Hiking at the Red Rocks

With the holiday season upon us, our life is packed full of parties and obligatory functions, keeping us close to home.

Today we craved some fresh air and time with our cameras, so we head over to the Red Rocks in Morrison Colorado.  We spent the day hiking, eating snacks in the van and shooting some great photography of the Red Rocks area.  Our toddler couldn’t get enough of the Xshot Selfie stick.  Enjoy our short video below and let us know what you are doing this time of year to get some fresh air.

 

How to have a Weeknight Adventure!

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Our last post we gave a you Simple List of Family Adventures that you can do any day of the week. Last night we decided to take our own advice and have a weeknight adventure!

 

If you can’t tell we LOVE our bikes … we have 9 total in our basement (not counting the baby’s Strider). Our friends call it the “Bike Shop.”  Needless to say we don’t get to ride ALL variations of our bikes too often.

 

We are part of a Mountain Bike Club near our house and they have a weekly Wednesday Night Ride. Normally we are elbows deep in a CrossFit workout during this time, but the stars aligned yesterday and we were able to do BOTH!

 

The trailhead is a huge open area where everyone parks and is still off the main road by at least 400 yards, so there is no traffic or a busy parking lot with lots of moving vehicles to be concerned about. We always attend these events as a family, including CrossFit (check out Abigail’s evening Crossfit Set-up here).  The baby is not a burden to either of us, and we became parents knowing this. So we have changed our lives ever so slightly to accommodate her. When we mountain bike, we take turns. This is the only biking we do that we can’t all do together; at least not yet. Last time we were out on the mountain bikes, I got to ride and Donald stayed at the trail head and watched the Abigail. This time I stayed with her and he rode.

 

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Trail Head

 

The ride was only about an hour long, so Abigail and I explored. These trails are part of the trail system we played in the mud at last week, although there was no mud this time.

 

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Adventure equipment

 

We took our time and explored the trail. She wanted to find Daddy so we headed in the same direction the bikers went.

 

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Trail

 

We picked up rocks and looked at flowers!

 

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Finding Rocks
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Putting the flower back

 

Her Dinosaur goes everywhere with her now.

 

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showing Dino the trail

 

She found a rock for him to hold during our walk!

 

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Dino and his rock
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Dinosaur loves to hold rocks

 

We poked along at no fast pace, playing with our shadows and touching nature.  I have found lately that if I let her choose the pace, and the direction on the path we are going, she feels like she is making decisions and I am supporting her. This has helped with our Tenacious Twos. We struggle at somethings, but if she has a chance to make decisions and be independent the day can go much smoother.

 

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Taking a break
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holding Hands

 

When it was time to head back, I carrier the little adventurer for a bit. We had walked into the trail system about a mile. When we got back we had a drink and chilled at the Sprinter.

 

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Hanging out in the Sprinter!
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Taking a Break

 

A great after work adventure was had by all! Have you been out on an after work adventure this week? Tell us about it! Send photos too and you could be featured you on our next post!

 

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Virginia Creeper, Damascus VA

In November we had the opportunity to knock out a few miles on the incredible Virginia Creeper trail in the western part of Virginia.  The Creeper trail is a two-track gravel path built on an old railway (rail to trail) and is fast becoming one of the more popular trails in the United States.  Our short trip on the trail helped us quickly realize why.

We chose to bike the trail in the autumn timeframe in order to take advantage of the falling leaves and changing colors of the surrounding forest.  I don’t mind biking up hill, however when I’m offered the opportunity I would prefer to bike down hill (who doesn’t).

With the Creeper trail, this is not only an option, but is the  “normal” method.  So on our first night in the town of Damascus VA, we stopped in at The Bike Station to secure our ticket up the hill the next morning.  The great people at The Bike Station locked us in a spot on the morning shuttle and also allowed us to park the Urban Adventure Van (UAV) in their parking lot for an overnight stay.

With both a shuttle for the morning trip secured and a place to park our home on wheels, we started searching for other intriguing places to check out.  It did not take us long to stumble into (and out of) the Damascus Brewery.  We ran through a full tasting of the beers they had on tap and additionally sampled the cider they had recently whipped up.  All incredible beers, making it difficult to choose just one, so I chose multiple.  The Damascus Brewery is yet another cool story of someone putting their mind to coming up with a dream and going for it!  We will be going back for future samplings.

 

 

In the morning we loaded the wife’s Salsa Vaya, my Surly Crosscheck and our daughter’s Thule Chariot stroller on a trailer pulled behind a van by The Bike Station team for a 30-minute drive up the hill to the White Top Station drop point.  The weather was great and the trip up the mountain was beautiful.  When we arrived, it took about 5 minutes to unload the bikes and we were off!  We bombed down the trail with our daughter behind in her Chariot stroller singing and laughing all the way.  Our bikes performed incredibly and the miles zipped by.  We stopped multiple times for pictures and to take in the scenery, however the 17 mile downhill trip back to Damascus only took about an hour an a half total.

The Creeper trail continues on past Damascus for another 17 or so miles, however during this trip we just didn’t have the time to bike the remaining miles, not to mention it was a little cold during this time of year.  The fall trip was nice to see the changing colors, but the trip could also be done during the spring or summer months providing a little warmth and less chance of rain and snow.  The Bike Station can rent you all the equipment you need for this family friendly bike adventure and Damascus Brewery can help assure you have a solid frosty adult beverage to enjoy after your ride.

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