Wow... This weekend was full of summertime shenanigans, and I managed to snap a TON of photos. I thought that you guys might like to join me for a recap!
I often times have a lot of negative things to say about Wyoming as a whole, but it's no secret that sprinkled amongst its crud are small pockets of stunning, unfucked nature that are open for exploration. One of these pockets is Vedauwoo, an oasis of gorgeous rock formations that somehow sprouted amongst the otherwise vapid region that is the south-eastern corner of Wyoming. I'm not a super outdoorsy type, but even I can't resist combing through the boulders and trees of Vedauwoo when summertime rolls around.
With my trusty Kris at my side and my pink argyle backpack slung on his back, we headed up the mountain a bit. Well... I'm asthmatic, so it was more of Kris heading up the mountain and me being dragged along behind him. Such is our hiking routine!
Eventually we made it to a spot that was perfect for us to set up camp [i.e. spread out a blanket] and get our mess kits out [i.e. Pizza Lunchables] for a quick lunch. Our view from camp is to the right, and the picture really doesn't do it justice.
After lunch, like true hipsters, I read him the first 20 pages of Catcher in the Rye as a light sprinkle rolled over us. My book got wet and warped, but I, like, didn't even care. That's how cool I am.
Vedauwoo not only has big, beautiful rock formations just waiting to be climbed all over, it also has several trails that weave through ponds, woods and desert, providing the most varied sightseeing I've ever experienced while hiking. It's hard to believe that it's surrounded by miles and miles of boring desert.
I'm kind of a huge chicken, so when Kris pointed out this little snake friend, I nearly lost my shit and acted like he spotted it in my hair. It was just a little garter snake, totally harmless and not at all interested in hanging out with me, let alone getting up on my business. I snapped a picture and we parted ways.
It started to grow dark, my legs were entirely coated in bug bites and I no longer had any blood in my body, so we figured we would pack up and head back to Colorado. My mother, brother and nephew were on their way to my house from Rock Springs, so I was eager to make it home to welcome them when they arrived.
We made it home, and a few hours later my family arrived. I hadn't seen my nephew Rayden in a few months, and it blows me away to see how much closer he is to being a real life person every time I see him. I mean, he's obviously already a human being, but to see him develop from a little scrap to a walking, talking, talking, talking, opinionated little dude... wow. It's a trip.
We made pillow forts until 2am because my house, my rules.
The next day he had a "water contest" with his uncle Kris... and won. It was judged on distance, and I can't help but feel like the whole thing was a little unbalanced. Maybe even rigged.
And then this happened! He caught his first toad! With major help from Kris, of course. He was so convinced that this little guy was going to be his best friend forever, and kept telling me, "No, it's okay... I can keep him. He told me that he wants to stay with me, so it's fine." every time I told him that we'd have to release him eventually. My brother was worried that the toad might have to "run away" in the middle of the night to avoid a fuss, but Kris made a deal with Rayden and caught him a SECOND toads under the agreement that he would let them both go at the end of the weekend.
Rayden proceeded to name the toads "Tony Stark" and "The Fat One". Solid.
While most of this was occurring, I was busy at work making my mom make me curtains for the laundry room. Hey... I didn't know how! My mom is literally the best at all things "mom", so whenever she visits I turn into a loop of, "Mooooom, I need help!"
I didn't take a lot of photos this time around, but I will be making more curtains soon and I will show you how later in my DIYGS section!
My brother Nolan thought that it would be fun to take Rayden to a Colorado farm, so we loaded him up in the car and headed down the street to Jodar Farms, a pig and chicken farm owned by a few of Nolan's friends.
Being used to the uniform, boring, cramped farms that I've seen in Wyoming, I wasn't expecting such a beautiful sight! Tucked away near the interstate, this place is breathtaking and full of happy animals that have plenty of space to run around.
The layout of the farm was very natural, with most of the buildings tucked away in the trees. Its beautiful Colorado backdrop certainly doesn't hurt either, and the owners were so friendly and inviting. I could've wandered around this farm for days!
Rayden, being the charismatic little fella that he is, quickly made friends with the boy who lived on the farm. They hung out at this really rad dirt pile for a while until we forced Rayden to go look at the boring ol' pigs and chickens.
I'm turning 25 next week, and the way that I act around farm animals is kind of unreasonable. I'm usually white-knuckle excited to hang out with chickens, and pigs make me flip the fuck out because THOSE FACES ARE RIDICULOUS AND DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE NOISES THEY MAKE. It goes without saying that I was a bit more thrilled than Rayden was.
He appeased us for a while, and eventually made it back to the dirt pile... but not before telling the little boy who lives at the farm all about the animals we were looking at. The little boy just kept saying, "I know." over and over again, but Rayden didn't care. He seemed to be convinced that he knew more than the farm boy, and that this kid was lucky to be drinking from his fountain of knowledge.
After hanging out with these alive pigs and then buying a few pounds of dead ones, we decided to leave these farmers alone and let them get some work done. At least I assume that's what they did when we left. Isn't that all that farmers do?
Before we left, though, the folks at Jodar had one more tactic to make me fall in love with them entirely. Brandon, the farmer in charge of the fruits and veggies, pointed to a pallet of watermelons and told me to take some. Now, you guys might now know this about me, but just about the only thing that I love more than chickens is watermelon. Worried about being greedy, I grabbed just one and thanked him wholeheartedly... to which he replied, "Take more!"
"Really? Are you sure?" I asked him, already knocking on my 3rd melon and handing it to Kris. [You really don't have to tell me twice to take more melons.]
"Yeah, I'm sure." he said, motioning to a line of pallets that I hadn't yet noticed, all of them overflowing with watermelons.
I almost cried. I was so happy.
Kris only let me load up 6 watermelons before questioning my ability to care for that many melons at once. The rest were going home with my family.
After our farm adventure, it was unfortunately time for my family to pack it up and head home. The fort fell at our feet, requested peach and blueberry Crumblebums were devoured, suitcases were packed... The party was over.
After our long goodbyes, it was time to let Tony Stark and The Fat One go. Kris had been itching to release them all weekend, feeling so guilty for making them the non-consenting playmates for the weekend. Our yard is currently unfinished, so they were quickly able to disappear in the brush. God speed, little dudes!
Now, on the matter of these melons. What in the world am I to do with them?
Well... not to brag, but I've got a few ideas and I'm a little more than super pumped to share them with you. Curious? Come back next week!
Special thanks to my brother Nolan and Jodar Farms for the family farm adventure and all of the watermelons! If you're looking for fresh Colorado pork products and eggs, check them out!
What is your favorite way to enjoy watermelon? Leave a comment below! Hurry! There are too many melons!