Respite from the heat…

There were no vehicle breakdowns, no relationship troubles (spouse or child), no scheduling snafus, the weather was beautiful, the locations magnificent… even our dog did well.  It was, my dear hubby and I agree, the best vacation we’ve ever had as a family.  🙂

We went:  First to visit my husband’s brother in Pagosa Springs.  Then, to a USFS cabin north of North Fork.  Then, to a VRBO rental just outside of Dolores, into whose 400 s.f. the owner graciously let us cram our seven bodies.

It’s just hard coming back to 110° in the desert.  Oh.  And, I broke my camera.  By sitting on it.  While trying to restrain my 20-month-old from giddily flinging herself into the rushing Piedra River.  (Toddlers:  Gusto without wisdom.)  So, 3/4 of my pictures were taken without a viewer:  I cracked the LCD screen, and there is no manual viewfinder on my camera.  I thought, “I’ll blindly snap away, and hope I can crop some fairly decent pics from them.”  Well, 90% of the “blind” pictures are still wonderful, which is humbling, as apparently, my skill in picture-taking is really the “skill” of the camera.  Or something.

The pictures for most splendid and picturesque part of our journey —  the Dunton Road, which takes one along the West Dolores River, and over 10,000 feet in elevation to the foot of the Lizard Head Wilderness, with magnificent views of the backside of the mountains of Telluride — were taken with my decrepit mobile phone, as I forgot my camera.  Ugh.

I’m sure I’ll be posting more, but here are a few pics for now:

I never tire of the amazing scenery of the US 160, which passes through the Navajo Reservation and Monument Valley

Baby Rocks, or, as we call them, "Cheeto Rocks"

My dear husband and our baby Fiala, near the Piedra River trailhead

Audrey discovers that Uncle Adam will more willingly offer his shoulders than Daddy, thereby Adam won her love and trust forever.

While the boys went shooting, the girls and I played in Mill Creek, south of Pagosa. I made a daisy chain, modeled here by Audrey.

Fi, toodling around in the front yard of the Alder Creek Guard Station

Ethan, Audrey, and me on the Alder Bench Trail, which we made 80% of, until small feet gave out.

Wesley, Grant, and Ethan, along a pristine creek (East Fork Creek, I think, which pours into Middle Alder Creek), exactly 7 miles north of the Alder Guard Station on the Forest Road 610, which was a HARROWING drive

During the trip, we saw three beavers, a cow elk, several deer (including the tiniest fawn ever seen by my husband or me), I identified three new birds for my list (with very little actual birding time), we absolutely SOAKED in the Spirit during the after-service worship-and-ministry time at my brother-in-law’s church… we discovered that Fiala would very happily live in any body of water, and that 4yo Audrey is now a nearly-perfect little traveler; she must be made to live outdoors.  Grant is still the best hiker of the bunch.  We picked out a campground for a future visit (Mavreeso Campground, along the West Dolores River– site 6).  We successfully made a number of hikes and excursions, though none to the numerous National Parks and Monuments in the area.

And… though we purposed to take no calls while on vacation, we did make a few exceptions, and gained the very exciting news that there is a publisher VERY interested in the book I ghost-wrote.  They said they’d give a reply (to query letter & first chapter) in 4-6 weeks.  It took 10 days.  Then, they asked for the whole manuscript, and upon receipt, called back in 24 hours to say they want to talk more.  🙂  It’s the publisher that was at the very top of our list of preference, and that is very encouraging, though absolutely nothing is for certain yet.

So.  I hope y’all will forgive my absence.  Before I left, my friend Kathy encouraged me to, “Soak up every delightful moment, and let Jesus minister to your every molecule.”  That’s what happened.  It was lovely.  Bless God and the restorative properties of His creation.


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on July 11, 2010, in birding, Colorado, Family, Hiking, Loving Nature!, Travelling, Worship. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Beverly Schmidt

    I’m so glad you had a wonderful family vacation! And yay on the book! How exciting! I’m looking forward to hearing what happens!

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