Elizabeth and John Barber, and their mother, Natalie Dale are avid hikers.
"Mueller really gave me a love of hiking," said Elizabeth who has hiked the park's 50-plus trails.
She noticed the passport booklet in Mueller State Park's visitor center, and suggested the idea of visiting every state park to her mother and brother.
"I love all the local (parks) and I thought this would be a really great opportunity to get to know the rest of them," Natalie said.
The trio began the program in the spring. Elizabeth worked weekends and Natalie and John worked weekdays, so the family had to coordinate days off work for their adventure.
"Once I got started with the passport program it got stuck on my to-do list for the year and I was absolutely determined that we would actually do this," Elizabeth said.
She was so devoted to the program that when she discovered Bonny Lake State Park was closing for the season, Elizabeth drove from Colorado Springs to the Eastern Plains state park, even though she had flu.
They finished their journey in late fall, and were staying in a yurt at Pearl Lake State Park when the October 2009 snowstorm struck.
"I wasn't going to let the winter weather stop me, but I did have to learn to be a better winter driver in order to finish them all," Elizabeth said.
Because the family experienced three seasons during their venture, they saw an array of wildlife. They watched birds migrating for the winter, saw bighorn sheep and heard a pack of coyotes howling in the night.
Elizabeth's favorite sighting was a bald eagle at Sylvan Lake State Park.
"For me, it was as magical as seeing a fairy or a leprechaun. It was absolutely beautiful," she said.
Natalie's most memorable sighting was the pelicans at North Sterling State Park.
"I've never seen pelicans in my life—they were so beautiful. That was one of my favorite moments; sitting on the edge of the lake watching the pelicans take off and land," she said.
The trio particularly enjoyed Rifle Falls and Rifle Gap state parks.
"Rifle Falls was simply stunning. We meandered around all the trails and cave; it was absolutely beautiful in the summer," John said. "I really, really loved camping at Rifle Gap. We pulled out the glow sticks and started hooping underneath the moon."
Making a reservation proved to be beneficial.
"We pulled up as the sun was going down and we watched the moon rise as we cooked dinner on the campfire. The next morning the moon was setting as the sun was rising. That was my favorite camping experience," Natalie said.
"We learned that making a reservation was a really good idea. That way we could take our time and know exactly what park we were going to stop at, and camp at."
After their journey, the family felt better-connected to Colorado.
"It makes me feel a lot more like a Colorado citizen," John said. "I understand a lot more about the places you hear on the news. It's a way to feel closer to the whole state."