States visited: 49!

visited 49 states (98%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
Miles driven so far -
LOOP 1 (Aug 2009 - Aug 2010): 29,000
LOOP 2 (May - August 2012): 10,800

Highest altitude with camper: 11,158ft (I-70, CO)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cortez, Colorado

This is state number 33 out of the 48 we’re hoping to visit this year, we are blazing a trail!

One of the things we had planned to do this week was visit the Four Corner’s Monument, which is a simple plaque on the floor within the Indian Reservation (as seen in online photos), with a cross indicating the four states that meet at that point: CO, UT, AZ and NM. Unfortunately we found out that it had been closed for some months and would not be re-opening until June, so, crossed that one off the list. Jake took the news well, despite that being one of the four things he really wanted to do this year. Oh well, something else to save for another visit.

The playground remained a popular venue, for the little ones especially, throughout the week. However, their favorite was the playground at nearby Denny Park Lake. This was within easy walking distance, accessed along the Nature Trail which lead out from the back of the campground.

We went to the library a couple of times during the week as well. Children between 8 and 12 years of age were permitted to stay there alone for a maximum of 2 hours – absolutely perfect for me to hang out for a while, read stories to the younger two and then head off with them to the grocery store, while the older two (sworn to protect each other and sit next to each other at all times, a tiny bit paranoid: sure!) stayed to read…and not move!

On Tuesday, the wind really came through, demonstrating once again what amazing forces nature can produce. It was actually pretty scary; we had to bring the slides in as far as we could and still be able to move around the camper because the slide awnings were being whipped up to such a high degree, any slack was being pulled off the roller. Surviving in such cramped quarters was a bit of a challenge, thank goodness it was only for one night, it died down quite a bit the next day. This was the day that the northern Utah and Colorado ski resorts received another 3 feet of snow, ugh, tempt, tempt, we miss our skiing/boarding!

We spent two hours of late Wednesday afternoon, swimming and playing at the Cortez Recreation Center pool. It had a decent sized lap pool, kept around 80°, that also had a spring diving board, that was open (the pool at the Community Center where we live has two but they are rarely open for play!), so the kids were thrilled. All four fearless ones spent quite a bit of time jumping off the end, Jake really flew! Nate was so cute, kind of imitating a jump but thankfully not releasing his feet!

There was also, and this was the highlight, a play pool (88° - balmy) with an enclosed double-loop water slide, which was pretty fast and forceful; Nate had no interest, too big for him yet but the rest of us thought it was a blast! To accommodate slightly smaller kids, a large, water-park style, water play area was in the middle of the pool, complete with rope climbing nets, a smaller slide (Nate loved this one but it was still just about big enough for Dave to go on), lots of different ‘fountains’, water shooters and sprayers; it was cool! For tiny kids, they offered a really small slide that had a small inflatable landing in the shallow water – it was all extremely well-designed.

The ‘piece de resistance’ though was the lazy river, SO much fun, both with and without tubes. It certainly worked well and was far from lazy, that water moved! We spent a lot of time in there, playing tag, under- and over-taking, having races and trying to walk against the water (quite the challenge indeed!). When we arrived, we pretty much had the place to ourselves but it got a bit busier as the workday drew to a close (East coast workday obviously finished 2 hours earlier, so we were able to reap the benefits of that once again). Regardless, the kids had absolutely no interest in leaving and would happily have stayed another couple of hours I’m sure!

The only downside was a bizarre rule that at ten minutes to every hour, all children had to get out of the water and were not allowed back in until ‘the hour’. Supposedly this is so that adults can enjoy the slides and river, kid-free. I truly question whether or not this is effective. Essentially while we were there, this only meant that all the families got out, used the bathroom, stayed warm in the shower and then watched the empty pool (and the clock!) for a couple of minutes until the whistle blew again to let us know we could get back in. I guess this must be effective during busy times but seemed somewhat ridiculous at the time we were there: rules!

The pool, coupled with the great library, and wonderful mountain scenery, had the kids deciding that we should move to Cortez. As Telleride (great ski resort) is about an hour away, along with a number of other great tourist locations that we did not have time to visit (we should perhaps have found time for the Durango train after we discovered the Four Corners was closed), it would be a tempting location for us too!


MelB said...

Hey Ali, I had to minute your are writing about missing skiiing and snowboarding and then you switched right over to talking swmimming. Thanks for your journal and safe travels!

The Valentines said...

LOL, you're right Mel, we really enjoy swimming but the skiing is so awesome too! Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to add a week's skiing next year, it's not working out though....