Jun 20, 2015 Colorado Camping Trip:

Friday June 12th, 2015.

So many times this week I have come to the conclusion that getting ready for a cross country camping trip is so much work.
What was I thinking on that cold February day when I booked this trip?????

It is 7:00am and Alec just called to say that Trevor can no longer watch Diggler (the cat) while we are away.

I am to drop Lucy our Golden Doodle  off at 8:00am with her sitters on Lake George for the week.  Lucy will have a super fun and tiring time with her friend Callie the Golden Retriever. Still in panic mode on who is going to watch Digggler for the week, i slip a note under our neighbors door in hopes they are available to cat sit and to call when they awake.  They call.  They are.  On with our trip.

Our 9am departure time turned to 10:30am and we are on the road.  Alec and Emily are stuffed into the back seat of the truck and the travel trailer is getting  pulled behind. Our destination this day hopes to end in Kearney NE.  I have 2 hotel rooms awaiting!

It’s summer in Minnesota so of course we have road construction and we seem to have left without a road map.  I do however, have a yellow post it note with the numbers 169 to 60 to 77 to 80 to 76.  Hmmm.

These directions did not seem to bode well for us, as I got Sioux City  IA and Sioux Falls SD mixed up and we headed towards SD on I-90.  Oops, this started a 2 hour delay in travel time, when I called my brother, Kevin to ask why his way is taking so long, he asked why I got on I-90 and headed for Sioux Falls ( as this was not on the post note).  I wish I had a map,  and have found out the travel center stops for truckers do not even have them,  we would be almost through NE before I can purchase a road map!

We reach Lincoln NE around 7:30pm and decide to hold up here.  We will loose the dollars on the hotel in Kearney, but the thought of another 2 hours of travel is 2 hours to much for us all.  Emily has motion sickness and does not travel well or could it be from all the snacks and drinks that were being passed around the back seat the entire trip?!

We find a hotel and dinner at King Kong Gyros.  Actually, really good food.  I would recommend, even with all the cheesy decorations and the stuffed gorilla’s hanging from the ceiling.

Sunday June 14th, 2015

We awake to a glorious beautiful morning in the mountains!  I now know why Golden Gate State Park makes the top 100 list of all national state parks.

After a wonderful cook out breakfast, we head for Kiley Pond to go trout fishing.  Yes, Emily I am sorry, but this means getting back in the truck and heading down the winding mountain road to another part of the park.  We pick up our fishing license,  in Colorado this turns out to be quite a process.  The ranger says we might as well hand over our mortgage and first born! Although we got skunked on fishing it was a wonderful day by the water surrounded by mountains. We head back to camp for an afternoon hike.

Raccoon Trail – Moderate – 2.5 miles – views of the Continental Divide

We soon found out that yes, we were hiking up hill 2 miles! Although this turned out to be quite a work out, probably more for the 50 something year olds than the twenty somethings, the views were worth every step!

This land was made by GOD! The water clear and refreshing, the views awe inspiring.

We did find out by the rangers the trail is actually 3miles, and the  easiest of all trails in the park. Hmmm.  I really am out of shape.

Time for dinner and campfire and of course, a glass of wine.

Monday June 15th, 2015

Morning Bloody Mary’s and then another go at Kiley’s Pond for some trout. This time we are ready as we stopped to pick up salmon eggs for bait!

Alec and Emily again were skunked, I caught a bottom sucker, Mark, well,  he caught his limit of rainbow and brown trout!

The morning sunshine and fishing must have made us all tired for the afternoon was greeted by naps for everyone, a simple luxury of camping.

Tuesday June 16th, 2015

Today is the day I get to make a check on my bucket list,  for this evening we have tickets to the Red Rocks Amphitheater.

As we ascend down the mountain into Boulder, I am thinking,  are we really driving back up this mountain to our campsite at about midnight after the concert?  Why did I not book us a hotel in town for the evening.  This is so life threatening!

The temperature  in Golden is a beautiful sunny 8o degrees and the river’s are overflowing with all the rain the week before.

We tour the Coors Brewery and spend the afternoon shopping and dining on Washington Street in Golden.

Alec needs to make a stop at the dispensary, which turns out to be very educational.  Never-mind the fact that we had to drive 14 miles through rush hour traffic with road construction to find an outlet that provided recreational use marijuana, never-mind the fact that it is sold out of a building down in the seedy part of Denver in the middle of warehouses behind barred windows and doors.

We rang the door bell to get let into 5×3 lobby. The tattooed girl with piercings and pink and black hair took our I.D.’s and ran a check.

For some odd reason the picture in my mind for purchasing pot in Colorado was walking into a nice store front strip mall, this was like entering a prison, have not done that either, but this is what I imagine.Emily was not old enough to be let through the back doors to where the shopping actually takes place, so her and I left  leaving Alec and Mark to pass through the dark doors when invited.  This stop will not go on my list of proud mommy moments.

It was now time to head for Red Rocks, the real reason behind the entire trip!

Arrived, parked the car, walked down the mountain and up all the mountain stairs to the amphitheater.  Peter Frampton is SICK, a full refund is due to all who want to leave.  We turned around walked back down the mountain stairs, up the mountain to the truck and took the 30 mile drive up the mountain to our campsite. So goes life.

Wednesday June 17th, 2015

We are packed and heading for home.

Along the way I insist we stop at the Great Bridge Crossing Museum in Kearney NE.  I have been under it so many times it was time to check it out,  and we all needed to stretch our legs.

The stretch along I-80 is long with a couple of accidents and two semi trailers blown over by the wind in the middle of the highway.  I find myself praying for safe travels home.

After another full day of travel we finally talk Mark into pulling over for a night stay in Hampton NE just outside of Sioux City IA.  The bed and shower are very welcoming.

Thursday June 18th, 2015.

Another full day of travel and road construction. We arrive safe at home around 3:30pm. Cannot wait to see Lucy and Diggler. It has been a wonderful trip.