Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ferrell Family Roadtrip: To Mount Evans

Date:  Saturday, June 22, 2013
Georgetown, Colorado

The next morning, we packed up our things and headed out to find something to eat in Georgetown.  We stopped at another local food place to have lunch.

After lunch we set off to drive up to Mount Evans.  Dave had warned us to pack something warm to wear for the day we go up the mountain.  A good thing too because we started up the mountain wearing summer clothes and shorts and half-way up the mountain, we stopped to explore . . . and almost froze!  I dug around in our suitcases and found the boys' winter coats, and they quickly pulled them on.

The view . . .

I noticed Shane looking around as if he were hunting for something.  When I asked what he was doing . . . he said he was looking for a place to pee!  Can you believe this?!?

This is one of the stops along the way up the mountain where you can stop and hike a trail.

There were so many rocks for the boys to climb and play on, but there was no way were going to hike any trails . . . not at this altitude!  Oh my!  Dave and I were breathing heavy and hard the higher up we went, and it was so chilly up there too!

But the view was fantastic!

The higher up we went . . . the more snow we saw!

We stopped along the way up the mountain to take pictures . . . Pardon Dave . . . the altitude was affecting him I think . . .

The road winded up and along the mountains . . . taking us further and further up . . .  Sometimes the view looking down was not distressing . . . like this one . . .

But sometimes the road was right along the edge of the mountain and it looked like we would fall right off the edge.

Can you tell that is a road right there on the edge of the mountain in the picture below?

I spent a good portion of my time leaning over toward Dave trying to get away from the edge!  The boys just laughed at my discomfort.  So sweet.  :D

The view was awesome . . .

Once we got to the top of Mount Evans, the boys started digging into their bags looking for socks and blue jeans to wear.  It was very cold!  Dave's least favorite kind of weather!  Ha!

The boys wanted to play in the snow, and Dave just wanted to get back in the warm car so I stayed outside with the boys.  Alex picked up some snow for a quick taste.

Guess how high up we were?  The road going up to Mount Evans is the highest road in the United States. . . not the highest continuous road, that is the road going through the Rocky Mountains.

My sweetie pie . . . Look at how bundled up he is and this is the middle of June!

And then there was even more snow . . .

While the boys played on the snow, I noticed lots of people were climbing further up the mountain using a path going up through the rocks.  You can see some of the people up at the top behind the boys in the picture above.

Alex climbed and played in the snow longer than any of the other boys.

He's my boy that loves to play.  :)

Zach didn't put on any socks and he got snow in his crocs.  At this point, I told him to go to the car and get some socks.  :)

Shane had fun climbing up the rocks and in the snow, but he kept getting snow down in his boots.

I love my boys so much . . . even when it's soooo cold!  Ha!

Here's a picture Dave took from the warm car as he watched me and the boys play in the snow.

At this point I told the boys that we needed to hike up to the top of Mount Evans like everyone else.

Ha!  We started up the path, and I started struggling to breath and feeling lightheaded, and I decided it would probably not be a good idea to try hiking up the rest of the way.  The high altitude was really making it hard to do any kind of activity . . . even just walking!

On the way up the mountain and again down the mountain, we saw mountain goats.  Actually, we had been looking for mountain goats the whole way up the mountain, but it wasn't until we got almost to the top that we actually saw some goats.  Dave had offered a prize to the first one that spotted the goat.  And the prize goes to Shane!    You can see how hard it is to see the goats against the mountain rocks.

Going down the mountain was much easier for me than going up the mountain!   On the way, it actually started snowing!  Truly bizarre! But so cool too!

We stopped at the gift/souvenir shop on the way down so the boys could get a happy, and while walking to the store, Shane fell and busted his forehead!  Scared us to death.  He had blood running down his face, and he was crying so much.  The people in the gift shop had a first aid kit and let us clean and bandage his head. Such a traumatic moment!  You can believe that Shane got everything he wanted in that shop!  Nothing upsets Dave as much as when one of the boys gets hurt.

