Brown’s Canyon

By BrandonAdventuresLeave a Comment

Sometimes our summer activities are limited by the ages and weights of the children. This activity has been on our todo list for a long time. We pass Brown’s Canyon every time we head to the hot springs and dreamt of the day we can get the kids on the water.

Rafting

The minimum age for class III rapids at about 2200 CFS is 6 years old. Kayla is 6! Off we went. We chose to ride with Noah’s Ark Rafting. They have a great program and the guides are super friendly. We had Tim leading us! We opted for a 1/2 day on Brown’s Canyon which is nearby Leadville. Just a bit south of Buena Vista actually. This areas was moved to National Monument status a few years ago. Very cool terrain. Lucky to have it so close.

Rafting

The water was snow about a day ago so it is pretty chilly. Although the guides are used to it and are not wearing much extra. We rented splash jackets (like rain coats) that helped keep the big sprays off you. Kim took her’s off part way. Your call based on temps.

Rafting

The kids ride rode up front 3 across. Kim and I were in back. Our guide in the middle. These boats have a sweet setup in the middle where the guide has big oars and does most of the maneuvering on the trip. You get involved by stroking with your paddle on his call. Just to help move the boat back or forward.

Rafting

I talked to the guide a bunch to try and understand more about rafting. I was curious about his deal there too. These guides were all from all over the US. They come for the summer and work 6 days a week running 2 trips a day. Fun summer on the water meeting fun folks! I clarified what we could expect on class III with the kids. They didn’t seem to concerned. Class III doesn’t seem to lose people out of the boat. Maybe once a week if someone is joking around. We were in good hands.

Rafting

We rode down the river a few miles before encountering the class III rapids. There were 7 of them. All with names and stories and unique characteristics. The kids got some big air on a few of them. It is daunting when you see that much water in front of the boat.

Rafting

We made it safely! The crew pulls the boats out. You are about 10 miles from the start. Jump on a school bus and they wisk you back to the start. A great time and I would recommend using these guys again!

So I forgot the GoPro at home. Bummer. I tried to film with my iPhone a bit. Just to give my Mom a sense of how I tried to kill her grandchildren this time. I couldn’t do the big rapids because I had to stroke. I captured a few but I have to put the phone down and paddle so it gets weird. Give it a watch anyway. I had the phone in a waterproof bag around my neck. GoPro would have better. Especially on Kayla!

The kids loved it. I hope we go again. There are other class III sections around here. Also some class IV and V too. Sydney is old enough next year for the class IV. And maybe we can get to class V someday. Seems like a worthy bucket list item!

Lake Wawasee

By BrandonVisitsLeave a Comment

As a kid, I spent every summer weekend at Pier 151 on Lake Wawasee.  The “lake” as it was simply known to me was where we went to play in the water.  Boating, skiing, turtle hunting, and more.  As far as things I miss about my birthplace, that’s right up there.  The access to water and the warmth of that water is so nice compared to Colorado.  Our lakes are probably more beautiful because of the surroundings but you just can’t beat the access back in Indiana.

Lake Wawasee

So we took an impromptu drive from Colorado to Indiana for a few days.  My grandmother owns the place and died in the past year.  So this might be a final chance to enjoy the place and show my kids what I used to do on weekends.  Stuff like getting dragged behind a boat a break neck speeds.

Lake Wawasee

Or sit in particularly dangerous lawn furniture.  That chair has been there for 20 years and everybody does that once.

Lake Wawasee

My sister, Natalee, got some swans.  OK?  The kids get it.  Swan party.  Swan fight?  Whatever it is, they like it.

Lake Wawasee

The kids got a chance to play with all their cousins.  It is more kids than I can count.  They all get along so good and pick up right where they left off.  Even though they only see each other maybe once a year.

Lake Wawasee

Kayla was all about trying to fish.  Beats me.  Not my thing.  But she had a good time casting.  Future Uncle Chad helped set her up.

Lake Wawasee

I am not an expert but I don’t think that is how you use those.

Lake Wawasee

Boat captains get younger and younger.

Lake Wawasee

Kayla found a buddy to paddle her around.

Lake Wawasee

No you cannot take him home.  This kid doesn’t have her own pet anymore.  Fish died.  We might be getting a turtle.

Lake Wawasee

We think this was Kayla’s first time to the lake.  So a family photo to commemorate.

Lake Wawasee

Cut It

By BrandonA Day in the LifeLeave a Comment

Kayla was born with her tongue connected too tightly. It has affected her speech but the experts we talked with said it was ok. She recently was at the dentist and they said it is now pulling her gums down off the teeth because it was too tight. So we made the appointment and got it fixed. She can now stick her tongue out like a normal person. Our favorite thing to do to her is to make her say “I thought” to which she says something that sounds like “I fart”. Nothing like making fun of your kid’s speech. Well, hopefully, this will help and she will start forming her tongue properly.

Surgery

Kindergarten Graduation

By BrandonMilestones1 Comment

This was kind of a big deal. We have had 3 kids go through RMCA’s kindergarten program now. This was our last hurrah with the school that has treated our kids so well over the years. Sad to be parting ways but excited about the future to come for Kayla. This kindergarten class was really great and was led by an extraordinary teacher.

Kayla's Kindergarten Graduation

With her teacher!

Kayla's Kindergarten Graduation

With her parents!

Kayla's Kindergarten Graduation

With the whole class!

Kayla's Kindergarten Graduation

At the ceremony!

Kayla's Kindergarten Graduation

Getting a diploma from the principal!

Kayla's Kindergarten Graduation

Final hug from the teacher!

Kayla's Kindergarten Graduation

Here is the video. They do a performance for most of it. Then it cuts to Kayla getting her diploma.

Later that night, we had to go to Sydney‘s talent show.  While there, Mom surprised Kayla with some new spiritware.  Guess who is a Dragon now?

New Dragon