Sunday, July 3, 2011

Lathrop State Park

For Father's Day we invited both my parents and Julie's parents to go camping with us. Unfortunately we decided a bit late, so just about every camping spot in the state was already booked. But Julie found the last two spots in a place called Lathrop State Park, and we took them.

The park is about an hour and half south of us, by the town of Walsenburg, which isn't known for it's scenic beauty or, really, anything. We were skeptical of the park, but were looking forward to spending the weekend with the families.

We arrived first, and got our tent set up, we unfortunately forgot the pump to our air mattress, which made the whole trip a little bit harder! In all seriousness, it was quite pretty down there (except for the huge snake we saw slithering across the road), and the views of the Spanish Peaks were nice too.

Bill got off work earlier than expected, so they made it down next, and we were excited to sit in the air conditioning!

My parents got there closer to dinner time, and we grilled up quite a feast with chicken, peppers, tortillas and corn. It was excellent. We tried to see the Ranger talk that night, but only caught a bit of it. The entertainment was a local country singer who sang tunes local to the area, but dinner was waiting, so we missed most of it.

The next day we got up and explored the closer of the two lakes in the park, and got a great day of fishing in. Unfortunately we left the camera in the car during the 8 hours of fishing, so there are no pictures! David caught some fish, Bill caught some fish, the people sitting next to us caught a lot of fish, and I just lost one off my line before it got to shore. Overall a successful day. That night we had turkey burgers and chips and sat in the A/C some more, it was lovely.

The Ranger talk that night was a local historian who talked about the mining history of Walsenburg and the surrounding areas. Apparently the town was founded around the Walsen mine which was a large coal mine around the turn of the century. Poor mining conditions and low wages lead to some of the first unionization in the country, and unfortunately to some armed conflicts, like the Ludlow Massacre. It was fascinating to hear the history, especially since the Ranger who gave the talk worked in one of the mines as a kid!

Our last day there we did the 2.5 mile hike which gave some great views of the lakes and the park. It went up to the ridge in between the park and Walsenburg, and we could see a good ways both north and south. We had a great time camping with the family, and we're looking forward to a summer filled of good times!

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