Thursday, October 13, 2011

Baby's First Road Trip, Winter 2011, Part 2 - Colorado

Keira in Keystone, CO
Boulder, CO - Today is the last day in the Front Range for Suwei and I.  Tonight or early tomorrow we'll be heading up the hill to Keystone to accept delivery of a new mattress for the condo.  After that we're hitting the road again and heading back to California via a southern route (hopefully warm and dry).  Today, I've got to get the truck packed up, sell some snow tires, get rid of a old TV, have dinner with Tim & Michele and possibly get this post published.  So, here I go.

This next set of photos are from Part 2 of our winter road trip to Colorado last January & February.  Part 1 covered our trip out to Colorado (here's a link: Baby's First Road Trip, Winter 2011, Part 1 - California to Colorado).  Part 2 covers our time in Colorado, which is to say, it's a bunch of photos of Keira and folks visiting us to see Keira.

Basically, our plan for this portion of the trip was to hole up at our ski condo in Keystone, get used to taking care of an infant, ski, ski, ski, and to see as many Colorado friends as possible. Since I never take my camera skiing with me, all the photos are of our new baby and the folks visiting our new baby.

Keira and Friends.
Frost on the inside of the window
At one point, however, the temps up at Keystone dropped enough to make skiing a little less than desirable.  When it gets down to -10F, I tend to rethink a day on the slopes.  When it got down to -16F we decided to head down to the front range, visit Suwei's parents, and sort through our storage unit for apartment furnishings.

Suwei's Dad's Birthday Lunch at Hapa in Boulder.
Sorting through storage in Longmont, CO.
Our one little hiccup for this portion of the trip was due to the altitude.  Our ski condo is located at an elevation of about 9000 feet.  Our first couple of nights there we noticed that Keira was having a hard time getting to sleep and was quite lethargic during the day.  When she started spitting up milk we decided to head into town and see a pediatrician.  The doc tested her blood oxygen level and all was normal.  However, she suggested that we rent a small oxygen tank set a the lowest setting (1/32) and have Keira use that at night.  She said even the local babies usually need a little extra oxygen.  As the doc was fetching the tank, Keira fell asleep and we watched her blood oxygen level drop instantly below the recommended levels.  Tank on, and it started coming back up.  Scary.  Anyway, for the rest of the time we just made sure she was plugged into the tank at night and all was good.

Night out with friends at the Southern Sun / Cutest Bunny Ever / Keira doing what babies do.

Eventually, we ran out of time and had to think about going home.  We rented a U-Haul trailer to take some of our necessary items back to California with us, planned another route home and hit the road again.  But, that's a story for Part 3.  Stay tuned.

Here's a link to the slide show:

Baby's First Road Trip Part 2, Colorado

Monday, October 10, 2011

Baby's First Road Trip, Winter 2011, Part 1 - California to Colorado

On the Road Somewhere in Utah
Keystone, CO - This post may confuse some folks as Suwei, Keira and I are currently in the middle of Baby's Second Road Trip, Fall 2011.  If Keira looks a little small in these pictures, it's because they were all taken last January when she was a little more than one month old.  I just figured that I should post the photos from trip #1 before I get overwhelmed by the new ones I'm taking now.

Let's back up to last January.  Suwei had almost 3 months of maternity leave left  to burn through.  What better way can you think of than to hit the road and head to Colorado for a month or so of skiing? Anyway, that's what we came up with.  Our plan was to minimize each days driving time as much as possible, visit as many friends along the way as possible, and to keep the baby from freezing to death.  Were we a little nervous?  Hell yes!

As it turns out the trip went off without too many hitches.

In Truck Diaper Change
For the trip out to Colorado, we chose to stick pretty close to HWY 80 as that is by far the fastest way across.  Frankly, we chose that route because we were not too sure how things were going to work out and wanted to be able to b-line to Colorado it if needed.

Mark & Wendy in Grass Valley, CA
Our first stop was only about 3 hours away from the Bay Area in Grass Valley, CA where we stayed with the Nelsen Clan.  Mark and Wendy are good friends of mine from way back in high school and... they have a spare room!  Moki, a friend of Suwei's from her early Colorado days, also lives in Grass Valley.  We ended up meeting her and her son Aonghas for breakfast in town. Next was a night at a typically awful motel in Elko, NV.  Then before reaching Utah, we veered north of HWY 80 to see the Golden Spike National Historic Site.

Breakfast with Moki & Aonghas in Grass Valley, CA 
It was during out Northern Route Road Trip last summer that Suwei and I had talked about getting Keira a National Park Passport. Actually there was a lot of debate about whether or not we could get one early and start stamping it while Keira was still in the belly.  Anyway, Golden Spike National Historic Site was Keira's first National Park and that's where we got her her passport and her first stamp.

Northern Nevada
Golden Spike National Historic Site

Description: The site commemorates the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad where the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad met on May 10, 1869. The final joining of the rails spanning the continent was signified by the driving of the ceremonial Golden Spike.

LocationBox Elder County, UtahUSA
Nearest cityBrigham City, UT
Area2,735 acres (1,107 ha)
EstablishedApril 2, 1957
Visitors40,156 (in 2005)
Governing bodyNational Park Service

Logan, UT
Our third night on the road was spent in Logan, UT with Edi and Donald.  Edi is Jackie and Jenny's Mom.  Jackie and Jenny are friends of ours from Colorado.  Although this is the first time I have met Edi, Suwei has stopped by and visited a number of times.  Edi was kind enough to send us tons of cute clothes for Keira including a pink tutu that matched the one she bought for her dog.  Way too cute.

 Anyway, Jackie was in the area for work and we had hoped that we could meet up at Edi's place.  As it turns out, it snowed quite a bit that night and Jackie couldn't make it down the hill until the next morning.  So, we met up with her for lunch in Ogden, UT.

Edi & Donald's Place in Logan, UT / Edi & Keira / Baby's First Brew Pub, Lunch in Ogden with Jackie

Jennifer and Keira in Moab, UT
Our last stop on the tour before reaching Colorado was at Jennifer and Brian's place in Moab, UT. Jennifer is a friend ours who has joined us on a number of very cool backpacking trips. Brain is her other and owns Pagen Mountaineering in downtown Moab. Even though Jennifer had just blown out her knee in a skiing accident and was not feeling all that spry, she joined us on a gorgeous winter tour of Arches National Park.

It was so nice out there, I decided to get up early and head out to Landscape Arch for sunrise the next day (sans baby).  Turns out there wasn't much of a sunrise as it was quite cloudy out there.  However, I did manage to get a few shots that I'm proud of.

Arches National Park

Park Avenue Viewpoint, Arches National Park, UT
Description: Arches National Park is known for preserving over 2000 natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch, in addition to a variety of unique geological resources and formations.

LocationGrand County, UtahUnited States
Nearest cityMoab, Utah
Area76,679 acres (31,031 ha)[1]
EstablishedApril 12, 1929, as a National Monument
Visitors1,014,405 (in 2010)[2]
Governing bodyNational Park Service
North Window Arch, Arches National Park, UT
Skyline Arch / Keira's Cozy Carseat / North Window Arch

Sunrise, Arches National Park
Early Morning View of the La Sal Mountains, Arches National Park, UT
Panorama from the Courthouse Tower Viewpoint, Arches National Park, UT
One last shot from Utah.  This was taken near Fisher Tower's where we stopped for another feeding and a diaper change.
Next stop Colorado! Stay tuned for Part 2.

As usual there are a lot more photos in the slideshow:

Baby's First Road Trip Part 1, California to Colorado