Happy birthday America! We spent the Fourth of July weekend in Estes Park with my in-laws which included Joe’s parents and one of his sisters – who was also in town with her husband, two sons and our nephew. The older boys spent the week going to a rock climbing summer camp, and it sounds like they had a blast. In all there were 11 of us picnicking and hiking together over the weekend.
We kicked things off with a “Rocky Mountain National Park Picnic.” AJ enjoyed his first s’more ever, and both boys spent the evening trying to keep up with their much older cousins. All of the boys were so good to one another. It is always nice to see older kids take younger kids under their wing.
Following the picnic we went to our hotel and slept soundly – surprisingly. Joe and AJ woke me and MJ up with Latte and Hot Steamer. We drank our beverages out by the river before heading up the street to Joe’s parent’s cottage. We were greeted with homemade waffles for breakfast. So yummy!
With our tummies filled and are appetites satiated 11 of us headed for what we thought was a 5 mile hike to Gregory Falls. We were relieved to learn that we actually hiked 7 miles. Which means that AJ eclipsed his previous PR of 3 miles as he clocked in 4 miles on this day! The relief mostly benefited the ego, because we were all so tired. More tired than 5 miles should make you feel, but reasonably tired for a 7 mile hike.
The hike itself was hot, and fun. Joe’s parents know the trail system so well that we found our way to Gregory Falls by heading off trail for a portion of the trip. We also found ourselves hiking on a sliver of a trail in a cliff like setting. On one side was the mountain, and on the other a rushing river. I was carrying MJ, and though I felt steady on my feet I was also worried about slipping.
We arrived at the falls and enjoyed having them all to ourselves! Since the trail was mostly washed out by the flood of 2013, many hikers and visitors to the park don’t know how to access the falls. It was glorious to have them to ourselves!
The way back included some rain showers and complaining kids. I’d have it no other way!