Our annual family camping trips included dishes, stitches, and cinders.
Ah, the glorious Colorado summer. Every summer our family would pack up, head out of Evergreen and set camp in another beautiful location. Once loaded, the family station wagon looked like National Lampoon’s Vacation with all our equipment, coolers, and bicycles stuffed in it and on it. We included one big canvas tent for the adults (family that witnessed it nicknamed it ‘Camp Hilton’) and another dome tent for our two kids. By the time we were set up, our bed looked like an Arabian sheik had settled in. Several air mattresses, eggshell foam pads, comforters and two plush sleeping bags zipped together topped it off. With bicycles, a fold-up table, comfy beds, and all the amenities of the KOA campgrounds, we were set for adventure in luxury and style. Little did we know; we were among the early adopters of what is now referred to as “glamping”.
Before these trips we spent hours preparing, packaging and storing meals so that Dad could just grill it up while the kids rode their bikes. Our family held one camping rule: Everyone had to “pull their weight”. It was the kid’s chore after each meal to take the dishes over to the water station and wash them with the classic sponge with liquid soap in the handle. Remember those? It was not unusual for the kids to be standing in the wash line and some bemused adult would ask what they were doing. The kids would enthusiastically reply, “Oh, everyone has to pull their own weight in our family, and this is all we have to do!” Other parents in line decided they might not be doing it right, washing their own dishes.
Each year brought us to a new destination in Colorado, and each year we made it a point to experience everything to do and see in the area, from breakfast horseback rides to chuckwagon dinners and scenic gondola rides. We hiked to waterfalls, went rafting, and played games.
On one of these adventures our then 8-year old son managed to slice open his head (exposing his pearly white skull), requiring quite a few stitches. The next day, we enjoyed a narrow-gauge train ride through the vistas of southern Colorado. Fun, right? Except for that night because we got to hear our son’s whining as Dad picked all of the cinders out of his stitches with tweezers.
Another memorable trip included a hike. We learned of a hidden waterfall and decided it would be a great destination! Along the route there was a narrow ten-inch ledge with a 30-foot drop that we all had to skirt across. Well, if this is what we had to do to reach our destination, then so be it! Of course we later saw people on that same ledge using climbing gear to keep their precious children from falling into oblivion. We made it back safe and sound, but no parenting awards were given for accidentally putting our kids in danger and not even realizing it until later!
In spite of – or maybe even because of – these crazy adventures, our entire family looked forward to these camping trips each and every year. They were “electronics-free” and we spent hours together making memories and having fun. We were blessed to be able to enjoy so many activities and gorgeous hikes that this beautiful state has to offer. When asked, the kids both agree that these family trips are some of their fondest memories.
We afforded each of these trips on a strict budget of five hundred dollars, proving you can have a quality, fun vacation for a low price in Colorado. Now, we are happy to help our clients maintain a worry-free life and save for their future for a modest rate. Give us a call at 720.683.0010 or and let us help you “glamp” up your insurance and investments on your budget.