Experiences, anecdotes, tips, how-tos, hiking, nature, motherhood, memories.

Adventures in Camping with Kids

Camping with kids is like pitching a tent upside down. Both are bound to fill with laughter and raindrops.
--Victoria Marie

Monday, September 16, 2013

Colorado Rockies: Here We Come!


Snowball fights in July at Rocky Mountain National Park
During our long cross-country drive to Rocky Mountain National Park from New Jersey, after many a camp side sunset, we kept the children’s interests peaked by discussing around the campfire the Rocky Mountains.


“These mountains are taller than any other mountain you children have been on,” my husband told them.

Their eyes widened in awe.

“There won’t be any tall trees on the top,” I informed them.

“Mom,” our 5th grade boy scout informed me, “all mountains have trees.”

He’s a tree-hugger, like me.  “This time,” I told the children, “we will be hiking in the tundra.”

“A tundra,” the children repeated.

“What’s a tundra?”  One of the twins asked.

“We’ll be hiking above the trees,” my husband said by way of explanation.

“Not only that,” I said, “but we could be playing in the snow.”

“Mom.”  It was my 7th grade daughter’s turn to correct me.  “It doesn’t snow in July in North America.”

“No,” I agreed.  “But it’s colder up in the tundra, and snowfields could be tucked here and there on the mountaintop.”
 

The chatter increased.

“I forgot my boots.”

“I don’t have my snow pants.”

“We don’t have gloves.”

“I didn’t bring my sled.”

I raised my hand to stop the flow of chatter.  My husband was laughing.

“Sledding, son,” I said looking at him.  “On mountain tops?”  I looked at the girls.  “We’ll just have to make snowmen or have snowball fights in sneakers and shorts.  That’s all.”


            The excitement rose to a fevered pitch as we moved inside the tent and attempted to prepare for bed.  Nobody slept with the children firing questions at me and my husband all night long.
 

Luckily the next day the Rockies loomed up ahead along the roadway into Estes Park and our campground.  We were there. 


            Many times, camping with the family entails much driving.  Keep the children excited about their destination by feeding them small bits of interesting information while around the campfire or at dinner.  We didn’t tell the children about the snow until we were almost at Rocky Mountain National Park. 


            My prayers are with those navigating the floods in Colorado.  

10 comments:

  1. Great reading this post. And it contained good advice re taking children on trips.

    People everywhere are facing natural disasters. My heart goes out to them.

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  2. Thank you, Nas, for visiting my Camping with Kids blog. I try to offer advice to parents on how to make camping fun for children along with an anecdote or two.

    It is heart-wrenching to hear of all the natural disasters happening at this time. I can only pray that people band together and help one another.

    Thanks again, Nas, for reading my Camping with Kids blog post. Please stop by again.

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  3. What a great trip!! I've always wanted to go up there. Some day:)

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    1. It is truly inspiring in the Colorado Rockies, Marie. Absolutely worth the trip. Yes, you definitely should get out there if you can.

      Thanks so much for visiting my Camping with Kids blog, Marie. Please stop by again.

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  4. The Rocky Mountains, I am envious Victoria Marie. That is one range I have always wanted to visit. Your children are certainly seeing some great places, which they will remember for the rest of their lives.

    How high did you climb and were you in the altitude sickness zone? If so how did it effect you? I suffered from AMS when doing Kilimanjaro last year and it wasn't pleasant.

    Did you encounter any bears or other wildlife?

    Bill

    http://www.walksintameside.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. We didn't have a problem with altitude sickness, but the air is thinner up there so we needed to take it a bit slower. My husband had trouble catching his breath at times.

      We begin each National Park excursion at the visitor's center to watch the introductory film and learn about the trails [obtain a trail map] and learn of any precautions we need to take, like wear layered clothing because the weather changes constantly, bring lots of water and pretzels or crackers to help fight any wooziness. We also learned that we needed to be off the tundra [bald crest of the mountains] by 3:30 p.m. because a lightning storm always happens during the summertime, and boy were the rangers correct. We could watch the storm from the ranger station. After the storm we could hike back out if we wanted to.

      When hiking with children, we stayed on marked trails, no exploring too far from the trail.

      We saw bear, marmots, big horn sheep, and even a mountain lion from a distance. That's the way I like to look at lions anyhow...from a distance.

      It was truly an awe-inspiring trip, Bill. So sorry to hear you suffered from AMS in Kilimanjaro, another trip that must have been awesome. The Rockies are about 12,000 feet high with hundreds of miles of trails to explore. We merely scratched the surface of this magnificent National Park.

      Thank you so much, Bill, for visiting my Camping with Kids blog. Please stop by again.

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  5. I visited the Rocky Mountains once. I'd love to return one day. Your trip sounds so great!

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    1. Thank you so much, Lynda, for visiting my Camping with Kids blog. Yes, the Rocky Mountains are spectacular. I could spend a lifetime there and never ever get bored. It was certainly worth the drive across the country.

      Thanks again for visiting my blog!

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  6. That is so cool; playing with snow in July. I'm sure your children has a blast. How many children around here can say they played in snow in July?

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  7. That's what made it so much fun, Michelle. My children could say that they had a snowball fight in July in shorts and a t-shirt. A unique experience for sure.

    Thank you so much for reading my blog post. Please stop by again.

    ReplyDelete