The Dratted Marmot/Beaver at YMCA of the Rockies

You’d think as much as I rave about YMCA of the Rockies that I worked for them (maybe someday?) One of the bonuses of enrolling your child in Camp Chief Ouray is taking some time to play at YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch. My son Bode and I timed our 30-hour visit perfectly: get a tour of the camp, attend the dance and closing Vespers ceremony and spend the rest of the time exploring.

We’ve frequently visited Snow Mountain Ranch in the wintertime but this was our first summer visit. With 5,100 acres, it is considerably larger than its more popular 860-acre Estes Park counterpart, which meant more to conquer. In the winter, we’ve focused on outdoor (Nordic skiing/tubing/snowshoeing/skating) and indoor (roller-skating, swimming, archery, climbing wall and gym play) so this time around, we tried to do some different activities. From miniature golfing to making a Father’s Day gift at the impressively-stocked craft center, to capitalizing on the playground at Indian Peaks Lodge to snuggling up by the campfire.See that stuffed animal on the top left? I promised Bode I’d buy it for him at the gift shop if he did the 3 mile round-trip hike on the Waterfall Trail with me. Normally he’s a great hiking buddy but he was dragging that day and a little extra motivation was necessary.

The trail is perfect for families and was both beautiful and fascinating. The area boasts an active beaver population so not only did we pass dams and ponds but also gnawed-off trees. Upon arriving at the waterfall, we skipped the crowds at the base and followed the trail to the top of the waterfall where we spent the next hour throwing and then watching rocks and sticks fall to their death over the bustling waters.
We also marveled as a Colorado kid tied a hammock on each side of the creek right before the falls and then leisurely hung out–one false move would have sent him over the waterfall. #OnlyInColorado

Good thing I am not his mother

We were so inspired after our hike (Bode was boasting about our adventures through some “perilous” marshlands), he declared his souvenir de choix from the gift shop was going to be his very own beaver.

P.S. We later figured out it was actually a marmot. Close enough.


In case you missed them:

A Week of Independence: The Johnson Kids Do Utah and Camp

Dancing Queen: Why It’s Good to Be Young and Sweet at Camp Chief Ouray

Protesting the End of Camp Chief Ouray

Hadley’s Camp Chief Ouray Highlights: Kitchen-raiding Mammoth-capturing Fun

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