The kids and I returned to Denver and rested for about 24 hours before packing the car back up for a trip to western Colorado to see Nate's dad and step mom for the Fourth of July. We left after work on Tuesday and stopped about halfway at what has become our favorite campground in Colorado. The kids are becoming expert campers. They both turn "on" when they're outside.
We took a short hike to a nearby stream and Benny was convinced that we could build a dam. When we deterred him from that activity, he decided that he could re-route the stream by creating some channels. Lila has gotten old enough to understand that getting in the water is a bad idea. So she putzed alongside her brother and collected rocks.
We've settled into a nice schedule when we visit western Colorado: swimming in the hot springs and dining and drinking on a rooftop patio. This year we also checked out the Montrose Fourth of July parade. The kids collected a handful of candy, which made it a success for everyone - despite the heat. Benny entered a rock painting competition and won first-prize for his masterpiece (a flag, of course).
Then Nate and I took a night off to backpack near Ouray. I haven't been backpacking in seven years (!). I'll write a separate post about it, but I'll preview the trip by saying WOW! I can't believe I waited so long to strap a pack to my back and explore.
The kids are staying with their grandparents for a week, so Nate and I got to drive home alone. It was a surprising treat to have the time to talk and snooze. Nate left for his annual boys' backpacking trip yesterday, so I have the rest of the week to myself, which a little like an extended vacation - to spend time in the house by myself.