Lair o' the Bear

Mike needed to do school work this morning, and Q and I were at loose ends. It being a spectacular Colorado summer Sunday, we decided to snag Mike's new car again and go for an utterly gratuitous joyride. I had no idea where I was headed, but found myself on this road...

The gorgeous Bear Creek Canyon road which leads up from the town of Morrisson (best known as "basecamp" for the famous Redrocks Amphitheater).
It's all tight switchbacks, and....oh, man, can I just tell you how fun it was to drive it in a car that handles like a sportscar?

Where we ended up, quite by chance, was the Lair o' the Bear state park, outside Idledale. Isn't that a great name?
I had never taken Q here before...in fact, I'd kinda forgotten all about it.
Q checking out the bird diagrams. She likes birds.
Normally, I would never, EVER hit a park on a weekend. Being a freelancer, I have the luxury of taking my "weekends" on less busy days. But since we ended up here quite by accident, and since, after all, I was toting a toddler, and not doing any serious hiking, I thought...why not?

QQ, taken by surprise in the middle of a nap (hairpin roads don't phase her, and she can sleep through anything) was nothing short of amazed at the wonderland in which she found herself.

Is this not a beautiful spot?
Her grace comes to her naturally. How can I not take a million photos every day?
Testing the (chilly) waters.
As it turned out, it got up to 100 degrees in Denver today, so it was particularly fortunate that we found ourselves in the mountains.
We're in high cotton this year here in Colorado, thanks for ongoing (and unprecedented) summer rains.
It's a true indication of how many photos I take that Q now actually scouts out her own "locations". When she finds a spot she thinks will be scenic, she will actually back into it and look at me expectantly, waiting for me to snap a photo or six before getting back on the path. Sheesh. I've got trouble.
Q studying the elevation of the riparian zone around the river....
...and then pointing to the river itself. Can you tell me, how is it that she was able to look at that cross-section diagram of the river (in satellite view), and understand that it was an illustration of the water running next to us? I ask you.
Identifying wildlife on the chart.
Hip deep in the river. Did I mention the water is COLD here? Coming straight off the mountain tops, this is pure snow runoff. Not only did she have no fear of stripping off her pants and plunging in up to her waist (no, she has never done this before) but she stayed in there for quite a while, and I actually had to bribe her to get out!
Mommy time. Ah, it's a good life.
Good heavens, does she not stop your heart? Her beauty just knocks me to my knees sometimes.
Like a little sprite emerging from the woods.
I love that she is comfortable in the wilderness. I was afraid that, raising a child in the city (instead of in Vail) we would have a harder time instilling that love of the outdoors. But q - she's just down for whateva, and I love that about her.


A Beautiful Mess said...

QQ is just pure sweetness! I love that she either sits still enough for you to snap a quick pic OR that you are that fast with your camera because the pictures are always beautiful!

Happy summer:)

Kathy said...

WE LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Lair O' The Bear. We hike it all the time. We even a had a great family photo taken there once, by a stranger, that we loved so much, we used it as our Christmas Card.

It looks like the perfect day for the girls!

She, like always, is so beautiful!

Juliette said...

Looks like a beautiful place and a lovely little adventurer. QQ is fearless, even of the cold water!

Yoli said...

What a beautiful spot and the Q is a total natural in that environment. Just like her Mommy.

Vivian M said...

What a beautiful place to hike! Enjoy the summer!

Julie said...

Just like her Mommy.
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