Thanks, Brays, for making the 12 hour drive, from Oklahoma, to meet up with us. Chris and Gale have four beautiful, extremely talented, good girls. They were fun and easy to vacation with. This will go down as one of the best vacations our family has taken.
We stayed in the General Palmer the first night. It was nice, with a lot of old-fashion charm. The elevator was about as big as a broom closet. They messed up our reservation, so Tom and I got to stay in the Presidential Suite.
The next day we climbed aboard the Durango to Silverton train. We sat in the open air gondola car and enjoyed some pretty amazing scenery. The ride takes just over 3 hours. None of the pictures I took, do the scenery justice.
We opted to take the much faster shuttle back down so we could go river rafting. The rafting was freezing and so fun! We got to experience a series of Class II and III rapids. The only bummer ---we had to all split up into different rafts. Chris took all the older kids, Gale and Ava were in a different one, and Tom, Isaac, and I were in another. Isaac loved every minute of it.
After river rafting, we drove to Pagosa Springs, where we stayed for the rest of time. We stayed in a great cabin that housed us all comfortably.
Our first day in Pagosa, Chris found a great spot to take us to---Treasure Falls. It was so beautiful. The kids enjoyed exploring around the trails, streams, and falls. It was also such a beautiful drive to and from. We had fun spotting deer and elk.
The last day we went to check out the Pagosa Hot Springs. There were at least a dozen different hot springs, with varied temperatures. It was a perfect day of relaxation. The springs overlook the San Juan or Piedra (?) river. We all took a plunge in that freezing river and then warmed right up in the springs. Tom was taking the picture
After the springs, Gale put together a fun treasure hunt. There were nine clues, so each child got to find, open, and read a clue. The treasure chest was filled with poppers, sparklers, snappers, candy, and small fireworks to celebrate the fourth of July. It was the perfect conclusion to our vacation. All the kids loved celebrating that night, with their loot.