Greetings from 10,000ft.! As we’ve gotten to do in many past years, we checked in on America’s highest Fourth of July parade—this year complete with vintage fire trucks, marching lions, hailstorms of thrown candy, and more. Afterwards Henry went BERSERK over his new metal detector (more on that later!) and the whole fam journeyed to a nearby campground to picnic. Here’s a little gallery & some quick video highlights:
We enjoyed an action-packed Forth with the lads yesterday—first enjoying a party & parade at our friends’ Lorraine & Brad’s house; then catching a nap (well, trying) to prepare for a late night; rocking a Slip n’ Slide at our friends’ Jake & Shay’s BBQ. Check out a gallery from the festivities!
Back in Leadville this summer, I watched our delighted boys bury their cousin Patrick in pillows, turning him into a “sandwich.” I typed away as the guys played, thinking I’d flesh out these bare notes, but somehow I never got around to posting the photos or story. Now I’m left with just a few semi-random bits plus a rather fun gallery of pics. Enjoy. 🙂
“Revenge of the Sandwich”
“Watch this, people!!”
Watch out for the boney feet
BBQ sauce truck (Trasher); blood truck (?)
Sometimes a guy just has to be a good bad uncle. 🙂
For years we’ve driven past a large collection of rusting, abandoned mining equipment, along with a bunch of huge rocks that get used in each year’s Boom Days drilling competition. We’d never stopped to explore them, though—until now. On Thursday nephew Patrick joined the Micronaxx & me on a little excursion. Because the gate was locked & marked “Private Road!,” we parked nearby, then swung the “minor miners” across a little stream & scrambled up a 20-foot slope made of loose rock. “Brea-kin’ the law, brea-kin’ the law!!”
At this point if you’d imagine I was thinking of Will Ferrell’s hilarious bit about George W. Bush exploring an abandoned mine shaft, you’d be right. 🙂 Happily we avoided all manner of scrapes, tetanus, lockjaw, cave-ins, lightning strikes, and more. (Seriously, it wasn’t dangerous, or I’d never have taken the guys there; it just seemed a bit rakish & daring.) The four of us hoofed it to avoid some impending rain, and the next day we returned with Mom-O. Here’s a gallery that combines shots from both visits.
Finnegan meets neighbor Finley. 🙂 (Click for larger.)
We’re here in Leadville for another 4th of July with my entire family – my folks, my sister and her family, and our Nack clan of four. We’ve got 10 folks, including 4 rambunctious boy cousins, staying here at the Liggett casa.
We love coming here and celebrating Independence Day – it’s really a scene out of a Norman Rockwell painting: A few blocks of 100-plus-year-old main street decked out in flags and red, white, and blue bunting, a terrific parade featuring the local firemen, park rangers, rescue personnel, Smokey Bear, baton twirlers, bike riders, military veterans, and the 4-H club (complete with live chicken riding on the hood of the 4-H truck!).
We formed our own little parade as we walked down hill towards main street to watch the real deal. The kids came prepared with empty sacks for candy and wide eyes ready for the festivities. Henry was literally jumping up and down with excitement during practically the entire event.
After the parade, we walked up the street to the fire station’s annual cookout, where we investigated the fire pole, toured all the vehicles, and ogled the boots, coats, and helmets. We feasted on hamburgers and chips (Finny wolfed down 2 cheeseburgers!) before heading out to the open house at the Leadville airport. Once there, we saw several vintage planes doing fly-bys, sat inside the life flight helicopter and met the paramedics, and also toured several other small craft on the tarmac. Here’s a photo gallery from the day out.
We all returned, pooped from all the excitement (and lack of oxygen!), and are now taking it real easy while Grandpa gets the homemade peach ice cream base mixed and ready for the freezer. Happy Fourth of July from the high country!
[Just for fun, here’s last year’s gallery.]
What’s even cooler than riding a cliff-hugging train at 10,000ft? Discovering a pack of vintage railroad motorcars and getting to climb on them!
On the train we happened to sit next to a nice older couple from Nebraska who mentioned that they were in town to drive their motorcar–a retired RR maintenance machine–up the track with a bunch of other enthusiasts. We followed them off the train & got to clamber around their little ride! They told us to come back for the big gathering the next day, so we brought back Patrick & Charlie. The drivers couldn’t have been nicer to all the kids, and we even got to scramble around on a full-sized locomotive. Check out the gallery and little video!
Apparently Margot’s dad is rather famous for his homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream, and the lads were more than happy to help him whip up a batch–and to “eat the profits” beforehand! Here’s our little gallery.
