After doing some math and handwriting practice around the kitchen table of our rental chalet, we turned the kids loose to explore the grounds. Within a few minutes, we heard excited yells and were soon all geared up to go an explore the "old cabin" the kids had discovered. They played around the old homestead, observed and studied what they found and made hypotheses about all of the cool "old stuff". They even tried to rebuild the fencing.
We pried them away from their amazing morning of discovery and engineering to take a class at the Mountain Goat Lodge in Salida. This adorable (and meticulously maintained) bed and breakfast is also a working goat farm. Our teacher for the morning led us through the basics of goat care (it's our goal to have a small herd for the school someday). We toured their chicken coop, greenhouse and hydroponic set-up as well. We learned all about the 'tough' parts of farming, as well as got to pet some fluffy kids, and try some goat cheese products.
Our last stop for the day was in Mosca, CO. It was quite a drive, but the kids did a great job in the car. Once we arrived at the Great Sand Dunes National Park, it was like we had stepped into another world. They had so much fun exploring, climbing, rolling and jumping. I can definitely say that this was the FAVORITE stop of our entire trip! We played for so long that we ended up rolling into Albequerqe hotel a bit late, and didn't get to truly enjoy the scenery on the way into town-- which made for a much more dramatic experience the next morning!