Monday, July 26, 2010

Back in the Old Pueblo ~ Summer 2010

As July winds down, Ian and I have returned from our annual summer camping trip to Colorado.  This year we we were fortunate to have Cierra, my niece and Ian's cousin, along on our adventure.  There is a slideshow at the bottom of this post that takes you through about a hundred photos from our two week trip.

We began the trip by attending the Thunder Ridge Star Party, near Eleven Mile State Park, in Park County, Colorado.  This is a small star party attended by a group of astronomers that met through the Yahoo Stellarvue Users Group.  While there were many Stellarvue scopes present, I had brought along my TEC 140 as well as my Lunt Solar Systems 60mm Hydrogen Alpha scope.  I will detail my observations from the star party in the next post.  The pictures below are of the kids at 11 mile reservoir, as well as some Bison in the area (and see if you can tell which Bison is different from the others!)

Following the star party, we  headed a bit south to Cutty's RV Resort.  Ian really likes Cutty's as it is a very pretty camp spot on Hayden Creek in Coaldale, CO.  I like it as it gives me a chance to re-charge the pop-up tent trailer battery and do some laundry!  This location also served as our jumping off point for a very pretty afternoon trail ride along the base of Mt. Princeton.  With Ian riding Toy, Cierra riding Echo, and me chilling on Dan, we experienced phenomenal views of Mt. Princeton and the chalk cliffs.

Mt. Lincoln Summit!
Mt. Cameron Summit!
Next stop was the Pine Cove Campground on Lake Dillon near Frisco, CO.  This campsite served as base camp for canoeing, motor boating and hiking two 14,000+ foot peaks!  Last year Ian and I hiked Mount Democrat (14,148 ft) and this year we returned to the Mosquito Range to attempt both Mount Cameron (14,238 ft) and Mount Lincoln (14,286 ft).  Climbing 14'ers is serious business and the kids were really impressive as we summited both peaks!  These peaks are reached from the Kite Lake trailhead near the town of Alma, CO, and Mount Lincoln is the 8th highest peak in CO.  Next year we are going to return to this area and attempt the "Decalibron" which is a loop trail that takes one to the summits of Mount Democrat, Mount Cameron, Mount Lincoln and Mount Bross...not for the faint of heart!

Of course, while the assault on the 14'ers was fun, the kids really liked being on the water.  We went canoeing around some of the islands in the Dillon Reservoir and saw an osprey nest.  We also went motor boating one day and the kids really enjoyed bouncing around the waves which were being whipped up by afternoon winds.  There are worse ways to spend one's days...

Following these activities, we drove over to Utah and camped with my best friend from childhood Blake, and his daughter Samantha on the west fork of Huntington Creek in the Manti-La Sal National Forest of Utah.  This area was quite beautiful with towering spruce trees and the creek just outside the tent.  It was great to catch up with Blake and watch the kids play in the water.  After a couple days camping we headed north to Salt Lake to get 'citified' and spend more time with Blake, Samantha, and his spouse Holly.  Despite the many things to be done in SLC, Ian and Cierra really enjoyed just hanging out at the house and feeding the chickens!  All in all we had a great visit with them...unfortunately we had to head back to Tucson as work and school are rapidly approaching!

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