Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Horseback Riding, Anyone?

Several of you showed interest in horseback riding while you're here, so Grammy and I checked into it. The place that YMCA recommends is Sombrero Stables -- more info at http://www.sombrero.com/snowmountainranch.asp.


They have 1-hour rides for $32/person and 2-hour rides for $45/person. They also have breakfast and dinner rides, but I thought we may not want to do this since the cost is quite a bit more and I know at least our kids wouldn't eat enough to make the cost worth it. Let me know if there's interest in that, though.


Kids age 1-4 can ride with a parent, and kids 5 and up can ride their own horse.


Will y'all please respond and let me know if you're still interested after learning the price? If we have a group that wants to do this, I'll block a time for us.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Glimpse of Colorado

Just in case you need to get your collective juices flowing for your upcoming Colorado trip... here are some pictures from our past couple of weekends in the mountains. Some of these views are similar to some you will see when you are here.

A couple of weekends ago, we stayed in Winter Park (which is very close to snow mountain ranch where we will be staying for a few days when you guys are all here)

This first photo is us on top of Berthoud pass. There is still back-country skiing going on up in that area. We were just driving through. When you T.R.A.S.H. people are here, we will most likely go over this pass either on our way to or back from the YMCA of the Rockies. It will be interesting to see if there is still considerable snow.


This shot is from a trail in Grand Lake, about half an hour North of Winter Park. Grand Lake is the town closest to the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park on the West side of the Continental Divide.


As you can see from this picture, we had to hike through some snow to get close to the lake.


For our Memorial Day Weekend Camping trip. We went up to Rocky Mountain National Park. We were on the other side of the Continental Divide for our camping trip.

This is Tyler and Connor in front of Long's Peak. Unfortunately, Long's peak gets lost in the clouds in this picture. This was a much nicer view in person than comes across in the photo.
This is a view above Cub Lake. We got to this lake by hiking about 2 1/2 miles into the mountains.

This is a picture of the valley through which the Cub Lake trail leads. The snow-covered mountains in the back are part of the continental divide. Some of them are accessible via Trail-Ridge-Road. Tracy is considering leading the group up this route on our way to Tabernash.

We had lunch on this rock on the way up to Cub Lake.

Here is the family up at Cub Lake. It is quite a hike for a six-year old. Connor got to ride in a pack, so it is not nearly as impressive that he made it as it was that Tyler did. Connor called the mountains in the background "Rocky Mountain Pie". I am not sure how he came up with that name, but it works fine for me.

And of course, what is Colorado camping without guitar and singing by the campfire? If you are all nice you might be able to convince the artist to perform for you while you are here.

video

Monday, May 26, 2008

TRASH '08 Calendar

I created a calendar of when everyone is coming and going so I could keep it straight. I thought I'd share in case anyone else is interested in this info. We'll see if this works...I uploaded a document to Google Docs and published it. To see it, click here: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=p9wSmdYXEUMVr7Spd0Yi1aw

Saturday, May 24, 2008

One Month Away

Hi Everyone,
Well, it's one month from FUN, FUN, FUN!!!! We are really looking forward to everyone being together. I don't know about the rest of you, but we are especially afraid of the Tyler/Connor tooth tigers that we are about the come in contact with.
Eric, you should write a book, you are a talented writer! Hope everyone is having fun this Memorial Day weekend. Papa Lou and I are enjoying the cooler weather, doing some yardwork and possibly taking in some movies, or whatever else comes up. Love you all. Let the TRASH talk begin!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Colorado Tips

Just thought I would share some information that may be useful in making your stay just a little more pleasant. If not useful, it may be interesting. If not interesting, it at least takes up space on this neat little blog that Tracy refuses to use.

High Altitude
To us, Denver is in the low-lands at 5,200' (1 Mile) high. While you are here, you will be spending a significant amount of time at 8,000 - 9,000 feet and probably go as high as 12,000 feet during your visit. Higher altitude means much thinner air. This, of course, gives Ted a built in excuse should he fail while "taking on all challengers", but it also can be unpleasant if you are not careful. Altitude sickness is a nasty thing.

So, while here:
  1. Take it easy. Especially the first day or so, try not to do anything too strenuous. If you get tired, take a rest. Luckily, most of you will have a nice amount of time to acclimate in the Denver area a day or two before we head up to Snow Mountain Ranch. Use that time to relax and learn to breath the thin air.
  2. Drink lots of water. Lots and lots of water. Drink water. Especially if you are active at all, you need to make sure you are hydrated. There is very little humidity in Colorado and high altitude gets you dehydrated quicker.
  3. At higher altitude, the sun is much more intense. Wear sunscreen. Wear a hat and make sure you wear sunglasses.
  4. Try to eat things high in potassium
  5. Check out http://www.highaltitudetips.com/ . I think I got the main things, but it does not hurt to be prepared.
Weather
Denver gets almost 300 days of sun. This means chances are, every day will be warm and sunny.... at least to start out with. Weather during spring time in Colorado is unpredictable (actually this is true year - round). It is very common to get thunderstorms late in the afternoon, so make sure you bring rain gear. At high altitudes, when the sun goes down, it can get cool fast, so make sure you bring sweat shirts. It probably is not likely, but it is also possible to get snow in June.

Basically just plan to dress in layers. While out and about, bring a backpack and plan on wanting to add or remove clothing as appropriate.

Wildlife
I have been seeing Coyotes wandering around our neighborhood the past couple of days in the evenings and early mornings. There are possibilities of close-encounters with black - bears and (very rarely) mountain lions. We are such a big group, that I seriously doubt these sorts of creatures will want anything to do with us, but do keep in mind to keep an eye on the little ones especially in the early mornings and evenings. It really is not a big deal, because it is true that wild animals are generally more afraid of you than you are of them. Just be aware of it.

You will probably see lots of deer and elk. We have spotted Moose close to where we will be staying up in the mountains. You may see big-horn sheep or maybe even some mountain goats on your way up to Tabernash.

Basically, just keep your eyes open. Wildlife spotting is exciting and fun.

Perhaps the most vicious, and scary wildlife are the TylerandConnor-Tooth-Tigers. Perhaps the most nefarious of all predictors, the scariest thing about them is that they look so innocent... even cute. But if you spot one, be afraid. Be very very afraid. Eventually, they will viciously attack. And, I have spotted them all over the place. They have even been know to be bold enough to wander into suburban houses and attack innocent, helpless fathers.



Pine Beetles
It sucks, but Grand County Colorado (where Snow Mountain Ranch) has a huge pine beetle infestation. You will see lots of dead and dying pines.

http://www.ymcarockies.org/home/our-locations/snow-mountain-ranch/pinebeetle

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05528.html


Monday, May 19, 2008

Feast at the Shepards

Hello fellow TRASHers! June is almost here...we're looking forward to seeing y'all. Just wanted to let you know that you're all invited to dinner at the Shepard house on the Saturday night before we head up to the cabin. We've never had 30 people at our house before...but we're close, right?? Well, we will be that day! Hope for good weather where we can go in the backyard too!

Grammy and I have started talking about activities...if you haven't sent me info on what you're interested in doing yet, please do so to get your opinions added! More to come soon...