Friday, August 19, 2011

Day Twenty-Seven

17 August
One of the things we will do differently the next time is we will spend two nights every time we camp.  My favorite part of our trips has been the national parks.  When we only had one night there, I always felt rushed and didn’t really get to check out the area in enough detail.  Hikes are the best way to see most (not necessary in Badlands, as I think most of it can be seen from the car) of the national parks, and you really need more than one night to get in a couple of good hikes.  Since we had already planned two nights in Rocky Mountain National Park, it was a good opportunity to test my theory it out.  It is now definitely our plan of record.  It was more relaxing and gave us a chance to really see the park.  The kids had plenty of time to explore and find bugs and sticks and other things kids do. It was so great and the pace was perfect.  It has a shuttle system so we didn’t have to get into our car at all while we were in the park.  The Junior Ranger Program was challenging and engaging.  It was like a field book which had the girls excited to roam around identifying and checking off everything they saw.  They brought their books everywhere with them and were always anxiously engaged.  We did two short hikes in different areas of the park, one after breakfast and one right before dinner.  They carried their books in their Camelbaks and were on the lookout for all of the plants and animals they could find.  The whole day was peaceful, relaxing, and utterly enjoyable.  Here are some pictures from the park.

Tip of the day:  Schedule in some down time.  If you have miles to drive and you are only camping one night, there is no time to really enjoy the relaxing camping experience.  Camp two nights!

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