Every Time it Snows

 

Every time it snows (especially near the weekend), we all squeal a little inside.  Well, I’m not sure Doug technically squeals, but it’s safe to say he’s happy.  Why?  Because we do this:

Drive into the mountains:

And go for a hike in the woods, pulling Johnny in the sled.

At this point in our hike, Johnny was singing his favorite songs as we made our way through the forest.

 

We hike in to our favorite sledding route.  I think we are the only people who use it!  It’s perfect – out in the middle of nowhere.

With a gorgeous view.

The snow was up to 2 ft in some places.  It’s tricky when you are only 3 ft tall to navigate deep snow.

But this little guy is such a champ.

Breaking in the sledding run by himself (don’t worry, he didn’t go far).

Having a snack and hot chocolate.  It was too cold (wind chill definitely sub zero…maybe –10ish?) to keep gloves off for a long time. So this is where the wheels kind of fell off of the bus.  Johnny was too hungry and his hands were cold.  So we packed up and headed back.

 

This really is the best way to keep warm:

 

Johnny kept ahold of the ice ax in case he needed to self arrest.  Winking smile

And he *almost* started snoozing on the ride back.

 

We had such a fun Sunday!  It really hasn’t started to feel like Spring at all around here (obviously).  We are trying to soak up these dwindling days of winter while we can.

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Sick Days

Johnny has been sick for two weeks.  He’s feeling better for the most part now.  But when he first got sick, our back yard was being landscaped, and he was too sick to go play anywhere – like the gym, park, etc.  It’s hard keeping a 2 yr old boy entertained inside!  Doug happened to be on vacation one day, so we decided to go for a hike, and eat a picnic in the shade.

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Not too shabby for a sick day, huh?

Our Weekend

I hope all of you Moms had a pleasant weekend.  Well, and everyone else too. =)  We had a fun time!

Saturday, we celebrated Mother’s Day early and went to Peak Grill for an early lunch.

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Johnny was pretty excited that his coloring sheet had Woody on it.  He had brought along his little Buzz Lightyear that Fisher gave to him.

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Then I got to go clothes shopping AND fabric shopping (by myself!).  I had been wanting to go to Fabric Bliss in Denver for a while now.  It is pure heaven for a fabric-lover.  I got lots of pretty fabric to make myself a quilt.

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(I blogged more about the fabric & upcoming quilt HERE over on my crafty blog).

Sunday I got breakfast in bed!  I think that’s the first time that’s ever happened… It was lovely.

Afterwards, we hiked part of Barr Trail.  This is one of the trails that goes to the top of Pikes Peak.  It may not look like it in the pictures, but it’s a decent grade.

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I was pleasantly surprised by all of the lush green – there is so much deciduous vegetation on this trail!

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Looking at the beers (birds).

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The trail just steadily climbed up & up.  I’m sure my legs will thank me one day.

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This little guy couldn’t stay awake.

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I think I need to put making a neck pillow on the sewing list too.  It will probably make his naps on the trail a little more pleasant.

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In fact, the pack just didn’t work for sleeping today.  So dad carried him the rest of the way down the trail.

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We will definitely be doing this one again soon.

Happy Monday!

XO
Carly

Catamount Reservoir

Fun fact for you – Catamount means “cat of the mountain” or mountain lion.  We were on the lookout today for some, but we didn’t see any.  Or bears.  In all the years we have lived in Colorado Springs, we had never been to Catamount Reservoir.  I’m really glad we found this gem of a hiking trail.

We were a bit worried at first, as the route we took to get there started on the Pike’s Peak Highway (you do get a discounted rate – it was $4 per adult).  It was mega touristy, but the road to the reservoir was not at all.  In reading after we got home, it looks like there are a few routes that allow you to hike in from Green Mountain Falls and the surrounding area).

It started out simply enough, with a short walk through a section of Aspen trees.

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And then the trail opened up to this view. 

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We just stood in awe for a while.

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We very slowly meandered through the trees, the trail following closely to the edge of the reservoir.

