As promised, I talked to Dante about what we might put on his blog. I had an idea and he had an idea, so we’re going to do them both, but my idea gets to go first. 🙂
You may remember that last year for Dante’s birthday, we went to an amusement park. Well this year, when we asked him what he’d like to do on his birthday, he decided he’d like to stay in a yurt! See, he and Laura had gone yurt-camping last year, and he had a good time, so this year he was up for it again, much to Laura’s delight. He was especially pleased that I was coming as I’d stayed home from the previous yurt-excursion.
What, some of you may be asking, is a yurt? Well, originally they were semi-permanent (but also mobile) huts to house central Asian nomads. Here in Colorado, though, they’re a way to camp a little more comfortably — sort of halfway between a tent and a cabin. You’ve got canvas walls, but you’ve also got electricity. There’s no heat, but there are beds. Basically, it’s one of these:
With this kind of stuff inside:
The one we stayed in was at a YMCA facility in the Colorado mountains, near the western edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. We took the scenic route there, though, eating lunch in Estes Park, and then driving through Rocky Mountain on Trail Ridge Road, the highest paved road in the US. It gets up above 12,000 feet, and near its peak is a place you can pull off and check out the views. The views were spectacular but it was SUPER windy, so Dante’s patience ran out pretty quickly:
LAURA: How are you doing, Dante? Are you about done with this?
DANTE: I am so done with this.
So he and I went back to hang out in the car while Laura did a little more exploring. Being in the mountains makes her soul sing, so I wanted to create the space for her to groove on it as much as possible.
Once we got to the Y, checked in, and hauled our stuff into the yurt, it was near dinnertime, so we had a little food and then Dante got to open presents. Here he is with an Oshawott and a Poké Ball. (It’s a Pokémon thing.)
We’d also given him a plush Pikachu for the car ride. Here it is tucked in between Dante’s special friends Benjamin and James:
The site was gorgeous, and that evening treated us to an awesome sunset and a full moon.
After presents, we hoofed it over to the Y’s newly-refurbished mini-golf course, which was fun but short-lived, as we needed to be back to the yurt before dark. He and I finished up our game in the morning, when it was sunnier. The course had a “Colorado pioneers/wildlife/landscape” kind of theme. On this hole, he asked, “How did they get that station wagon onto the golf course?”
We were only staying for one night, so shortly after the golf we packed everything back into the car, but before we left we wanted to walk the site’s labyrinth. It was worth it — I find labyrinths fascinating, and this was a well-maintained one with amazing views, and a little stream running behind it.
On the way home, we stopped at a pulloff to have lunch, while Dante wandered the forest and blew dandelions.
As we were leaving, he said to me, “So, Daddy, that is what staying in a yurt is like!”