Summer for this family typically means weekend after weekend spent gallivanting around in the mountains. We hit the road on Friday evenings, spend all day Saturday doing something fun, and head home on Sunday morning. It’s why we moved here eight years ago and the novelty hasn’t even begun to wear off. Summer is my favorite time of year despite the fact that it can be downright exhausting. I look forward to it all winter long and when the days get warmer and the snow starts to melt I start planning our weekends away.
Which is why it hit me like a ton of bricks a few nights ago when I realized that this summer, at least the beginning of it, wasn’t going to go that way.
My husband’s job involves quite a bit of travel and at certain times of the year it seems like he’s gone more than he’s home. I’ll be honest and say that it’s a bit of a bummer but we are able to make due, mostly because he is almost always back in town on the weekends. Sometimes he’ll go months without having to hop on a plane. Other times he’s gone for multiple weeks in a row, with quick visits home on the weekend. It’s less than ideal, but we manage.
All that to say, tomorrow begins an intense burst of travel for him. I’ll be solo parenting for the better part of the next month, including four of the next six weekends, as he jets off to Moscow, Ireland, and California. It’s hard when he’s away on the weekend but even harder when he’s away on summer weekends.
I was having a bit of a pity party about all of this a few nights ago. I was sad to be missing out on weekends in the mountains but even more sad that our kid would be missing out on all the fun when he’s at such an awesome and inquisitive age. And then I stopped pouting and took matters into my own hands.
First I called a friend that we swap dogsitting with to see if he’d be willing to watch our girls for a few days. Then I fired up the internet to see what I could find for the little guy and I to do. I knew I wanted to go somewhere that is off our beaten path (i.e. not Leadville, Summit County, or Winter Park) and I knew that I wanted to be near some hot springs (because who doesn’t love hot springs?). I toyed with the idea of heading toward Ouray but wasn’t sure I wanted to drive that far. And then I thought about Steamboat Springs.
I pulled up AirBnB, searched for cheap lodging near Steamboat, found this place, and promptly sent the owner a message. She said that they have horses and campfires, that there’s plenty of room to run, and that kids are welcome. I booked it within minutes.
We are going to sleep in a wagon, you guys. I’m afraid my child’s head might actually explode.
So next week homeboy and I are off on a little adventure of our own. The plan is to bring our bikes and the Chariot and hit up a couple bike paths on our way up to Steamboat. We’ll bring the paddleboard too, in case we find some nice water. On Tuesday we’ll go for a hike, hang out in the hot springs, and make S’mores by the campfire at night. Wednesday morning we will head home. We might tack a night in Leadville on to the beginning of the trip because there’s a few things I want to do up there (and because I love Leadville with all my heart). I’m hoping for good weather and a happy traveling companion.
And just like that, my sadness over not being able to go camping as much this summer turned into giddy excitement over the adventure the little guy and I are going to have. It might be awesome. It might be miserable. It will certainly be memorable!
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