My last marathon walk at Cherry Creek State Park is not as pretty as my other walks but I do meet up with a few critters.
Emjay and Jasley fit us into their busy weekend schedule and spend the night on Friday. Jeff has to get them back home for an afternoon birthday party and an evening slumber party.
We go on a scavenger hunt.
After eating dinner we share scary stories and shine a flashlight on our faces. We roast marshmallows for S’mores and bury a banana topped with chocolate and mini-marshmallows in aluminum foil on top of the coals. We play Caribou Island and Sorry. Jasley and Pappa Jeff poop out so Emjay and Grandma Laurel finish playing for everyone until everyone wins! We set up all the dominoes and make them fall. The girls turn on every light in our bedroom and snuggle under the covers playing with the tangram puzzle and making pictures from the different shapes. Jeff and I sleep on the fold-out couch wondering why there isn’t a thin matress. Instead, we have to place all the cushions into a make-shift sleeping surface.
The girls wake up to hot chocolate and Pappa Jeff’s special pancakes before leaving to get ready for not one, but two birthday parties!!
I take another long walk. This time I circle south along the reservoir dam and connect with the west end of the lake.
The nice part of the Denver area is knowing that the mountains are always to the west so I rely on them to get me back to the campground. As the lake disappears I encounter the wetlands area where I got lost before. I stride confidently through them this time and emerge southeast of the lake. Familiar landscape greets me and I know exactly where I am and how far I still have to walk to get back to our site, sweet site!
Andy and the kids come visit us at Cherry Creek State Park on Sunday, giving Daisy some time to herself. I take off earlier in search of a 5 mile walk along the park’s many intertwining trails. Well, I get lost! I even have the Trails Map with me! Nothing is marked! Where am I? I ask joggers, bicylcists and other walkers who I meet. Nobody knows! Their responses include: “You can’t get lost.” “That’s the fun of unmarked trails!” “I don’t know.” “Take out your phone and use the GPS.” This last one came from a woman walking her dog. English was not her native language as she had an accent and was speaking to someone on her phone in a foreign tongue. She was the most helpful as she watched me proceed along some path and told me to turn here or go straight. So I just keep walking. Along my misguided way, however, I take some cool pictures.
Emjay and Jasley stay with us while Andy takes the twins back home for a nap. The four of us take the dogs for a walk down to the beach and back. Emjay remarks that I must be very tired of walking by now. She is such a compassionate child and older sister! As Jasley was off exploring, Emjay and I spy the tallest cat-tail and as soon as she snaps it off its stem I say to her, “Now watch. Jasley is going to be upset and want that cat-tail too!” As soon as the words fly out of my mouth, Emjay and I grin at each other because that is exactly what happens! So what does Emjay do? She gives the cat-tail to her little sister and she and I begin looking for an even taller one! (And of course, we find one!)
Pappa Jeff drives them home and I wonder what Daisy is going to do with these 2 cat-tails. Secretly, I begin planning some fun when the girls can spend the night with us next weekend in the RV!
As we arrive at Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora, CO and purchase an annual Colorado Parks’ Pass (which was cheaper than paying the daily fee of $9 for 10 days) Jeff’s ex-wife, Patty pulls up to greet us. Whew! That was a long sentence! Apparently, knowing our arrival date, Patty just happens to stop by on her way home from work to see if we are here yet. Perfect timing! We hug and laugh and laugh and hug some more. We tell her our loop name, Gold Rush, and site number, 94, and she leaves us to park and set up.
We luck out with a beautiful space with a tree and spectacular view of the park.
After setting up, jacks down, slides out, plugged in… Patty brings Jeff’s son, Dave, out to visit us. How much more love can we exchange!
About Cherry Creek State Park
With 4,200 acres of a natural prairie environment and an over 850 acre reservoir at its center, Cherry Creek State Park is an oasis for all sorts of recreational sports in the Denver metro area. There are 12 miles of multi-use trails for running, walking, cycling, and horse-back riding. The reservoir dam was built in 1950 by the Army Corps of Engineers to prevent flooding in Denver and to provide water to the community. Early pioneers drove their wagons through parts of Cherry Creek State Park on the historical Smoky Hill Trail. (from en.m.wikipedia.org and cpw.state.co.us)