For our next adventure, we drove out to Alamosa, CO to meet up with Margan Phil on the last leg of their vacation. This was a giant leap for all of us in terms of stretching our family travel abilities to the max! But I knew we’d create memories to last a lifetime, so we wouldn’t have dreamed of missing out. Could Emily handle a 5+ hour car ride? We would soon find out! I knew it would be “possible” (anything’s possible, right?) even if it meant arriving at 2am. OK, I knew it wouldn’t be that bad, but I was prepared for making many, many, many stops along the way. Strangely, I was almost disappointed that we only made two stops on the way out, because I was enjoying the scenery and being out in the world so much. Maybe next time we can arrange for a crankier baby?!?
The trip was amazing all around, not least because our travel partners seemed to have thought of everything (the perfect rental house in an easily walkable neighborhood of a great city, great food, and laid back expectations). In their working lives, M&P traveled the world, so I guess it’s not surprise that they got it figured out – how to stay sane and have fun while on the road! We’ll have to emulate this as we continue to set out on more family adventures.
On day 2 of the trip (our only full day in Alamosa) we decided to head to Great Sand Dunes National Park – cuz that’s what you do! (Actually, there are plenty of wildlife-watching and nature-walking adventures to be had nearbouts Alamosa, but with just one day, the Dunes are the biggest draw). This was our second time at this particular NP, but our last visit was at the cusp of winter, so I was really looking forward to seeing this wonder of nature in a completely different season.
Emily, unfortunately, was not having any of it. We had a rough morning, feeding wise, followed by a truly epic barf (like, Mom and baby in the bathtub levels of barf – I really need to invest in feeding poncho). It was huge. That doesn’t happen very often (maybe five times in her life so far), so I figured something in her little system was out of whack. We never know whether it’s a little tummy bug, or too much gas, or just “I’m having a hard day” (one time was the day after she got a round of vaccines). Either way, it didn’t bode well for a walk over hot and windy dunes.
Rolling with the waves is our specialty though, so we figured we’d take the day one minute at a time and just see how it unfolded, knowing that we could always retreat back to the house (the rental, not Boulder) and have a chill day if Emily truly was sick. It turned out that she wasn’t sick, but the day continued to be one of upheaval for her, so what ended up happening was, after a brief picnic lunch in the shade, Emily went back to the air conditioned space of the car with Louis, to try to catch up on food and naps (both of which she was short on), while the rest of the grown-ups explored the dunes.
As I mentioned to Louis later, I now owe him two epic adventures, since I got to see the total eclipse, and now this! He did insist on both of them, so I can’t feel too terribly guilty, but I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to let him do fun things. I think he really wants to climb a 14er this season, so we’re trying to carve out time for him to do that. Climing a 14er is rather big undertaking though, as you can’t exactly go from couch to 14,000 feet. One needs to do some serious training, and the season is rapidly dwindling. But with some oomph, and dedication, and luck, all things are possible!
I’m not really angling for anything remotely that extreme. My own healing process is taking time, but I think I could quite reasonably hope to climb Bear Mountain (the 8,000+ foot peak right in our backyard) before the year is out. At any rate, the Dunes did not disappoint, but they did teach me that I’m not exactly at my peak physical fitness! It’s always good to be made to eat a humble pie, especially when out in Nature.