Monday, June 11, 2012

Major Road Trip Commences!

On June 1st, we embarked on a major road trip.
12 of my family driving to Dallas for my sister's wedding and her daughter's high school graduation.
And also a surprise 60th birthday party for our mom.

Lucky for us, June 1st also happened to be National Donut Day and Krispy Kreme was right on the way!
A key lime pie donut is the finest way to begin a very long road trip, if I do say so myself.

Kyle, Avery and I are the only members of my family living in Utah so we drove ourselves to Colorado to meet up with the rest of the troop.  We picked a scenic drive, which put us right through Glenwood Springs, Colorado.  (Liz! We should've planned better and met up with you!!)  We had tried to stop there to hike Hanging Lake a couple of years ago but it was closed, so we just had to do it this time.  We also just had to eat lunch at Qdoba because I die for Qdoba.  Move over, Cafe Rio and make room in Utah for Qdoba!

Hanging Lake Trail is 1.2 miles.
We figured we could go up and back in an hour.

Hanging Lake Trail climbs over 1000 ft. in 1.2 miles.
It was not easy.
Especially not for Kyle, who carried nearly 20 lbs. of baby cuteness up the vertical incline.
What a man.
Although I should probably mention that we were kind of in a hurry and totally booked it up the mountain.  If we hadn't been in such a rush, we probably wouldn't have been so exhausted after the fact.

But we both agreed it is the most beautiful hike we have ever been on.

Even if Avery got a little tired/cranky near the top.
See that handrail by her foot?
We needed it.

 The lake was so beautiful!
The water seems to get pretty deep but it's totally clear and you can see the fish perfectly.

Cranky no more!


 I agreed to give Kyle a break and carry Avery on the way down.

 She promptly fell asleep.
And then I slipped on a rock, fell on my butt and woke her up.
And maybe slipped a curse word...
(I bruised my tailbone.  Feel sorry for me.)

We stopped at the bathrooms near the parking lot for water (we thought this hike would be a quick one and didn't bring water!).  We walked out just in time to see an SUV speeding through the parking lot, slamming into cars just before it got stuck on a cement pole, the gas still floored.  

The tires were burning up and the smoke got really thick for awhile.  Someone finally got the car turned off and apparently the driver had a diabetic attack, passed out and floored the gas.  She completely destroyed the axle of the van you can see on the left of the picture.  I was so shook up about it for awhile.  Kyle gave her some of our pop we had stashed in the car and we stayed around for awhile to make sure everyone was okay.  She hit a couple of guys but they were okay enough to be walking around.  Amazingly enough, the first two guys to reach her were a doctor and an EMT.  What luck!

So the quick hike we thought we were in for took several hours and we were way behind schedule getting into Denver.  The hike, however, was absolutely gorgeous and we hope to go again.  There's another little part we didn't make it to, called Spouting Rock that we have to go back and see.

We got to Denver a few hours late, but still got to see these guys!  Deb and Kelly met us at my very favorite place to eat in Denver, My Brother's Bar.  I know I've blogged about it before but I can't say it enough: get the Ralphie JCB!  Buffalo burger with jalapeno cream cheese... mmmm....  also they have the best onion rings in the history of forever.  Avery loved them right away!

Ok so I have to go on a minute about My Brother's Bar and how awesomely cool it is.  See this cute old guy next to me?  He's the owner.  He's been greeting people at the door since the first time I went there like 10 years ago.  He immediately offered Avery a balloon, walked us to our table, and asked all about our baby.  Then he came back with some crackers for Avery and a baby t-shirt!  It says "My little Brother's Bar."  It was the sweetest thing ever and I totally teared up.  You gotta  love a place like that, I mean really. And they sell Girl Scout cookies like year round.  I'm telling you, go there! 
(Ralphie JCB and don't look back)

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