With the city behind me
the prairie the only answer to my discomfort
I followed highway 36 east
until the light changed.
There on the side of the road I waited.
bare feet on pavement.
And then this.
We saw a lot of family during the trip, went to a lot of museums, took a lot of subways, and ate a lot of good food.
Visiting Children’s Museum of the Arts with Big Dad
I decided in March that I really wanted to spend my 40th birthday in New York. I wanted to spend the day at a museum with Alder and my parents and then go out for dinner with my cousins. So I guess you could say that I got everything I wanted for my birthday, though the dinner out ended up being the night before. I really wanted to go to the MOMA but the line was an hour and fifteen minutes to get in the front door. Instead we went to an Japanese Noodle House that has been around for fifty years, then we headed to The Center for Book Arts to see their exhibit Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here which was both moving and motivating. The entire time I was there I was wishing that I could sign up for one of their week long intensive bookmaking classes. After the museum Alder and I decided we needed some alone time so we wandered until we came across a glowing cupcake shop and ate cupcakes at a white enamel table with red edging.
The rest of my birthday was another dinner, this one I cooked with the help of my cousin. It was quick and amazing. Fettuccine with steamers, mussels, scallops, and shrimp, with a big salad and asparagus. There were giant cookies for dessert and then Alder and I fell into bed full and happy.
Harald and Amanda at Ilili the night before. Such good food and company. (just thinking about it is making me hungry)
Still more New York to come.
Welcome to New York!
[the park is open only 5 days a week 11am to 7 pm, it was around 5 pm when this picture was taken]
My classes ended last week and I was more than ready to head out of town. So the boy and I packed up the car and headed northwest to Lander Wyoming. I had been there when I was a teenager on a seven week hiking and climbing trip with CTT. What I remembered of the town was vague, though I had spent a night there again on my way to Colorado when I moved here in 1996. But there were a lot of things that made it the perfect place for the two of us. Lots of hikes near town, an amazing free camp site in the town park, and the world’s largest hot springs not too far away.
The drive to Lander is long, and not too exciting. But we pushed through after a late start and ended up pulling in before dark. Settling ourselves into our spot and having dinner we climbed into the tent, one tired Mama and one energetic boy. Still we managed to float off to sleep.
One thing I have learned with Alder is that saving the exciting activity for last only leads to an anxious child who doesn’t enjoy what he’s doing. So we headed up to Thermopolis to the hot springs that morning. When you get there you have three choices of places to enjoy the springs, one is the state park soaking pools which are great, for grownups, the other two are fun pools with slides and other fun amenities. We ended up at Star Plunge we had a little fun on the big slides, but spent most of our time in the outdoor pool where there was a shorter slide and a high dive. We played games and I spent a lot of time reading while Alder spent most of his time on the high dive.
That evening we met our neighbors, a father with his two young children, two and not yet one. Alder took it on himself to teach the girls how to catch water skitters and from then any time we were at camp the three of them were playing in the little stream that flowed through the park. By the end of the trip he had six kids following him around and playing (I wish I had gotten a picture of all of them). It always amazes me how well he does with little kids, especially since he usually prefers the company of grownups more than kids his own age. Who would have thought that I would get to read over 100 pages of my book during the trip.
The next morning we headed up to Worthen Meadow Reservoir for some time in the mountains. There was much chasing of bright blue dragonflies, and gray ones. There was a dock to jump off of, rocks to boulder, trails to hike, and plans to make for next summer (words like backpacking and kayaks come to mind). We explored the edges of the water finding patterns and colors in the world around us. We were especially loving the blues that seemed to explode everywhere through the green of the trees. We stopped to watch the wind in the aspen leaves and hiked until the trail started to head down. We dreamed about backpacking trips to the valley below (not without Papa). On the way down the canyon as Alder slept I paused to look at the scar from a fire that had burned a swath of the north (west?) side off the canyon.
That night after dinner the winds came, 45-55 mile an hour winds. We hid in the tent sure that the limbs of the trees were going to crash down. Later in the evening the wind died down to a respectful bluster and the rains came. Yet some how a tired little boy slept through it all. In the morning you could see the results downed branches everywhere, luckily none of the tents had been hit.
With the next trip starting on Monday we headed out mid-day Friday for the long drive back to Denver. Next up in our lives Alder’s first flight by himself!!!
We drove a little north the other day up to Sedona to hike Cathedral Rock. It’s a popular hike, like Delicate Arch in Moab, but there was plenty of sandstone to play on. Being us we took a little bit of an alternative route around one of the rocks and found some bushwhacking, a common part of any hiking trip with my in-laws.
Last week I mentioned how I was feeling the need to start living again. Well this past Saturday morning during breakfast Kevin suggested that we head up to Vedawoo for a day or two of climbing. I’ve gotten so used to feeling overwhelmed by the idea of going camping, but this time I said yes. four hours later we were driving north on I 25 and crossing out of Colorado.
The thing about us is that when we first met we would go camping anytime we could. There was so much BLM and Forest Service land that we would just go. Sure we’ve woken up to bears, cows, and chipmunks without a campsite but it’s just such a great way to be away and not too far away. But moving to Denver and getting busy changed that. It takes about twenty minutes just to get out of town and with suburbs and such it is harder to find places to just camp. Like many other things it was easy to get complacent and stay in the city, or just go out for a hike or climb.
The thing is that camping is fun, it’s peaceful, and it’s just part of who we are. So when Kevin suggested it I said yes. Besides Vedawoo is one of most interesting places to play around. Which is important when you’ve got a six year old who rather be climbing something than walking. The other thing about camping is once you get out you don’t want to go back home. So after two days of climbing we decided that rather than heading home that we would explore the Snowy Mountain Range, because well they were near by and we had never been. Which in my mind has to be the best reason to do it.