Week 3-  September 12 Week: Rocky Mountain Times

…quite a week. 

We drove to Colorado Springs from Nebraska after attending an EV Free church in Agollala on Sunday morning.  We arrived at the Garden of the Gods RV Park later than I would like, right at dinner time.  The evening is a very long story so I’ll abbreviate and let you imagine the details : 

-campsites, tight quarters
-one turn too close
-left back wheels slip off retaining wall
-RV leans against tree, left back wheels suspended
-friendly campground owner and son both come from offsite to help
-talk of bringing crane in, possible huge damage
-Scott teetering toward despair, Brenda and kids praying
-owner Chuck Sr. calls tree cutter friend
-RV stabilized after decision to fell tree
-Master woodsman fells tree without damaging any campsites or RV
-Onlookers cheer
-Chuck Jr. brings in pizza and ice cream for the family
-Hydraulic levelers on RV used to get blocks under tires
-inch by inch the RV can be pulled forward building up ground under tires
-Onlookers again cheer
-Chuck Jr. masterfully directs Scott in maneuvering the camel through the eye of a needle 

Late that evening the family is settled in their own RV rather than in a hotel looking toward several days of delay.  A gift from God, what could have been thousands of dollars and days of repair was one dime-sized fiberglass gouge and a small dent in the rain gutter, strategically placed where it didn’t damage either slideout awning.  Scott is once again humbled by his lack of faith… 

We are deeply touched by the Murphy family’s outpouring of assistance and positive support throughout the ordeal.  We can not speak highly enough of the folks at the Garden of the Gods Campground. 

The rest of the week we worked on finding the right balance of school and experiencing the area we are visiting.  We have to make decisions only to see certain things to develop some sort of routine.  We have found it important to have some days of staying put. 

After schooling on Tuesday, we drove to the summit of Pike’s Peak, altitude 14,110 ft.  It was especially stretching for the Brenda and the kids as we made our way up the winding road with no guardrails!  The kids got to experience several ecosystems on the way up, from Montane meadows, to Subalpine Douglas fir, to Alpine scrub above the tree line.  At the top, the views were awe-inspiring.  As the rest of the family was in the visitor center, Scott saw a fighter from the Air Force Academy buzz by the summit.  We all did okay with the altitude without having to use the oxygen bar at the top.  We have been making sure to stay well hydrated since we’ve been in Colorado.   

On the way home, Scott, Nate and Jenna went 1000 feet down into the Mollie Kathleen gold mine.  Leah, one who doesn’t particularly like any elevator made the good decision to forgo this event as the ride down is very cramped and dark.  The tour was educational and Jenna and Nate were excited to get a piece of gold ore at the end. 

We have had wonderful weather our entire trip.  Colorado has showered warm sunshine on us in the day and breathed cool air at night.  Several days this week, the kids’ PE was swimming in the campground pool!  One evening we had a wonderful family walk in the Garden of the Gods park down the street with the sunset beautifully illuminating the rock formations. 

Thursday, we took some time to visit the headquarters for Focus on the Family.  I am even more impressed with this ministry after visiting it.  They have great activities for the kids, including Kyds Radio.  The three kids got to record an “Adventures in Odyssey” episode where they read scripts and did sound effects along with pre-recorded voices of their favorite characters.  The kids are proud of the two CD’s of the final product that they got to bring home!  I also enjoyed seeing Dr. Dobson in Studio A while we were in the headquarters. 

We left Colorado Springs Friday with a quick stopover at the Air Force Academy and on to Loveland Colorado for a couple of days near Rocky Mountain National Park.  Loveland was a very pleasant town, not too far from RMNP.  The kids earned their first Junior Ranger badge.  Many National Parks have a special educational program for kids where they learn and earn.   

This time of year was the Elk rutting season.  The ranger that worked with the kids on their Junior Ranger badge also gave a presentation on the Elk rut using an excellent but humorous analogy to a high school dance.  The class was outside overlooking a meadow while the rut was happening right before us. 

We are still in the very early stages of figuring out this new lifestyle.  There were plenty of rocky times this week, besides the mountains.  Actually at times they felt like direct opposition against our family in this opportunity to grow and work together in such a unique way.  Brenda has been great in keeping us all on an even keel.