Monday, September 13, 2010
North Fork Trail to Deserted Village
On Sunday we went hiking up near Rocky Mountain National Park on the North Fork Trail to Deserted Village. It's six miles round trip, and we weren't sure that we'd actually make it all the way to Deserted Village. Rowan cried for about the first half hour because he was scared. Of the rocks on the trail. I tried to get something more comprehensible out of him, but wasn't able to. He was of course totally fine after that, and even had a good time. Anyway, we did manage to make it to Deserted Village, in spite of the rough start.
According to Best Hikes With Children: Colorado Deserted Village, which is simply a ruined log cabin, is all that remains of the Earl of Dunraven's hunting lodge. The Earl of Dunraven was an Englishman who, over one hundred years ago, tried dishonestly to gain control of Estes Park and the Big Thompson River drainage.
It was a great hike, though definitely pushing Rowan and Niamh's limits. Luckily there was a creek, two different sets of horses to pet, and M&Ms to help power them through. I'm thinking kids only a year or two older than them would have no problem at all. We spent most of the return journey planning out our farm. Prompted by the horses the kids got to pet, our farm started out as just five horses with a barn to keep them in, but quickly evolved into a real farm with horses, cows, chickens, sheep, ducks, pigs, and a vegetable garden. I'm sure I'm forgetting something--it was quite involved. Rowan knew how many of each animal he wanted, and then we had to name them all.
At the very end, as Rowan and I were just about to reach to parking lot, Rowan told me "Mama, my favorite part of the hike was when the horse sniffed me, but my very favorite part was talking about our farm." So sweet!