End of July and the Bronskis Visit!

Dave did an excellent job writing about our trip to Pennsylvania, but I can’t help but add a few terrific photos he didn’t include.

Three little cousins: Genevieve, Phoebe, and Cordelia.

There’s a photo just like this in which the grownups all look happy…but the kids aren’t as cute. So we’ll go with this one!

Jess, Phoebe, Erika, Cordelia, Genevieve, and Dave
Grammie with her little granddaughters.
I think Pappy might be doing a bit of tickling…

The week after we got back from Ephrata, the Bronskis came to Boulder to sign the closing paperwork on their house. We haven’t seen them in a year, so we knew that Marin and Charlotte would be big girls all of a sudden! Here are some photos from our YABS (young adult Bible study) get-together.

This is what happens when you leave the kids alone in the playroom…
Hi-ho, the witch is dead! Notice the legs poking out from the mattress.
Charlotte, Phoebe, Addie, Marin, John, Thomas.
This is the aftermath (middle-math?) of Phoebe’s first whole Klondike!

The Bronskis planned a really cool trip while they were in town, and we were lucky to be invited. On Friday, July 13, we headed up to Vance’s Cabin, one of the 10th Mountain Division huts. We were carpooling with our friend John (aka Big John), so we left work a little bit early to pick him up in Boulder. We stopped at a good Nepali restaurant in town for dinner and then drove out toward the cabin, near mile marker 164 on I-24. I know…that’s a weird geographic description! However, the trip had become more exciting earlier that week when a huge sinkhole opened up along I-24 at mile marker 165. Pete sent us an e-mail saying that even though there was a blockade, we should be able to get through, since we were considered local traffic and we weren’t going as far as the sinkhole.

Thanks to the Huffington Post for this image of the sinkhole.

It was a long drive up there, about 3 hours. As we neared our turn, we ran into a roadblock around mile marker 162. Dave got out to talk to the two mustachioed men who were not interested in allowing us through. Despite pulling out a map and showing them where we were headed, they simply refused. We drove back a short way to see if we could waylay Marlene and Jade, who were coming after us. In fact, we were pretty sure we saw them go by, but they didn’t come back. John didn’t have cell phone coverage, so we couldn’t get any information up at the roadblock.

We were pretty exhausted by that point, and Phoebe was extremely late for bed (and not sleeping in the car). Fortunately, John’s parents have a ski condo in Vail, which was just back down the mountain. That seemed a lot better than driving all the way back to Boulder! Unfortunately, our little peanut gets carsick on winding roads, so she ended up throwing up all over on the way back down. We had a nice night in the condo—Phoebe got to sleep on Sesame Street sheets! (So did Dave and I, actually.) Many thanks to the Friedbergs for their hospitality in absentia.

We had reached Pete on the way back down the mountain, so we learned that Marlene had indeed talked her way through the roadblock. In the morning, we decided to go back up, armed with the information that the sinkhole was beyond our destination and local traffic was allowed through the first roadblock. This time we met a Hispanic guy who couldn’t understand much of what we were saying. At one point, he frustratedly asked if we could speak Spanish. (A bit of high school Spanish, but nothing better! I know we never learned “sinkhole.”) We managed to convince him to let us through, and as we started to go ahead, a car came through the roadblock the other way and picked him up! So I guess we’d have made it through in another minute anyway.

When we got to the cabin, the Bronskis and Marlene and Jade were out for a hike, so we decided to go for our own hike. We had plans to find them, but we ended up on a different trail. We would’ve liked to get through a saddle between two hills, but it started to rain and hail, and Phoebe got cold, so we ended up heading back.

Phoebe, John, and Dave consulting the map.
The view on the way back to the cabin.
Look how long the kiddo’s legs are getting in that backpack!
What a pretty hike!

It was a nice hike, and John even found the shoe Phoebe lost partway down the trail! She’d been asleep, and when she woke up she said, “My other shoe.” At least we knew to look for it. When we got back to the cabin, we had a really nice afternoon with old friends. The little girls played, and the grownups even got in a game of horseshoes. We enjoyed dinner and had some time to chat once the girls went to bed.

Kelli reading to a lineup of little girls.
Big John gets covered in stickers.

After a nice hut trip, we headed back for a makeup softball game on Sunday afternoon. We left at about 9:50 to get back to Boulder for a 1:00 p.m. game. Can you believe that we missed all but 10 minutes of the game? The I-70 traffic was just atrocious. Fortunately, we got to the game in time for Dave to make the winning hit.

Here’s a photo of Phoebe working on a puzzle that came from my cousins Evers and Ashe. Isn’t her one-piece jumpsuit adorable?

Working on a Noah’s ark puzzle.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a very impressive tower Phoebe built.