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Monday, June 27, 2016

Our Family Trek--part tres

Family Trip part 3
June 20, 2016
We got up early and went to breakfast at The Big Hole, a bagel place. I got the special: French toast made out of bagels with Nutella and cream cheese on them and home fries and fresh squeezed orange juice. YUM!!! I couldn't eat it all and had to take away half the French toast bagels and half the fries for later. I could tell the waitress was normally a ski bum.
Next we went to the store to get lunch stuff, and thence to The Big Spud drive-in. I wish we could have watched a movie there (I love drive-ins!) the night before or something. We took pics with the giant potato and looked around the place. 
Then we went down through the mountains of Wyoming (Jackson Hole--I wish we could have skied all the places we saw ski areas) and then into the wide open spaces. It occurred again to me how much of the United States is completely empty. I had a horrible time trying to stay awake in the glorious mountains, but when it came time for the ugly, flat sage brush prairies, I was awake. Thank heavens for books.
We got back into Utah for the express reason of going to the Dinosaur Nat'l. Park. But because of all the phone gaming, we got there a half hour too late and it was closed. The Hubs didn't want to go to the museum in town, so we drove on. We saw fake dinos of all kinds everywhere, including a huge pink one. We went to the dinosaur place near Craig, CO, but we were also too late for that one.
We kept going and going long after the trees gave out to flatland again after Steamboat Springs. I saw 3 or 4 deer and finally spotted what became our campsite--a place right next to the Sulfur Hot Springs resort. It was free and featured a rushing, swollen creek, the possibility of skunks, herds of mosquitoes, and handy train tracks. The last three weren't as much pluses as...minuses...:o) Luckily we never saw any skunks and the trains held off while we were asleep.
We had a much better time putting up the tent. Then Hubby and B played Magic while I read or walked around. I put a penny on the train tracks, which disappeared with the length of the train. Another long train came by before I could get the next coin on there. This time I band-aided a nickel to the tracks. No other trains came that night though. I thought I wasn't going to sleep at all that night, and worried about mosquitoes and skunks and trains, but I put in my ear plugs and for some reason I only got up once that night and slept fine.
June 21, 2016
We were eating breakfast cereal when the last train came through. I went to search for my nickel and found only a few silvery flakes and a greasy spot left where the band-aid once was. There was an oriole hopping around in a bush right next to us, and a cute tiny chipmunk picking up cereal pieces we dropped.
We forged up through Colorado into the Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park. This time it wasn't as misty with 15 foot snow banks like when we went last, and the wind was nearly non-existent. B had trouble with the altitude but I did okay. There were many more tiny wild flowers and the velvet-antlered elk were out, lounging all over and eating the plants in their precious tundra ecosystems. I thought that kind of ironic. They were all chowing down and we couldn't even walk out there to sniff the flowers. We watched the marmots cavort and mate in the sun just down the hill from where we parked. Kind of funny to watch their fuzzy little bodies wrestling all over the place.
Again, though I'd had a great sleep, I couldn't keep my eyes open. Maybe it was the altitude. I desperately wanted to drink in all the wonderful trees and plunging cliffs and snow. Nope. (Again, it took getting down to Boulder to wake me up.) I missed most of those tiny mountain towns. Grr. We went on through to Estes Park, a town I don't think I've ever been in (unless I was months old, like when we lived in Boulder), and then to Boulder. I made us lunch on my lap and decided making sandwiches on the lid of the cooler is a less than stellar way to do it. Need to figure out new trip food, though cheese and salami sandwiches are a tradition. 
I didn't really wake up well until Buena Vista, where we played in the park for nearly an hour. The falls was in full spate there too. We played Pooh Sticks and tried to push a sapling the rest of the way off the dam without falling in.
Afterwards, we went to a little hamburger joint called Kay's where they give you a different name when calling you to come get your food. I told Hubby he should tell them he was Mr. Spock but they named him Willy Nelson. There was a guy in front of us who actually LOOKED like Willy Nelson. I wonder if he was the Colorado Drifter they were dealing with on their phone game. We stayed for a while eating there too, mostly because of that phone game. Even Sorin was helping him.
After dinner we passed through the tiny town of Saguache. Most of the shops were closed there. So sad to watch a town die like that. Hubs had several phone things to do there, and already that Colorado Drifter had begun to take their stuff apart after them.
I spotted several deer trying to hop onto the road. Hubby was driving fast and didn't see them. Visions of plowing into one, causing us to plunge off the cliff in a fiery inferno wafted past my mind's eye. We took Wolfcreek Pass on two wheels, it seemed. But we made it to Dad and Mom's around 8:30 or so, safely. The Hubs is a great driver, even when he's blasted tired.
The parents' house was lovely as ever, in its be-leathered state. Still the water stinks (sulfur hot springs there), but the land is luscious with rampant greenery. At any minute a deer or bear could stalk past the windows. (A bear had just taken out their friend's entire kitchen, so we didn't sleep with the door open.) Mom offered us poop dip and chips, and apples and Nutella, which we consumed as we chatted and played Scrabble. For the first time ever, we played Mom and me versus the 3 kids (Hubby went to sleep and Dad hovered like a silent helicopter). We won but the kids were close. Of course they had 21 tiles to choose from, and we had 14. Crazy. Mom's so funny about Scrabble.

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