Destiny got to pick what she wanted for her 16th birthday....a concert, hotel weekend with friends, just about anything within reason.
She picked to go to Cuchara, Colorado, the sweetest little quaint mountain town you ever did see.
So on the morning of her Sweet 16, we opened a few little gifts and packed the car.
Yes, I said loaded the CAR, not the RV. Some of our dearest friends have a family cabin there that they offered to let us join them at.
Here goes nothing. 7-8 hours ahead of us! Let's see if we still remember how to do this.....
The kids are older now apparently, and shocked me with how well they did. They read, slept, listened to Adventures in Odyssey CD, watched the scenery go by and only watched one movie!
Western Kansas, aka Feedlot Alley was an um, aromatic experience. And talk about flat lands, there is nothing out there and into Colorado! The temperature steadily climbed until it reached 106 at one point.
Are we going the wrong way?
Nope, there is the mountains! PHEW!
I was worried about altitude sickness as we climbed to 9,000 plus feet so I had the kids drink a lot of water.
Dale was less than impressed that someone had to pee every hour and 20 minutes. Haha! Hey hydration is important!
Alas, we finally made it to Colorado.
YAY! We made it. Hi friends!
I wish you could SMELL these photos. Oh the pine filled, cool crisp air was HEAVENLY!
A special surprise awaited Destiny inside. SO sweet!!!! Mena, age 11 made this AMAZING CAKE.
We had a visitor the first night and almost every night after.....a momma bear and her 2 cubs!
The next day some of our kids were up with the sun. They decided to try their hand at some hummingbird whispering. Apparently if you hold still enough, they come land on your finger! Paxton tried over half an hour but no luck.
We packed up a picnic lunch and headed to Bear Lake for a day of fishing, hiking and relaxing by the water. It was gorgeous!
We were up at 13,000 feet. (Brutal on the way down which equaled some bad headaches all around)
I am pretty sure this is the definition of DOG TIRED. She was dead weight on my leg on the way down the mountain! Hee hee
No one felt like cooking, so we walked down to town for some Dog Bar food....this cool outdoor restaurant where dogs are welcome to join their owners.
We left sleepy Sophie at home but still enjoyed ourselves!
The kids spent the next day playing games, hanging out around the cabin and seeing the sites.
Poor buddy Paxton, must have had some altitude sickness or a bug, because he threw up during the night and spent the day sleeping and oiling up.
I took the girls down the mountain to town so we could get a snow cone and do some souvenir shopping!
Paxton was awake when we got home and feeling more like himself.
We cooked chicken tikka masala and garlic naan bread for the crowd and enjoyed an evening drive all over the valley. IT WAS GORGEOUS and I totally want a cabin there!
Pax man was as good as new the next morning, so we walked down the mountain to the darling little putt putt golf place to have some fun!
It was all fun and games until it started HAILING ON US and pouring rain! Haha, kids quick finished the last holes with hoods up. The moms waited it out under the awning before playing the last holes and then we all dashed up the road to the Dog Bar to feed our hungry golfers some snacks.
We ate INSIDE the Dog Bar this time (along with the entire town it seemed) so poor Summer the big white dog had to sit outside under the porch awning and watch us from the window. She loved the attention!
We enjoyed the PRETTIEST nature walk! This town is D R E A M Y!
We drove around looking at cabins and daydreaming.....
And just like that, it was time to load the car and head back home....but first, our traditional stair step pic!
Back to Kansas we go.......
Our last day in Colorado was spent at the Garden of the gods. It was pretty busy, and we had trouble finding parking, so go early, but WOW was it ever awesome.
Start in the visitors center, its like a free museum with loads of neat info to arm yourself with, before you go to the rock formations.
We hopped in our car and started meandering through the park, using pull offs and parking lots that had 2 openings, to park and go explore the area.
There is a $500 fine for climbing the rocks, unless otherwise listed. We were thrilled to find that along the path and then again at Balancing Rock, you could climb and explore to your hearts content.
