On Wednesday Aunt Sandy and Uncle Allen took us to Red Rocks in the morning. It was just like I’ve seen in pictures but hotter up there than I imagined. That Colorado sun is intense! Very neat to go inside and see the wall listing the different artists who’ve played there through the years. The Roc wanted to climb down the stairs but also wanted to be piggy backed a lot so I didn’t let him climb around too much, it was just too hot to carry him around. We did get a few nice photos up there before we headed back to the house.
That afternoon we left the Roc with Aunt Sandy and Uncle Allen for a babysitting trial. We planned to go back to Rocky Mountain National Park with GC’s brother Marcello the next day to tackle an 8.5 mile hike and the Roc wouldn’t be able to come with us. We wanted to make sure he was comfortable and more importantly THEY were comfortable watching him! We’ve only ever left him with family, and considering that we are marooned in Delaware without any family, GC and were nervous to leave him for the whole day so the trial was a good idea. GC and I went out to lunch and then drove around an area of Denver we were considering moving to in the future all the while wondering how it was going back at the house. The drive proved to us that we didn’t want to live in that part of town when we move, but we were pleasantly surprised to find out that the Roc only had one minor “incident” and they even took him out to the grocery store proving that he was comfortable and that Aunt and Uncle are BRAVE! We decided to go ahead with our plans to leave him for the day — so rare for us!
So on Thursday we got up early, fed the Roc breakfast, then left him behind and headed over to Marcello’s bachelor pad (and it totally is: nice couch, NICE TV, and cool boy art all in the living room and then a bed and floor lamp in the master bedroom! too funny!) We drove back up to RMNP (long-legged Marcello was nice enough to let me sit in the front seat!) and got started on our LONG hike. GC and I made Marcello stop numerous times to take pictures. We were literally 5 minutes into the hike when we made him take the first photo!
We calmed down for a bit after he told us that there was much more to come.
We kept going up, up, and up on this hike but the scenery and Marcello’s promise (he’d done this particular hike before) that it would only get better kept us pushing on. It was really one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been and the pictures do not do the mountains justice, nor do they convey how small you feel in their presence, and how it feels to breathe that mountain air-a far cry from the thickly polluted East Coast air I normally breathe.
The boys were very excited to find a patch of snow and Marcello almost got me with a snowball!
Not long after the snow we arrived at the first lake of three we were hiking to. Absolutely gorgeous!
We stopped for a snack, watched a man fishing from an inflatable boat, hiked around the rest of the lake, and ended up hiking along a stream rushing with water.
We stopped to catch our breath when Marcello pointed to a waterfall in the distance and told us we would be climbing UP the right side of that waterfall to get to the two lakes beyond it! Yikes!
I grew a little nervous as we got closer and I had a better view of the side we would be climbing.
We climbed up a little farther and then stopped to catch our breath again — dang altitude makes breathing hard!
We also had to stop to let a bunch of people climb down the waterfall before we started up — didn’t want anyone falling on us! We did make it up and GC said it best when he exclaimed to Marcello that it was “sketchy as hell!” Here’s the view from the top. Can you see the tiny people on the trail? That will give you perspective of how HIGH up we were!
Marcello was right though, it was worth the climb. The view was spectacular.
The clouds coming over the mountains started to look threatening, and being on the top of a mountain during a thunderstorm didn’t sound like a good idea so we quickly started back. I was already anxious about falling off the waterfall and leaving the Roc motherless, I didn’t want to add being struck by lighting to my worry list! We got down the waterfall, which was less scary going down than it was going up, just in time for the sky to unload. We were significantly quieter on the return hike than going in. I was tired and my ankles were aching from the down hill trek as well as the monstrous blister that was forming on the inside of my ankle (which exploded when I touched it later in the car spraying me with blister juice – ack!).
After taking the shuttle bus back to the car we decided to drive down Trail Ridge Road before leaving the park, again because Marcello said it was worth it, and it was even though it was cold as heck up there!!
We were all exhausted and as we drove through Estes Park the sun was sinking into the west so I called Aunt Sandy and Uncle Allen to see how the day went with the Roc. I was so happy to hear that they had a great day together, found the PECS schedule I left very useful, and only had one “minor incident” this time about a pillow while he was building his “nest” in the TV room. Aunt Sandy even took the Roc to the outdoor pool with the fountains and said he behaved wonderfully there for about 2 hours and then they came back and baked GFCF brownies! I was thrilled to hear all this and it made the long ride back and my illegal pete’s (restaurant in Boulder) chicken burrito taste better.
Tomorrow: Rest + Raspberries + Return