Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Pony Express Rides Again! Marysville, Kansas

Traveling this great country brings such amazing experiences.  Getting to enjoy the actual place where the Pony Express got its start.  Of course, the actual riders began in St. Joe, but Marysville is where so many of the important historical events happened. 

There is still the real Pony Express Barn that has turned into a museum.  I love taking the kids to the actual location where history happened.  Instead of just reading it in a book, which we do also, we get to hike, walk, explore, and study the original places.

It is not a huge museum, but very informative.  I recommend everyone go to this wonderful town and please, don't miss this museum!

The city pool is wonderful. We bought a season pass for our short stay as it
was less expensive than daily passes.

There is a little sod house to look at in the park.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Historic Trails Park in Marysville, Kansas

My earlier post talked about staying in the city park in Marysville and the wonderful Pony Express Museum.  I would like to share more of the numerous memories we made in such a small town.

We made the short drive to the Historic Trails Park.  There are plaques that describe the different historical trails that passed through Marysville on the way west.  There is the Morman Trail, Military Trail, Oregon Trail, California Trail, Overland Express, Pony Express, St. Joe, and Otoe-Missouria.

There is also a model of the original ferry that crossed the Big Blue River there in Marysville.  The Donnar Party crossed here and the first person, the mother-in-law died at this location. 

The park isn't far from town and doesn't take long to check out and is a great history lesson.

Ferry at Historic Trails Park

Plaque at Historic Trails Park

Friday, September 2, 2011

UTV in the Mountains of Colorado - Home School Fun!

We had a great time today taking my new Kawasaki Mule UTV up the mountains of Colorado to study beavers.  There is no better way than to actually see what you are learning and no better way of getting there but in an off road vehicle.
The trip to the dam was stunning.  All the kids were in seat belts, talking, laughing, and having a great time.  We have a roof on the top to keep the sun off the kiddos, so there were no complaints about the heat.  It was so relaxing for me – the mom.  During the day, life in the camper can get quite crazy, so those moments where all the kids are safe, happy, and hooked-in bring such a peace to my heart.  It is refreshing for my soul to take the kids up into the stunning Rocky Mountains for an afternoon of adventure and learning.
aspen forests near South Fork Colorado

While driving we talked about the Aspen trees, mountains, logging, and anything else we saw on the way to our destination, over 9000' up the mountain.

The Beaver Dam made a small pond that all the cows seemed to like to drink at.  As we jumped from the UTV, we had to dodge cow patties randomly dropped by the huge beasts.  At one point the cows seemed toCows at beaver dam in South Fork, Colorado think they could run us off.  I told the kids, “No way!  We drove all the way up this mountain to come here, it is our turn!”  The cows didn't seem to listen to me and continued to push us away from the pond.  Needless to say, I am not quite brave enough to run a herd of cows off of what is actually their home, so the kids and I climbed in the UTV to wait them out. 

Tytus honked the horn hoping to run off the cows at the beaver dam in South Fork, Colorado

Tytus honked our horn a couple of times, hoping to scare the cows, but they didn't even look up. 

After the cows moved on, we hiked up stream to play in the water, so we weren’t playing where the cows pooped.

Kids study beaver markings at beaver dam in South Fork, ColoradoWe didn’t see any live beavers, but we did see the aspens they had chopped down with their huge teeth. The kids made their own beaver dam in a branch off the main stream.  Cody helped them build it while I kept watch for poop, cows, bears, and mountain lions.  Thankfully we were by ourselves for a while!

kids help build their own beaver dam in South Fork, Colorado

Cody and kids were soaked building the beaver dam.  It lasted a little while before it fell apart. I guess we don't make very good beavers!

Our time in the mountains, exploring as a family, is one of my fondest memories of our trip.  As I write this my heart returns to those mountains…
 Sheri with kids at beaver dam in South Fork, Colorado
  Cody came along to help his mom on the adventure up the mountain in South Fork, Colorado
Beaver Dam in aspen forest South Fork, Colorado    
 Kids playing at beaver dam in South Fork, Colorado
Hanna reading books on uses for aspen trees in South Fork, Colorado

Hanna enjoys reading our books on the natural, edible, and medicinal uses for the plants around us.  Here she is studying how we can use Aspen trees and Ponderosa Pines.