Thursday, June 18, 2009

katie's house on wheels

Our trip last week was excellent. I'm really afraid that now that I've been spoiled by going 'camping' in an RV, it will be impossible to go camping in a tent with my little friends. I asked a gal with 3 kids the same ages as ours how she didn't go bananas camping with her crew, and it turns out that her folks always go with them. Somehow, I think Carol's days of sleeping in a tent are long behind her!

Here's a brief synopsis of our fun - on our own and with the Young clan for part. We drove up to Egypt to pick up the RV. The pick up location made me think that if we lived on a little bit of land, we could run our own RV rental franchise. Packing was a dream, because crazy Kat had enough to bring everything but the kitchen sink, and that wasn't necessary because it was already included!
Rog planned a great trip. Monday night we slept at the a trail head in Dotsero. Tuesday morning I hopped on my bike and rode (mostly) down Glenwood canyon with Katie and Alex in the trailer. The water was SOOO high - still too high for most rafters. It was such a great ride - although I confess to walking a couple of sections. Rog and Max met us at the rest stops along the way, which was a good thing since I should have paid better attention to the CLOSED sign at Hanging Lake. The trail had been under water, and so there was a fair amount of debris on the path. The real excitement came at the end of that section where there was a fence to keep people from going UP. I handed the kids and equipment around the blockage to Rog, and then climbed over the fence. Katie and Alex were done riding, so I finished up on my own. Total mileage: 18.2 miles.

Tuesday night we stayed at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. I convinced Katie and Alex to go on a short nature walk that night. We spent Wednesday morning driving through the canyon and walking out to the overlooks. Holy drop offs, Batman! Katie was much more excited about climbing on the rocks than we were ready for. It was funny to watch a mother and her 10 year old who was just as nervous about him standing near the edge as we were of our kids - it would appear that reaction will not go away for a long time! We met up with the Goates and the Miles at the hot springs in Ouray later that afternoon. We were pulling up as they were finishing their swim - sometimes we aren't as fast with our posse as we think we can be! It rained the whole time, which was OK since the water was around 95 degrees.
We met up with the rest of the Youngs at the State Park at Mancos. On our drive over the passes down to Durango we were hit with a fair amount of snow! Spring time in the Rockies. We stopped at a hot spring on the side of the road just outside of Durango. Another family pulled up and let their daughters put their fingers in the water. Meanwhile, Katie and Alex were ready to strip down and climb to the top. There was a problem with the wheel on Cynthia's trailer, so we got to put the sleeping capacity of the RV to the test, and it past with flying colors. We could have easily popped a couple more bodies in there.

The next few days we hung out at the lake. Katie is a huge fan of the canoe, although she had a hard time taking turns with the paddle. She apparently thinks that her 3 years are equal to Cynthia's experience manning the oar. Rog got to do a fair amount of sailing on his newly-rigged boat. Rog and I got to spend some time on the ATVs - luckily Max slept for an entire 2 minutes after we left, so Dianna, Barbara and Donna got to wrestle the inconsolable, screaming maniac for two hours to no avail. I'm thinking I need to make a wig out of my hair to leave with Max when I'm gone so that he can survive our 'traumatic' separations.

On the trip back, we stopped by the Sand Dunes. This is where the RV really earned my appreciation. The campground was full - what?! full on a Saturday night?! - so after we played, we just pulled over and Roger whipped up some grilled cheese for dinner. Then we drove along a road until we found a good place to pull over and that's where we camped for the night. In the morning we went back to play in the sand while it was warm. Katie LOVED coming up with new ways to roll down the mountains of sand. Alex stopped crying intermittently. We sang a lot of 'the eensy weensy spider' to snap him out of his funk for moments at a time.

We had a great trip. Katie and Alex loved spending time with their cousins. They had a great time running around with Madeline, and having Sam and Jeremy at their beck and call. We had a great time and it was great to spend time with family.

Monday, June 8, 2009


photo from here

Another point in Longmont's favor: a carnival comes to town at least twice a year. Saturday night we hit it. Despite our lack of tattoos, they let us in. Apparently it's not the most high-brow attraction in town. Also, there appeared to be a job requirement of some combination of facial piercing, tattoos, and missing teeth in order to be qualified to run the rides, although a few high school students seemed to buck the trend.

Had I put batteries in our camera, I would have been able to capture Katie's terrified face as she flew down a big slide, which quickly turned to joy as she bounced on the cushion at the bottom. It reminded me of when she was a baby and had her first turn in a swing: complete horror followed by the world's largest smile.

I would have also caught Alex never cracking a smile when he was actually on a ride. He didn't look afraid, he was just studying this new situation. On the 'Dumbo ride' - elephants 'flying' around in a circle - he just stared at the center gear mechanism the entire ride. 'Hog Wild' - motorcycles, not pigs - he had a grand time pushing the buttons and turning what would be the accelerator on a real bike to make it move up and down.

It's interesting to me how the simple act of converting cash to coupons for the rides provides enough distance to change the feeling of the cost. 2 coupons seems like nothing for a little kiddy ride - multiply that by 2 or 3, depending if it's one that our small friends needed an escort on, and a few rides and $40 bucks later I was wondering just what happened!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Daughter of Time The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I originally saw mention of this book on Kari's blog. A book rated so highly on various 'best mystery of all time' lists intrigued me. And I actually enjoy British history, although the use of a few more names would make it easier for me to follow.

It took me a bit to get into, but then I was hooked. In part by the mystery: a hospital and bed-ridden police inspector starts researching the real life of Richard III after seeing his portrait and deciding that the face did not match the purported life of the man. When I first read Richard III in the text I immediately thought 'Isn't that the one that murdered his nephews in the Tower?'

My mind became much more occupied with the instances in history - the book gives a couple - where gossip and hearsay become the accepted history because they were PRINTED. History has always fascinated me because of the inherent bias in written accounts - so unlike science which is completely objective. :) Histories seem to often be written some time after an event has taken place - a good idea to gain perspective, overview, see how events played out, but this also allows distortions of time to color what 'really happened.' Just as writing an account of 'what happened' is colored by who is doing the writing, however objective the author may try to be.

This book got me thinking again about the power of the printed word - on paper or now the internet - and how it is then taken as TRUTH because it is written down. I am generally too trusting of something simply because it's published - there's a presumption of fact-checking and accuracy that allows me to turn off the 'picky' part of my brain, if only for a moment. Accepted dogma doesn't not inherently make something true. I also need to read more British history!

View all my reviews.

Also, someone please teach me how to leave my bangs alone!