Monday, July 22, 2013

Tales from a Family Trip (Part Two)

Outside of Denver, we drove higher and higher into the mountains, in awe of the scenery all around us. Some in our vehicle thought we should be there at this point. But no, our destination was deeper in the mountains, through a lush canyon, past a touristy town, up a dusty road, to a quaint Bed and Breakfast: our home for the next two nights. (For privacy sake, I’m not going to give names of actual places. You can ask me later).

I wrote more of my book by this creek.
I loved it the minute we stepped out. It was listed on the Historical Register, as it was originally homesteaded in 1885. We had a great little cabin, right next to the rushing creek, which could be heard each night through our open windows. The main house was where we would eat our breakfast each morning. The front door of the house was always unlocked, so we could roam about and make our way to the plate of fresh cookies in the dining room. Everything was magical and peaceful.
The first night, we did not want to trek back to town, so we relied on food brought from home. It came in a box. It was frozen. It was called Grandma’s Chicken & Rice Bake. We love it. It took about an hour to cook in the microwave. It was perfect. (All that food planning so far was going well). We explored the premises, and slept well that night.
The whispering Aspen trees
A bridge that led to an open clearing, where I kept hoping to see a black bear.
The cat in the Main House stared out at us.
Our breakfast was the kind you take pictures of. It is also the kind your kids merely nibble on, and you are then obligated to at least eat the majority of their leftovers so as not to seem rude. (For the record, they got cinnamon rolls instead of the omelet-- lucky). So it's really like two meals rolled into one. 

With no real plans in mind, we asked our hosts for suggestions on nearby trails. Mr. H. said we could hike to see Doc Holliday’s grave. Excellent! We drove into the town of Glenwood Springs and found the trail, off a small residential street. The “hike” was not too bad, except that it was dry and we are not altitude-accustomed. So there was a bit of a challenge, and the first lesson was learned, which was TAKE WATER EVERYWHERE IF YOU PLAN TO SWALLOW HERE. 
There was beauty along the hike. A tree with colorful streamers grew from the rock. We spied a view of the entire valley. Then—what? My husband saw someone he knew. Out here in the middle of nowhere. An intern from work last summer. He talked with him, while the kids and I talked with his family. The first of random strangers you talk to on vacation that you know you will never see again, but you still make a connection that means something if only for those few minutes. But really, isn't that weird? What are the odds, I ask you?
We had to wander around the old cemetery to actually find the stone. I also wondered as I wandered how they carted "everything" up here. Not exactly convenient. I can just imagine that conversation-- never mind. I commented that I would like to come back here at night, to which the kids screamed that we would not be doing that.

I found a great name for a book character, by the way.

On to Doc's grave. What is sad is that it may not actually be his grave. He is somewhere in the cemetery, but the exact spot is unknown. Doc Holliday, as we reviewed while we were there, was a dentist who developed tuberculosis. He then moved to this area, known for its healing springs, in hopes of improving his health. Of course, he became quite the gambler and gunfighter.There was a sign in town at a hotel: “Doc Holliday died here.” We did not go in, but still, it was quite fascinating.

Next, we drove into the canyon to see the majestic Colorado River. We found a spot right by Grizzly Creek, where the water was loud and ice-cold. The sun was warm, and we had nowhere to be. Just paradise. My family loves rocks, and we could have stayed there all day. We actually seem to spend lots of time by rivers, looking at rocks. Anyway, this finally felt like vacation. Words can’t really describe it.
We found gold!
Back in town, we found the necessary bookstore, where I found the perfect used book. Then on to the ROCK SHOP. I think it was the kids’ favorite part of the trip. I’m not sure how long we were in there, but we got well-acquainted with the worker. She loved her job, and it showed. She was quite surprised when I asked her to pose for a picture. By the time we left, we were contemplating coming back for their “meditation” hour in a special room they had with large bowls on the floor. When she ran some kind of meditation stick around them, they let out different ringing tones that penetrated through your ears and down your spine. I could have meditated on many things there. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.

Because we needed to eat. This time, we found a local pizza joint. The large calzones really hit the spot. The kids ordered $1 ice cream cones—they looked so good, I couldn’t resist one. I don’t know if it was the soft-serve or the sprinkles on top, but I had to have my own. The guys who worked there were so nice, and were whip-sharp. My husband ordered our cones at the counter, and I heard:
“Some mom must have got tired of washing bowls, man.”
My hb: “Wh- what?”
“Yeah, that’s probably how the ice cream cone got invented.”
Awkward silence.
Hb: “Why couldn’t it have been a dad?”
“Oh. Well, yeah, I guess it could have.”
I know I took more notes on my phone from the things those guys said, but the notes have since disappeared. The only other one I can remember is after seeing an acquaintance of theirs who came in the store. “Man, she’s been pregnant a LONG time.”

Back to our little home away from home! We had to savor every minute left at the cabin by the river. This meant: taking advantage of the free Wi-fi and making sure we didn’t miss the Finale to "The Voice." 

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