Colorado...Adventures... and Experiences!

The great trip begins! This was one of the first times we haven't had an early morning flight.

Two things I can't get enough of while traveling... Healthy snacks, and something to read and study:)

Ok, so we stayed the first night of our trip in Denver, and ate at Panera Bread, (as usual:) and that's where I was overjoyed to find out the National Bible Bee scores. My family literally had to make me eat, because After I stopped reviewing the scores, and rejoiicing with my friends that made it to Nationals, we all enjoyed lots of swimming, and exercise.  Evan and I ended our time in Denver with a GREAT basketball game the next morning.... But I never got any pictures of any of that, sorry(: 

The next day we drove the beautiful three hour drive to Winter Park.

After dropping off Dad and Evan at their fully furnished "cabin" for the Father Son Camp....

We girls drove the beautiful drive to our Devil's Thumb Ranch, 

The sunset was absolutely stunning. I'm still amazed at how well my Point and Shoot captured it.

Devil's Thumb Ranch, although it has a foreboding name, is really an immaculate resort like ranch, where one can enjoy all the extravagances of the city, in the quiet beauty of the Colorado countryside. 

Everywhere you look, there are vast mountains, and beautiful expanses of color painted on the landscape by a magnificent God. 

Remnants of days gone by, add rustic charm to the scenery, and remind us of the brevity of life.

I think I could have taken a thousand pictures, and still not done justice to the beautiful surroundings. 

Yvonne seems to fit in quite well with the surroundings.

I think Suburban's are my favorite cars for trips. They are comfortable, spacious, and take windy roads very smoothly. (Which is a huge bonus for car sick people like me) 

The Ranch....beautiful, sophisticated, and rustic, all at the same time. 

Our room... Well... Part of it:-) 

I love taking walks on the ranch, and exploring the buildings. This was our second time to stay at the ranch, but we still found plenty of new things to do. 

Like visiting the stables for a 2 hour horseback ride. (Which was a first time experience for me:) 

Mom rode a sweet horse named Ginger. 

I'm so glad they gave us instructions before we began riding. 

This is my horse's head. His name was Rambler, and he really lived up to his name, because all along the ride, he would stop as often as he could to ramble on some grass. 

Yvonne rode a beautiful black horse named Rusty. 
The trial guide was having trouble with his horse going in a striaght direction, so the ride went a little  slower than it usually would have, but we all enjoyed it just the same. 

The whole time we were out riding, I kept thinking of the Booher Family's song.."I'm Back In The Saddle Again." I think this picture of Mom captures the essence of that song. 

A group photo, which the trail guide was so kind to capture for us.

Self Portrait... While riding my horse:)  I just loved the clouds that day, it was like being able to look right into the splendor of Heaven. 

The trail was so beautiful, and all along the way I wished I could have been singing, but I'm not sure how much the trail guide would have liked that:) 

The summit of the Trail ride, as we headed back down towards the ranch in the valley. 

My horse actually picked up some speed just after this photo, as he saw the stables coming into view.

Back at the stables, Yvonne enjoyed stroking a full size Draft horse. 

On a separate trail ride that departed simultaneously with us, a man was riding the large black horse you can see behind my Mom's horse. It was a good head and shoulders above the other horses. 

Mom waiting for help to dismount from her horse. 

Back at the room, we enjoyed a couple hours of relaxation, before going swimming. I really enjoyed the   Horseback riding experience, and I'm so glad God provided saftey, and kept back the rain while we were riding. I look forward to being able to ride a horse again sometime in the future. 

We went into town for some Pizza, and while we were waiting for our order, I managed to capture this photo, which I think displayes a small snapshot, of the beauty of God's creation. 

Here's some photos from arround the Ranch. 
This is the main lodge....

The spa... And a resturaunt. All of the buildings are stone and beam construction, which I really like. 

A unidentified flower which caught my attention while I was walking. 

Any guesses as to what type of flower it is? 

In the next town from where we were staying was a ski resort.... With the most unique ways to use Downhill ski slopes in the summer. 

The main, attraction was downhill mountain biking. Fully suited with helmets, and body armour, people were riding up the lifts, to desend the ski slopes on mountain bikes. So at first thought this doesn't sound like a bad idea, but then picture hundreds, of bicyclists doing it at once. They're coming down the hill one right after another, and there's no way to stop, and even if they try to stop they will most likely flip off thier bike, and crash like one lady we talked to who had broken her leg in 12 spots, as a result of a crash. Needless to say, I don't think I'll be trying downhill mountain biking on a ski slope anytime soon, but it certainly was a good way to use a ski slope in the summer.  

For the less risky people, there were lots of other activities... Like miniature golf, bungy jumping, a human maze, stores, resturaunts, and faux gold mining. 

And among all the other things there was the attraction we were came for... A 3,000 foot alpine slide. 

Sitting aboard a steerable sled, after a 10 minute lift ride, Yvonne and I enjoyed a thrilling ride down the  mountain. It was definetly worth the long line, and thankfully we made it to the bottom just before it began to rain really hard, and they had to close the slide. 

The finish line. 

If you look really closely in the top middle of this picture, you will see a hummingbird moth. Smaller than an inch in length, with four wings, this is a very amazing moth that had all the characteristics of a hummingbird. God's creation is amazing. 

Back at the ranch, I just loved this beautiful flower garden along the path to the lodge. 

After a full day, we settled in for some good conversations and a round of checkers, in the main lodge. 

