Father's Day Weekend on The Arkansas River
I really enjoy being a father. I consider it one of my greatest responsibilities, one that has many rewards. There's nothing like hearing your son say "Dad, I'm really glad you made me go on this trip" (on our Yampa trip) or your daughter making you a Happy Father's Day book that says "you invented FUN!" Like many years in the past, we celebrated Father's Day Weekend with a camping trip.
Trish and I both invited our Dad's to join us, and they delightfully agreed. Trish transported her Dad to Denver by flying to Pennsylvania last Wednesday and road-tripping back with him. I flew my Dad in and picked him up from the airport Friday afternoon. We had a bit of road-tripping ourselves, with a drive to Fort Collins (to pick up our enhanced Syncro), then to Winter Park (to pick up our raft), then back to Denver.
Saturday morning, we packed up our sleeping bags, life jackets and border collies and drove to the Cotopaxi KOA on the Arkansas River. We arrived late afternoon, and were quickly impressed with the KOA's glamping attributes. We had an excellent riverside spot, with RV hookups for the van and a sweet concrete patio. We enjoyed a wagon ride, frisbee, fishing, and marshmallows by the fire before retiring for the night.
On Father's Day, we rafted the Upper Bighorn Sheep Canyon, putting in at Salida East and taking out at Vallie Bridge. The rapids wild and wet, but easy to navigate. Our favorite was Tin Cup Rapid; it was sloped like a bunny hill, with a nice big wave at the bottom.
On the way home, we stopped to see the Royal Gorge. We were disappointed to find "America's Highest Bridge" was closed. Later, we found out on June 11, 2013, they suffered extensive damage caused by the Royal Gorge Fire. This wildfire destroyed 48 of the 52 structures on the Bridge & Park grounds, including their Aerial Tram and antique carousel, as well as the park's visitor center. Trish snapped some good photos of the kids while we marveled at the view.
After the Royal Gorge, we drove to Colorado Springs and stopped to see the '66 Bus Project. The brakes, clutch, accelerator and shift linkage is all installed. Now they're working on custom fitting the back seat and air tank (for the air bags). There's a good chance it'll be able to start and drive by the end of the month.
Speaking of Volkswagens, we got some new bumpers installed on our Syncro last week by Rocky Mountain Westy. Coupled with a new set of tires, the ol' van is looking pretty good these days.
Thanks to our Dads for making the journey to see us and spend such an awesome weekend together. You both are always fun to hang out with. We can't wait to do it again soon!
For a more extensive picture collection from this weekend, see Trish's 2014 Father's Day Weekend album.
Past Father's Day Trips:
- 2008: The Father's Day Camping Trip
- 2009: A Fun Father's Day at Great Sand Dunes
- 2010: Another Fun Father's Day at The Great Sand Dunes
- 2011: Good Times on The Annual Father's Day Camping Trip
- 2012: Father's Day Weekend at The Oregon Coast
- 2013: Father's Day Weekend on The Colorado River