July is when summer started to pick up. We were gone almost half of the month so our time in town was spent doing laundry, working, taking our cat to the vet, and packing for our next adventure.
We went on a long 4th of July trip to Ouray and Silverton, CO. The first night, we stayed at a campground that had the above view. It’s a wedding venue that also has a small campground, so it isn’t widely known.
We stayed there just one night, but it was gorgeous. They also had a short bike trail that we took the kids on. It was the fourth of July, so after packing up camp we went to Ouray for their fourth of July parade. After the parade, we headed to Silverton where we checked out their festivities, set up our new camp and watched their fireworks show.
The next day, we checked out the Colorado Trail and went on a hike. We hiked through lovely meadows with gorgeous mountain views. That evening, we headed back to Ouray to meet Joy and Chris (Noel’s sister and her husband) at the hot springs.
The next day, we explored a different part of the Colorado trail with Joy and Chris. Afterwards, we tried out their kayaks on the lake in our campground.
The kids loved hanging out with their aunt and uncle. (We enjoyed seeing them too.) The scenery was also amazing. Really, the only complaint of the trip was that the campground had one pit toilet for about every 30 people which seemed like an oversight.
The next day we packed up and headed home. On the way, we stopped at Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Then, we got stuck in traffic for a long time trying to get home which was a great way to say, “Welcome home!”
Before we left for our fourth of July trip, the cat came home limping. We thought being stuck inside for a few days would be good for him, but when we got back his leg was infected. I took him to the vet and they gave us antibiotics and bandaged his leg.
Our next big adventure was Trek. Noel and I had been asked to go to Trek (a youth camp our church does that helps the youth remember the sacrifices of our pioneer ancestors) and we’d made arrangements to take off work and find a place for our kids to go. The whole thing was slightly precarious though. My parents had gone to Finland for almost a month and were flying back to Utah on a Monday night. Noel and I were supposed to get on a bus to go to Trek really early Tuesday morning. We ended up arranging it so I would ride the bus and Noel would drive in the car with our children. My sleep deprived parents got up early to meet Noel in Rawlins, Wy. Then, Noel would leave our car at a church there and get picked up to continue to Martin’s Cove where Trek would take place. Thankfully everyone made it to where they were supposed to and no one fell asleep at the wheel.
Let’s be honest, Noel and I were not ecstatic about taking days off work and arranging childcare to go to arguably the worst part of Wyoming and dress like people from the 1800’s. But, we did it because we really do believe in our religion. We were assigned 7 youth aged 14-18 to be part of our “family” for the next 5 days and 37 miles. We were lucky to work with some really good kids. You could tell they all had testimonies of our religion, but they weren’t showy or overly dramatic about it. They worked hard, didn’t complain, and had good insights. Noel and I used all our ultra running knowledge to keep everyone fueled and hydrated. We treated blisters and bug bites, made PB&Js while the wind pelted us with dirt, and sprayed people down during the heat of the day, but for the most part we felt lucky to work with our little family as we experienced a small part of what early members of our church went through.
Being in good shape and being comfortable with camping really was helpful though. Because walking 6-14 miles in a day and being dirty and sweaty wasn’t a huge deal for us we were able to project good morale when members of our family were flagging. On the last day of walking, we saw other couples starting to get testy with one another and we were able to keep our cool. On the last day, we hugged all our “kids” before they hopped on the bus and we got a ride back to our car. We truly were grateful to have had such a positive experience.
Before picking up our kids, we did take one night for ourselves. We stayed at a hotel in Park City where we enjoyed showers, sleeping in a bed, and delicious food.
After that mini getaway, we went and picked up our kids. My parents were champs and not only took care of our kids while fighting jet-lag, but they watched my sister’s kids for most of the week too. We met my mom and the kids at church. My nephew Theo was wary of me at first, but after I gave him a marshmallow he decided I was okay and he fell asleep in my arms.
The kids had a blast with Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Wayne.
We chatted for a bit, but then had to head home. We got home late, but didn’t have much time to recover because early the next morning we were back to work. We survived our week of playing catch-up and headed to Pueblo to visit Jessie, Colin, their foster kids, and Noel’s aunt Marsha.
We met Jessie and Marsha at the park and took the kids on a few amusement park rides. The kids had gone here the year before with Jessie and were excited to be back.
The next day, we got to meet the kids they’re fostering. Cooper had fun playing peek-a-boo with the baby.
And the toddler had fun playing at the splash pad with both Cooper and Ellen. It was a quick trip, but it was really good to see Jessie, Colin, and Marsha – they make such great parents and grandparents.
The next week, we celebrated National Cheesecake Day. We had such a fun party I forgot to take any pictures, but this was the aftermath.
We ended the month, with another trip for Charlie to the vet. He escaped one day and was gone for a few days and re-injured himself and got another infection. He’s lucky the kids like him.