Rocky Mountain High, Part One

In the middle of August, the Utah Shenks spent an awesome week enjoying a family vacation in Colorado. The sheer volume of pictures taken means that this trip will warrant more than one post. Wouldn’t want to inundate you with too much beauty at one time…

Just driving down the highway is a visual feast

We took our little camping trailer and our dog, Leo, and hit the open road. We started the trip off in Colorado Springs, enjoying the Garden of the Gods park. Unfortunately, this trip coincided with a huge amount of rain causing flooding and mudslides in that area, so while we were able to enjoy small bits of sunshine and time outside, our outing to Pikes Peak was canceled. On the plus side, we were able to spend more time with Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Jim, and that is never a bad thing. As always, they are the most fantastic and generous of hosts and we love being there.

A rainy day in the Garden of the Gods is still pretty amazing
Really brave rock climbers
Future rock climber

Chris goofing around on Jill’s bike at our campground. Love the face!
Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Jim, just a-swingin’

Chris and Jill enjoyed a rare day out (thanks for babysitting, Aunt Charlotte) and took a tour of the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado. They are the geniuses behind Chris’s favorite beer, Fat Tire Amber Ale. If you haven’t tried it yet, go find a bottle. It’s fantastic! The tour includes samples, of course, and since Jill is not a big beer fan, Chris basically had double the fun. Nothing like getting drunk at 11 am on vacation… 

At the beginning of the tour, still sober
Ending the tour down a slide, definitely not sober

While in Golden (where Aunt Charlotte lives), we took in the Historic Railroad Museum there. It is a really great place and if you’re ever in the area, be sure to check it out! They have a wide variety of rail cars you can climb in and explore, as well as a functioning roundhouse and the most detailed model railroad we have ever seen! 

Chris and James checking out the model railroad

A train just waiting to be explored

I’m pretty sure Chris is explaining the mechanics of this to James

If there’s a truck in the area, James will find it and want to “drive” it

A visit from a local

All aboard!
On our last day in the Denver area, we took James to the Children’s Museum. It was a really fun experience for him with a variety of areas to learn and explore. One of our favorite things about James is that he is always up for trying new things and this trip was no exception. 
Dressed as a fireman, sliding down the pole.
Hanging out in a full-size fire truck was awesome!
Painting a masterpiece with Mom
Tool time in the workshop, just like Dad
Inside a big, square bubble!
Chris and James make their own giant bubble

The boys share a moment during our yummy lunch in downtown Denver
Enjoying the deliciousness that is Little Man Ice Cream!

What a wonderful first half of our vacation! Check back for Part Two, which will include our time in Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Dinosaur National Monument.