Button Rock Preserve

Day 33 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

Once again, a planned camping weekend at Great Sand Dunes National Park did not materialize for us. We got a late start heading out on Friday and then took one look at the slow-crawling traffic as we approached the freeway and summarily ditched our plans.

Instead we went home, unpacked the camping gear, ate our picnic dinner in our own yard, called up some friends who came over and sat around a backyard bonfire and we talked and laughed and swapped stories until nearly midnight.

Then on Saturday we “hiked” at Button Rock Preserve, about an hour’s drive away through Longmont and Lyons. Quote marks because this was our second time there, and just like last time, we didn’t get more than a half-mile away from the parking lot. The kids have a favorite spot where there are small rapids and piles of driftwood, and they find boat-like driftwood pieces and launch them through the rapids. (Or, as Luthien did in the very last photo below, lash sticks together with jointed grass to make a raft.)

Nathan and Luthien also climbed Tigers in Lipstick, a small but challenging route Nathan had his eye on last time we were there. And Silas had fun taking lots of pictures while they were climbing and he and I and Cody the dog were lounging at the base of the rock.