Well, this post is pretty long and plenty full of pictures so I think I'll stop here and continue on tomorrow with the rest of our trip down Mount Evans.

So until tomorrow and while still going down Mount Evans with . . .
                            the Ferrell boys and me!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ferrell Family Roadtrip: To Georgetown, Colorado

Date:  Friday, June 21, 2013

Facebook status for this morning:

We spent the night in Moab, Utah, in a two bedroom suite that regularly books for $189, but we got for $69 because it was almost midnight when we got there to check in.  It was such a nice place too.  The suite had a kitchen, living room, two bedrooms, and a bathroom plus a balcony.  It's such a shame that all we had time for was a quick night's sleep before heading out early the next morning for the Rocky Mountains.

Driving through Utah on the way to Colorado we saw such beautiful mountains:

The roads seems to cut through the mountains.  We would see a beautiful stretch of road ahead of us and both Dave and I would try to get pictures . . . but he was having to be careful driving, and I seemed to catch the windshield glare in all my pictures.

It seemed like everywhere we went on this road trip, we saw so many beautiful sights.

And then we were finally there . . .

I know you are wondering who took the picture. . . .  Actually there were a couple of cars stopped there with several other people getting pictures made with the Welcome sign.

We stopped in Grand Junction, Colorado for lunch.  After our stop at the Welcome sign, Dave let me drive so when we got to Grand Junction, I got to drive us around looking for places to eat. . . . and I kept missing the turn for the Ihop.

I haven't eaten at Ihop many times, but let me just say . . . It was sooooo good!

After days of eating fast food dollar menus . . . some good ole pancakes, bacon, eggs, and french toast really hit the spot!

After lunch, we found ourselves driving along a winding road up the Rocky Mountains . . .   We drove through tunnels cut through the mountains . . .

and more tunnels . . .

and frequently our road ran along side the Colorado River . . .

And we even started seeing snow on the tops of the mountains . . .

Using the TripAdvisor App, I found us a place to stay in Georgetown, Colorado.

I thought it was such a quaint place, but when we got in our room and  Dave saw there was no air conditioning . . . He immediately got on the laptop looking for someplace different to stay at the next night.  :)

While Dave was busy looking for cabins in the mountains for us, I took the boys to a local pizza place for supper.

It was such a cute bohemian type of place.  In fact, the whole town was like that . . . very bohemian.

People were riding all over the place on bikes or walking everywhere.  They had a couple of tables outside that I thought would be great to eat at, but the boys wanted to eat inside on the tall tables.

After our delicious hand-tossed pizza, I took the boys swimming at the Inn's pool.  Some other children were already there swimming, and the boys joined in and quickly made friends with them.

After swimming and playing, the boys and I were ready for bed.  Dave had been hard at work and found us a great cabin to stay in for the next three days while we explored the Rocky Mountains.

It's so funny, but after all the places and things we'd done and seen, the boys enjoyed playing in the swimming pool just as much as any of the other stuff.

I guess it's just another example of enjoying the simple things in life even while on vacation with . . . 

                              the Ferrell boys and me!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ferrell Family Roadtrip: Out of Africa Wildlife Park

Date:  Thursday, June 20, 2013

Okay, first I need to warn you that this is a very long post with a lot of pictures. . . . but I am writing these posts about our vacation road trip for my family as a record of our adventures.  Some of the posts are a lot more involved than some others.  So here we go  . . . .

We packed up our bags to head out of Flagstaff to our next destination:  the Rocky Mountains.

But before we headed out of Arizona, there was one more place I wanted to take the boys.

One of the staff at the hotel suggested the Wildlife Park as a great place to take the boys and after researching it, I decided she was right.  I knew Alex especially would love it . . .

  Out of Africa Wildlife Park  website link.

The first thing we did was go on the African Bush Safari tour which is basically a bus ride through the area at the park called the Serengeti.  They gave us each two carrot sticks to feed the giraffes or camels.

The giraffe came right up to the bus.

