We get a lot of tourists to our part of Colorado and for good reason. We’re neighbors with Rocky Mountain National Park, we have some fabulous white water rafting, and we’re enroute to many other natural wonders. That being said, many people hit the Rocky Mountains without much knowledge or understanding of safety and comfort. Here are some tips and tricks to keep you safe, and happy when you hit the woods.
Everyone has favorites from their hometown, home state, or neighborhood. Maybe it’s the pizza place you buy lunch at, or the bakery a few towns over. For me, as someone that hasn’t had a traditional upbringing, I am establishing my roots in a town for the first time as an adult.
Thus, I have a handful of varied things from 27 years on this planet that I crave when I am away, or that I suggest to others. Here is my short list.
No shame in being Basic you all! I love the little things that come with fall.
Seriously, why do we mock the things that make the world a happier place? In a sea of crappy news and unsettling politics I am damn well delving into a sea of things I love, when I can.
That means enjoying some pumpkin pie spice flavored coffee and fuzzy pajamas. I will take my Girl Scout troop to a corn maze and I will go buy some pumpkins and carve them into some awesome designs. I will wear my black boots with skinny jeans and cute socks and all my scarves. Because these are things that make me smile. These are things that make my little life joy.
So this season I encourage you all to just love the things that bring you joy. If you love leaves, go roll in some. If you love pumpkin patches, frolic in one. Because, who cares? The reality is that your joy and helping small community farmers will bring happiness to someone else.
One of the reasons that I love this stuff so much is because I grew up in the mountains where fall was such a short amount of time we barely enjoyed it before it was all gone. At 9,500 feet above sea level, the leaves change in September and by October 10th they are gone. There are no pumpkin patches or corn mazes because nothing grows that high. And the journey to such a thing was at least two hours away, a trip my parents could not afford.
Yet, with all of these restrictions my mom made the most amazing treats in the fall and winter. Caramels and leaf cookies with brown sugar. Pumpkin pies you wanted to sink into and die because they were so divine. Roasts and potatoes and carrots that were perfectly savory and bone warming after cold days feeding horses and cows. There was always sweet and spicy hot chocolate and apple cider. All of it brings me a smile just thinking about it now.
So while I dreamed of haunted carriage rides, I had the divine sweets to make up for it. So to honor the fun, and my earliest memories of golden aspens, I delve into the joys of autumn with a happy heart and a love of all things.
I hope you do too.
What are your favorite seasons? What do you love to do?
If you are around kids, work with kids, volunteer with kids, or even just do family outings here are some quick tips on keeping tabs of your herd.
1. Make a detailed day plan
Start with a meeting and departure time, make sure everyone know where and when. Stick to this plan as much as possible, and only allow for some plan deviation.
2. Find an identifier
If your kids are a group/troop/ have a uniform of some fashion, encourage wearing it out and about.
Additionally, have something else each child wears. We do bandanas, all green, just so we can see a kid from a distance and know it’s our girl with the green headband.
Our Girl Scouts get green bandanas.
3. Be prepared
Be ready for any and everything, especially little kids. I have wet wipes in my car, I carry a first aid kit, and snacks are a must.
4. Plan on someone being short
Not on height, but money. Inevitably someone will not have enough for their slice of pizza or souvenir, or someone will just lose their money. Bring some extra cash to fill in the gaps. If it’s a lot of dough, ask a parent to fix it later.
5. Permission Slips
If you are part of a formal group especially, DO NOT FORGET PERMISSION, in writing, on a piece of paper, have contact information. Even if you don’t NEED a permission slip for group purposes, check your outing location to make sure everything is signed off and ready. Nothing would be worse than getting somewhere and someone not being able to go.
6. Make sure everyone can Enjoy
In order to teach kids to think of others, and ensure everyone has a good time make sure your outing is friendly for everyone. Sometimes a child is diabetic, make sure they can eat or treat properly for where the group is going. Sometimes a child is too small for the roller coasters, make sure that everyone helps plan a day for everyone to get to enjoy many activities. Whatever it may be, look into the limits for your group and try to help everyone create a great day.
7. Capture the Memories
Don’t forget your camera or cell phone to make sure you can get photos of your day to share with the kids for later in life, or black mail. Parents that are unable to attend will also enjoy the fun!