Landon believed that he wanted to take the “hiking” day. Mostly because he thought this would be the best day ever! And it was great…until our 2nd trail didn’t turn out to be as fun as everyone would have liked. And there didn’t seem to be enough water. And our legs starting hurting. And then came the proclamation…”I’m not writing this day!!!” So Dad to the rescue –they did a little tag teaming. Landon’s got his sights set on Saturday.
So with that, take it away Steve…
Kaufman’s vs Wild
The mountain home we are staying at it is in a very quiet and peaceful location, other than an occasional vehicle sound in the distance, most of what you can hear are birds singing and the squirrels chewing somebody out for being in their area. I have good memories of spending time in the mountains on vacations as a kid and so hopefully our kiddos will look back someday and remember this trip as well.
Today is a hike day. I have been planning this adventure for a while. I even invested in a hydration backpack because it seems like thats what you do when you go hiking—well I bought one that can double has a hunting bag —so a big win for dad!
A morning drizzle moved into the area but posed no threat to the Kaufman’s vs Wild adventure I was envisioning. We were all excited to hike. Everyone made their own sandwich for lunch. By the way, If you know anything about Steph, your choices for bread will only be whole grain, or wheat or you could try a rice wrap…seriously! What is so wrong with normal “white” bread?
Anyway, we started out heading up a nearby mountain looking for an old mill and mine shaft based off of a recommendation from a local blacksmith that we met the day before. Huh, yeah… after taking the suburban on a road that was unfit for a large vehicle, no place to turn around, Kourtney warning me about every rule and regulation I might be breaking, we finally found a clearing and a place to hike that was public property…I think. It wasn’t how Mr Blacksmith explained, but we decided it was hiking in the great outdoors nonetheless.
With the Kaufman’s and hiking, I would have to say that snacks are one of the best parts for the kids. I spent more Cabelas points on Jerky than most normal people. We had at least 4 different kinds and it doesn’t seem to matter if it tastes good or not…it gets eaten.
It is funny to me because Landon bounces around the trail, picks up a rock every 3 feet and heaves it into the woods, is set on seeking out a bear at every turn while his sister,Kourtney, bless her heart, is constantly trying to control him and keep him safe…Kourt, you will run out of energy on that mission I am certain.
We hiked about a mile up the mountain and back in some fairly dense terrain and were ready to try something new. So after arriving back at the vehicle,we traveled back to our fork in the road and took a right instead of a left. This time we ended up at the described trail. It was close enough to lunch so we found a shady rock, popped open the cooler and chowed down. After some serious energy intake, we decided to take off again, bound and determined to find the old mill and mine shaft just up the path, through the clearing and over to the right….uh, yeah right! We started up this path which, in my opinion, was only fit for a miniature mountain goat. First of all, it felt like we were climbing straight up a ladder… with no rungs. My cardio is not great but not this bad…I mean I felt like it was the first two days of football practice after about the first 200 feet. My lungs were burning, legs ready to give way. I kept most of this sizzling pain to myself as I am trying to set a good example for this adventurous day. However, as a good dad should, I did suggest we take a few extra breaks so the kids wouldn’t get too tired! As we continued up the mountain, the path continued to narrow so much and the drop offs were so brutal that I honestly couldn’t stand to watch Steph and the kids take another step–so I called it quits, made everyone turn around and head back. I was not happy at Mr Blacksmith for the recommendation,and in fact, he is till probably laughing as he saw a Kansas boy coming from a mile away.
Although the trail was tough and we didn’t end up going very far, we still found some magnificent rock formations that were fun to climb around. If you ever get the opportunity to stay in or around Ouray, CO, I would recommend it. It is a small town nestled in a valley between magnanimous mountain peaks. In addition to the mountains, there is a natural hot springs and a box canon falls that is worth experiencing while you visit. The kids loved the falls because you can get right next to the fall and experience the constant rush of the water.
Steaks and sweet corn on the grill were anticipated by all for supper as we worked up a healthy appetite with all of the hiking adventures we experienced. I was super excited to grill some Kansas grown T-bone steaks we packed for the trip, as you can see from the pics, nobody left the table hungry.
We finished off the evening with a soak in the 104 degree hot springs…it soothed the tired muscles and gave us more great conversation time with the girls as Landon was off splashing like a fish.