp Thorkildsen

Uncle Jake, who some time ago was renamed by Joss “Big Buzzard” came to visit last weekend. Joss & I baked a cake for his belated birthday. Then daddy & Joss decorated it. It was quite a sight. I know Jake loved it even more for it’s uniqueness!

We had to check out the Black Canyon again-this time we took a 2 mile hike with the kids in tow. Every one was a trooper-Jake included. He even carried Trip the 2nd half of the hike when I couldn’t last another step.

For some reason Joss insisted she carry her walking stick over her head. I’ll never understand this girl!

I know you think this is a dinosaur egg-but it is not! It is a mushroom we found in the forest. And we all knowhow fascinated I am by flora, fauna & fungi!

I put my foot next to it so you could see how big it was. Cuge! As Jossi would say (that’s a combination word for huge & cute that she uses often).

Boys will climb…

The pack mules

The man about to become a real man (Jake’s getting married in less than 2 weeks!)

For the faint of heart or those who posses weak stomachs skip this one (mom that’s you).
Trip fell asleep right at the end of the hike. He was pooped & Jake was a sweet uncle to put up with him!