Although Yvonne was unsuccessful in mastering the author of this post in checkers, she did master her in being able to stack all the checker pieces on top of each other. 

O.k. so we did get a big goofy too, and Mom managed to capture this photo in the midst of our humor. I think a good caption for this photo would be.. "Look what I found in the mine, Mom?" :) 

When we got back to our room, roomservice had turned the beds down, and bathrobes were laid out, so I managed to get Yvonne to agree to... Well...this:) 

The next day was check out day, but I managed to capture these pictures before we left. 

I loved the color of these flowers. 

After checking out from the Ranch, we headed across the valley to pick up Dad and Evan.

The father son "camp" from a distance. 

The "cabin" where Dad and Evan stayed. 

After picking up the guys, we drove the three hour drive to Colorado Springs where our parents surprised us by treating us to a stay at the amazing Broadmoor Hotel. 

Over 100 years old, the hotel was beautiful, with gorgeous gardens, and waterfalls, professional and famous golf courses, and activities galore. 

I was amazed at the architecture of the hotel. 

Yvonne loved this ballroom with small mirrors all around the walls. It looked like something from a Jane Austen movie. 

Evan and I explored the whole hotel, and managed to make our way to the clock tower where we captured this photo. 

After exploring the grounds, we all enjoyed an amazing concert by the Broadmoor Symphony Orchestra. From movie themes, to original compositions, to famous classical pieces, the concert was beautiful, and one of the best concerts I've ever attended. 

The next day we explored the numerous stores around the hotel. 

Saw the beautiful waterfalls, 

Enjoyed the amazing sitting areas. 

And cute sculptures. 

Walked the intricate gardens, 

Played and sang around one of the many pianos. 

And then .... My personal favorite activity of the day.

We got to go to the USA Olympic Training center in Colorado Springs. 

It was really neat to see the grounds, and buildings where actual athletes live and train. 

Although it was amazing to see the Training Center, it was also sad to think about how many athletes spend their entire lives training for events of such temporal significance. But then it brought 1Corinthians 9:24-27 home, when I realized that as Christians we are supposed to be athletes for Christ, and that is a life long calling. I wonder how different my life would be if I really lived like a Christian athlete for Christ?

After our field trip, we ate at delicious Noodles and Company, for our first time ever. 

And then drove up a mountain to see this amazing view. 

And this deer:) then we headed back to our hotel, for some delicious ice cream and a good night's rest.

The next day, Yvonne and I bypassed the extremely busy pool and water slides, and headed to...

The lake... To go paddle boating. ( Evan had come down with a strange flu, so Mom and Dad stayed on the shore with him.) 

It was a beautiful sunny day of about 90 degrees. 

Yvonne really enjoyed the boat, and certainly did a lot better job of steering than I did:) 

I loved the boat, ok I guess that's why the paddle boating was my idea:) 

But this... Was Yvonne's idea:) to go under the waterfalls, and get soaking wet:) o.k. Well it was nice to cool off after sweating so much. 

Here we are in our boat. 

The buildings and mountains surrounding the lake looked like what I imagine Tuscany or Italy to look like. It was simply beautiful, and it took my breath away. 

We managed to pull over to the shore, and so Dad could join us for the ride back to the boat dock:) it was so much fun, and Dad made the boat go so much faster:) 

But is was hard for me to steer, and I almost caused us to run into a group of swans. 

After our exciting ride, we headed back to our beautiful hotel room, 

To pack up and get a good nights sleep before we headed off to the airport the next morning. 

Before we left, we stepped into this antique store, and saw these amazing authentic binoculars. 

The shop had some amazing artifacts for sale, (with amazingly high prices.) and we all enjoyed it. 

My personal favorite photo of the trip:) 

The Broadmoor was a wonderful end to a wonderful trip. I'm so glad God blessed us with safety, and allowed us to have an enjoyable time as a family.  

"Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us,
 and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations." Psalm 100


  1. I know what you mean about singing...if you were alone. ;)
    Love that picture with you and Yvonne "goofing off". :P It's so fun to have siblings who will goof with you once in a while. :P
    Lovely pictures!! :D

    1. I know, even though I really enjoy singing, I sometimes feel really awkward about singing when other people are present:)

      I agree with you about the siblings... Those are the times that you remember the most when you are having a good time:)

  2. It was wonderful to see these photos as well as to see you at the conference. I love the one of you and Yvonne in the bathrobes! (-;

    1. The bathrobes was my idea:) younger sisters tend to be the immature ones:)

  3. my thoughts right now...

    Man, that sounded like a really rough trip. ;)

    Are those Gummy fish in the second picture?

    "Camping"? "Cabin"? that looked like a mini mansion! Was it just the two of them in that huge thing?

    That slide looks like SO. Much. Fun! So did the horseback riding, and the boating. :)

    That picture of you and Yvonne in bathrobes is soooooo funny!!!

    One of these days I'm going to eat at Panera Bread. I'm always hearing about how good it is, so I think I should give it a try.

    Glad y'all had a good time!

    1. I know, it was probably the roughest trip I've taken recently:) j/k

      To be exact, they are healthy gummy bears:)

      It basically was a "mini mansion" ... There were about 12 other people staying in the same house, so that probably made it a little more like a "Campout"

      The slide was way too much fun. I should have done it again if it hadn't started raining afterwards.

      Panera bread is really a good place to eat, although it can get addicting of you're not careful. (Especially the mango smoothies:)