Right after school started last year, we booked a cabin up near Grand Lake, Colorado and took the girls for a short weekend adventure. We spent 2 nights up there, did a little hiking, exploring, swimming, and, of course, ice cream. Grand Lake is on the west side of Trail Ridge Road, one of the more scenic drives in Rocky Mountain National Park, and such a gem. The girls really enjoyed the lake and ice cream, I really enjoyed the lake and hiking. Matt had a blast on our hike to the Colorado river. We got to watch the girls play as the sun set over the mountains.
The highlight, for sure, was the moose walking down the road. We definitely want to put it out there that the best thing you can do when you see wildlife is be respectful. Give them their space and get out of their way. A panicked moose with pedestrians does not end well. Luckily, this guy is a local and was able to find his way out of the congested traffic.
While we were hiking to the Colorado River, via the River Run Trail, we talked to the girls about respecting the forest, about fire damage and what it does to the ecosystem. We discussed controlled burns and fire safety. We also talked about water, and making sure to bring enough when you’re walking in the hot sun of August. We barely had enough, didn’t plan accordingly and all guzzled water upon our return to the car.
The biggest thing with our daughters is, if there's water to be played in, they’ll hunt it down. We’re not big sticklers on getting a little dirty to have a little adventure. Connecting to our earth through the soil is something we all should do, as often as we can. In Japan, when you go on walks through the woods, they call it tree bathing. We find the same to be true, it’s good for the soul and good for mental health. So maybe, when you’re done, take those shoes off or whatever, and go put your feet out in the grass. There’s just nothing else like it.