Change of Plans

Change of Plans

The Plan

Camping at the world famous Maroon Bells near Aspen with Audrey’s family.

What Actually Happened

A lingering ban on tent camping due to a bear scare from last fall nixed that one pretty quickly. Our first thought after that was to find another campground nearby. Wait, this is the first week of summer, did you really think there would be an available campsite? Fortunately, we had this realization before driving all the way there.

So, we punted and everyone came to our house and “camped.” With everyone driving 8+ hours to hang out at our house we were beginning to realize people’s motivations had nothing to do with camping and everything to do with seeing the little people. But, that didn’t stop us from trying to plan fun activities.

The New Plan

Hike Mt. Bierstadt, one of the “easy” 14ers (a mountain whose summit elevation is greater than 14,000 feet above sea level).

What Actually Happened

About 2/3 of the way up, the children break down in the chilly wind and everyone is exhausted from the thin air and taking turns packing them up the mountain like Sherpas. With the last part of the ascent involving scrambling up boulders and snow fields to the tippy top of the mountain far above the aptly named Abyss Lake, we opted to take turns babysitting the kids who were glad to get out of the backpacks at the last ridge so all the adults could summit. Map My Run says I burned 2400 calories on that hike (without accounting for the monkey on my back).

A nice, restful Sunday plan

Since hiking up such a tall mountain was so difficult we decided to drive up one instead. Pike’s Peak–America’s Mountain–here we come.

Not so fast

After driving for an hour and half in traffic to Colorado Springs, we get to the toll booth and the ranger lady informs us that not only does it cost $40 per car to drive to the top of the mountain and they don’t give any sort of discount for National Parks passes, but we aren’t allowed to go to the top with a 3 month-old baby because her lungs will collapse at such a high altitude and she will die. We refrain from telling her we took her to that elevation the day before, oops.

What Actually Happened

We drive in circles through Colorado Springs following misleading signs before ending up at Garden of the Gods where we again drive around in circles for another 30-45 minutes until we find parking spots. Fortunately once we got out of the cars things got a lot more fun. We enjoyed the nice, paved path through the stunning red rock formations on a perfect 70 degree day. Cooper loved exploring around the rocks and so did everyone else.

The good news is that we all ended up having an enjoyable time even though nothing, and I mean nothing, went as planned. Nobody’s lungs collapsed. Nobody got eaten by a bear. Nobody plummeted off a cliff. It’s probably because we were so careful.

Anyway, here’s some pictures:

3 thoughts on “Change of Plans

  1. Hum, Pike’s Peak is on our to do list. Did they give an age when the babies lungs wont collapse. I’m thinking since Derrick is so big we will just tell them he’s 6 months or something. 🙂

    1. They said infants under 6 months weren’t allowed. You could still drive to a lake for a discounted rate, but that didn’t sound as fun.

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