 In this picture, Alex held the carrot stick in his mouth and the giraffe had just taken it from him!  I missed it!  But that's what had just happened.  Alex loved it.  I gave him my carrot sticks so he could have more turns.

Alex would have stayed there all day feeding carrots to that giraffe with his mouth.

Shane wasn't intimidated by the size of the giraffe at all.  Look at how big its head is!

The tour guide on the bus was very knowledgeable about the animals and very engaging with the children. The animals were free to roam around and looked like they were well taken care of by the park.

The bus stopped for the ostrich.  The tour guide cautioned us against sticking our hands, cameras, or phones out the windows of the bus because apparently the ostrich would bite us and swallow the items whole!  She demonstrated the biting reflex for us . . . she said it doesn't feel good.  :)

The boys were fascinated by the ostrich.  Alex kept asking the girl if he could have a feather!  Ha!

We were fortunate because the ostrich had recently laid an egg (an unfertilized egg) and the guide let the children hold and pass the egg around.

Did you know the horns on these animals are hollow?

The zebras were so cute grazing around . . . especially the baby zebras . . .

Once we finished the Serengeti tour, we climbed aboard a trolley and road up to the next area of the park where they keep the bears, tigers, wolves, and hyenas and etc.

Unlike zoos where the animals live in small mostly concrete areas, this park had large habitats for the animals that were similar to Africa.

There was an area for petting some of the animals.

I'm not sure I would try to pet that animal . . .

The animals were awesome.  They were so beautiful.  White tiger . . .

Some of the staff were in the wolves' habitats playing and rough housing with the wolves.  It was mesmerizing watching them play with these animals just like they were domestic dogs!

The black bear . . . which is a plant eater . . . not a people eater . . .

As opposed to the Grizzly bear . . . which is a meat eater . . .

After walking around and watching all the animals . . . which I haven't shown you all the pictures of the animals we saw . . . by the way . . . they have 15 tigers at the park not counting all the other animals . . . so we took a little refreshment break.  It was really hot that day.

After taking a much needed break, we headed over to the Tiger Splash Show.  What is a Tiger Splash Show, you may ask?

The Wildlife Park staff gets in a fenced in arena with a tiger and a pool and puts on a show . . . with balloons and toys . . .

The boys loved it!  They sat perfectly still and watched as the tiger chased and jumped at all the props . . .

There was no way I would have gotten in there with that tiger . . . no way . . .

But I have to admit, I really enjoyed the show.  I was a little scared a couple of times that the tiger might attack some of the staff, but he didn't.  Thank goodness!

After the show, the boys got to feed the tiger some raw meat.

Immediately after feeding the tiger, we went to the Giant Snake Show . . . ohhhh Fun!

Yes that's me in the green T-shirt holding a 15 foot python!  Ha!

After giving lots of information about the snake to the audience, they allowed any one who wanted to come and feel the snake.  I passed on that since I had already felt the snake!  Ha!  But Alex and Zach rushed in to lay their hands on that big ole snake.

After the Giant Snake Show, we walked around with some of the park staff while they fed and interacted with some of the animals in the Wonders of Wildlife Show.  The first wildlife wonder we encountered were the hyenas.

The park staff fed the hyenas through the fence and coerced them into laughing.  I actually videotaped the laugh.  It was wild hearing the hyenas laugh.

The boys were fascinated by the hyenas.

The next animal we visited was a tiger.  The staffer threw a piece of meat on top of the shed and the tiger jumped up and posed for pictures!

And after learning all kinds of facts about tigers, we moved on to the Grizzly Bear . . .

This Grizzly Bear really liked the red meat, but wouldn't touch the chicken pieces.  Ha!  So funny!

During all three of these animal interactions, Alex asked sooo many questions.  He has always loved animals, and I knew this Wildlife Park would be something he would really like.

After spending an entire day at the Wildlife Park, we left around 4 o'clock that afternoon and headed North to . . .

We drove and drove until finally we found a place to stay in Moab, Utah.  We actually got a deal on a Suite because we were so late getting there.

So farewell Arizona and Good Night from . . .

                                    the Ferrell boys and me!