Photography
Laramee Love

Mueller State Park | Divide, CO Adventure

Last year, I didn’t get to enjoy much of the fall foliage because Orion was a newborn. Naturally, I didn’t feel like going much of anywhere. This year, however, I was fully prepared and ready to go explore! I was excited to see some of the Colorado fall colors.

Mueller State Park had been on my bucket list for quite some time and it had also been recommended to me by several co-workers. Therefore, my mom and I packed the kids and a picnic lunch and made the 50 minute drive from Colorado Springs to the state park in Divide.

The drive itself up to Mueller State Park is beautiful. The road takes you through Woodland Park and around the other side of Pike’s Peak. The closer we got to the park, the more yellow Aspen trees we saw speckling the horizon. It was a neat sight to see the pockets of bright yellow contrasting against the dark green of the evergreens.

We arrived in the park and randomly picked a parking area that also had picnic tables. Immediately, my heart soared at sight of all the yellow trees surrounding the parking lot. I was so excited and was really looking forward to getting some great shots. The optimist inside me assumed I could get some spectacular shots of my smiling children with beautiful fall colors and glowy light behind them. The realist inside me knew that was impossible and I’d have to settle for tree photos instead. It seemed however that reality was somewhere in the middle.

Orion was riding in a carrier on my back, so he really just enjoyed the steady rhythm of walking (with the occasional–ok, frequent–pause for photos) and sucking on his pacifier. Savannah, on the other hand, was hiking herself and initially really enjoyed hurrying along the trail and climbing on rocks. After about 15 minutes for her, however, it seemed there was no end in sight and she quickly tired out and began to drag her feet.

I was really enjoying myself taking in the sights. The bright yellow trees were just stunning! Simultaneously, I was also trying to block out the sounds of a whining pre-schooler. For those of you with kids, I’m sure you can almost hear it by just looking at the photo below.

There’s Gah forging on ahead!

Somehow, we all made it back to the car, although it took about three times as long as it should have because of all the breaks we had to take for our little ‘hiker.’ And some of the hills were quite big. And yes, I even ended up carrying her against my better judgement for one small section of the trail.

Regardless, it was lunch time! Just look how excited Orion was to finally get out of the backpack to eat some lunch! We grabbed our picnic from the car and spread out at the picnic table to eat pimento cheese sandwiches, yogurt, and carrots. It was a nice relaxing break, and it gave Savannah a chance to regroup after her long enduring hike.

After everyone had their fill of lunch, we thought about taking our chances and attempting another hike. After all, we drove almost an hour to get here and wanted to take full advantage of the day! We loaded back in the car to find another trailhead a bit deeper into the park. Luckily for Savannah, most of the other parking areas were full, so we settled for the playground for a few minutes instead. We finished the day toward the front of the park at the Children’s Nature Trail. It was a very short trail around a small pond: perfect for tired little feet. Savannah threw rocks into the pond and Orion “walked” around using me or his grandmother for assistance.

It was a day filled with plentiful beautiful scenery, several exhausting moments, and minimal meltdowns. Overall, it was perfect. The kids enjoyed the great outdoors, and my mom and I got some exercise–both physically and mentally. I captured a lot of great moments that I will treasure forever. I am definitely looking forward to our next trip out here!

October 18, 2020

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Photography
Baileyana Rose