After celebrating 40 years in fine style with the whole family, including a fabulous dinner, Don and I decided to extend the anniversary celebration just a little longer with a get-a-way to our just about favorite campground. Olive Ridge is a Forest Service campground about 10 miles south of Estes Park that my parents discovered I-don’t-know-how-many years ago. The giant rocks, gravelly road, and mountain trees have been host to Berrett family reunions and family camping trips enough times that when I think of camping, I always think of our little tent trailer parked at Olive Ridge.
Arriving early on a Tuesday afternoon, we had our pick of spots. Don backed the trailer in, we leveled it, put out the slides, and felt like we were home!
We walked through the campground and reminisced about the times we’d been there when our kids were younger.
Our kids played on these rocks many times
Very similar to our tent trailer
We love it here!
It rained and even hailed a couple of times, but we loved hearing the rain on the roof while we played Qwirkle.
We hiked Deer Mountain and biked around Lake Estes.
Twin Sisters peak behind us
The Stanley Hotel across Lake Estes
And every night we had a campfire – because isn’t that what mountain camping is all about?
A Neil Diamond classic comes to mind when we pack the car to make our annual trek to Avon, “It’s Love, Brother Love, say Brother Love’s traveling salvation show
“Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies and everyone goes
“‘Cause everyone knows Brother Love’s show.”
Loading the car for that trip is always an adventure. Food, clothing and games for a week are standard, and the suitcases and Rubbermaid bins fill the back of the Trailblazer quickly. We like to have a couple of portable camp chairs for lazy afternoons on the patio with a book and a little chocolate, so those purple and green cases take their places among the luggage. We situate the bag of shoes beside the hanging clothes and then fill some random spots with a kick ball and Frisbee. And of course, we can’t go anywhere without a couple of laptops! Pillows, jackets, and an assortment of last minute “I almost forgot about . . . ” fill the remaining empty spaces – and we’re almost ready to go.
In addition to the necessities, we always take our recreational transportation.
Our bikes ride securely on a rack on the back of the car. The Vail/Avon area has some great bike trails for riding – with or without the grandkids – and we look forward to a daily ride. We love peddling along the Eagle River while dreaming about which house will be ours. I’ve imagined us living in everything from a tiny condo to a grand mountain home on the side of Beaver Creek Mountain. That dreaming is one of my favorite pastimes!
The canoe has also become a must have, so Don secures it to the top of the car. He’s getting really good at that as evidenced by this year’s trip which was free of vibrating tie downs or a slipping canoe! We all love to spend a relaxing afternoon on Nottingham Lake, and even the young grandkids are learning how to paddle – sort of.
Due to some extenuating circumstances, this year we included a couple of new modes of transportation.
Degenerative arthritis in her back is making it very difficult for Grandma Leona to walk long distances, so we added a cute little transport chair to our assortment of rides. Lightweight and easy to lift, it was small enough to fit in the back of the car (very fortunately) and provided easy access to the park and other attractions within walking distance.
Just a few days before departure, Katie’s jump from the top stair resulted in a broken leg and the doctor’s instructions to put no weight on that leg for 10 days. Briefly we thought the Sandbergs would have to cancel, or at least be very restricted in activities, because carrying Katie any farther than the couch or the bathroom is taxing. But when I remembered the jogging stroller I picked up at the thrift store several months ago (I couldn’t pass up that $30 deal!), we were set – once Don got it strapped to the back of the bike rack. Katie is still small enough to fit in the stroller, even if not real comfortably, and we were able to wheel her out and about with relative ease. And Sam enjoyed it on some early morning jogs with his Daddy and Auntie Em.
By the time we get everything in and on, we’re beginning to look like the traveling salvation show, and I’m wondering if it will all stay in place at 70 miles an hour.
We don’t look too bad from a distance . . .
but this is the view if you get behind us!
Yes, those flags are made of Christmas fabric.
Spring means planting, and since we’ve discovered the ease of square foot gardening we love digging in the dirt. So in the course of my birthday/Mother’s Day weekend, we made the transformation from neglected winter mess:
Monday night, rather spur of the moment style, Don and I decided to go skiing. We bought a 4-pack of tickets back in November, but due to scheduling conflicts, doctor’s appointments, cold and very windy weather on many Tuesdays which is the day Don can go, we (meaning Don) had only used one of the set. In addition I have been less than enthusiastic about skiing this year and could quite easily find excuses not to go. I don’t know why I haven’t wanted to ski this year. I do still have some anxiety about falling and hurting myself -but it’s been five years since that episode, so I think it’s time I got over that. And I hate to be cold. And what if the roads are bad. And on and on and on.
So when Don “casually” suggested on Monday night that he’d really like to get in one more day of skiing, I decided to put aside all my excuses and go with him – the man that would do almost anything for me.
As the day went on and I got my ski legs under me, I got a little more adventurous and took the second lift up to some blue runs. It was great! My only injury was a badly bruised thumb as a result of a very unspectacular fall (and on a green run, no less) that resulted in my thumb being smashed between the packed snow and my ski pole. But it will heal without any surgery or rehab, so no big deal.
What a glorious day! And when it was time to head home, I was the one who insisted on “just one more run from the top.”