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Another baby, another trip to Nymph Lake

Started: 2015-08-09 12:52:11

Submitted: 2015-08-09 13:20:30

Visibility: World-readable

In which the intrepid narrator again takes his family to Nymph Lake

In August 2009, when Calvin was about four months old, Kiesa and I took him on a hike to Nymph Lake, which we deemed a success since everyone survived the adventure. Last weekend we decided to reprise the hike, with Calvin running ahead (or lagging behind) and Julian in the baby carrier. (I had originally intended the outing to include our new au pair, to show off our exciting mountains in Colorado, but she declined the invitation.)

Getting out of the house with two children, aged four months and six years, is an accomplishment in its own right. Calvin can mostly take care of himself but requires constant nagging to make sure he's dressed, eaten, pottied, wearing shoes, and actually in the car with everyone else (without getting sidetracked by Legos or audiobooks on the iPad, or both). Julian is still trying to adjust his nap schedule (though without the benefit of telling us what he really wants to do), and requires fairly active attention to get him to sleep most of the time. The novelty of being able to turn our backs on him for five minutes at a time (something we could never do with Calvin) is wearing thin; he still wants to change activities every ten or fifteen minutes and requires a fair amount of time to feed. (Kiesa has declared victory on breastfeeding and is transitioning Julian to exclusive formula-feeding, now that we've found a hypo-allergenic formula he will actually eat.)

On our drive up to Estes Park we encountered the 112-mile bike race portion of Boulder's Ironman triathlon, which clogged the rural two-lane roads we used to get from Gunbarrel to Lyons. Kiesa, driving our recently-acquired previously-owned minivan, did not appreciate having to share the road with quite so many slow-moving cyclists.

Ironman triathlon aid station on Nelson Road
Ironman triathlon aid station on Nelson Road

We used the Fall River entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park to bypass some of the crowds in Estes Park and the more-popular (and more-direct) Beaver Meadows entrance, and ate lunch overlooking Sheep Lake, where bighorn sheep will come to rut in the fall. We got what might be our first family picture with Julian at the end of the parking lot, overlooking the idle valley of the Roaring River with the Mummy Range in the background.

Kiesa, Calvin, Jaeger, and Julian in Horseshoe Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
Kiesa, Calvin, Jaeger, and Julian in Horseshoe Park, Rocky Mountain National Park

We took the shuttle bus from the park-and-ride up to Bear Lake, though by the time we arrived at Bear Lake it was late enough in the day that enough people had left to leave parking spaces. It was raining lightly as we pulled into Bear Lake, and the shuttle bus shelter was packed with people waiting for a ride back down to their cars. I did not have proper rain gear but the rain was not heavy enough to actually bother me.

Calvin, Kiesa, and Julian on the Bear Lake shuttle bus
Calvin, Kiesa, and Julian on the Bear Lake shuttle bus
Kiesa and Julian on the Bear Lake shuttle bus
Kiesa and Julian on the Bear Lake shuttle bus

We headed up the paved trail to Nymph Lake in the throngs of tourists. Calvin did not feel bound by the trail; he wanted to jump up on the rocks on either side of the trail, and needed to be reminded to not run in front of other people, regardless of where they were walking. We arrived at Nymph Lake and took a photo reprising our original photo of Calvin, six years ago:

Kiesa and Julian at Nymph Lake
Kiesa and Julian at Nymph Lake

For comparison, here's the equivalent photo of Calvin, six years ago:

Calvin and Jaeger at Nymph Lake
Calvin and Jaeger at Nymph Lake

This time Calvin was more mobile, and poked around the side of the lake until we decided it was time to go back.

Calvin plays at Nymph Lake
Calvin plays at Nymph Lake

We declared the expedition a success, on the grounds that we all survived the outing, and Julian didn't really start fussing until we were most of the way home -- at which point I managed to twist around in my seat and bottle-feed him in his car seat, which actually worked well enough.

It's probably a mistake to let filmmakers talk about their films.
- James Cameron, _The Abyss_ Special Edition