Since I wasn't running that week (because climbing the stairs at that altitude makes me windy) I went for a hike each morning. Since the Chalet was at a high point it was easy to get started because it was all downhill. That of course meant everything else was back up but I really wasn't thinking about that when I started. I love to see the Colorado state flower the Columbine but apparently we were there at the wrong time of year. So I just took pictures of every flower or interesting plant that I came across.
Have I professed my love for my Nifty Fifty enough?
I wish Aspen trees grew in Oklahoma. Their white bark, shiny leaves, and the sweet sound they make when the wind blows is so magical.There was a point every morning and every night that I was on the deck taking pictures of my mountain. I suddenly realized that I hadn't been in the pictures.
Easy fix.After a delicious breakfast (that I made) we headed out for the day. One brother and his family aren't quite as quick as the rest of us. We waited an hour on them at the Chalet and then told them where we were headed so they could just join us. We took the rest of the family to Manitou Springs for some shopping. We'd given my sister-in-law Elizabeth a glass Columbine for her birthday and she wanted to go to the store where we'd gotten it. While she shopped Mom and I watched the glass blower. He was fascinating to watch. But sadly I kept looking at the chest hair and grossing myself completely out. How is it that it hasn't caught on fire yet? It was out there. Really.Ever since I married into the family I've wanted to get my mother-in-law to Manitou Springs simply for this shot. Patsy at Patsy's. My life is now complete.
Shawn, not quite the two day in a row shopper, had volunteered to take the kids back to the circle park. My nephews had been shopping with us but quickly joined in the fun the girls were having when we met up with them. To thank Shawn I'd bought him some Jalapeno Fudge at the candy store. He was very grateful:c)We tore them away from the fun and headed to the Garden of the Gods Trading Post for lunch. We ate outside and found they had a place to pan for rocks. You bought a bucket and grabbed a screen and started discovering.
Quite a haul.We left there and headed to the Visitors Center to watch the informational movie. I waited in the car with Dad since it was a bit of a hike from the parking lot. I started taking pictures of the Garden of the Gods across the street but soon I was taking pictures of two different mountain showers moving in from different directions. For 30 minutes I heard thunder from both storms. All that work up for about 10 minutes of light rain. At least it didn't ruin our day.
Finally we were on our way into the park. Mom had driven past the Garden of the Gods many times and had never stopped so we wanted her to experience it. As we were driving around we saw something we'd never seen in our previous trips. Actually Kennedy spotted it.
A fish rock!When we got to the easiest walking loop we climbed out of the car and took Mom on the mini tour. I never get tired of seeing the Kissing Camels. And no matter how many times Reagan says, "Those aren't camels, they're frogs!", they will always be camels to me.And as tradition calls for it, we took the girls picture in this crevice.Since it's usually just the five of us we have never gotten a picture of the whole group under Balance Rock. Yes we could ask someone to take it for us but since they stand across the street about two stories below us, it would have to be someone that we felt we could trust. Hard to find that in about 5 minutes. Thankfully we had Mom with us! After a quick tutorial (she's not very camera savvy) we had our shot. Soon it was time to head back up the mountain for my Crock Pot Lasagna. Each family was in charge of a few meals and I was done with my two in one day!
With some pool time and family game time our first full day with the whole family was as good as it gets:c)