Day 1 – Rocky Mountain High 2017: Doe Eyes & Open Skies

#TeamHovis is pumped up for our annual adventure! This year’s destination, the beautiful White River National Forest in Colorado. Lots of adventures await us on the road trip to Colorado. We made it out of home base right on time at 9am. First stop a Granddad meet and greet.  With Granddad and Nana spending all their time in Yellowstone this summer we couldn’t pass an opportunity for some caffeine and hanging out in Waco, TX

IMG_0012Despite the sad face on Gman everyone was happy to see Granddad. It appears this year’s family photos will be hallmarked by Sad Gman and Surprised Poppy. Gman could have just been upset by the smell of Baylor. Goodbyes and hugs were distributed.

We’re off to our first major destination, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.  Coach has been talking about taking the rest of the team to Fossil Rim since 2004. It did not disappoint. Drive through Zoos are usually boring affairs but Fossil Rim breaks the mold. The giraffes roaming free in the park have eaten all the low foliage off the Live Oaks making it look like the African Savanna.  The rhinos and cheetahs are a nice touch as well. It is not an inexpensive outing but worth it.

Lady Coach was clearly our most enthusiastic team member and had the excited giggles the whole drive:  “Oh what beautiful eye lashes”… “That one is so pretty”… “Look at the antlers on that one”… “Hi little guy. We’re friends”… “Deer are so graceful”… “ohhhh look its a baaaaaaby!”… “I now know why they say girls make doe eyes – – they’re so beautiful” and many others.

E and Gman took turns identifying each animal species using the brochure and map. We said goodbye to our new hoofed friends and made our way ever northward.

Through some of Coach Hovis’ famous vacation research, he managed to stumble upon some tickets for the Fort Griffin Fandangle. The Fandangle has been going on over 70 years and it is huge outdoor musical put on by the good townspeople of Albany, TX. It is a true Texas experience. Before we headed over for the twilight show we grabbed dinner in the Albany town square from a BBQ trailer. Apparently E and Gman farkled for jail time – both lost somehow.

Singing cowboys, gun fights, square dancing, courting, a cattle drive,  gun fighting, and a huge locomotive powered steam organ. The town puts on the show four times a year and we just happened to be driving through. E loved every minute of it! Poppy kept turning around with a huge smile on her face and saying “More?”.


We ducked out of the Fandangle a bit early at 9:30pm and headed for the Hotel. Residence Inn Abilene for the win – the two bedroom suite gave us plenty of room to stretch out.  Lady Coach cranked the a/c down to 60 degrees in order to freeze the children into their beds for late morning sleeping – IT WORKED!  See y’all tomorrow!

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