Dawson brought his tripod and clicker, so we were able to get a group shot that is literally my FAVORITE of all of these! Love this group!
We had promised the kids a night by the fire and making some Pie Iron Pizzas, for our last night in Colorado together.
Pie Iron pizzas are super fun! And dangers, especially with 7 kids swinging around with scalding hot cast iron heavy swords if you will, but we managed.
You spray each side with olive oil, sauce 2 pieces of wheat bread, and add garlic, meat, onion and cheese, close it up and cook over the fire. It comes out toasty and gooey like a hot pocket. Yummo!
I cannot believe our time in Colorado is already done. We have had so so much fun!
Next up, we head towards Dallas for classes there!
Are you in the area JULY 8th? Please join us for a FREE Essential oil educational class with ME! :) I'd love to meet you and help your family live better.
You have 3 class time choices: 1, 3:30 and 6 pm. I am offering a free oil gift to anyone who mentions this blog and is not yet enrolled with doTERRA! :)
Hope you had a safe and happy 4th of July celebration!
The next day, we hopped in the car and drove the 2 or so hours to Cachara (pronounced Ka-churra) a teeny, tiny, quaint, little mountain town.
Our Fercho friends have a family cabin up there, and they wanted to go check on it before everyone arrives this week for a HUGE 4th of July get together. Apparently when they got all that snow in May, it melted so fast it caused some water damage in the house.
Chucara Valley is a town of all cabins, and this quaint little dirt main street with cute stores and restaurants, Inns and B&B's. They have tons of cabins for rent in the surrounding mountains!
You guys, its totally a step back in time. You could smell the mountain air, hear the nearby stream, as we sat to have lunch at the famous Dog Bar Cafe, and you could feel the hustle of the real world, just melt off your back.
Seriously. After an afternoon spent there, it was hard to want to "re-enter reality", even if our reality isn't that stressful! :)
We walked into town, explored the area, went for a scenic drive and the kids played and played and played.
They explored all the nooks and crannies of the cabin with it's 2 attic rooms and balcony above tall pitched tongue and grove ceilings. They sat and talked out on the porch swing, went looking for bears and just ran around laughing and calling to each other, as children do.
It was hard to want to leave, but alas, it was getting late and we had a 2 hour drive back.
Someday you guys, SOMEDAY, I will have a little cabin tucked up in the mountains with a stream in my backyard. Someday.
After Rifle, we headed towards Colorado Springs. We had classes planned there, as well as meeting up with our good friends, the Ferchos. We drove as far as Loveland, and crashed there a few days, and did some classes and business training in Greely and Eaton.
We drove 45 minutes home from class, and found this note on our door:
Right away the kids were SUPER worried! Had Sophie barked all day? Where we in some kind of trouble? It was 10:30 pm at this point, but the kids all wanted to come see what was going on! Ty crawled to bed, but the rest headed out with us.
Dale knew what was up, and I had only just found out on the way home from class....
Apparently, our friends, the Ferchos, who we were supposed to meet up with TOMORROW, came through same route on the way to our Colorado Springs destination, and snagged the last spot at the SAME rv park as us.
This was their tricky way to get us over to their RV after we got back from class! The kids FLIPPED OUT! So cute. (no photos, I left my phone on the charger at the RV)
The next morning, we all packed up, ready to head out.
I love RV parks, we just meet the nicest people wherever we go! It always blows my mind when people recognize our rig from the doTERRA Leadership Magazine and come say hi. What a blessing to meet and encourage other oilers! :) These sweet ladies came to chat right before we left. SO fun!
We only had a couple hours to drive, so we had requests for all the kids to ride together the first hour, then switch to boys and girls the second hour. We got into some major traffic, but they did great.
While in Colorado Springs, we planned on hanging out, doing classes, going to see Whit's End, Olympic Training Center, up into the mountains to see their cabin, and Garden of the Gods.....
