May was filled with Nick’s family coming to help his sister and her family move to Phoenix, AZ.  His dad came to help with the moving truck then after Memorial Day his mom flew in to help Abby take the girls down to AZ.  In the middle of all of that Nick took Ivan camping in the Great Sand Dunes National Park over Memorial day weekend and I had a wonderful relaxing quiet weekend by myself and with friends.

Here is a short video about the adventures.



P1260065While camping this summer, Nicolas made a comment that he wanted to do a backpacking trip while Ivan was still little enough to carry.  We planned it for his birthday weekend. We decided to go on a trail off a 4*4 road that looked pretty secluded on the map we had. We packed up Saturday morning early and got on the trail about 11am.  We were hiking beside a creek and up in elevation.  We knew after a while we would loose our water source, so we had to decide if we were going back down or continue up.  Nicolas was by then carrying Ivan and he felt good, so we kept going.  The view from the top was beautiful and we enjoyed it. We then needed to find water to set up camp, so we went down the other side of the mountain and pretty much hiked the whole 11.5 mile trail before we found water and a place to tent. We set up tent exhausted and hungry.  We slept reasonably well and packed up in the morning and headed back out knowing we had a long hike back to the car.  We had some great time talking together, listening to Ivan chat and thinking quietly as well.

Here’s a fun picture of Kara and Ivan from our first backpacking trip side by side with this trip. IMG_0359

Check out the video of our adventures below:




We have had a very busy and fun summer already.  June started off with a visit from Grandma Karen Hostetler and cousin Avery’s 1st birthday! We then had lots of time at playgrounds and the splash park.  We have gone to ride the train at Bellview park and enjoyed time at the library as well.  As a family we got out to hike a couple times in Jefferson County open space parks and have gone camping two weekends.  Ivan and Kara also stay busy with the garden and running in the stroller.  Ivan loves being outside and has been sleeping well with all the exercise and activity.


Here is a short video of our adventures.


In a normal summer, we enjoy getting outdoors and camping one to two times every month.  But this year, with Ivan still being so young, we had limited trips.  Even still, we did get to escape twice in August.  Once with Ivan and his cousin Silas (Kara’s nephew), and one more for Nicolas to get away with his brother, Alex.

Camping with Silas was at Meridian campground, a local favorite of ours as it is easy to access and rarely full.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Backpack camping with Alex at White Ranch (Jeffco) Park.  The neat thing about this park is that the county provides the backcountry camp sites with picnic tables and firewood.  And there are many miles of hiking trails to explore throughout the park.  It also has a scenic overlook through the canyon of the front range, which was great for seeing the city lights from up on high.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A couple weekends ago, Nick and I had our final adventure camping before kido comes.  It was quite the experience as we did some significant off roading. We often like to off road while in the mountains and I had picked up a book from the library of trails.  We found an area that looked promising and headed out for a drive.  We were driving up near the continental divide near the weather closed Webster Pass.  We got into some tough wet terrain and managed to do some serious damage to Fern.  The nice thing was that we only knew about a blown tire until Sunday when driving home did not feel normal.  Thankfully, with God’s protection, we made it home and it was fixed!

The scenery was as always, beautiful!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Nick is currently working near Longmont, CO so Friday we took advantage of him already being an hour north of our house and I met him up there so we could explore a different area of CO.  We took off and drove through the Poudre Canyon and enjoyed the beautiful scenery along highway 14.  At highway 103 (Laramie River Road) we headed north towards Wyoming border and found the Tunnel campground. We settled in for the night and on Saturday headed north for a drive and wanting to test Ferns capabilities off roading.  We found some great trails in the North Middle Mountain areas and around the Hohnholz Lakes. We almost wound our way to the other side to CO road 125. We headed back and made a fire to roast some brauts.  Sunday we packed up camp and headed out west on 14 to 125 at Walden. We the headed south towards Granby on Stillwater Pass Road, Forest Road 123. It was a great detour through National Forest and we stopped for lunch with a great view overlooking the town of Grand Lake.  After stopping in Grand Lake for ice cream, we headed into Rocky Mountain National Park. We took Trail Ridge Road through the park, stopping for bathrooms, pictures and small hikes.  Towards the end we found a great little pull off to make some coffee, sit, chat, and watch the wildlife.  We then made our way to Lyons, CO the home of Oscar Blues Brewery and Pub for dinner and beer.  What a great weekend!!


IMG_4225 IMG_0299

The weekend of June 21-21 we decided to just camp for one night and then do a warm up hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.  My goal this summer is to hike a 14ner so we need to train and practice.  We headed northwest out of Longmont again and found some national forest right off of Highway 7 in Boulder county very close to the Wild Basin RMNP entrance.  We camped among some great rocks and cooked on the stove due to the fire bans.  Saturday morning after coffee and breakfast we packed up camp and headed to the hike.  I think we got to the trail head by about 9:30. Our goal was to get to Ouzel Lake which is almost 5 miles one way. There was quite a number of people on the trail heading up to Ouzel Falls, then it started to thin out.  We ate lunch at the Lake and enjoyed taking pictures the whole way.  Although after almost 10 miles we were both tired and a bit sore at the bottom.  Heading home for sleep in our bed felt great!

Here is a video of pictures from both weekends.

Almost every year we try to get members from our church to come camping with us over Memorial Day Weekend.  This year we were blessed by the Curry family with an overnight. We then had almost everyone else come join in on the fun Sunday morning.  We made biscuits on a stick and eggs.  Had fun watching kidos and playing games. We found a great spot in Deer Creek Campground right along the creek which was great for sleeping.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.