Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Up, Up, and Away!

Today was a day for Andrew, Lauren, and Zachary, and they chose to go to the Cave of The Winds and do the


Wind Walker Challenge.

They didn't want to waste any time, so, it was on with the


harness, and with a little instruction, they were


off.  It took them all a little while to gain some courage


and get the feel of the course, but, first thing I knew, Lauren


was way up in the air and out over the canyon some 600 feet from the bottom.

Now, the boys were still


being a little


cautious about their footing, and neither one was too anxious about going out over the overhang.  I somehow think they kept avoiding it.  But, not Lauren...every time I looked she was


up and out or


swinging on a rope...she was being a real monkey girl today.  In fact, she told Poppa she wanted him to come to Colorado for the whole summer next year...just so she could come and get her a job here.

Now, I know the boys


had fun


too, but...Lauren is one that got her money's worth of entertainment today.

The little ones were really disappointed that they weren't big enough...oh, excuse me...they weren't tall enough to do the Wind Walker, so we had to settle for taking a tour of the cave.  Not quite as impressive, but they had a good time. This might mean, I have to come back when they grow taller!

This day like all the others was priceless!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pikes Peak or Bust...


Pikes Peak was our adventure for the day.  It is recorded that this is the most visited mountain in North America and the second most visited mountain in the world just behind Mount Fuji.  We have visited it many times, but, today was just one more journey to take Caden and Kourtney for their first visit and for Andrew, Lauren, and Zachary to revisit this famous mountain.

When we left Woodland Park this morning, the clouds had almost


covered the view of the mountain.

Our drive to Manitou Springs took about 30 minutes and we arrived at the Cog Railway in plenty of time.  The kids had time to make themselves a


souvenir penny.

When it was time, we all boarded the


Aspen Train and waited for the conductor to come by to collect

DSC_0016  DSC_0017

our tickets.

Our trip of 8.9 miles by way of the train took us past


big boulders,


flowers growing above the tree line,


sheep in the clouds, and even the


work train coming down the mountain.

When we were high in the


clouds, we still continued to climb until we finally reached the


summit at 14,115 feet.

We headed in to get what is labeled


the world's famous donuts.  Now, there is nothing really spectacular about this donut, except that making a donut at that altitude is pretty unique.  The one thing that you have to do it eat them at the top or they will be flat when you get to the bottom!

After treating ourselves to the Pikes Peak Donut, we headed out to the


observation tower for a few pictures.  However, the


the clouds just wouldn't allow much view today.  We did pick out a few


sheep, but that was all.

So, with just one last


picture, we loaded back on the Aspen Train and soon were making our way down hill!

We didn't get much passed the


lake until all the fun for the day


caught up with Caden!

I think Pikes Peak is a must for everyone and I never get tired to seeing it.  It is no wonder the song


America the Beautiful was penned and named for these beautiful mountains...they are indeed a purple mountain majesty and America's mountain.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Busy Days

I know, I promised to be more faithful about this blogging thing, just hasn't happened.  So, now, I find myself having to catch up one more time.

When I left you hanging, we were on our way to Gillette, Wyoming, to join the Advance Team in preparation for the 53rd Escapades.  We did just that and spent the month of June helping where and how we could.  Although,


Bob and Molly, Wallace and Wanda had already been hard at work, there were last minute things we helped finish.  However, some days I thought all we did was dodge the


storms that kept rolling through.  I don't think, I have ever pulled in the slides or lower the satellite more than I did while we were in Gillette.  We even weathered a


hail storm that left the ground looking like a snow storm had come through.  We are still thinking that we will have to contact our insurance regarding our air conditioners.  We have lots of little bent fins.  But, no time to think about that at the time.

We continued our work, thinking about how we would


decorate the 147 tables for the big banquet and how we would do this or do that, and putting the finishing touches on a lot of different things.

We did take a day out for a little fun and headed to Kaycee, Wyoming, to


the Chris LeDoux Days and Rodeo.  We saw some pretty amazing


cowboys ride some pretty amazing horses.  It was a great day.

Soon, the days passed us by and before we knew it, it was time to get really busy.  There were 597 rigs due to come in and they were all expecting us to be ready for the 53rd Escapade...we were and what a great week it was...



stage was decorated and set the scene and mood for the week.

Wanda and Wallace


were always on the move taking care of seminars and making sure all the other golf carts were on the move.

