(Written Monday, June 15, 2009)
Well, we’ve been on the road (as in out of Kansas) for almost a week now. After Estes Park, we moved to Rocky Mountain National Forest and pitched our tent. However, we went into Fort Collins on Thursday so I could take my test on Vietnam (which, by the way, I passed with my highest score yet!). While I was taking the exam, my mom and the kids went to see my great-aunt Sandy… and then she came with them to pick me up. We ran a few errands and then went back to her house and relaxed. We watched several movies and I read a book she had called Epicenter by Joel Rosenberg. He has written quite a bit of fiction about the Middle East and many things he wrote about ended up coming true. He then wrote Epicenter to explain how he was able to predict the events he did—through the Bible—and to explain several more prophecies that will be occurring over the next several years. It is a very interesting book that I recommend to anyone who wants to better understand the Middle East, Biblical prophecy and the end times. Aunt Sandy gave me another book of his called The Last Days, one of his fiction works, which is also a very good book.
Anyway… we ended up spending the night with Aunt Sandy. Then Friday we finally spent a night in our tent at the National Forest. We soon found out we were not prepared to spend a night in a tent in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. We’re from Kansas, where summer means hot. NEVER cold. But we didn’t really think of that, so we spent a pretty chilly first night in our tent. We ended up shoving two people in a sleeping bag and covering up with another one. Not the most comfortable way to sleep, but we survived.
We packed up Saturday morning and headed to Colorado Springs. We weren’t originally planning to go there, but some friends, the Smyths, live there and we wanted to get together with them. So we headed south! (And hoped it would get warmer). We didn’t actually have a place reserved to camp, so we weren’t entirely certain what we would find. Thankfully, we found a nice little campground with a pool, a fishing pond, hot breakfasts in the morning, laundry facilities and showers (the most important thing!). We have been here since Saturday afternoon. Yesterday (Sunday) we went to the Garden of the Gods (or God’s Garden, as my friends here in CO Springs refer to it). It is an absolutely amazing place, with huge, natural rock formations, mountains all around, trails winding up and down… it was a great place to spend the day. And there was a youth choir from Oregon who sang several worship songs while we were there, which was nice as we didn’t go to church. To see young people praising God with the beauty of His creation surrounding them was amazing.
Today we went to Focus on the Family and met the Smyths there. It was so nice to see them all We ate a picnic lunch outside together, then went in and looked around the Welcome Center, saw an introductory video and then went to Whit’s End! Yes indeed, we saw the underground tunnel, Whit’s ice cream parlor (and ate ice cream!), and more. We even walked “through the wardrobe,” which was a lot of fun! Then Julie and Brian and Kevin and I sat and talked while Mommy talked to Mrs. Smyth while Matthew and Tiffany played on a three story slide in Whit’s End. It’s so nice to talk to friends about important issues that we can all be passionate about together!
After we said goodbye to our friends, we looked around the bookstore. Alyssa bought the cutest umbrella with a Scripture verse on it that was really neat, though of course I don’t remember it now. We then went on a tour of Focus’ main building and then headed back to our campsite. We spent a little while packing up, since we are heading out again tomorrow, this time to Moab, Utah!
I forgot to add that while we are getting a little better at keeping warm at night, we have yet to find a good system that works for all of us. We’ve tried putting Alyssa and me in one sleeping bag, Tiffany and me in one sleeping bag, covering Matthew and Mommy and Alyssa with several sleeping bags and a few other interesting strategies (some of which include a dog). While we are managing to stay warm, we aren’t always the most comfortable and sometimes wake up contorted into strange positions and generally sore from the night’s sleep. Hopefully we will figure out a solution soon!