Sometimes, life gives you choices. I had the choice of staying in Tulsa while my family went camping in the Rockies, or braving the 13 hour drive to Estes Park with an 18 month old and camping out while nearly 5 months pregnant without Doc, since he’d be on call and working all week. I chose the adventure. So last Sunday morning at 5 AM, I woke up Little Bird, told her we were off on an adventure and among tons of “WAHOOS!” and “YAYS!” drove to meet up with my parents and sisters for Day 1 of our trip, the drive from Tulsa, OK to Denver, CO.
My family has this horrible lasting tradition of stopping to take a picture of all of the children at every single miniature statue of liberty we drive past on any vacation ever. So at some small town in Kansas, early in the morning drive, we had to jerk into the parking lot of a small park for a photo. Did I get out of it now that I have my own kiddos? Heck no. Little Bird enjoyed getting out of the car to run around though. It was sad not having my brothers on this trip to share in this tradition – I’ll get you back boys….
We also stopped in Dodge City at the what used to be the World’s Largest Free Swimming Pool. Then they added slides and now charge a dollar. We also stopped in Garden City at the playground there to let my sisters and Little Bird play on playgrounds…but even in the early morning, Little Bird would run away from the slides and say “hot hot!” So we continued on!
Between Dodge City and Garden City is a historical landmark from the Santa Fe Trail. You can see the wagon ruts that were carved into the landscape from satellite images, and if you stand up on the benches, you can almost make out the trails taken by pioneers.
While trying to find the wagon ruts was fun, looking at all of the walking sticks, odd bugs, and beautiful flowers was just as much fun for Little Bird and I. My sister managed to get two walking sticks on a limb to show them to us. You can see the different colors.
After about 9 hours of driving, we made it to Colorado! Kansas is pretty boring to drive through, but when you’ve done it as many times as my family has, you know how to break it up with fun activities for the kiddos…and which routes have plenty of restrooms for the preggos!
We drove into Denver after dark and stayed at the nicest La Quinta I have ever been to. Little Bird and I enjoyed our last bath for a week, snuggled up with soft pillows, and went to sleep playing the “I Love You” game, where we just say I love you back and forth until Little Bird goes to sleep.