Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wrapping up baseball for Elijah

Elijah is done with his first ever season of baseball.  
He did great and we enjoyed watching him play and cheering him on as family:) 

Coach Kern celebrated the end of the season with a BBQ at his home and 
gave the kids a trophy and a medal for all their hard work. 
He was a great coach and we will request him next summer:) 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Windsor Lake Trailhead Hike/ Douglas City Ghost Town/ Opal Lake and Hagerman Pass Railroad {Leadville, CO}

During our camping trip at Turquoise Lake, we decided to take a hike on Friday afternoon. We had originally planned to hike to Windsor Lake so we drove up to the trailhead and started hiking. It was just gorgeous! The hike was one mile and although steep, we thought we wouldn't be hiking long. Well, somehow we turned off the wrong trail and found a totally different hike which took us 3 hours and was around 5 miles long. I am so glad we got lost because the hike we ended up on took us up to the Ghost Town of Douglas City, we saw the Hagerman railroad entrance and we saw 2 different lakes plus a plethora of wildflowers- oh, and snow! Best hike as a family to date. We will definitely be returning!
Ella brought Lilliana, her doll on the whole hike:) 

This is where the trailhead started. There was an old mine shaft by the base of the mountain.

 I loved that the forests were so lush and green and the river 
reminded me of hiking the Appalachian Trail back in PA as a kid. 

 This hike was FULL of wildflowers- all different colors! Breathtakingly beautiful! 

 Almost near the top, we came across the Ghost Town of Douglas City- 
sounds like a pretty crazy place back in the day!

 Opal Lake sits at the bottom of Hagerman Pass. There are supposedly no fish in this lake. The path was VERY steep up to the railroad tracks that led to the tunnel. 

 11,530 ft above sea level! I was out of breath! And the dark clouds rolling in were making me so nervous- especially as this summer there have been a lot of lightning deaths of hikers here in the Rocky Mountains. Thankfully, there was no storm and the dark clouds rolled over quickly. 

The tunnel entrance is filled with rocks from rockslides and 
we got as close as we dared- the tunnel was filled with ice and snow. 

 We followed the railroad path to another lake that we were able to fish out of. 
 Along the railroad bed, there were so many holes in the rock where they probably hammered in the 1800's to put in dynamite. It was cool to show these to the twins because in 4th grade we took a field trip to the Colorado History Museum and they had a whole exhibit about mining in CO and the girls learned how the men would pair up and one would hold the stake and the other would hammer it into the rock. Then the men would place the dynamite and blow the rock up. So cool! 

 We finally came to the second lake- I am not sure its name and the twins got to use their poles. 
 while Elijah played in the snow. 

 From this point, (we were told by a couple hiking a ways down) that the path disappeared but you hike down a bit and it will reappear and take you back to the ghost town. So, we ventured off the path and it was scary to me. I thought for sure we would be lost in the wilderness. But previous hikers had left little rock towers and rock arrows pointing the way. So eventually we found the path again. 

Overall, this was one of my favorite family hikes to date.
 I wish the pictures did it justice because the beauty was overwhelming! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tent Camping at Turquoise Lake {Leadville, CO}

 We enjoyed camping at Turquoise Lake in Leadville, CO this past week. 
We went up on a Thursday afternoon and left on a Saturday afternoon. 
We went with our friends, the Lutzs. It was a blast. 
Although I was more than ready for my own bed and a shower come Saturday:) 
 the kids enjoyed playing on the sand and in the water

 Gorgeous views! That is Mt Massive a 14'er.
 This was our third time camping here and this time we stayed in a more secluded spot right near the water. It was awesome. Although it was windy during the day. 
Thank goodness we had very calm nights with no storms or rain. 
 The twins got fishing poles and gear for their birthday from Grandpa and Grandma and they fished all the time on this trip. They didn't catch anything despite all their effort. 
But I will tell you, they learned patience and can cast their lines like a pro! 

One of my favorite parts of camping is cooking the food:) 
It takes forever but its so fun to eat outside and I'm always so hungry and everything tastes amazing!

 Love this pic of Sophia! 
 Also love all the fires at night and playing games around the campfire. Good times.

 We have a small raft that the twins bought last year with their birthday money and every morning, daddy and the twins would go out to fish! In the meantime, Elijah would play with fire and sticks. 

 Look at that breakfast! 
 We did get some rain but it usually passed quickly and was usually always at dinnertime. 
Mark and Ryan protected the steaks at all cost! 

We caught this gorgeous rainbow after one of the rain showers! It was so bright! 

 Do you spot my fisher-ladies in the above photo? They were sure dedicated! This was at 6:30am!  

Check back tomorrow for pics from our awesome hike that we took on Friday near the Mt. Massive wilderness. It was our favorite family hike to date!