We’ve been back from Colorado for almost a week now, but we had to hit the ground running-back to work, Adoration Under the Stars, preparing for hosting our 4th of July Family Reunion, our first Parent University class at St. Pats, and of course, catching up with classes and the garden. So tonight. let me finally share the great joy that was our return to Green Mountain Falls!
First off, our setting:
My aunt’s grace-filled cabin, Hummingbird Hill, where we came as kids with our cousins. So many great memories there. We had been there 4 years ago, when Zelie was one and Xavey was snug and warm in utero. Jude and Gus loved it and have been clammoring to return. Here’s what 4 years looks like with Jude and Gus.
As promised, here are my favorite memories.
10. Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center
Well, I liked the museum. We had a great tour guide and he shared tons of information with us. But the kids zoned out to varying degrees and will probably remember it mostly for the gift shop.
9. Podcasts and Music Appreciation
Our time in the car was actually pretty enjoyable. Jackie downloaded several great podcasts that made driving through the night easy (go listen to “The Super” on This American Life-stranger than fiction). I packed some Beatles and They Might Be Giants to introduce the kids to the finer things in life, and connect great music to the grandeur of the vacation. The kids all had favorites and it did my nostalgic dad heart good to hear them singing along to Yellow Submarine.
8. Mueller State Park
We were joined by my little sister, her husband, and their three wonderful boys. Cousin time is so important to our kids, so this just made the trip. On Monday, we went to Mueller State Park, which we definitely want to visit again on future visits. The kids kept finding treasures along the hike. Our trail had tons of quartz rock that caught their possessive eyes. Halfway through the hike, to relieve the kids of the extra pounds they were carrying, we persuaded them to use the rocks to build a house that animals could live in. Xavier called it Honey House.
7. The Crags
Another trail we will definitely be returning to is The Crags/Devils Playground. Such a beautiful hike. If Xavier had his way, we would have taken about a dozen pictures of him and various stumps.
6. Catamount Trail and Thomas Trail
I was thoroughly impressed by what awesome hikers Zelie and my nephew Max were. Catamount and Thomas are two of of my favorite hikes and the trailhead for them is a quick walk up from the cabin where we stayed.
5. Garden of the Gods
I always underestimate this place. Both times we’ve gone it has been the favorite of the kids. Climbing around on the rocks really unleashes their inner adventurous spirit. Afterwards, we took them for ice cream, which was a pretty momentuous occasion, and we ended up at the same park that we went to with Mark and Mary Ellen 4 years ago. I can always count on my in-laws for a classic funny face.
4. Visiting Colorado friends and family
We got to see our Marney friends, Jackie’s cousins, and my cousins and aunt and uncle. We were so blest by the hospitality of these wonderful souls.
3. Laughter on the porch. Each night after the kids were in bed, the adults would retreat to the porch with adult beverages and great conversation.
2. Mt. Dewey
Awesome to be able to take my son’s to the top of their first mountain. They are becoming little men. And I am proud. It was about a 3 mile hike, challenging at times for them, but such a great reward to stand at the top and look for miles in all directions. It was close to heaven.
1. The quiet moments.
Gus drawing the mountains in his sketchbook. Ben and Jude playing King of Tokyo. Praying together each night thanking our Creator for the day’s memories. Snuggling on the porch as the sunlight began to pour across the mountains. Verso l’alto-always good for the soul.
Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, pray for us!