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The lovely little town of Buena Vista in Colorado has a river park on the Arkansas where kayakers and swimmers can play and enjoy the rushing water. We watched the playboaters and waded around one afternoon.
The Bear thought it was pretty awesome and we agreed. The views from the bridge above were breathtaking, all rushing river and rugged mountains. Several hiking trails pass through the park and we plan to check those out later. Jed plans to try his luck fishing there later on this month.
The sounds of a river running over rocks is one of my favorites in the whole world. It is therapy for my soul.
We are one week in to our adventure and it has been an amazing trip so far. The pics above were taken from our porch with my phone. Ridiculous. We are so blessed. The altitude has been a bit of an adjustment for all of us. We are trying to stay hydrated and breathe deep as we climb up and down the hills around camp. I’ll get some better pictures posted soon. Week 1 of a camp assignment is always crazy as we try to figure out our jobs and adjust to community living. Bear is loving all the big kids here and trying his best to keep up with them. We are praying for the wildfires around Colorado and New Mexico to extinguish, and for slow, gentle, soaking rain. The drought here is pretty epic right now and creates dangerous conditions. We are fine and camp isn’t threatened, but lots of other folks are in danger.
The first leg of our trip was a great success. Everything fit into the car which was no small miracle. Packing is Jed’s spiritual gift. The Bear was GREAT in the car minus the fact that he only napped for 27 minutes all day. We stopped for lunch and play time at Lucy Park in Wichita Falls thanks to a rec from the Berres. It was perfect. Bear loved the duck ponds and chased duck after duck into the water. He even started saying duck (du du). Our next stop was at an awesome fair park in Childress, TX, where the bathrooms were glorious and the baby swings in the shade. Travel magic, people. We found a great hotel deal on Priceline and rolled into Amarillo right on time. If you are rolling with a toddler we highly recommend the Ashmore Inn. There was a nook in our room just perfect for a pack n play. We got a dinner rec on Twitter and hit the Coyote Bluff Cafe for fabulous burgers and fries. I love fun local joints like that.
• I’m posting from my phone so it may not look exactly right. Thanks for understanding.
We are packing our bags and finishing up details for our trip right this minute. I hope to chronicle it for you here on the blog. We have our housesitter lined up, and Jackson the Wonder Dog is at Camp Grandma and Grandpa for the immediate future. There was a small baby biting incident a few weeks back that I’ve yet to write about. Let’s just say Jackson is lucky that my parents love him and have a big backyard. We have a big checklist going of all the things we need to do and pack before we leave. The excitement is building.
We’ve had a TON of questions from friends and family about our trip, so I decided to address a few here.
Where are we going? Our first stops will be Amarillo, TX, and Salida, CO, on the way to Young Life’s Trail West Lodge in Buena Vista, CO. I will be working at Trail West for a month as the women’s summer staff coordinator. After our month at Trail West we will be staying a week in Vail, CO, possibly a stop to see friends in Pagosa Springs, CO, then almost a week in Red River, NM. We will then head to Little Rock, AR for a wedding and to see family. After that there may be a beach trip involved, but that is yet to be determined.
Wait, I thought you were becoming a stay at home mom. What’s with working all summer? Yes, my last day as a Young Life staffer is June 30th. I will be working at Trail West as a volunteer. We believe in the mission of Young Life wholeheartedly and are thankful for the opportunity to serve at Trail West. After that I will be a full time mama.
How can y’all afford this? Did you throw the Dave Ramsey budget out the window? Nope, we budgeted FOR the trip. That’s the beauty of a budget, you can add stuff to it. We have a vacation fund as well as some very generous friends who are loaning us places to stay. Our month at Trail West is free because we are working, and our gas to and from camp is reimbursed. We budgeted for food, gas to other places, hotel stays on the road, and incidentals. We plan to do lots of free stuff and have lots of free quality time. If you have free fun ideas for us in any of the places listed above, PLEASE pass them on by emailing me, tweeting me, or commenting below. Our neighbors are also housesitting for us in exchange for lawn mowing services. Thanks neighbors!
That’s great and all, but are you seriously hauling a one year old across the country? Yes, yes, we know it is crazy and we think it will also be awesome. Our little boy is such a joy and hopefully we be so on the road with lots of park stops on the way and hotel pools to swim in. I will be tweeting all summer with the hashtag #toddlertravel so you can see how it goes. If you have any travel with toddlers advice, I’d love to hear it.
What about your life in Dallas? How can y’all just pick up and leave for 2 months? We will obviously miss our friends here. I have a gypsy soul and need to just GO sometimes. Dallas is hot as hell in the summer time, and sooo humid. We live in an old rent house that is very difficult to keep cool. Jed is a teacher so he is off til mid August. I love being able to just leave. For years I kept my passport in my purse, just in case. That habit faded with marriage, a child, and a job that needed me 24/7. My longing to wander will be satisfied for a little while by this adventure.
Do you think we’re crazy, or do you wish you were packing right now, too?
The pies are all made fresh daily, and they have a great selection. Unfortunately we felt that it was a little overpriced. The slices were $4 each. I know that is pretty standard or cheap for restaurant dessert, but you know we are super frugal. We decided to go for it since we were on vacation.
Jed ordered the coconut caramel, and was definitely the big winner of the day. It was phenomenal.
I had the key lime pie, which is my go-to dessert. It was good, but not fabulous. I’m a little bit of a key lime pie snob, apparently.