First “14-er”!

This past Saturday, Nick&Jess and I climbed to Quandry Peak, one of Colorado’s 54  peaks over 14,000 feet. This was my first “14-er’, and was every bit as fun, and not quite as challenging as I had expected. Quandry Peak, 6 miles outside of Breckenridge, CO, summits at 14,265 feet. Since Lloyd and I were in the area attending a conference in Breckenridge  since Wednesday, it seemed a great idea for Nick&Jess to join us Friday evening, after the work-day in Denver only85 miles away.  Nick&Jess and I set our alarms for very early Saturday morning and got to the trailhead shortly after 5AM. It was still somewhat dark when we started our accent. Although it typically takes 5 1/2 hours to accend/decend Quandry Peak, we did it in a total of 4 hours, 20 minutes. Not bad, for moving slowly (the air was very very thin!) and steadily most of the time. By the time we were at the top, Lloyd was back in Breckenridge, about to begin the final morning of the conference. We spent about 35 minutes on Quandry Peak, where it was cold and very windy. Jess took this pic of Nick and I sitting on the top of the mountain. The view was panoramic and very inspiring!

At the summit of Quandry Peak near Breckenridge, Colorado

Summer Week in MI

A few pics here, taken during my summer 2011 week in Michigan. I drove out on Monday, June 27, and stayed at our basement apartment in Grand Rapids through the week until Lloyd was able to join me late Friday night (acutally very early Saturday morning because his flight was delayed). We both stayed in GR through Sunday, and drove back to Des Moines on Monday, the 4th of July. Although we expected busy holiday roads, the freeways were wide open, with only an occasional other vehicle. NICE! We got back to DSM in record time.

On the first day I was there, both Kristin and Kim had the day off work. We all went to the John Ball Zoo with the kids. For a summer day, the weather was absolutely perfect! 65-70 degrees and sunny. We spent over 4 hours at the zoo, totally engaged, without a single melt-down.

Levi gradually drifted off to sleep at the zoo after lunch

The kids got to pet several snakes. Here's Claire with a ?? snake. (Help, Paul! I forgot the name)

Marley's turn with the same snake

Emma, Claire and Marley petting a smaller snake. I can't remember the name of this one either!

Playing with the penguins.

Feeding the parakeets was great fun!

At the petting zoo


Claire's turned 5 when we were there. What a treat to be there for her birthday celebration!

It's really fun to watch how cousins play. Eden and Harper's names came up more than once!

Until the next post…….

Donuts, Floyd and Hair

Last night, Lloyd and Eddye and I decided we would get up early this morning to buy a dozen donuts at the Johnston HyVee and drive 3 hours Northeast of Des Moines to surprise Reuben&Heidi, Eden and Harper for breakfast. We knew they had biked to within a mile east of Larymer, Iowa yesterday, and were camping overnight in the yard of a farmhouse near lots of trees on the south side of  hwy 24. We also knew that they usually pack up camp and start biking anywhere between 8:00-9:00AM. So we left our house at 5:00AM and easily found their camp spot promptly at 8:00 just as they were eating their oatmeal.  Breakfast quickly morphed into donuts for “dessert”. It was so fun to surprise them!

Just about done with the donuts and about to pack up camp

Lloyd playing peek-a-boo with Harper across the bike gear

A tender moment with Eden

About to take off from the farmhouse

we took one of our bikes along and took turns biking with Reuben&Heidi until their first play/snack break. Whoever wasn't biking followed by car

On the way back to Des Moines, we thought ALOT about Vicki’s Dad as we passed through a little town named Floyd. Can you imagine that? Floyd, Iowa!

After being Floyd-ed out, we arrived back to Des Moines about 2PM. Today’s outing was well worth the early rise and 6 hours of driving. Iowa country-side is actually very beautiful!

When we got home, Eddye asked if I would help with relaxing her hair. It’s about a 40 minute process involving various chemicals, shampoos and rinses. This was my second time, so hopefully I’m learning the skill and her hair turns out even more beautiful than it did last time we did it in March!

Mama hairdresser

Looking forward to supper on the grill tonight, and a nice summer evening out on the deck!