Trailcation #2 Part I (June 29 – July 1)

The Great Hoekwater Colorado Trip :

It would be impossible for me to get across all of the amazingness of this week through writing and photos/videos ! So many great memories made with my family and so, so much fun doing all the activities! I’ll do my usual thing, but if you want the cliff notes version my niece Kelly made a great video!

Day 1:

My drive to the airport and flight went smoothly. I had one stop, but didn’t even have to get off the plane. Once in Denver airport, my bag didn’t turn up out on the carousel, which gave me a fright, but soon enough found it in the oversize bag area. Then, after realizing I was a floor above my picker-uppers, I escalated down and found the large golden brown pickup with the Dave H license plate! A joyous reunion was had with mother Sheryl and father David!

Then, we were on the road headed into the Rocky Mountains west of Denver…My entire family had road tripped from Michigan (and Indiana), the rest of the crew being up ahead of my parents getting nearer to our destination, Snow Mountain Ranch, the “YMCA of the Rockies.” We stopped for a late Subway lunch for me, climbed our way up, down, and around the mountainous highways, and arrived at the camp in time for dinner. It was pretty spectacular when I got out of the car and was swarmed by my nieces and nephews! Even a few punches out of sheer excitement from the younger ones. Wouldn’t have it any other way 😀!

Back in the summer of 2008, I spent a summer working at Snow Mountain Ranch along with a group of others from Calvin College. So, it was a bit strange coming back after 11 years or so and seeing it all again. A lot was the same, but certainly there were changes too. This building, the staff housing that was my summer abode back then, looked exactly the same except for the trees being much more green now.

After settling into Silver Sage Lodge, the hotel-like building we’d reserved for the week, the whole squad went up for dinner. I say up because it is indeed a hill to the dining hall. A hill that to all of us, including myself, seemed like a mountain. We learned quickly the effects of the high elevation, which had us huffing and puffing. I was surprised that I was feeling it too, albeit not as much as my flatlander family members.

Meals together would be a favorite time for me over the week. There’s something about getting together to share a meal with the converstion flowing (and the kids yelling and inevitably running around after about 8 minutes in). The food had its ups and downs over the week, but a constant hit would be the post-dinner ice cream cups and fudge bars!

Afterwards, we got to catch up and enjoy being all together around the campfire! The kids weren’t too into the fire, choosing instead to play in the forest and dirt, building forts and always keeping in touch with one another via their walkie talkies.

Day 2:

As I said before, there would be no way to describe all of the events that took place throughout this week, so I’ll summarize our first full day at the camp saying that it was packed full of good times, a few of which were experiencing the summer tubing hill, putt putt golf, a hike to a waterfall, and a wonderful magic show, where Viv got called up to be a volunteer helper and rocked it!

Day 3:

The adventures of the Colorado Hoekwater Fam Vacation continued with our first trek off-campus to hike and fish around Monarch Lake followed up by some extreme dodgeball and roller skating! We even were joined in the evening by cousin Scott Prins who had driven the two hours or so from Glenwood Springs to visit! Scott, brother Abe, and myself ended the day in style with some glow-in-the-dark bocce ball!

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