Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Labor Day Weekend Family Camping

Luke's balance issues seem to have finally stabilized enough for us to feel comfortable taking him camping. Certainly not a "lets go hike and 4 wheel" sort of trip, more of the "bring extra books and the hammocks" weekend. Fine with us! Tried out a new place this time, got a set of coordinates from a friend for a nice dirt road to check out above Jefferson, CO. The hope was to avoid the I-70 traffic we hit last year camping outside of Breckenridge. Unfortunately traffic was just as bad on 285, seems Labor Day one must just resolve to have a tired clutch leg. A one hour drive turned into over 2 hours...

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We found plenty of ways to entertain ourselves...

"Honey, don't you dare let that Winebego pass us!!" (A tired, naturally aspirated Subaru 4 banger isn't the most peppy at altitude on steep hills fully loaded!)

The lady driving this thing was just as interesting looking... Slicked back short hair, leather "biker" jacket with too many shiny buckles, and heaven forbid she smile! Yikes! I half expected to hear terrible 80s rock blaring from her speakers, but no, SILENCE! Eek...

I think lawnmowers have bigger tailpipes!

Rained off and on all afternoon while I packed up the Forester, saw some rain on the drive too. Double rainbow!

I've been stuck in traffic with worse views

The long drive meant a stop for dinner before getting to Jefferson. The Coney stand in Bailey is always tasty! Line wasn't too bad either, seems folks were pushing through.

Discovered Luke doesn't like long car rides anymore... Some dramamine helped, but I wished we could calm him down more. :(

Got to the dirt road after dark in the rain! Good thing Karla and I make darn good partners, we had a hilarious time getting the tent setup and everything inside so we could go to sleep. Holy soaked Batman! Didn't help that I forgot the headlamps... LOL we couldn't stop laughing!

Our original spot was almost directly on the dang dirt road. I couldn't see well enough in the dark rain to navigate the loaded, stock height Forester down the rough track and my clutch was getting a bit hot. So we just found a quick spot to set up the tent and moved to a nicer location Saturday morning. No pics, we slept well if a little chilly. Saturday dawned bright and the sun was super warm, was happy to get the shorts out! Found ourselves a better spot up the road a bit, short walk from a good place to park the car out of the way. A little creek was close by, flowing high and fast, providing a nice soundtrack for the rest of the weekend.

Once everything was moved and tarps were setup for the impending rain, we hopped back in the Forester for a quick trip to the store in Jefferson. Needed some more ice and I forgot the eggs...

Good boy Luke.

Whew, that was exhausting. Cool (low 60s) rain makes for perfect napping weather. Luke loves my Dad's old sleeping bag.

Rain cleared just before dinner time. Karla got a fire going while I manned the grill.

I think she had a good nap, what would you say??


Plenty of fire time and star gazing as the clouds rolled on.

Slept well, Sunday morning was cool and cloudy. So we repeated Saturday night: fire and food!

Those fancy Jefferson eggs added soon after...

The brown tarp you see can be strung up to enjoy the fire in the rain. Karla's not out of her PJs yet! LOL!

Some Subaru art

I think Dash (the Forester) is ready for winter too... He's trying to make his ice art of out dirt!

Today was dedicated to:

Karla's first time in her new hammock! Thanks John and Angie!

Seemed it was destined to rain each day from 2ish to 6ish. Today was the same!

No problem, back into the ginormous tent! Snuggle into the ginormous double sleeping bag on the ginormous queen air mattress! Gotta love car camping.

Rain didn't quite clear in time for dinner. No worries! Karla got the fire going again while I worked at the grill again.

Tried to get a decent picture of the three of us, but the grass in the foreground and low light completely baffled the camera. Grr. Sometimes it'd be nice to have a tall tripod!

Good times

Cute puppy

Oh, you woke me up for a belly rub? Ok.

Smile for the camera

Plenty of this

Which Luke decided was too bright and was interrupting his nap

Monday morning was bright and sunny again! We weren't far from treeline.

Mmmmm sun.

We have a pattern when camping in a spot for multiple days. On the last day, pack everything up after breakfast then you have the afternoon to relax before heading home. As Karla put it (from inside the tent), "if I was rolling up these sleeping bags knowing we were leaving soon, I would be throwing a huge fit. But no, we're gonna get back in the hammocks, so packing up is ok." LOL! Happy for the warm sun, helped dry everything quickly so nothing was packed wet.

All done and back to the serious relaxing. My favorite picture of the weekend:

I easily go through several books on a weekend trip. Thanks again to my sister for the ebook!! Makes things so much more convenient.

My close second favorite picture from the weekend:

Rain rolled in later than usual, we tore ourselves out of the trees to head home.

The road our campsite was on... The sign doesn't say no station wagons! The prohibited vehicle clearly has a trunk.


Luke was being camera shy too

Bye bye

Thankfully traffic wasn't nearly as bad on the way home. Took us an extra 30 minutes instead of a full hour.

Tuesday morning greeted us with a beautiful sunrise!! Well, I'll rephrase, it greeted me... I found it stunning and rather motivating, time to get the short week rolling! Karla said, "If I would have seen it I may have gotten out of bed... May have is the key. LOL" Guess the motivating factor was lost in her pillow!

Anyways, great weekend. Luke did really well. He only got himself lost one evening (he doesn't see, hear, smell or walk very well anymore), but we keep a bear bell on him at night so Karla went and fetched him. Kinda sad that we couldn't go for long walks or hikes, but he really enjoyed exploring close to the campsite and lots of naps in his bed! I wish his balance had been more stable this summer, we could have taken him more often. At this point just have to be thankful we could take him at all!

All 69 photos here


  1. Though I could see lots of goodness and fun here, I was happiest for dear Luke.

  2. Let's go camping again soon. I want more steeeeeeak. LOL