Bust! (sort of)

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been looking forward to this weekend all week.  I'd been toying with doing a 3 hour mountain bike endurance race next Saturday after Conquer Castlewood, and my friend Chuck, who lives near the park where the second race will be held, offered to pre-ride the course with me.  Since I've been feeling guilty about the amount of time training takes away from my family, I suggested to Jeff that we go camping over in that direction.  Then, either he and J could come and hang out at the park while we rode, actually do some riding themselves, or at least have me back a little sooner than if I had to go all the way back home.

Brilliant, right?

And then Chuck emailed that it was pouring over there.  You know, over there, where we were going to camp and ride?  Awesome.  Now I was facing the prospect of a rainy camping trip and no ride if the trails were closed due to bad conditions.  Jeff and I briefly discussed not going, but the camper was loaded and hooked up, and J was already in his car seat.  He'd been so excited and helpful about going that, in the end, we couldn't let him down.  And, besides, it surely wouldn't rain all weekend.

How could you say no to this face?
We drove a little over an hour to Cuivre River State Park, which was also the site of March's Quivering Quads half marathon.  Other than the race, I'd only been to the park once before, and it hadn't made a great impression.  It was the middle of July, ridiculously hot and humid, and other than a brief visit to the freakishly warm lake (which was populated by the most redneck of people ever), we spent the majority of the weekend in the respite of the air conditioned camper.

I'm glad we gave it another try.  It's a beautiful park with a very nice campground.  A very nice campground which, due to the rain that was indeed falling in the area, was only populated by a few other idiotic hardcore people like us.  And a cub scout group in tents.  Bet their adult company was loving life!

Home sweet home
We only had a light rain as we set up, but it kept up all evening.  I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of rain pouring on the camper tent.  I knew already that the bike ride wasn't going to happen, but I tried to stay positive.  Sure enough, when I checked my email the next morning, the trails had indeed been closed.  I was ridiculously angry with the kids who had chanted for rain (if that doesn't make sense, read back a post).  And we had taken a weekend to camp. In the rain. For nothing.

Well...maybe not.

Jeff ended up getting up with J, and they hung out and watched a movie that morning (yeah, we're roughing it...but it was a 13" screen, if that makes you feel better :D), so I got to sleep in til 10:30.  We played numerous games of Skip-Bo Deluxe.

No, he's not picking his nose.  More likely, he's about to give me the finger.  Bc I won.  Three times.  Not graciously. :)

J loved this game, despite the fact that we played it four or five times over the course of the weekend, and he didn't win once.  That's something, for my hyper-competitive child.

Unwilling to sit in the camper all day, rain or no rain, I convinced the boys to go for a hike.  "We'll jump over creeks!  It'll be fun!" Both were skeptical.  Every time another burst of raindrops pummelled the camper, I'd brightly reassure them, "It's not raining hard; that's just the water blowing off the trees!"  Eventually it occurred to me that we'd be subject to that same soaking as we hiked through the woods, so I shut up and hoped they wouldn't come to the same realization.

Desite my optimistic claims, J was so skeptical that we were about this close to beating him taking him back to the camper for a nap.  Eventually, however, he succumbed to my threats gentle reasoning and accepted his fate.  And his rain poncho.  Yes, poncho.  My husband is the boy scout to end all boy scouts.  He gave them the "be prepared" motto.  We have stuff for most any eventuality...including ponchos, in case it rains.  And in case he can convince his family to wear them. 

Fashion orphans
I was sincerely regretting the wishful thinking that led me to leave my waterproof jacket at home.  You can see from the picture that J wasn't much happier than I was about the wardrobe requirements of this hike.  Normally, I'd just suck it up and get wet, but it was a cold rain.  I knew I'd regret it if it started pouring while we were hiking, and I further knew that my husband wasn't going to give up his poncho if I refused to wear one.  Plus, you know, who's going to see me wearing it? :)

This picture cracks me up because it looks like some serious Photoshopping went on.
As resistant as he was to the whole idea of the hike, it took J all of about 2 minutes before he was cheerfully walking down the trail, noticing a creek in the distance, and talking up a storm.  Doing things with kids...much like running, if you can get through the rough going in the beginning, it's often much more enjoyable.

He was thrilled when we got to the first little creek crossing.

It's a bird...it's a plane...
And it only got better from there.

Yeah...jump over that puddle

Don't want to get your feet wet!
The picture above cracks me up.  His feet were completely soaked, yet he was trying to pick his way across the rocks.
Another awesome creek crossing
I had neglected to go to the bathroom before we'd left, and all these creek crossings were making me have to pee even worse.  It was then that I discovered an unexpected benefit to the hated poncho: it was like my own portable little bathroom.  No more climbing through poison ivy to get far off trail so that no one comes around a bend and sees your bare butt.  I could've been naked under that thing and no one would've known.
You can see that the trails were in fantastic shape.
We hiked a two-mile loop in a constant drizzle and had a great time.  When we asked J what his favorite part of the weekend was, he listed the hike...and the games...and the being with his family...and the movies...yeah, pretty much all of it.  So while missing out on my bike ride was a big disappointment, the weekend overall was a joy.

And it didn't actually rain the entire time.  It stopped long enough for us to pack up the camper.

And then rained the whole way home.


  1. I love how you made the weekend work. Love that first picture of your son. It is funny how resistant kids can be and then quickly end up loving things. I need me one of those ponchos for running when I have to pee. I could also have used one on the bike yesterday for the same reason. I worry about ticks! That poncho would wash those worries away!

  2. I think you will make a trail runner out of him, he went through those creeks, just like a pro!

  3. I loved reading this...great memories were made this weekend! That poncho was perfect :)

  4. I'm so glad it ended up being a good time in spite of the rain. It sounds like you still had a lot of fun!

  5. Sorry you didn't get the ride in, but at least you made the best out of the crappy weather.

  6. I think your weekends sounds AMAZING. I love stuff like this!! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

  7. I smiled while reading this. I think this is the weekends that turn out special and we remember for ever.


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