Saturday, January 26, 2008

3 Years in the Making

So after waiting 3 years, my parents actually took advantage of their flight benefits and flew up to Denver to see me. Now for a year and a this argument was actually a fair one. But since my nephew has been around, its not really fair for me to complain when he was obviously their main priority.

But on the 20th of January, the impossible happened, and I actually drove to the airport to pick them up. They would be staying until the 24th, and my plan for the trip was to make my dad want a massage, since he claims to not like them. In other words, I was going to make him work.

Sunday was actually relaxing. (Had to get him prepped!) We went to church, where I believe they now know more people than I do. Then came the standard visit to REI, where we picked up some gear and my dad an early birthday present for himself. (a Marmot jacket). As is normal for an REI trip, he spent a while justifying it to himself. I've done it a million times, and always I go home with something I know is a wise investment. ;) No really.

Monday we woke up at the crack of dawn and headed to Breckenridge. It has the easiest, most gentle slopes around, so I thought it a wise choice for people who have not been skiing in a while. And in the single digits (easily negative with the wind chill) they both did spectacular.

Pooped, we headed down the mountain, got some pizza at the famous Beau Jo's, and headed home. Mom was in bed by 830, Dad by 930. We had a big day ahead of us.

Now was the fun part. One of my mother's life long goals is to see a moose. Shes been to many places where moose exist, they just keep eluding her. So I thought it perfect to head up to State Forest State Park, Colorado. One of our Rampers (guys at the airport who throw their backs out trying to load your ridiculously overstuffed overweight luggage) had clued me on to it, telling me that it was "infested" with moose.

So I naturally rented a small yurt that we had to backpack a mile up to. I could have made it harder and rented one that we had to go up to 4 miles to, but I thought I would go easy. So monday morning we picked up my friend Kelsie (the official planner of the trip, and who should be the official planner of every trip) and made the three hour drive into the mountains. On the way up, with Drake tearing through icy roads like it was summer, we had lunch of beef jerky and tuna (we waited too long into the mountains, where there was no food!) and witnessed a few Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep alongside the road.

This was the scene just off the highway. I believe this to be some mountains actually in Rocky Mountain National Park.

After stopping at the Moose Visitor's center and being encouraged by the big "moose sightings" board that was littered with sitings within the last week, we headed up and found our parking place for the yurt. I loaded up my parents with as much stuff as they could carry (as long as they could stand!) we headed off on the 1 mile snowshoe hike.

Kelsie and I lugging our stuff

My mother..shes down there on the bottom left

Once across the frozen lake and up a small hill, there it was in all its gloriousness.

The Yurt at sunset

That night we FEASTED on steaks, leftover gumbo, and mashed potatoes. As for the weather? While only 4 degrees outside, the wood burning stove kept the little place at a comfy 65-70 degrees. In fact, I slept for the majority of the night in just my shorts, on top of my sleeping bag. Unfortunately for my father, all he had lugged up the hill was extra blankets..which all now proved useless.

The Next morning after a HUGE breakfast, we cleaned up the cabin and headed down. We had decided to snowshoe a trail down by the visitor's center for 2 reasons. It was relatively easy, and moose had been spotted. And sure enough, on the trail, only 10 minutes into it, two moose climbed onto the trail, one plopping down right next to it.

The Moose...or Meese?

Mom was excited

After all the excitement died down, which took a few minutes, we had a small issue. Moose are known as agressive and very dangerous animals, especially a mom and a calf, and here we had a mom and calf sitting right in the middle of the trail. We ultimately decided to blaze a trail around the moose and give them their space. (harder than it seems, since your displacing a foot of snow with every step.)

Our trip couldn't have gone any better. We saw our moose (not to early as to climax our trip too soon), stayed warm during the night, and enjoyed each other's company.

3 1/2 hours later we were back in Denver enjoying a nice Thai dinner together. The next day I sent my parents packing back to New Orleans.



Lauren said...

That sounds like a blast and a half! How amazing to see MOOSES!!!

Anonymous said...

An unforgetable trip! Thanks for everything. I think you probably live in one of the prettiest places on earth.

Brown Sugar said...

awesome....i can't wait to be there...i know you've skied and snow shoed so much already, but it will be new for me so i'm excited. i still gotta get into some shape though so i don't pass out.

The Future said...

Awesome story!!

I guess the moral of the story is...

... your dad won. No massage!! Booyah, Jeremy!

Oh, and on mooses- when Adam and I (and others) were in Anchorage, it was so strange to see moose in a big town like that. I turned on the headlights of our van one night and one was 5 feet in front of our car.

Kristen said...

I vote for Mooses.
Sorry we missed you on your last hoorah in Hartford. We'll definitely catch you next time.
BTW, LOVE the pictures!

Dav said...

Nice pictures! My folks have used their flight privileges, but haven't come to visit me yet. Just my siblings.

The photos you took are great! They look like they should be in a National Park Brochure or something. Sweet!

The Juice said...

i forgot to mention that these pictures are my fathers...except I think for one.

brady said...

Beautiful story...beautiful images!

After spending just a few days with your dad at Poynter, I can affirm that you are blessed to have him as a father. Sounds like you made some great memories with their visit.

It's been almost two years since my folks have been up to visit, but they're coming in early April!