Anna Roo here, for another installment of my rootripping adventures, this time almost a year wiser and sitting forward in my car seat.
You may remember when I headed out on my first road trip, visited the smokey mountains, and was welcomed by family and friends on our tour of the south last year. This rootrippin adventure took us to colorful Colorado, for more family time and mountains.
This trip started off with an airplane ride, my last one with a free ticket. Daddy was driving with his brothers and we were to meet him after his strait 15 hours on the road. Lucky for mommy, my grandparents joined me for the airplane adventure. We were in the very last row of the airplane, and I spent all of the ascent and descent with my eyes glued to the window. In between we snacked and colored and mom reminded me of my inside voice.
It’s fair to say that the best thing about the airport is the sidewalk that moves and helps you go really fast. I capitalized on this feature more than anyone else by running as fast as I could down these sidewalks.
We made it to Colorado in style, now it was time to relax, well, as much as a two-year old can. Our first few days brimmed with birthday celebrations, family, and gorgeous hikes near Boulder. Every stream I saw was an opportunity for a refreshing dip.
Then we visited this trip’s first national park, Rocky Mountain National Park. We hit an ambitious 6+ mile uphill trail to the summit of Deer Mountain. I had a great time riding the three hours on daddy’s shoulders. We saw chipmunks, mule deer, and tons of flowers and trees. The view from the 10K elevation was quite worth the trek, or so the ones who actually did the trekking told me.
After a feast of Colorado barbecue and a good nights rest it was time to hit the road again. You may recall I have a strict 3-4 hours in the car, at a time rule, but I let mom and dad bend the rules because we had a schedule to keep.
Our first stop on our way to Texas was a quick celebration at my great grandfather’s grave. We danced, played, and told a few stories before heading back in the car.
Following the Rockies south and a few Daniel Tiger episodes later, our next stop was soon upon us. Garden of the Gods National Natural Area. First of all, it has the best gift shop/nature center we had ever seen, secondly it was crazy awesome. The biggest reddest rocks ever. Mom and dad’s pictures don’t even start to do it justice.
A lot of rock climbing and some sandy shoes later, it was back in the car. But, we didn’t hit the road until after perusing the parking lot for any new state licences plates. I don’t think I quite understand the game, but it includes a lot of shouting and cheering, so I try to join in when I can. Mom said we went up to 35 after leaving the parking lot.
With our full list we continued to head south, toward our last stop for the day, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Reserve. This stop wasn’t truly on the way home, and as we traveled the two lane road to San Luis Valley, and I choose not to nap, despite my mom and dad’s Jedi mind tricks, we wondered if it would be worth it.
Boy, was it worth the extra hours on the road. Throughout the trip, I have practiced my new-found skill of investigable questions, by asking mom and dad, “why” on repeat. The sand dunes provided ample material for my questioning. We splashed, ran, and sat in the Medano Creek at the base of the dunes. This was the best sand box and kiddie pool all combined in one. There was only one thing to do, run everywhere and giggle the entire time.
The only thing, not to love about the Great Sand Dunes, was that we didn’t have enough time to explore the entire park. We had a schedule to keep and a 5.5 hour drive to Amarillo to make before we could call it a night. It was goodbye to Colorado.
Dad took on a crazy New Mexico thunderstorm while mom and I fell asleep. We made it to the hotel and snuggled straight into bed. Our last day of driving back into the Texas hill country was a marathon, but Zacchaeus the Prius took it like a champ.
Dad headed off to work, and the girls ended this long day with a night at the lake, boat and golf cart rides included.
With a bunch of new magnets for the fridge and a full camera roll of memories we made it home safe. Back to the adventures of everyday.