Margot bought the guys little marshall badges plus a couple of stuffed chipmunks. “Look at that bushy-tailed menace!!” exclaimed Finn upon seeing his. (Apparently he picked up that phrase from Fireman Sam.) Now the little “Menaces” accompany our guys around, with one sometimes making trips to my chin (where it becomes a “chennace”–chin menace).
We had a blast taking the boys on the Leadville, Colorado, & Southern Railroad as it climbed high above the Arkansas River valley. Check out our visits to the engine, caboose, & more!
From the Rocky Mountain Dept. of Wildlife:
- The Liggetts’ neighbor has a ratty wooden trailer hand-painted with the words “Green Wolf Recycling.” Whenever it’s missing we tell the boys that it’s off to pick up some cans. “Yeah, and some green wolves!” notes Finn.
- Years ago in Death Valley, a salty old guy with the voice of Sling Blade told us about bighorn sheep in the area. My friend, struggling to understand, asked, “Did you say, ‘Big Orange Sheep’?” As we see sheep-crossing signs in this area, we love to stay on the lookout for “big orange sheep”!
- With the boys having started Spanish immersion, we’ve been trying to imagine how their animal buddies Leo & Ollie would sound in Spanish. We’ve jokingly decided they’d say “El roar!” and “El hoo!” Patrick & Charlie got a kick out of this, but they really loved helping coin “El beaver!,” the “Spanish” utterance of their stuffed otter. Now imagine four little dudes running around and randomly yelling “El beaver!!,” totally cracking one another up. As Patrick says, “It’s laughing gas!”
Bonus animal bit: Today on the train Finn informed me out of the blue, “Dad-O, if a we had a monkey who liked chips, he’d be a chip-monk!” Right on, little guy. 🙂
After a smooth journey to Colorado, we arrived in Leadville on Sunday evening. The modes of conveyance have been hits: Finn was so jazzed that “We’re going to fly on a Boeing Constrictor!,” and both guys keep talking about “the rental car” that we’ve dubbed “the eep” (see photo for explanation). I was pretty concerned that the altitude here would ruin their sleep, but happily* I was the only one tossing and turning all night. I keep encouraging the boys to drink plenty of liquids, leading to Finn’s rather sickening mountain hydration plan: “I’ll drink some water [saliva] out of Leo [the lion blankie]’s tail!”
Monday featured Leadville’s charming little Fourth of July parade, followed by a tour of the fire station, free barbecue in an aircraft hangar (“Welcome to North America’s highest airport!”), and backyard s’mores. The cousins are playing together beautifully (so cool to see!), and I’ve captured a gallery showing the proceedings.
*It’s all relative, right?
Hi, everyone–greetings from 10,000ft (Leadville, CO). I’m typing fast as we’re scrambling around with the guys, having a ball checking out the Independence Day parade, the fire station, free chow at the tiny airport, and more. Despite Henry’s claims on the plane that “I freakin’ out! I like crying, Dad-O!,” both guys were mobile superstars. Here’s just a quick shot of Finny at the airport.
Okay, Henry is climbing the ottoman, preparing to stage dive onto my computer. Bye! 🙂
Margot, Finnegan, and I had a terrific time this week in Leadville and Boulder, CO, and Finn proved himself a wonderful traveler. We’re glad to be back at sea level, breathing the thicker (albeit smoky) air and getting the small guy back into his familiar crib.
Among the highlights of the trip, we got to introduce Finn to his cousins Patrick (“The big guy”) and Charlie (“The ‘getting bigger/no longer the baby’ guy”). Here you can check out a gallery (HTML) of the three of them in action–but be warned, you may want to don protective eyewear before glimpsing such cuteness ;-).
Greetings from Leadville, CO! We arrived with Finn and Grandma Nack yesterday evening, after a fairly long day of air and car travel. Finn was a total hero: the takeoff and landing did not bother him one bit, and he only squawked a little bit in the car on the way up to Leadville as his ears adjusted to the high altitude. Leadville is at 10,200′ so we are taking it reeeeeally easy. The thin air makes for a low-energy, slightly headachey, and very dehydrated first couple of days, so Finn has been napping like a champion today in between meals :-).
We’re staying with Margot’s folks, who take up residence in the cool mountain air each summer. Margot’s sister Laura and her two boys are here, meeting their cousin Finn for the first time. The grandparents are thrilled to get some more quality time with Finn, especially now that he’s smiling and cooing a lot. They can’t get enough!