Monday, July 27, 2009

Colorado River - The Secret Family Fishing Hole

There is a narrow window of opportunity each year on our secret hole on the Colorado River where the weather is nice and warm, the river flows have settled down to prime fishing flows and the fish are willing to take dry flies from the surface making for a wonderful day in the mountains. This year, with a late start to the warm summer weather and a very rainy spring, the runoff hasn't subsided until just recently and the fishing has finally picked up. With nothing planned on the calendar and the window of opportunity open we made a quick decision to head up to the Colorado River and our secret family fishing hole.
Elizabeth had a great time fishing. She really like holding the fishing rod, poking the rod tip into the river, and splashing the water with it. Occasionally, while "casting", she would throw the whole rod into the river and Kate or I would have to go retrieve it for her.

Elizabeth also had a great time exploring, she wanted to "go for a walk" with me wading down the river while I carried her and do some exploring. She also had a wonderful time chasing the chipmonks and looking at all of the bugs. Her new favorite was the Caddis fly which is one of the favorites of fly fisherman as it is a mainstay in the trout diet.

We also had a wonderful little picnic along side the river. We made some great sandwiches, had some cheese and crackers, as well as Elizabeth's favorite, chocolate chip cookies!

What a wonderful day! Hopefully we'll get another opportunity to get up for another day on the river before the summer is over!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Texas visit

Elizabeth and I visited my mom and dad in Texas this weekend and had such a great time. Avery was visting Grandmom and Grandpop for a week for summer camp so we got to spend lots of time with her as well. She and Elizabeth had a great time together!

Avery was like a big sister to Elizabeth and Elizabeth could not get enough of Avery. Everything Avery did, said, touched, colored, played with etc. Elizabeth had to do, try, touch, color, play with etc. Avery was so patient with Elizabeth and really took her under her wing for the weekend.

One of the highlights of the trip was our morning swims in the pool. Avery and Elizabeth were little fish who would have stayed in the pool the entire day but they wore Grandmom, Grandpop and me out within a few hours! Elizabeth enjoyed watching the golfers while she swam and would say in her cute little voice "hello golfers" and "more golfers" as she hung over the edge of the pool, staring at the golfers tee off. She got a lot of waves and smiles from the golfers! She also liked watching the bumble bees on the bushes next to the pool and singing baby bumble bee with Pop Pop.
I could not publish a post of Grandmom and Grandpop's house without a picture of Shadow and Baby Shadow the dogs. Every time my mom and dad Skype us, Shadow always comes out for a visit. Elizabeth knows Shadow via Skype and therefore they were best friends in TX. Shadow was dragged all over the house by both Avery and Elizabeth!

Another hit of Grandmom and Grandpop's house is the piano. The girls surprisingly did not bang on the piano (for the most part) but actually tried to play it. Elizabeth could entertain herself at the piano for 1/2 hour which is pretty amazing for a two year old! I think piano lessons are in the not too distant future.

Are these some great looking Texas cowgirls or what!

It was over 100 degrees every day we were in Texas so this is how we spent our afternoons. Speaking for Elizabeth and myself, popsickles never tasted so good!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

4th of July - Hiking Trip - Goose Creek Trail

With a nice 3-day weekend and some fantastic weather we decided to celebrate our independence by packing the family up into the American made gas guzzler and head to the high country.
We headed out in the Lost Creek Wilderness, basically the middle of nowhere Colorado, to avoid the crowds for a little hike, picnic, and of course some fishing in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
Much to our surprise and delight, Elizabeth willingly jumped into the backpack and had a grand old time back there on our hike. She lasted probably about 30 minutes which turned out to be perfect, it got us down off the ridge line and down along the river where there was some nice shade and some great open campsites along the river.

The trail head is in what is known as the Hayman fire burn area where a few years back a fire consumed hundreds of square miles of forest. Within about 10 minutes from the parking lot the trail works its way into a nice lush river valley that was spared by the fire.
We found a nice open area along the river with plenty of shade and open area for a picnic and plenty of space for Elizabeth to explore and plenty of new things for her to discover.
Elizabeth loved climbing on the large boulders and looking at all of the birds and butterflies that were constantly around us. She also made her way over to the little hill on the edge of the path to climb a bit.
Who knew Mushrooms were so fascinating?!
I of course strung up a little fly rod and jumped in for some dry fly action with the little brookies in the creek.
What these fish lack in size they more than make up for in their beauty and willingness to take large dry flies from the surface.
Kate also took a turn with the fly rod with Elizabeth looking on with interest. She eventually wanted to take a turn too. I got a nice little shot of Kate performing a perfect roll cast from the tight cover of the stream bank. Nicely done!Elizabeth was eying the river all day long and I finally convinced her to come with me out to the rock in the middle. Even on a hot day in July the mountain streams are very cold and with runoff still in progress and all the rain we have been having it was a little off color. About 5 minutes in the water and my feet were numb, but our expedition to the rock was successful. After lunch and out little trip to the rock our little explorer was getting tired. We packed it up and did a couple of quick pictures with the camera on a timer to get the whole family and they we were on our way home.
On the way back Elizabeth fell asleep in a matter of minutes.

Along the trail were a wonderful variety of wildflowers in full bloom. We stopped to take a few pictures, a couple of which are worth sharing.

After a few last shots we headed back up to the truck at the top of the trail head. Even though we were in the middle of nowhere, we still passed a surprising number of families out for the day. Considering we were about 10 miles off the nearest paved road who would have guessed it would have been this popular...
Once we made it back to the car, we were so careful to get Elizabeth, still sound asleep, out of the backpack and back into the car without waking her up. It kinda worked at first, but then it quickly became clear that she just experienced her very first power nap. Elizabeth was raring to go with about an hour and forty five minutes still ahead of us. That was one crazy drive home!

What a fun trip. Kate and I look forward to heading back sometime for a quick backpacking trip. Further up the trail the scenery gets incredible and we would really like to take it all in sometime...

Maybe next summer!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Weekend with Grandmom Maron

My mom came out last weekend for a quick visit and we had a great time. One of the highlights of her trip was taking Elizabeth on tractor and horse and buggy rides at the Golden farmer's market. Elizabeth's new favorite word is "giddy up." It was cute at first when she would say it to the horses but now she likes to say it to mommy and daddy. Giddy up mommy! Mommy has been moving a bit slow lately so that does not go over very well (but deep down, anything Elizabeth says is still pretty cute).

Elizabeth has learned how to really jump lately and we caught her in action. She likes to make pretend she is a kangaroo. Look at that air!

My mom is one of those people that is amazing at anything she puts her mind to, quilting included. She made me the most beautiful quilt that I've ever seen for my birthday and I absolutely love it. I will treasure it always.