14 brings new privileges

Tonight, Zach is camping out at Gothic Overlook on Massey Draw trail with three other 8th graders. I don’t *think* I’m crazy. I guess turning 14 is a time to test his mettle! Camping out up there is not an easy thing. We have wildlife including bear and mountain lions. Not frequently, mind you, but we do live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains — they are occasionally spotted by people and trail cams. We also have rattlesnakes. But they’re not really a concern at night. I do hope he remembers to put his shoes inside the tent.

For those who don’t know, Massey Draw trail ascends the hogback and summits at about 1,000 feet above the Valley (so, ~7,100 feet above sea level). It’s in our neighborhood, but it’s uninhabited by people. And it’s a difficult hike. But he packed his tent, sleeping bag, water, whistle, medicines and phone and off he went!

He’s a very smart boy and his friends are good kids who are responsible and make good decisions. Most of the time. There are those days when I find myself asking, “WHY did you do THAT???” The answer is usually, “We wanted to see what would happen.” Curiosity is a good characteristic to have. Zach’s curiosity is definitely causing me more gray hair.

As promised, here are pictures of his birthday yesterday. Mini golfing was fun. Zach and I both got holes in one. Michael won. Aspen and I tied for second. Zach got the award for most improved. The first time he mini golfed was on July 4, so he hasn’t had much experience. That time, he got a 67. This time? 55. 🙂

This morning, he hugged me and told me that he liked doing fondue at home and doing “cake” and presents, rather than a restaurant and a movie like he originally said. Eating out is difficult for him with all of his food allergies. At home, I cook only what he can eat, so there’s no talk about “Zach can’t have that.” We had a long evening of both dinner and dessert fondue. His “cake” was the number 14 made out of Raw Balls. They are cacao, nuts and coconut rolled into balls and are downright delicious. I stuck in two candles and we sang happy birthday before we dipped them in chocolate, along with strawberries, pineapple, bacon, potato chips and shortbread sandies.

As you can see from the pictures, we started dinner in the daylight and had dessert in the dark.

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