We started our trek into the highcountry by the "back door" - heading west out of Denver on 285, instead of taking I-70, the well-used thruway to ski country. This lesser-known route, although slower and a great deal more serpentine, takes you through some gorgeous farm country.

It also takes you through the South Park area. Yes, that South Park.

You might not necessarily recognize it from the show...aside from not being animated ;) it is, in fact, a great deal more beautiful in real life. Especially on a day like this, with cloud shadows scudding across the countryside.

These shots were taken from the car window, since we were making time up to the mountains after our family day, but even at speed and through glass, you can't obscure the beauty of this bucolic scenery.

There aren't many places left, in this crowded day and age, that you can see this many horses in one pasture.

As you rise higher out of the basin, the meadows turn greener, the landscape more alpine.

We stopped at a little lake at high altitude to let the dogs have some relief, and to allow Flynn her first precious breaths of the pure, clear, clean high-mountain air.

In our element at last. It's difficult for me to express the pure joy of finally finding ourselves as a family, me, M, dogs and all, in this environment, with the daughter we had dreamed of on so many long hikes and camping trips.

It really hit home just at this moment, sitting here by this little alpine lake, with the cool, thin breeze blowing our hair around, and Flynn bundled up for the first time in her fleeces, cheeks pink in the brisk air.

I thought Flynn was cute in her summer clothes (all those beautiful summer clothes that were passed on to her by generous people with exquisite taste!!) but you really haven't seen anything until you've seen our QQ in head-to-toe fleece!

She just makes you smile.

M and the dogs, taking it all in.

Fly-fishermen enjoying the peace and quiet.

How long have I been waiting to see a sight like this??

The girl loves her daddy.

And oh, how daddy loves his girl.

Flynn in her car seat. I won't say that she has come to love it. It's more that she tolerates it, at least most of the time. I think she still hasn't gotten over the injustice of having to be strapped in, facing away from the rest of us. In China, after all, she rode reclining luxuriously in my lap, in buses, vans and taxi cabs. Now it's only Sam who's allowed to ride in my lap!


A Beautiful Mess said...

Life is good.....isn't it :)

Beautiful family. You make me smile with each post!! I am so happy for all you!!

Cavatica said...

Wonderful, wonderful.

Yoli said...

Flynn in the Fall, nothing more beautiful. Have a great weekend.

Vivian M said...

I LOVE the picture of Daddy and Flynn by the stream and Mommy and Flynn on the picnic table! By the way, Canada looks alot like South Park (I think the creators of the show anyway are Canadians).
Maia, it fills my heart to see you both so in love with your daughter and finally holding her in your arms!

Heather said...

Gorgeous! Gorgeous girl. Gorgeous family. Gorgeous scenery!

And those were one of my favorite pair of pants (the little brown ones)! They looked so comfy!

kris said...

Oh that is IT. I am SO moving to Colorado! I am OVER FLorida and never loved it anyway! There is something beautiful about walking along the beach but I am not a beach girl AT ALL.

What a wonderful trip for you guys... the pictures are complete with Flynn in them!

My Heart Beats In China said...

What majestic scenary! Now I really miss Colorado.
The photos of all of you reveal such happiness.

Enjoy your baby girl.