For our second camping trip of the summer, we picked Monarch Park Campground, which is near Salida. It was a long drive from Parker (about 3 & 1/2 hours) but it is beautiful in that area. The campground is really pretty, with lots of pine trees and two streams running through it. Our campsite (#4) was a tent-only site situated in the middle of the two streams and was huge! We had room for the tent and lots of extra room for running around and playing. Our camp neighbors were also from Parker, and had kids that were the boys’ ages, so they loved having neighbors to play with all day long!
And YAY! the fire bans have been lifted in Colorado, so we were able to have a campfire this time! We wasted no time in getting a fire going. Have you seen those super large marshmallows? I thought I was being Supermom by treating the boys to them, but they were a mistake! They were so hard to eat and impossible to make a S’more! But, hey, we’ve got a campfire!
The elevation at the campground is 10,500 feet, so we were expecting chilly nights. We were not, however, expecting the rain! Chris and I were sitting by the campfire (the boys had long ago fell asleep) when a thunderstorm started. We quickly put the gear away and gave Cosmo a quick walk. Not two minutes after climbing in the tent, the rain came POURING down. It was so loud in the tent that Chris and I were SHOUTING just to be able to hear each other. The boys are such great sleepers they didn’t even budge!
The next morning, we got another fire going to warm up and then we were off for a hike. (You can read about the hike at the boys hiking blog by clicking HERE.) After the hike, we headed back to camp and Chris and I got to relax while the boys played with their new friends. It’s nice that the boys are now at the age where we can give them a little bit of freedom to explore. Luckily, since our camp was surrounded with forest and streams, they didn’t need to go to far to get away from the parents!
Unfortunately, it also started to rain again. We were able to eat dinner, but it was just too cold and wet to keep a fire going, so we got in the tent. It rained ALL NIGHT LONG. As relaxing as the sound of rain can be, a torrential downpour on a tent isn’t soothing at all. We were freezing, damp and exhausted from lack of sleep, so we decided to pack it up the next day. We were supposed to camp one more night, but there was more rain coming, so there was no way we could get everything dry and warm. The boys were ready to leave too, which made the decision easier.
Monarch Park is a beautiful campground! Almost every site there is large and shaded. It’s definitely going on my list of favorite campsites and we are looking forward to camping there again. Maybe in a pop-up camper or rented RV next time? 😉