Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde is a National Park that was built around thousands of ancient cliff dwellings that were inhabited by the ancient Puebloans. They lived there until the 1300’s and then most moved towards New Mexico. They built their homes in the cliffs as protection from enemies. They would grow crops on top of the mesas and lower themselves into their dwellings with rope ladders. I learned more, but remembering it is challenging. =)



There were tons of cliff dwellings to visit, but the largest and most impressive ones were tour-only. We decided to visit the Balcony House. Here you see Tasha getting ready to climb the 30 foot wooden ladder up the cliff to get inside…



Fearless girls! Neither one had any difficulty climbing up with a huge drop below them.



We made it! We’re waiting our turn to squeeze through the tunnel.



This was a storage room for corn and other grains that they would keep in reserve.



That’s where we climbed…I won’t lie…my legs felt like rubber climbing up there!



Annika is standing by a kiva. They’re where the adults would sit and talk and meditate. There was usually a roof covering the kiva where the children would play while the adults talked.



This was Spruce Tree House, one of the less elaborate dwellings, but still pretty awesome to think that this was made with bare hands and homemade tools.

After a hot day in the sun, with lots of walking, we were ready to cool off. We went to a local swimming pool and played until we were hungry. We discovered this super yummy Mexican restaurant…



This taco salad was monstrous and this girl polished it off-no sweat!



On the way home, we stopped to have a picnic and happened to be right by the Silverton-Durango train just in time to see it start it’s route and hear the whistle blow!

Such a fun, tiring weekend!

Weekend Adventures

We tried to cross as many things off of our summer bucket list as possible since this was going to be our last Sunday in this part of Colorado. One of them included going to Animas Forks, an old Ghost town…



We’d taken the kids here before, but they were pretty little so they didn’t remember much. They were pretty fascinated with this little deserted town this time around.



Inside one of the original structures.



After spending some time exploring, we went in the town of Silverton and visited the local candy shop (reinforcements for the road!) and headed for our camp site in Mancos, Co.

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Dinner time! It was a beautiful camping area that surrounded a reservoir.

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Time to get some rest so we can explore Mesa Verde (cliff dwellings of the ancient Puebloans)



Spontaneous Trip to Ouray

One Friday in early August, we were supposed to go camping but the weather wasn’t cooperating. Instead, we decided to mark an item off of our bucket list-a mine tour! Because the weather was a little gray, we were the only ones there for a tour. We all thoroughly enjoyed our tour of the Bachelor-Syracuse Mine which was a silver mine for over 100 years. Our guide was very knowledgable and appreciated our children’s silly humor.





The light at the end of the tunnel 😉



Kevin and Annika found a pal!



Panning for gold…we found some fools gold and some quartz

All that hard work gold panning made us hungry, so we headed to a local hamburger joint, which has THE best, juiciest burgers ever! “Maggie’s Deli”. Sorry…no picture, I was hungry!

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I’d been wanting to visit Yankee Boy Basin for weeks. It’s one of the most beautiful valley’s, filled with wildflowers and two waterfalls. The prime time to go is really mid-July, but we had’t made it up there. So, we thought, why not!?

To end a pretty perfect day, we hit a local chocolatier for some truffles and there maybe have been some dancing in the rain =)

Happy Birthday to Annika!

Our littlest turned 7 on July 28th! Breakfast in bed, party in the park, a trip to the ice cream shop and mac n cheese for dinner!



A new baby!



New jammies for Annika and baby, oh and a new stroller to drive baby “Jenny” around!

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Party! And snuggles with Dad! =)

Miscellaneous Summer Fun!

Annika did her annual swimming lessons at the local hot springs pool. It was fun as always. I tried to get a good photo or video of her, but it was pretty tricky.  I did get a photo of the most beautiful day after lessons when the kids were playing at park behind the pool.



Sigh…Heaven, right here.



The hot springs also has a turtle and fish pond and you can feed the critters. We were feeding them when we noticed one rogue turtle heading for the exit. As we walked over to see him, he turned and “ran” towards the pond, doing a dramatic belly flop with a large splash! We got it all on video, but I need to figure out how to upload videos on here so I can share!



Ew! We saw this hairy, bug covered dude at the local state park where we had gathered for a kids birthday party. Let’s just say we scared him far away from the party.

Annual Kid Swap

Every year, my sister-in-law and I swap kids. One year, she has my girls, I have her boys and so forth. This year it was just that way. Boys year for me=easy! Unfortunately, Ammon had to be out of town for all but one evening that the boys were here. He made the most of that one night though…



Posing with Rocky



Uncle Ammon is the candy man!



And crazy rides on the four-wheeler

We had to attend the fun annual old-fashioned fourth of July parade in Ouray:

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They got a little wet and gathered lots of candy! So fun. For the first time in our time here, we actually went to see the fireworks.



Sunday fun



Annabell was happy



Kevin telling “Santa” what he wanted for Christmas






We checked out a new frozen yogurt bar in Montrose



We spent hours doing a puzzle

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Playing “cheat”

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Guess who was cheating and got caught!



Wearing Dad’s pants on the night they slept in the treehouse…Well, let’s be honest, they didn’t last very long out there…but they tried it again later and actually stayed out all night!



Watching “Inside Out” (I loved it!)

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Went dog riding….Poor Rocky! And did a little s’more roasting and firecracker-ing!

We had so much fun and the time flew by! I loved getting to visit with my nephews, plus the boys got along so well the whole time that I marked about 10 things off my to-do list!


Baby Bathtubs

The kids and I went hiking on a short trail to section of river where the water had carved out the rocks into small bathtub-like features…at least, supposedly. I didn’t feel like it fulfilled the imaginations in my head, but we had fun anyways…





In awe of the river!



Kevin found this heart rock and thought it was pretty nifty. We came home with a lot of rocks…



What a fun day!




More Haylee!

We were sad and excited to get to take Haylee back for a few days…this time, her Dad was injured =( Tasha was super stoked to have a little sister to take care of that actually wanted to be taken care of!

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Haylee loves Kevin and told her Mom and Dad that she’s going to marry him. We’re ok with an arranged marriage ;0