Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Road Trip - Day #7

Total Mileage: 35
Total ice cream cones eaten (Austin): 1
Total number of deer we had to avoid: 1
Total number of bears seen: 0
Total times James's horse fell behind the pack because he (the horse) was "being careful": 8

We're having a great time staying in our "cabin." I'm not sure if that's really what you should call it. A lady (the owner) has a store beneath us and we have a busy highway in the back. But it does have a mountain kind of feel. We can't spend much time out back since there is a raging river about 20 feet from the house - and I don't want the kids to drown in. For the record, the owners are really nice and if we were into massage therapy (the actual business downstairs), this place would be ideal.

There is a downstairs with a TV and bed that Austin really wanted to sleep in (below). All the other rooms are upstairs though. I've seen too many Datelines so we decided he could stay up with us. Especially since the sliding back door was wide open when we arrived.

Today we spent our morning horseback riding in the Rockies. I wasn't sure how this was going to happen with the girls, but it did. A ranger each held onto each girl's horse and Austin went up the mountain by himself. Of course, we went at a very slow speed and those horses have gone up that mountain a bazillion times, so it really wasn't that dangerous.

This is Emily and Oscar. Fitting for her to have a horse named that. The ranger below was so nice, and I can't remember what her name was, but she was so good with Emily and very entertaining.

We were a little surprised that they let little kids go up a mountain on their own horse. But it was very cool. And we thought the donkey rides at Royal Gorge were neat - this makes that look like a carousel ride!

Abby and Velvet. We had to pretend Velvet was a girl because she did not want a boy horse. They were all males though. Eventually she found out Velvet was a boy, but by that time they were best buddies. "I liked my horse because he was my friend."

Austin and Socks. He claims that his horse was "the fastest." Of course... our super-competitive speed demon.

James and Ace. We had to wait for James and Ace every couple of minutes. Poor Ace was in no hurry to get up or down that mountain. Ace was very, very careful over every root, stone or hill... Of course, James told him that he could take all the time he needed. My horse's name was Simba. I think that's why the kids wanted to watch Lion King that night. I discovered tonight that the full movie is broken out into 10 segments on You Tube (it would have been better if we remembered our DVDs).

The "careful" riders.

The country was beautiful. One of the guides said that there have been sightings of a few bears. She said one of the scary things was that the cub has been seen all over the trail we were riding on... Then she said something about James and Ace "taking one for the team."

After the horses, we headed to Rocky Mountain National Park for a hike. We went to Bear Lake and one side of the lake was sunny and felt great, then the other side was snowy and it started to hail on us (again). For some weird reason the kids felt like posing for me today. Together. Very strange. Colorado is bringing out the love. Atleast today.

There's no fishing in the lake - there's one species of trout that they are trying to protect.

The happy hikers.

Everywhere we looked, we saw beautiful scenery. Another thumbs up for our National Park system. Everyone is really friendly and helpful. I guess it's easy to be in good spirits when your office looks like this...

James snapped this when I wasn't looking. About 3 minutes later it started to hail on us.

This is on the "other side." Snow covered the trail many times. We had a few mishaps of slipping, no major injuries though. It was so cold! Summer snow for Texans is pretty neat. I keep having to remind myself that it is the middle of June.

Everybody tasted the snow, buried beneath the dirty surface. Actually, it worked out pretty well since we forgot to restock our drinking water.

Next we headed here:

to have some of this:

This is Emily imitating me tonight. She thinks she looks like me when she has no bangs. Hmmm. Yeah. Kinda. :) I still think she is 100% her daddy.

Another fun day for our crew. We're really happy to be staying in the same place for a few days.