2014 Road Trip

We took a two-week road trip this year (as opposed to our 3 week trip last year) and spent a week of it in Telluride at a lovely home we won in a silent auction. It didn’t take Coleman and Gabby long to realize what an awesome town Telluride is, especially since they had freedoms they would never have in Las Vegas. We let them ride their bikes up to three blocks away and visit a bakery to buy donuts and pastries, all without adult supervision. I think on the second day they said that they wanted to move there.

At the end of our first day of driving approximately 600 miles, we set up camp in Mesa Verde National Park. As we ascended the road towards our campground, Coleman got looked at the view and said “I think I’m going to like it here.”

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The kids were thrilled when the driving was over for the day.
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We spent one full day in Mesa Verde and toured the Cliff Palace ancient Pueblo dwelling.

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We had to climb a few ladders to get out of the dwelling area and back to the car. Coleman and Gabby were very well behaved during the one-hour lecture.
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We made it to Telluride the next day, and Richard and Hampton arrived a few hours after we did. We hopped on the gondola the next day after the best pizza lunch ever at Brown Dog Pizza.

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Gigi had open heart surgery at the end of February and was in tip-top shape for the trip. She had no issues at all with the altitude.
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On our way home from There, a restaurant/bar two blocks from our house, Uncle Paul and I heard Coleman practicing violin on the sidewalk. He wanted to show the girls living next door that he could play violin. He made about $20, and that was what I like to call “the beginning.”He played outside many more times on the trip and even changed his location a few times. Overall, he made about $230. He wants to continue busking now that he is back in Las Vegas. We haven’t yet figured out where the ideal spot is for him to safely practice while accepting donations. I don’t think Las Vegans appreciate a kid playing violin as much as bluegrass afficionadoes or people who live in Telluride.
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Watch the video of him practicing a few blocks down Pacific from where we were staying.

The first thing we did at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival was decorate hula hoops. Coleman is a real natural. Watch the video of him hula hooping to the Del McCoury Band.
We always love spending time with the Vickery family. Coleman and Gabby had a great time with Raymond.

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The entire crew at 465 W. Pacific Avenue. Hands down, this was the best silent auction item we have ever scored.

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Uncle Paul took a last picture with the kids before driving back to Jackson. We didn’t know at the time that he’d be able to do it without a sleep break.
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We had a second meal at Brown Dog Pizza.
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Telluride has great biking trails along the river that runs through town.

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Coleman hiked the Jed Wiebe trail with Brian and me. We walked over 5 miles. It was a bit rough for him due to the elevation.

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We spent three nights camping outside of Durango. Since the kids hadn’t hiked much the entire trip, we thought it’d be good to do an 8-mile loop (great idea!), which Brian biked a few hours after our hike. According to Brian, it was more fun biking than hiking. The kids were fairly happy during the snack break . . .

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Coleman did the best he could, but it was very hot and dusty. The heat always saps his energy.

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We walked around downtown Durango while Brian watched a World Cup game. This statue was outside the train depot.
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We spent an hour at the Durango Mountain Resort. Coleman did the bungee trampoline and alpine slide.

Here he is preparing the for the bungee trampoline. It was fun for him until he accidentally flipped. That’s when he wanted to get off. Watch the video of Coleman on the bungee trampoline.

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We went whitewater rafting in the afternoon, a first for the kids. As you can probably tell, we had a great time going down rapids.

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Coleman had a beer by the campfire. Root beer, that is.

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He got a real kick out of drinking a beer with us. Cheers!
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We all slept comfortably in our REI Kingdom 8. I wouldn’t want to put 8 adults in here, but 6 would be okay. Coleman was playing with the rain stick that Gigi bought for him in a hippie store the night before. He was very happy to have a “real” Chilean rain stick since he’d studied Chile at school and had made his own version of a rain stick.
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It was pretty tight in the minivan. Even though Coleman complained, he did not want to give up his cozy seat to Gabby.

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We felt compelled to pay the fee to wait in line to take a picture at Four Corners.
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Coleman decided to do a yoga pose when it was his turn for an individual shot.

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When Coleman got home, he counted his money. This is what he had left from his violin playing since he had spent some on cake pops for himself, Gabby and Raymond. He threw his junior ranger badge in for good measure.
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A few weeks later Coleman was invited to an education conference to meet the children’s book author, Marc Brown.

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Prior to our road trip, Coleman performed in his last violin recital with Mrs. Jennifer Morette Jackson. She taught Coleman so much in one year, and we will miss her now that she has moved to Texas.

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Coleman played Song of the Wind in the recital. Watch the video.

We went to Jackie Gregersen’s home for his birthday, and the kids liked playing in the lockers. Hopefully they won’t be shoved in lockers when they are in high school!

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The Westermans came over for dinner while Gabby was in L.A. with her grandparents. Coleman had a great time playing with Roma.

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