By Kim Tenure, Education and Community Outreach Coordinator
One of my absolute favorite times of the year is fall. It’s the time I miss the east coast and my hometown the most. However, since I started working at The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties, fall is one of my favorite times of year for a whole other reason—the weekend trip to Peaceful Valley Ranch.
This year, we made some tweaks to activities and volunteers that created a new and exciting feel to the trip. Our stalwart leader, Pam Bailey, officially passed the reins to me to plan and coordinate this year’s adventure. We added a quick lunch stop in Rocky Mountain National Park. This had to be one of my favorite parts!
Despite the bad directions that I received and passed along, we all made it to the accessible lunch spot by Sprague Lake. While we ate our packed lunches, we enjoyed the great outdoors and the crispness that only mountain air can truly provide. After lunch we stretched our legs with a walk around the lake. It certainly tuckered everyone out, as soft snoozes filled the car ride to our final destination.
Once we arrived at Peaceful Valley Ranch, we were thrilled to find out that a special weekend of food and activities awaited us, as many of our fellow guests were in town visiting the Scottish Festival in Estes Park. Our meals over the weekend were some hearty stews and soups that were a bit different from our normal fare. Luckily, all the food was delicious and the staff was accommodating to every dietary restriction.
In addition to the food, we had some new activities planned to engage all participants. We added an adaptive and inclusive yoga session that focused on breathing and stretching. While some focused on flexibility, a smaller group of us hiked up to this gorgeous church and overlook to witness some spectacular views.
Other activities over the weekend included horseback riding, swimming, and Cornhole. Besides the activities our group had planned, we were treated to not one, but two dances. We got to listen to some very talented local musicians perform traditional Scottish music and learned the steps to some Scottish dances!
It was amazing to see so many of our folks, not just participate, but mix and mingle with other guests as we all learned (or struggled to learn, like in my case) the steps. Needless to say, we were all exhausted at the end of Friday and Saturday with all our fun activities and exercise.
Sunday is always bittersweet. It’s hard to say goodbye to new and old friends, but it’s also so exhausting with so many activities planned. This year was an amazing trip, but we’ll try hard to top it next year. For more information on our Peaceful Valley Trip, please contact Kim Tenure [email protected]