Dust swirled around us as we pulled into Farish Recreation Area, our home for the night. We checked in, grabbed a couple of different maps, then slowly bumped down the dirt road to site 35. We carefully backed our Little Guy into a small clearing in the trees and had camp set up in no time. My husband sipped a cold beer as he grilled some chicken drumsticks for lunch, while Luke ran around beneath the trees and Jack cooed and giggled from the bed in the shade.
Bellies full of chicken and baked beans, we loaded up our backpacks with water and a few little snacks and headed out on an afternoon hike. The sun kissed our faces and the breeze played with our hair. We admired the wildflowers beside the trail and stopped every so often to wait for Luke to scramble up and down the giant boulders on our way to the Peakview Trail overlook. An hour and a short climb later, we arrived at the clearing on the hilltop. We each shed our packs and stood in awe of our incredible view of Pikes Peak, the mountain that dominates our home town.
Motivated by hunger and the slight chill in the air, we hurried back down to our campsite for more grilling and relaxing. Luke convinced us to open the bag of marshmallows he’d been eyeing all week long and wasted no time eating as many as he could before we stashed them away again. Pork chops crackled and popped on the grill and zucchini and fried potatoes sizzled on the camp stove in the galley. The sun dipped low in the sky as we ate.
Night had fallen by the time Andy and Luke started to build a fire. I walked around our campsite with a fussy Jack until he fell asleep in my arms, then joined the boys near the warm fire for s’mores. Luke insisted on cooking every single marshmallow himself, but preferred to hand those off to his dad and I while he continued to eat the uncooked ones straight from the bag. At long last, the sugar high wore off and the fire began to die down. The boys and I made our way back over to the trailer and climbed into bed while Andy waited to finish off the fire.
I woke to the sun peeking through the trees and into the stargazer window. Jack, our morning lover, cooed happily on my left while Luke, our nightowl, continued to snore loudly to my right. Andy peeked his head in from outside and invited me to come out and enjoy some camp coffee in the morning sun. Jack sat happily in my lap as Andy and I sipped from our mugs. One coffee pot later, we heard our sleepy head begin to stir in the trailer. Pancake time.
We devoured our stacks of pathetic-looking pancakes and perfectly done breakfast sausage as the sun continued to rise in the sky, warming our campsite and energizing each of us. Andy and I finished breakfast then started to break camp, cleaning as we went. Jack cooed from the bed in the trailer while Luke played with the kids one campsite over. As quickly as we set up the day before, we were packed and ready to head back home.
As we bumped back up the dirt road, I couldn’t help but smile at our newfound freedom. This was it – the dream we’d had for over a decade – and we were just getting started.