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Noah Bourque
First National Park
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At the end of April, we packed up the car and headed up to Estes Park, Colorado for a long weekend. We stayed at Angie's cousins' beautiful place right next to the historic Stanley Hotel. If this picture is giving you the shivers and you don't know why, think "The Shining". . .
Estes Park is only 10 minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park, so you can guess where we were off to first thing in the morning! This was Noah's first National Park, so we got him his very own NP Passport book and his first stamp. He was thrilled.
While it was a gorgeous day at the lower elevations (8,000 feet), the Rockies don't live there, so we ventured up towards Bear Lake at the end of one of the major roads in the park. Well, we never really found the lake, but there WAS a big open area covered with snow. . .
Noah took it in stride! We didn't have any gloves for him, so he made do with a couple of spare socks. He's a great little backpacker.
We left Bear Lake for the lower elevations of Sprague Lake. It was overcast, but we encountered some wildlife up close. As you can tell, Noah was absolutely captivated. . . by something else.
That was enough for the first day, so we headed back to Estes Park. Early the next morning, while Noah was taking his morning nap, Dan took a quick trip back into the park to take advantage of some beautiful skies. What a difference! This is Hallett Peak reflected in Sprague Lake. Ahhhhhh, refreshing.
After snapping 294 pictures in a record 7 minutes, Dan headed back to pick up the rest of the gang. The journey was slightly impeded by rush-hour traffic.
t19jun04coneheadedraisin.jpg (10497 bytes)With Angie and Noah now in the mix, we headed back into the park as far as we could go. Noah was doing everything he could to make sure he stayed the center of attention--"that's enough of those silly rocks, Mommy, look at me! Look at me!"
The weather held, and Longs Peak, the highest in the park at 14,000+, made for a wonderful backdrop.
t19jun04coneheadedraisin.jpg (10497 bytes)After another 314 pictures, we headed back down to enjoy some lunch near the area known as "Alluvial Fan." Noah enjoyed the short hike very much--it's amazing how far he can stretch those little arms.
He put on quite the comedy routine while we were eating--what a ham! But he's a really cute ham!
That was it for Rocky Mountain National Park and Noah's first experience with his daddy's obsession. . .
When all was said and done, he was wiped, but he's already planning that next big trip. Will it be Badlands NP? Glacier, I hear Canyonlands is nice. . .
When Noah got home, he decided to learn to crawl. It was just too much to have to ask Daddy for a ride every time he wanted to hike in a National Park, so he tried. . .
And he tried. . .
But he just couldn't get anywhere. . .
So he tried standing. Well, that was fun, but he still wasn't able to get anywhere. . .
Next came the exercise phase. Noah tried pushups to get his strength up for that big crawl. . .
But his little body just wouldn't go forward! Finally, he decided he'd be better off learning to swim instead, so Mom and Dad took him to the neighborhood pool.
He loved the water, but May just wouldn't be the month for mobility.

Click Here for the Next Chapter, "Noah's First Birthday"

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