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Down onto the shore & back into the trees again.

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We happened upon this neat, little lean-to… reminds me of the book, Megan’s Island I used to read as a kid.

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We walked & we talked.

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I’m not a huge fan of fishing… but after seeing this guy out on that rock, casting his line – made me want to bring a pole next time. 

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We even got a picture with all of us looking in the same direction!  A small miracle, indeed.

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I hope you all had a beautiful Saturday!

7 Miles!

We went for another hike today (Sunday).  This time we went to Waldo Canyon.  I had never been there before.  The trail is a big loop & it’s right around 7 miles.  7 miles may not seem like a lot for most of you.  But this was definitely the most I’ve done in about a year.  My back & hips held up really well!  Very exciting. Wow, that makes me sound old. 

=)

The first part of this trail was through lots of big trees. 

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Doug brought his camera along, so *gasp* there are pictures of me in this post, too.

Pretty sure the Bug drank half of the water we brought along with us.  He loves drinking out of a Camelbak.

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Family photo op.

Who needs fancy trekking poles when you have the handle to an old shovel?  It is Earth Day weekend, after all.  =)

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Making the magic happen (or trying):

This next picture was taken after we got home…. Looks like someone was taking notes. 

This is the picture I was working on… a 180 degree panorama of the valley we were hiking around.

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I love all of these family photos! But the Bug is distracted in every. single. one.

 

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You hike & hike & hike & just like that, you pop out near a road.

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I love these jewels of wilderness & open space in the midst of (or right outside of) the city.

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Independence

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We like to go on hikes, if you can’t tell.

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No matter how cranky or tired I am on a Saturday morning…

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Once we get out into the sunshine & fresh air…

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I feel a healing, of sorts, begin to take place.

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I think Doug & Johnny do, too.

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Johnny is going through a new phase of independence. 

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If I’m being honest, it scares the crap out of me.

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Wanting to be free & not hold my hand to do things.

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To figure it out for himself.

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And discover the world on his own terms.

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I know this is normal, this is good.

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But I can’t help but feel sometimes, like I just want to stick him in a bubble.  =)

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At least when he gets tired, he knows we are still here to carry him on.

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Yes to Manual

Manual camera settings, that is.  If you are a serious photog, you may want to just skip this post.  It will make you cringe, for sure.  =) 

I have a DSLR camera that I’ve been too lazy to figure out how to use… I’ve just kept it on the Program Auto setting.  Lately, I’ve been frustrated by how dark the pictures look, and how they just don’t turn out that great.  TOTAL user error, I know.  I’ve resorted to using my iPhone to take pictures, because they seem to come out more vivid.  Super lame!

I decided to just put on my big girl panties & figure out the DSLR. Today, we went for a hike at Red Rock Canyon (same place I blogged about HERE, where all of the pictures were taken with my iPhone).

However, I got so intensely focused on how aperture affected my pictures, that I completely forgot about ISO.  It was set at 1600 for the entire hike. Doh!  Lots of the pictures were over exposed, but there were a few good ones in there.  I’m pretty confident I won’t make that mistake again!

Bottom line – are they the best pictures ever taken? Definitely not. Are they significantly better than I’ve taken on Auto? Indeed.

I’m just taking baby steps, learning about one piece at a time. 

 

I’m not sure why the boys looks so stoic in this picture?

This was a really cool trail we’ve never been on before… there are tons of technical climbing routes along this path.

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That’s the Garden of the Gods off in the distance.

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Class 2 exposure!  =)  I had to bite my tongue to not say “You be careful with my baby!”

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Ok, so this next picture is not great at all with the big sun spot… I just wanted to show you how Johnny sleeps with his eyes open.  He is totally asleep in this picture.  Creepy!

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What I love about Red Rock Canyon, is that it’s this great open space in the middle of the city.  You hike in a ways & you feel like you are in the wilderness… but every now and then civilization peeks through your view.  Wealthy civilization, but civilization nonetheless.  =)

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Hopefully, the pictures will just get better from here on out.  =)