If you are a 4 little Ferguson's blog reader, following us over to RV Oilers blog, you KNOW we are OBSESSED with Adventures in Odyssey CD's. We were before we hit the road, and we sure are now. What a great way to kill 2 plus hours, all the kids laying around, or coloring, while listening to a story on CD.
Wait, it's not on a SCREEN?
Nope. Good ol' fashioned story acted out on CD. You can hear the sound effects and use your imagination. It is VERY well done!
We own 40 CD sets, out of 62, and they are still making them. Perfect Christmas and Birthday gifts if you ask me! :) You have to try for your kids, they learn SO much about the Bible, manners and how the Lords wants them to act, all while enjoying stories and funny characters.
You better believe we were excited to visit the Focus on the Family Campus in Colorado Springs. They have a whole lower level that is a kid zone, with places to play and explore, rooms from the different adventures to visit, a place to play dress up and put on puppet shows, scavenger hunts, a 4 story slide and even a Whit's End Soda Shop!
Main floor was a movie theatre, a mini theatre teaching us about how they make AIO CD's, lots of info on the beautiful ministry and humble beginnings of Focus on the Family! Really fascinating!
You could take the "Imagination Station" elevator down to Witt's End, OR the staircase through the Butterfly Gallery. Avery tried out BOTH!f
Once downstairs, it was a WHOLE nother world!
The kids loved the 4 story slide! Especially the little ones. The big ones got their elbows and backs banged up a bit, and headed to do the Scavenger hunt instead.
We killed the whole afternoon there, and still weren't done. But alas, it was time to get back home to prepare for our oil class.
We had one more VERY important stop to make: Whit's End Soda Shop to get a WodFamChocSod, short for World Famous Chocolate Soda, talked about in MANY an Adventure in Odyssey stories.
We shared, but next time I am getting my OWN WodFamChocSod!!! Holy amazing.
If you like Fudgscicles, this is the drink for you! They blend chocolate ice cream soda water, chocolate syrup and whipped cream on top. YUMMM!
Such a sweet ending to a sweet day! I love how the Lord's presence is so apparent in this place. We just relaxed and enjoyed while the kids played. I cannot wait to go back!
Be sure to check out the amazing bookstore too wow! We found some treasures....like $1 christian fiction books, lost episode discs of AIO and MORE. :)
Lots more fun to come in Co Springs!!!
Next, we headed to the Western Slope to stop in Rifle for an oil class and to meet our new friends, the Fitzkes! Heather is a new builder on our oil team, so we decided to come out here way. We love to connect and help our team GROW. :)
Brent took the day off and the whole family joined us on a hike behind the falls. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we couldn't wait to see some waterfalls after SO many strike outs this summer. :)
I cannot even tell you how LOUD it was up here! We were getting soaked from over spray too......pretty great!
We got to explore these caves too! Holy amazing!
They had these great pathways that wound around behind the streams and falls with look outs.....
Hiking slide shows:
The roots of these trees were FANTASTIC! And actually larger around then the tree trunk itself, wow!
I get some SERIOUS clausterphobia! So as we climbed up up up into this dark little tunnel to get into this big room, I was trying not to FLIP OUT! Totally worth it. No pics though, too dark.
Then it was SWIMMING time....well, not swimming, but totally waded in the FREEZING water!
Swimming hole slideshow:
Thanks for a great time, Fitzke family! Time to hit the road to COLORADO SPRINGS....
I am so thankful for Dale, and the daddy he is to our children. What a blessing to see him interact and enjoy them on a daily basis!
He is the best fishermen, rv driver, trail guide, and fun maker our kids could ever ask for!I love how he loves them, leads them with joy but firmness and continually points them to Jesus in all he says and does. ❤
I am so glad our children get to do life with him, all day everyday! That is the biggest, best, most valuable gift we could've asked for!!!
