June Means Camping

I love the month of June. When all that waiting through winter pays off, and it is finally time to camp!

We are tent campers, and our favorite place to camp in Colorado is Golden Gate Canyon State Park. We’ve been going there every year for the last 4 years. You have to make reservations early if you want a site on the weekend, and I made our Sunday through Tuesday reservation back in March. Geoff really wanted a walk in site (your car is NOT next to your site), and that afforded us an amazing view.

The view from our camp site

But it also meant a bit of a walk to the bathroom, and to put our food in the car at night. Still, we liked the privacy, and the space for the kids to run and play.

With only two days in the park, we crammed both fishing and hiking into our Monday plans. Fishing at Dude’s Fishing Hole, where I caught our first fish (who neither survived, nor became dinner) and a hike up Coyote Trail.

The fish

Relaxing at the top

A successful camping adventure, with perfect weather to boot. Already looking forward to booking another site for September!

Colorado Fall

I could not resist one last camping trip to Golden Gate Canyon State Park. For tent campers, Reverend’s Ridge closes for the season on October 1. The only sites/dates they had left (when I booked in July) were September 23-24. This was our first time “fall camping”. We were not sure how lucky we would get with the weather. Let me show you how lucky we got:

Perfect Fall Camping

With the boys getting bigger, and becoming more experienced campers, Geoff was anxious to see if we could attempt to hike all of the Raccoon Trail. It’s a 2.5 mile hike round trip, that begins in Reverend’s Ridge campground and takes you up to Panorama Point. The hike is marked as moderate, and both kids did great completing it. The timing of our trip offered great fall colors, mostly yellows, and great temps.

Other noteworthy events were the boys learning to build a fire, and Elijah becoming a Jr Ranger.

Proud of the fire they built


Elijah earned a Jr Ranger badge and patch


We’ll be back again next summer. If you want to camp there next year, I would suggest you book early!

Colorado Camping

Family Camping Pic

Summer. It means we’re out camping. Our favorite spot is Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Just outside of Golden, it’s a real gem. We booked our site in March, allowing us to know we’d have a spot come June.

We really lucked out with the weather, it was perfect. Perhaps we can put the Armstrong curse (rain!) to rest.

We even took advantage of the talks put on by the naturalist. The first night, we learned about black bears. Prizes were awarded for correct answers, and we helped the boys score some granola bars.

The next day, the boys & I planted a letterbox, and attended the talk on pollinators. We went back that night to hear some stories, such as the Navajo story of the night sky creation.

On our last day, I convinced the family to hike up Mt Galbraith to hunt for a letterbox. The views it afforded made it worth while!

Enough words, here are some pics.

Camping Buddies

Dude's Fishing Hole

Hiking/Letterboxing on Mt Galbraith


If It’s Not Scottish…

We had such a wonderful time at the Robbie Burns Supper in January, we were keen on further embracing our Scottish roots and attending more Scottish events. After all, when Geoff & I were married, he wore a kilt. So he got decked out in his Armstrong tartan, I donned my Armstrong scarf and we drove up to Estes Park to check out the Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival.

There are many celtic festivals held over the summer, but we seemed to miss them. This one happen to fall on a free weekend for us, so we jumped at the chance to go. You can buy your tickets in advance, and if you do, you will save some money. We did not, but we only needed to pay for three tickets (plus parking).

It’s a pretty organized event, and has been going on for 30+ years. Aside from the clan tents, there are also scheduled events like jousting, caber tossing, dog agility. We saw none of those. What we did do was start at the Armstrong booth, have Elijah & Miles pick up passports, and let them run from booth to booth collecting stamps from the different clans. They thought this was awesome. We stopped extra long at Clan Cummins to see the Kellys, who represent their clan at all the festivals.

The passports & stamps

When we needed to dine, we visited the row of food stalls. The selections included fish & chips, haggis, bangers, deep fried Mars bar (which I wish I had tried) and meatballs on a stick. What I wanted was a hamburger, but those were nowhere to be found. I ended up picking a brisket sandwich that came with potato salad & beans. It was the shortest line, and it moved quickly.

There were a few tents that sold wares, and I resisted spending my dough there. At one tent though I discovered what tartan my family was permitted to wear. The Torrances (while I’m still unclear what clan/sept/family we belong to) wear the Edinburgh District tartan. So now I know that. 🙂

In the end we decided that the kids are still a little too young & wild to spend the day exploring a festival like this. And for the price we paid, it probably wasn’t worthwhile. We would have liked to see more, but it will have to wait for the future. We may have better luck at Tartan Day, which is celebrated in April, in Olde Town Arvada.

Now I just need to get my little Scots an Armstrong button, or a tam.

Go Avs!

After living in Colorado for 6 years, we finally went to a Colorado Avalanche hockey game!

I was lucky enough to win four tickets, so the whole family went. We drove to a Park-n-Ride and met up with Daddy to take the train to Pepsi Center. Once we picked up our tickets at will call, we were surprised to see how awesome the seats were! We made our way there, and the kids were in awe. Daddy left to find food, and I explained to the boys which team we were cheering for. Elijah (4.5) pointed out everyone wearing hockey shirts, and when the zamboni came out, the boys cheered. Their excitement grew even more when a Chipotle burrito blimp appeared and floated through the arena, followed by a Denver Post blimp. They grew sad when the blimps finished dropping their coupons and disappeared, but by then Daddy was back with food.

The game started, and the boys continued to eat their cheeseburgers and fries. With the food done, they stood up to watch the game. Elijah declared his favorite number was 26, and that we were going to root for him (Stastny). After the first period Miles (2.5) was ready to leave, but I assured him there was more game to see, and hey the zamboni will be back. Thankfully there was also Mighty Mites hockey, little kids from Arvada playing on the ice. Elijah got a kick out of that.

Miles got antsy in the second period, so we took a walk around the arena. We made our way downstairs to the kids store, and picked up the boys some Avalanche shirts of their own. Miles proudly carried them back to his brother, at which point we put them on.

Elijah asked excitedly, “what number is on the back of my shirt?” Daddy explained that numbers cost more, but we can look into it for the future. Both kids were happy to have their new hockey shirts.

After the second period, we made our way to the exit, as Miles showed he’d had enough. One more burst of energy when we saw Bernie the Mascot, but the line was very long, and tears came when we wouldn’t stand in line. “Next time, okay. We’ll see Bernie next time.” The tears ended pretty quickly, and they had enough energy for the train ride back to the car.

I doubt we’ll ever have tickets so nice as these. It was a great experience for all of us, having been ages since either Geoff or I had been to a hockey game. The boys need to be a little older before they get into it, Elijah still complaining the game takes too long. But I’m thankful for the chance we got to go.


Yes I am Canadian, but that does not mean I love snow. I don’t hate snow. I have some found memories of playing in the snow.

My boys love snow! They get giddy when the flakes fly, they cry when the snow melts. I think Colorado weather is perfect for them. They get a taste for it, but they aren’t saddled with it for 6 months of the year.*

With the snow we got on the weekend, the boys waited anxiously for it to be “snowman snow”. Today, I got outside with them to assist with building Snowman Guy.

I’m okay if this winter we don’t see a ton of snow. If I want snow, I’ll go to the mountains.

*Canada doesn’t really get 6 months of snow. But it feels like it.