One of the biggest highlights of the week was Tuesday when we raised


lots of money with


donuts for care!  We even had some great


cheerleaders to encourage the sale of the donuts.

Great job everyone!

The days passed quickly, and soon we were to Thursday, and preparing a birthday banquet for almost 1,200 people.  I was so busy that day, I didn't even get one picture!  So, just take my word that it was a big success and everyone had a great time.  But, the banquet meant that the 53rd Escapade was coming to a close and it was time for us to say good-bye to lots of old friends and to the new friendships that were made during the week.

Then, with a big sigh and a second breath, it was time to


pack up the big red truck.  And, all that left of this to say...see you next year in Goshen, Indiana.

We then had a couple of days to relax and catch our breath before we headed South, out of beautiful countryside of


Wyoming and into


Colorado...hello Rocky Mountains!

After wiggling through


downtown Denver, we arrived at Diamond Campground in Woodland Park, Colorado.  We settled into our site and did a little regrouping.  Then this past Wednesday, we were up early and headed back into Denver to the airport to pick up


four of our grandchildren. They are spending a couple of weeks with us here in the mountains.

What started off to be a great day ending up being a very trying and tiring day for us all.  As soon as we left the airport, we stopped and fed a very hungry bunch before heading back for the mountain.  We drove through a couple of heavy rains and were soon stopped on Hwy. 24, turned around, and sent back down the mountain to Manitou Springs.  The heavy rain had caused a mudslide and washed three cars off the road.

Okay, now what?  We drove around for a little while, then decided to stop off by the Pikes Peak Cog Railway to purchase tickets for a future day.

By this time it had stopped raining, so we decided to take a drive through


The Garden of The Gods, one of my favorite spots.  We found a rock to


climb through, and


pose for a sassy picture before we tried once more to get up the mountain.  No way...every entrance was blocked.  Soooo, we did a little more sightseeing, took in the


crazy sculptures up by the Broadmoor Hotel, found a place for pizza...because, by now, we are all starving again!  After dinner, we decided to give Hwy 24 another try.  And, just to keep this story straight, we are now going on almost 12 hours since we left Woodland Park.  Finally, the road was open, and we could make our way back to the campground.

On the way up the mountain, we saw


where the mud had covered the road.  The snowplows had been there clearing the roadway.  No, wonder it took all afternoon to clear the cars and the mud.  We were just thankful, we had stopped to have that lunch after the airport or we might have been in the middle of that mud.

We had a better day on Thursday, and Friday, we celebrated


Kourtney's 6th birthday.

She chose to go to Santa's Workshop.  My nephews and great nephew joined us and we had a great time with them.

The kids all had fun


riding the


many rides and Kourtney even got in an


early visit with Santa. 

After a long day in the park, we enjoyed a mini family


cookout back at the campground.  Kourtney said, it was her best birthday ever!

Saturday was a day to regroup and do a few


of the necessary things.

Yesterday, we were up early again, and off to pick up Zachary, who flew in to meet up with us for a few days.  Now, we have five grandkids...just missing the 2 year old!

The older kids were excited to finally be all together for what they have always known as summer vacation with Poppa and Moppa.  Caden and Kourtney are learning and learning quickly!

Last night they made a great


campfire, made S'mores and watched the


deer come through our campsite.  And, when the cool air and light rain ran us inside, they


all resorted to games on their ipads. Lots of competition and gaming going on!

After a great night's sleep through the rain and cool night, they were all up, ready for breakfast, and an adventure!

We decided to take in the


Olympic Training Center.

They all shopped and shopped,


played around, and


lifted weights.  All of which made them hungry...

So, we were off to make a plan over lunch at Rudy's.  The decision was a trip to Seven Falls.

They were off...and


headed up 185 steps to the top.   They made it to the


half way mark...caught their breath, and

made it


to the top in record time.

We saw


Poppa, who waited on us at the man!

Once we were back down, they had a fun time


meeting the local residents of the park.

This one got real friendly with


Lauren, while



wasn't real sure she wanted the little guy in her space.



just wanted them to come to him and


Andrew and


Zachary couldn't keep them away.

Well, enough of those


fat faced little guys...and they were off to climb


more steps.  This trip, I stopped at the first level and let them


go all the way to the top.

We all had a fun afternoon at


the falls.

All those steps today have worn them out and they are all tucked into bed.

And, now...I am thinking those busy days in Gillette have prepared me for these busy days.. but, oh, my...what fun they are!

See you after our next adventure!