Saturday, August 22, 2009

Our Colorado Vacation - A Pictorial (part 1)

Hi everyone!

As I mentioned, we just got back from an amazing visit to Colorado. I only have about 500 pictures of the trip so I hope you're not disappointed that I didn't get more. Sometimes you just want to enjoy the beauty through your own eyes instead of a 2" viewfinder.

Seriously though, I thought I'd share a sampling of what we did last week here. Then, if you really want to see more, you can stop by my Facebook photo gallery (using my new badge on the right) and catch the rest.

Oh, you'll notice in these pictures that we've accumulated a bonus child! DJ has been with us since last winter and we couldn't be happier to have him with us... so feel free to say "hi."

Also, don't forget to embiggen the pictures to fully enjoy the magnitude of their beauty.

Day 1 - The Griswolds hit the road!
(or should I say the Gris-Lees)
cause we're going to CO... where there are bears... get it?

Day 2 - Roughing it in Colorado Springs
(no, it's not wussy to set up your tent on a sand pad with a tin roof over your head)

Day 3 - The Royal Gorge

(serious beauty with kick-ass thrills)

Charli, Rosie, Austin and DJ

The bridge of death over the gorge

Because seeing it from the safety of a guard rail wasn't good enough

Nothing to worry about. These cables rarely snap.

Down in the valley...

Just a few feet up

Ridiculous beauty

Just how high were we? Note the tiny rafts in the river below.

Vertical tram down into the gorge

The Valley Express

Brandon, Charli, me, Austin (channeling his inner Michael Nesmith), Rosie and DJ

Austin, Rosie and DJ ready to ride the Royal Gorge Skycoaster.
Because seeing it from the safely of a tram wasn't scary enough.

Yes, that's them flinging themselves over the gorge on a swing

This poster in the gift shop pretty much says it all

Taking a break from all the fear

Next up in part II... You don't want to miss it!


Janna said...

Looks like you had an amazing time.
I wouldn't have been able to do most of that because I am terribly scared of heights.

Camping on a sand pad under a tin roof??
What a great idea!
Naaahhh, it's not wussy at all. Never mind what VE might say. :)

In fact, it's genius because if it rains, you stay dry. If it's oppressively sunny, you have shade. If there are man-eating bears, you...
Well, ok. The bears would still eat you, but other than that, it's brilliant!

Shieldmaiden96 said...

While I tend to leave activities involving possible concussion or hurtling, screaming, sudden death off my itinerary, it looks beautiful, and fun.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

janna - It IS genius. In fact one night there was a horrendous thunderstorm with crazy lightning, rain and hail, and in the morning there was about one teaspoon of water in the corner of the tent. We probably would have drowned without the roof.

shieldmaiden96 - No concussions, hurtling wah wah wah... you EMTs are all the same. ;-)

Heather said...

Excellent! Jeff and Charli's Excellent kids!

Anonymous said...

We did a Colorado trip several years ago, it was a BLAST! Were you able to stop at the Black Canyon near Gunnison? way cool

Mom Thumb said...

Having just returned from the Boundary Waters, gotten quite rained upon, I can say that your tent situation was quite wussy. And apparently quite practical. Sounds like you had a great trip and how wonderful that DJ was along for the ride. Hi DJ!

mom said...

Oh man---what awsome pictures!!I'm so happy for you, that you took the trip, and that everything went well for you! Can't wait to see the next pictures!

Kathy said...

Gris-Lees. You funny. Now, the flinging out over a gorge thing... why? Just why? I can barely drive on a bridge over a gorge, much less put all my faith in a cord. Your kids are insane.

As for roughing it, I wouldn't even put a tent where you put it. I'd put my tent in a hotel room. With a pool and room service. You've heard of glamping, right?

Elizabeth said...

Wow, your kids are brave! There is no way I could ever do that. Did you or your wife even consider it?
I've never been to Colorado but it looks so beautiful from your pictures. Did you see any animals?

Anonymous said...

The most frightening picture was of you-- in the van, as you were leaving, St. Cloud! The hat, the big smile the whole group looking out at the camera! so scary!! AAGGHH!
God, talk about a stress filled vacation! River Rapids, hanging over mountains, driving through snow storms, camping--yikes! Good to get home and relax! Glad you had fun!

Travis R said...

