Shifting from South Dakota into Wyoming, we spent an overnight in a forgettable RV park in Cheyenne after discovering the Flying J truck stop was unacceptable - too much noise and nothing level. Truck stops can be a convenient in-a-pinch overnight stop but we do have our standards of basic comfort and safety to consider.
One of our favorite routes to Chris and Robyn’s is the one that takes us on State Hwy 14 through the small town of Walden, CO. There are a couple of good breakfast stops but our favorite is at the Moose Creek Cafe - when it’s open. Otherwise, the Antlers Inn’s River Rock Cafe with its typical western decor is an acceptable alternative.
We reached Chris and Robyn’s house by 3:30 on August 14th. Now experienced with squeezing through the gate into their backyard, we were in and parked in no time at all. Chris, Robyn and the kids were still on the road heading back from a visit in Wisconsin so Chewy, the family dog, was the only one on hand to greet us.
The next morning was spent cleaning the RV and shopping for birthday party supplies for Robyn’s surprise 40th birthday which Chris had been planning for some time. Our RV became surprise party central so that by the time Chris, Robyn and kids arrived home Saturday evening, Robyn would be none the wiser.
Sunday morning it was life as usual meaning a birthday breakfast at the Sunshine Cafe before Robyn left to do a major grocery shop. And that’s where life as usual ended. The rest of us plotted, planned and hurriedly decorated the house before her return. By the time Robyn returned from shopping, the balloons on the mail box might have been her first clue - but when well wishers came out of the house to wish her happy birthday, the jig was up. She had been completely taken off guard. It was, indeed, a successful birthday party surprise in every respect.
Over the course of the next week we spent as much time as possible with the kids. A photo shoot at the Dillion Reservoir, a hike up Rock Creek Trail, a drive up Loveland Pass where we stumbled upon White-tailed Ptarmigan, a hike on Ridge Trail for family photos, Carter’s soccer game, breakfast at the Mountain Lyon and dropping off and picking up Cali and Carter from school kept us hopping.