October Festive Family To-do List

Haha that picture brings back memories of last fall. My oh my was I ready to meet Cecilia and I can’t believe how much life has changed from one year ago. I really thought she was going to be born on October 28th, even though her due date was November 1. I was wrong! She was born on November 10th.

As she gets closer to her big 1 year old birthday, our little adventures are becoming more and more fun. September was a busy month for us.  My favorite activity was picking apples with Cecilia! I’m planning to make this an annual tradition.

Now that October is just a couple days away, I’m making a festive family to-do list:

  • Celebrate our German heritage –  Oktoberfest
  • Go to a pumpkin patch
  • Make something pumpkin-y
  • Plant mums on our front porch
  • Dress up for Halloween
  • Enjoy the changing leaves
  • Go to homecoming parade
  • Have a bonfire
  • Make a family photo book for Cecy to help her remember our out-of-town family
Am I missing anything?

Feeding Buffalo in Kansas City

This weekend Cecy and I met some friends at the Native Hooved Animal Enclosure in Fleming Park. We brought our apples and carrots to feed to the buffalo and elk who roam the 110 acre fenced in area. We loved getting so close to the massive animals.

Fleming Park is the largest park in Jackson County and I got lost in it for 30 minutes trying to find the buffalo. I did some research for the next time we visit. I couldn’t find an exact address, but for those who are good with maps, I found this one. For those who rely on GPS (me!), I noticed that Missouri Town is very close and I found an address for that park attraction: 8010 E. Park Road.  Lee’s Summit, Missouri 64064.

Into the Wild Basin in Rocky Mountain National Park

A less busy, more remote area of Rocky Mountain National Park is appropriately named the Wild Basin. On our first trip, we almost drove right past the entrance station which is located 19 miles south of Estes Park, Colorado on Highway 7. Once you turn in, the road narrows and leads to dirt roads with limited parking.

Initially our goal was to scout out the area. We headed to the Wild Basin trail head and walked just .3 miles to Copeland Falls. The short, relativity flat walk through tall pine forest is lovely. There is an upper and lower falls, so make sure to go to both.

View of Copeland Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park's Wild Basin Area
This picture of Cecy with her Daddy melts my heart.

The Wild Basin trail head starts at 8,500 ft of elevation. We were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed this lower elevation walk, so we came back on our next trip to Rocky Mountain National Park.

On our second excursion we wanted to push ourselves to go on to Ouzel Falls which is 2.7 miles each way. On this hike, you gain approximately 950 ft of elevation. There is a lot to see on your way to Ouzel Falls. After passing Copeland Falls we hiked to Calypso Cascades where water tumbles down against logs and boulders in a memorable display.

Copeland Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park
Calypso Cascades is located 1.8 miles from the Wild Basin trail head.

The trail follows a scenic mountain stream that you get to cross over several times on sturdy wooden bridges.

Wooden bridge crossing river in Wild Basin in Rocky Mountain National Park

We continued our adventure to Ouzel Falls which is 2.7 miles from the trail head.

Ouzel Falls in Wild Basin, Rocky Mountain National Park

When we were there in early September 2015 the bridge at Ouzel Falls that leads to Ouzel Lake was wiped out from flooding. A crew was there working to rebuild.

Trail Closed during September 2015

We hiked a little off trail to find a better view of Ouzel Falls. Our daughter seemed to enjoy the rushing sound of the falls and the soft mist that was coming off of it.

Ouzel falls splashes down boulders giving off mist

My husband hiked an additional .2 miles to the top of the falls which was somewhat technical and not baby friendly. He waved back down at Cecy and me as we played below.

Views from the top of Ouzel Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park
View from the top of Ouzel Falls

We love that the Wild Basin is typically less crowded compared to other areas in Rocky Mountain National Park. We appreciate that you don’t have to walk far to see a waterfall, but you can also push yourself and have quite the adventure.

Have you been to Rocky Mountain National Park’s Wild Basin area? What did you think?

Relaxing Stroll on Lily Lake

Beautiful Lily Lake is right across the street from Twin Sisters trailhead on highway 7. A flat .8 mile trail circles the lake. This is an easier walk for anyone who struggles with strenuous terrain. Several benches are available offering an opportunity to rest and soak in the gorgeous views. We enjoyed showing Cecy the little ducks on the lake and the pretty wild flowers that surround it.  This is a spot I expect to return to again and again, especially when Cecy starts walking. She took a few cautious steps on her own yesterday – so that might be soon!

Baby Duck with Her Momma

Summer wild flowers surround Lily Lake
Summer wild flowers surround Lily Lake