This evening we made our annual pilgrimage to Lakeside amusement park, a turn-of-the-century (that’s 1900, not 2000) place down in Denver that gives out free passes to kids who complete a summer reading program at the library. I don’t know if we’d ever pay to go there, but since it’s free we’ve made it an annual tradition for the past six or seven years.

All three kids brought friends, so we had a gaggle of half a dozen running around the place riding the roller coasters and the whirl-and-hurl sorts of rides. Whee! A good time for all, especially since the weather held and it ended up being a gorgeous night despite forecasts of thunderstorms.

On the way back home we pulled off I-25 somewhere between north Denver and Longmont, heading out east into farmland looking for a spot without a lot of city lights. We found an old gravel road, pulled over, and climbed out of the van to look at the night sky. Far enough from the city lights, we could see the Milky Way stretched across the sky in its dusty splendor.

After our eyes adjusted a bit for night vision, everyone was able to spot a few meteors here and there. It wasn’t prime time viewing for the Perseids yet, but the kids were thrilled to see a few shooting stars. Then we piled back into the van and headed home, tired after a long day.

Good times.