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Camping in Colorado (a catching up post)

i am so far behind on doing anything with these pics, but i still have to share! Everything I have posted thus far on our Colorado trip was just pics from my phone, not the real deal pics. So that’s what I’ll try to do in the next few posts. This was our camping trip, which we drove straight to from our house…18hours & a lost $530 later, we rolled in to the campsite at 11:15 pm! Yes, after a solid 45 minutes of off roading, in the dark-don’t even ask. But it was all well worth it. Our friends were there waiting around the campfire with hugs & chairs & the menfolk had the tent set up in 5 minutes! Getting the kids down was the harder part. We were dying just to catch up with friends for even 5 minutes. And the kids had so much pent up energy. Anyways we all soon passed out & were ready to go for a few days of good solid adventure by sunrise if you can believe it. There’s just something about that mountain air that gives you the energy to do anything (or at least try).

This camping trip was unlike any other. There were about 40 people-11 families! It was so fun! We were so lucky to be included in our friends yearly 4th of July traditions-thanks Pollards for the invite! Here’s just a few shots…

Nature Girl

My Little Mountain Man

The Welcome Sign

there was an atv there & the kids were on it the whole time. I think it actually got started up & taken out one time.

Our camp spot, the river was right behind us. thank God, because I got so sick for about 24 hours & could barely make it out of the tent in time. I even showered in the river once like a true ruffian.

 

the view of our end of the commune from above

Part of the camp kitchen set up

 

Camping

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These guys were worn out! We joined the 4th annual Soap Creek Bash for en epic camping outing of 12 families (45 people!). It was such a blast! We are so blessed to.have been invited to join the families of Grace for such a great weekend. More pics will follow frm the real camera later.

Amarillo by Morning

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So we’re headed out. Off on the ole adventure trail again-woohoo! We’re all so excited for some family time, cooler weather, mountain views, smores, campfires & some solid memory making.

Luke is…tracking our every move on 3 different map apps.

Joss is saying she’s hungry already.

Trip is babbling incessantly to his toy mac truck.

Momma is doing mental yoga & deep breathing excercises to still my nerves for the road ahead.

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...

I’m back!!!

I’m back everybody! We have been traveling & out of the bloggosphere for too long I know! The kids & I made the trek back to Denton, Tx by ourselves. We drove 10 hours on Tuesday and then stayed at my dad’s cousin Jill’s house in Dumas-such a great break for us. We slept great & then caught up over a wonderful breakfast at Alfred’s. Wonderful & NUTS! If you’ve been around Trip lately you know he’s like an angry little bull in a china closet. If that kid doesn’t figure out how to put together sentances soon it’s going to get ugly (or uglier I should say, because it’s already ugly). So, anyways we suprised lots of people & then head out of town with my parents & siblings for the weekend. So-don’t you worry. No more pictures of animals or rantings on politics. Ok, maybe just no more this week-sorry Lukey!

The weekend was great with lots of good family time. We missed having Luke & Grant along with all their antics. The kids soaked up enough attention to last 6 months.

Outdoor hot spot

Learning cards

Sweet sugars

Cake time! Jossi's favorite.

Quality time with Uncle Riley

Jossi kept putting on her new swimsuit, begging to go to the "warm pool."

Lots more to come…we will be here for the next week or so visiting everyone who wants to see us. It’s good to be back!

~KJ

Fall Camping

Fall has set on Colorado and we are loving it.  Keri wanted to go camping this weekend, so of course I was up for that.  We loaded the gear and the kids and took off for the mountains.  We decided that we should camp close to Paonia, CO, because they were having a harvest days festival this weekend and a farmers market on Sunday.  We camped in the Gunnison National Forrest on the north side of the Black Canyon.  The drive in was crazy, we saw at least 30 deer.  I was getting ready to tell Keri that I never see any bucks on the side of the road and then all of the sudden we round the corner and there are 3 of them.  We stopped to take some pictures before they got out of sight, then once we were moving again we saw another huge one a few minutes later.  We got to hook up our tent to the car for the first time, and it was awesome.  Keri feels a little vulnerable sometimes when we camp in the middle of nowhere, so we got a tent that can attach to the back of an SUV.  It is really neat, and makes the tent feel enormous.  We folded the seats back in the Sequoia, set up the pack and play for Trip in the tent and we could have fit another family of four!  Kolbe slept outside the tent and kept watch.  I feel a lot more comfortable camping with Kolbe.  I used to be able to throw a sleeping pad down on the forest floor with no tent and sleep as soundly as could be while all alone.  Now, however, Keri and kids safety has me worried and I don’t sleep as easily while camping.  I mean, if I was by myself and a bear came, I could handle that, if it’s my time to go then it’s my time to go (we’d wrestle and I always bring at least one firearm for bear deterrence) but with the kids, it’s a different story.  Kolbe has keen senses and I trust that should any threat come near he’d at least give me a few second jump start so I could take protective action…

We ended up camping in a beautiful aspen grove that provided some great photo opportunities the next morning.  Joss and Trip slept like champions in the tent and despite the cold temperature in the morning they were ready for some exploring.  We were constantly asking Joss to stay within sight range.  I’m so proud of her desire to explore.  She wanted to walk through the woods all by herself.  Kolbe stayed close to her which I appreciated.

I got a fire started after we all woke up because it was so cold.  After the camping we headed to Paonia for the festival, I’m sure Keri will tell you about that tomorrow…

Here are a few of the pictures from our adventure.

These guys were a couple hundred yards away heading up the side of the mountain.

This was an older looking Buck. Picture was taken from 20 yards.

I love this shot! It is one of my favorites. Field and Stream Cover, here I come!

This was right outside of our tent. We were in a thick aspen grove!

Joss wanted to do a little modeling for us. She did not want to keep her jacket on.

Here is our SUV tent hooked up to the Sequoia.

Love the Colorado blue-bird skies! Check out the aspens changing colors.

This little guy stood up right as I was taking his picture.

The sun did not peek over the mountain until around 9 am.