Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Journey of 2,919 Miles, Give or Take, Leg 5--Denver and Durango

So many more stories from our trip. Warning: Serious photo overload ahead. Proceed at your own risk.

Like . . .
 . . . napping across Nebraska . . .

 . . . stopping for a quick tooth pull in Cheyenne . . .
. . . Mom is always a sucker for a tooth pulling opportunity . . .
 . . . at 2:30 pm, apparently.

What about . . .
 . . . sending Dad a quick photo of his kids lined up on the track of his high school?

 . . . and photos from Elitch's, where Dad hung out occasionally as a teenager?

Could the most surprising part of Elitch's have been how fearless Evie was? Wanted to ride every coaster and spinny thing.
Or was it losing Hyrum's shoe and Eve's sock in the raging water as we jumped from sidewalk to boat?
We did what we could in this weird shoe situation. Hyrum borrowed Evie's one remaining sock for a while, and lucky for us, there was a shoe store in the park. Unlucky for him . . .
. . . this was the only pair of shoes in the entire store that fit him. He remarked later that day, "Mom, if I was just looking down at my foot, I would think it was a girl foot, if I didn't know I was a boy." Micah and I exchanged knowing glances behind his back. To Micah's credit, he never spilled the secret. (You can keep it too, right?)

 Hyrum was too short for most of the cool rides, but he rode with Eve much of the day.

All three of the kids begged to climb this ladder. Every time we passed it, they would beg. I would point out how no one but the guys manning the booth could make it to the top, but they didn't care. They just KNEW that they would beat the odds and win the gigantical stuffed somethingorother.
 It cost $5 for two attempts. I think they dropped $15-20 trying and trying those ladders.
Eve actually got closer than either of the boys, but close doesn't count in this game.
As we were walking away, I tried not to sound smug. "See? I told you you'd lose your money and it wasn't worth it." To which, Hyrum retorted, "But Mom, you forget that it was FUN. Fun is worth money sometimes, even if you don't have a prize to take home." Dang. He got me there.
Micah, who was tall enough to ride everything, didn't like waiting in line AT. ALL. and chose instead to pal around with the rest of us, saying, "I'd rather all be together as our family." That may have been my favorite thing he said over the entire trip. Wish Hyrum didn't look so crazy eyed in the background, because Micah looks so cute.
That's better.
Eve convinced the boys to ride the train with her. They even acted like it was as fun as a roller coaster. I don't think it was, but I don't think the brothers cared.

As we were preparing to leave, the kids found a covered room that can only be described as a giant McDonald's ball pit (with guns for shooting the balls and hoses that suck the balls to other parts of the room). They wanted to go in there, and I couldn't see the appeal, what with ROLLER COASTERS around the corner. But they begged, and I figured, why not? They spent an HOUR in that room. Who would have guessed?

Bright and early we headed west and then south (following advice from Karen, a Colorado native, on the most beautiful way to reach Durango).

This mouse statue in Montrose, CO, cracked me up. It was huge!
 We drove west to Grand Junction, then south through Ouray on our way to Durango. It was some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen in my life.

 I handed the camera back to Micah who tried to capture some of the views. Not just the view of Hyrum in front of him.
 Can you see him in this rock?  Doesn't it look like Jabba the Hutt?

 Now do you see him?
 How about now?
 We stopped for construction, and this was my view. Unbelievable.

 The river runs yellowy orange because there's so much iron in the soil and rock.
 Once the kids saw snow out the window, they started begging to stop.
 Can you see the snow patch? They followed the creek and hoped to reach it.

 Unfortunately, the water was running much too quickly, and we couldn't touch the snow. That's a big deal for AZ kids.

It's out of focus, but I wanted to remember how much my little boy loves me and always picks flowers for me no matter where we are.

 Wow. Colorado is beautiful. Wow. The Rocky Mountains. Wow. The waterfalls. Wow. The drive.
This is a quick shot of the cool slide we found at a park in Durango--sent to her daddy so far away.
Next morning we had tickets to ride the Durango & Silverton Railway.
 Quick(er) bus ride up to Silverton.

 And time in town for lunch and some shopping.

 . . . and a quick 10-minute stagecoach ride around the town.

I can't remember why Hyrum got so mad that he hid in his hoodie . . .
 She thought that coach was really cool.
 Then we boarded for the (not-so-quick) ride back to Durango.

 Sounded really fun and exciting at first.
 I even made them run to the grass and back before boarding, hoping to tire them out a little bit.
 We listened to historical narration all the way back, which was interesting for me, but they lost interest after the first three HOURS.
 A quick trip to the concession car brought skittles and a small distraction.
 The ride was truly amazing. I can't believe they blasted that track out of the side of the mountain. See the locomotive around the corner?
 By the end, they had invented this game (like Rock, Paper, Scissors), and were laughing and playing (and annoying the historical narrator). But it was FOUR AND A HALF HOURS LATER!! They did pretty well for most of the journey.
 And all Eve could repeat as she looked out the window was, "Mom! Look at that view! Look at that beautiful view!" It was.
The train ride was one of the only regrets I had from the trip. If it had been two hours, it would have been perfect. Since that wasn't an option, it was fine, but the kids were DONE by the time we pulled into Durango at 6:30 pm. A quick dinner at a great restaurant, and we were back at the hotel, listening to Harry Potter and sleeping soundly.

Only one more stop before our adventure finished up . . .

If you made it this far, you're amazing (or my mother . . . )

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