Sunday, July 06, 2008

Camping and fireworks

For the long 4th of July weekend, we took the kids camping near Keystone. The trip got off to a rocky start on Thursday, which was a company holiday for me. With a customer deployment deadline of July 15, we ran into a snag with a supplier that I had to deal with on Thursday morning. Once I had my team working on the issue, we escaped to head up to the hills for two nights.

When we go camping, we do our best to avoid established campgrounds, most of which pack people way too close together and have all the charm of a trailer park. We picked nice spot next to a small stream, with no pit toilets or "rules & regulations" signs to be seen. Upon arrival, Andrew and Elizabeth grabbed their buckets and shovels and proceeded to get absolutely filthy, which is what you're supposed to do out in the woods. For dinner we grilled pork chops. Some advice, by the way - avoid the "light the bag" charcoal - unless you enjoy the taste of lighter fluid. (I knew this, but we couldn't find a small bag that wasn't the match-light kind.)

After dinner, we roasted marshmallows, and Andrew discovered the magic of a camp fire. He thoroughly enjoyed putting a stick into the coals then pulling it out to watch it glow and make smoke. (Last year, there was a fire ban throughout most of the state all summer, so we had to forego this most important ingredient of a proper camping trip.)

On the 4th, we snuck away from the camp site and took the kids to Keystone for the jumping castle, playground and some ice cream. At night, we enjoyed the fireworks display, which had Elizabeth fascinated and a bit scared at the same time. The next day, she called it "lightning McQueen" - a mix-up of lightning and the main character from the movie Cars.

We finished off our trip with a nice lunch in Breckenridge with my brother Erik, and a hike to Monarch lake. (By the way, three weeks after I popped into the bar where Erik bartends, he says people are still asking about his "twin" brother.)

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