For Father's Day, we planned to head to Telluride, another cool local town, just a car ride away. They have a cool free Gondola ride that leads to a Mountain village with hiking, restaurants, and lodging. Pretty cool!
What we didn't know, was that we were joining an extra 12, 000 people already there for a GIANT music festival!!! Bluegrass, baby! We were able to get a parking pass and go into the town, but found it very hard to find parking spots.
We finally snagged one on a little side street and walked down to the Gondola ride.
I am no roller coaster lover, so take this with a grain of salt, but this was QUITE the ride. You totally zoomed in and out, and it tickled your tummy when you pitched downhill. And the BUMP that happens over every pole? I may have grabbed the leg of the kid next to me every stinking time. They thought it was hilarious!
It was a pretty view once your tummy stopped jumping around, and we enjoyed lunch down in the mountain village before taking the ride back up.
We headed back to Montrose to grab some groceries and try out Dale's Father's Day gift: a Davy Crockett Pellet Grill!!!!!!!!!!
Inspiration hit while I was at the store, and with the help of some deli dough, ready to roll out and some leftover steak, we had a gourmet meal!
What was it?!
Drum roll please.......
Bistecca Pizza Al Forno
AKA Grilled Steak & Arugula Pizza!
Remember this recipe from the old blog? Still as good as I remembered!
You all this is a MUST MAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Super quick because we just had some shortcuts like already made dough from the deli and already grilled steaks to slice up.
After we ate our fill, we headed over to our RV parks free Putt Putt course. SUPER cute and lots of fun traps and unique holes!
I'd say it was a great day!
Tomorrow, we head out towards Silt and our essential oil classes in Rifle, Eaton and Greely. We have 2 classes in Colorado Springs too! Time to WORK, but thankfully it doesn't feel like work. Love empowering families to chose better! If you are close by, you should come. I am trying to advertise our classes more on our 4 little Traveling Fergusons/RV Oilers FB page!!!
Montrose is kind of a small little place,but its close to lots of amazing places like Ouray & Telluride! We did take in the farmers market, did some antique shopping, and visited some local sites in Montrose too.
Not to mention the Russel Stover Factory in town, with a darling chocolate & Ice cream shop up front. You could get this delicious ice cream with pumps of hot, fresh, melted Russel S chocolate! We went TWICE. HOLY AMAZING! Holy calories, but I hiked it off. ;)
One of the highlights of this part of our trip, was when we went to Ouray, which is called the Little Switzerland of America. This tiny town is nestled between two big mountain ranges, and only gets sunshine from like 12 to 3 each day!
They host neat activities all summer, like music in the park, and have darling window shopping opportunities, a natural springs pool and gorgeous park to run and play in!
We spent the evening in the park and met some cool locals that gave us some tips on what to come back and do the next day. Hiking Babybath falls & driving the Million Dollar Highway!
Slideshow of Babybath falls:
There was supposedly a hike down to the lower falls and up to the awesome huge falls we could see up the rock face......
The trail we took, went further and further from the direction of the falls. We decided to double back, because clearly we were getting no where fast!!!
We met a couple on the way up that kindly told us without backpack pouches of water and 3 hours, we shouldn't plan on the upper waterfall hike with our family. We sure appreciated that! We had already been hiking and playing around at the Babybath falls area, and didn't have the water to make it through that many more hours.
Kids didn't mind, and were asking for a rest, so we decided to head on over to the Million Dollar highway for a scenic drive before going home.
The Million Dollar Hwy is full of switch backs, loop de loops, scary curves with sheer drops offs to the valley below, and is not for the faint of heart. Windows down, water bottles being passed around along with snacks, we just kicked back and enjoyed the views. We had a ball! :)
Slideshow of MDH:
Wow, what a stunning place!!! We had a ball here in the mountains.
Tomorrow is Father's Day, and we are planning a day trip to Telluride, I'll share that tomorrow....