Springtime in Colorado

May 9, 2011 at 7:47 am

As it is the end of May, I realize that this is more like summer in large parts of the country. But out here, the weather is just warming up, snow in the mountains is starting to thaw, and we Calders are starting to creep out from our winter cocoon!

Plums in Bloom

Since my last post, we’ve managed to get out on the trail and do some really great hikes. Of course, these are made all the more fun (and adventurous) by the presence of little G. When he was younger, we hiked with him in various supportive chest carriers. These early spring hikes were very weather and baby-temperment dependent, and rather hit or miss.

Mark and G hiking

For instance, in mid-April, we attempted to get out and hike a low altitude, relatively easy trail in Loveland that follows a sandstone ridge known as The Devil’s Backbone. We put G down for his morning nap, got our stuff together, and figured we would head out as soon as he woke up. Of course, that was the morning he decided to sleep for two and half hours!

By the time we reached the trailhead that afternoon, storms were blowing in. The wind howled along the ridgeline, blowing sand and dust in the baby’s face and the skies threatened to open up and pour at any minute. We walked about a quarter mile before giving up, and sending Mark and G back to the car. I hiked a little further to get some photos and then turned around and headed home.

Dramatic skies

The length of his spine

Gopher Snake

On the day of G’s six month birthday, we stopped in at REI and found a great deal on a Deuter Kid Comfort II hiking backpack. Finally, Mark could walk on the trail and see his feet, and G could ride behind in relative comfort.

G in the Foothills

Our first trip out with this new setup was the 3.5 mile hike to Arthur’s Rock just west of town. G did really well, despite the cold winds, his chilly hands, and the new carrier. Near the summit, we had an interesting and very chilly diaper change, and a tired baby who just wasn’t sure how best to fall asleep in the backpack.

Mark and G Hiking High

Mom and Baby on the summit of Arthur's Rock

Mark and G hiking down in the sun

A week later it was Mother’s Day, we had one of the prettiest weekends we’ve seen all year. The sun was out for 2 days straight! The wind was calm, and we got out for some camping and hiking. We parked the trailer at a fancy RV park in Golden, and spent the weekend learning the systems and exploring the area west of Denver. We stopped by Red Rocks on Saturday morning, which was being used as a work-out venue for about 200 Denverites. We started calling the area “The Red Rocks Athletic Club” after watching people run and jump up the bleachers, stop and do sit-ups along the way, and a huge group of bootcampers working out in the upper amphitheater.

My boys in the mountains

In the afternoon, we drove up to Golden Gate Canyon State Park and hiked the 2.5 mile long ‘Racoon Trail’. The day was warm and sunny, and we had a really lovely time. G got tired about 45 minutes into the hike, and had trouble getting comfortable enough to sleep at first. There was some serious baby crying for about 15 minutes until he gave in and just zonked with his head against the rest in front of him. Poor G is still trying to figure this stuff out, and poor Mark had a screaming baby in his ear for almost a mile of trail, but we had a good time otherwise.

Mark and G hiking through a ponderosa pine forest

Mark and G hiking through an ancient aspen grove

More Very Tall Aspens

View of Rocky Mountain NP from Panarama point in GGCSP

Now that springtime is officially here, life is getting easier and we’re having a ball. We’ve even been out to climb once so far, but I’ll leave that story for another time. Right now, G is waking up from his nap, and we’ve got packing and prep to do before the long Memorial Day weekend!