Glad to see you had a nice time in Colorado - of the places I've been, it is still by far my favorite. The beauty is overwhelming. We were just out in there again over the 4th of July (the girls stayed in Colorado Springs while I climbed Elbert), and I really had a hard time getting on the plane to come back to Indy.

Hopefully, we'll be back out there next year for another 14'er...

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

heather - It truly was a most excellent adventure. Like totally.

carlae - No, we only did about 1% of the cool things you can do out there. But we'll be back, that's a guarantee!

mom thumb - I'll take wussy over drowned and eaten alive any day. Glad you made it home in one piece!

mom - Thanks. The next batch is queued up and ready to go.

kathy - You know what the scariest part of the trip was?... driving up Pike's Peak on curvy unprotected roads with a 8,000 ft cliff only 2 feet from your wheels. I was completely white-knuckled the whole way up and down. It still gives me the willies just thinking about it!

btw... I've never heard of glamping, but I could totally see myself trying it.

elizabeth - Kinda. We saw a deer drinking out of the water while we were rafting down the Arkansas River. Other than that not too much. My wife and I didn't even consider that swing ride for a millisecond.

sis - No, you have it all wrong. There was no stress at all. In fact, it was one of the most relaxing things I've done in years. Seriously.

travis - You're right about the beauty. There were times when I was looking at the deep rich blue sky against the mountains and I couldn't even absorb how amazing it was. It was like my brain didn't have a word for it.

Unfinished Rambler said...

Um, yeah, and no....I wouldn't be any of those rides. I will not lie. I have a problem on the kiddie rollercoaster at most amusement parks. Sad but true.

However, I'm glad you all had a great time there and...oh, happy belated 20th wedding anniversary, Jeff. Glad you enjoyed your vacation. I'd like to say I can't wait to see more photos, but if they're like this, eh, not so much. ;)

Ed said...

Of course a REAL man would recycle his dental floss and use it on the bungie jump...

I was hoping to get a photo of you in one of those body bird suits floating down the canyon. But I're gettin' old! ;)

Seriously, that looks like a lot of my kind of fun. I'm looking forward to the rafting part. I've rafted on many different continents; always a terrific time.

Roger Miller said...

Jealous! But we were just there a few years back, and I have to give your kids some serious credit (Hi DJ!) there is no way I would do that whole bungy-flying-over-a-canyon thing. Me? I use the "no money" excuse myself. :)

By the way - camping under a tin roof is wussy, but I sure as heck am going to try it next time.

rick said...

I see that at least half the cheese balls made it to Colorado. Did you pack all those chairs? And who got the only foam pad to sleep on?

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

unfinished rambler - Too bad I didn't get pictures of the scariest ride of all... me driving a few feet away from the edge of 10,000 ft cliff on the way up to the top of Pike's Peak. I couldn't even stop the car to look out the window I was so scared. I just held on to the steering wheel and focused on the road. Yes, I am manly that way.

ve - We talked about those bird people while we were there. Apparently a lot of people base jump into that canyon. That seems perfectly normal to me. NOT!

roger - Well watta ya know... after this trip, I can use that "no money" excuse myself now... whether I like it or not.

rick - Are you kidding? That was our 3rd barrel of cheese balls in that picture. Yes, we got all 6 chairs in there no problem. AND... after 1 night on the ground, Charli and I bought a queen-sized air mattress - and also some additional foam pads for the kids. They were comfortable... I think. I didn't really ask.

Maureen said...

Holy crap! Just the photos make me dizzy... and what's with the hat there pappa Griswold??? Ha!

And camping under a tin roof??? Wow, talk about camping under the stars.. er no, metal...

JD at I Do Things said...

Ho. Lee. Crap.

That photo captioned "Yes, that's them flinging themselves over the gorge on a swing" is actually one of your CHILDREN?! That's insane! Geez, I think I need a diaper just looking at that.

Absolutely beautiful. Lookign forward to part 2. . .

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

maureen - That hat made it out to CO, but never made it back. I think Charli used it to start the grill one day.

jd - I tried to get rid of the kids... three at once. It would have been so efficient... but the cable didn't break. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff. Just stumbled over here from VE's. I can still remember my visit to this place. OY! And they didn't have the walk-out platforms or vertical( or is that "vertigo" )tram. Hey wait! They didn't have any trams back then!