This past Sunday I was driving to church…alone. Wally was finishing up plowing and shoveling from a fast two inch snow storm that came through overnight. It was our second storm already and followed a week of record breaking low, low temps for November. It felt like deep winter, but my heart warmed as I drove to the west, the foothills were gorgeous covered in the fresh snow. Then I had a warm memory hit me…a memory of driving toward these same mountains this summer with the grandkids in tow. Ben and Andrea had been in town and I kept telling Nolan and Elaine (mostly Elaine), “We’re going to go the mountains!” The day of our outing finally arrived. We started out with Elaine and one of the twins in our car. Ben and Andrea followed behind us. The mountains seemed so far away and little ones don’t really have a sense of time and distance. About thirty minutes into the drive we were winding around Coal Creek Canyon. Elaine’s excited voice sounded from the back seat, “Grandma, look we are at the mountains!!” “Yes!” I replied, just as excited that she noticed! After a few minutes of staring out the window she asked, “How much does it cost to come to the mountains?!” Thankfully that pleasure is just a tank of gas! That is where the warm part of memory ended. Because after that we had about two hours of…Elaine: “When are we going to stop?” Me: “We’re going to keep climbing higher and higher until we reach the very top.” Elaine: “Do you mean that very top over there?” Me: “Yes, way, way over there. We are going to keep climbing higher and higher!” Repeat! Quite a few times! The problem with Colorado mountains is that it does take awhile to reach the very top, but it’s worth it when you do.
When we reached Estes Park took the River Walk into the shops. We spent time enjoying cotton candy (I love being a Grandma!) and salt water taffy and letting little legs run and stretch!
Then we got back in the car and journeyed on, climbing higher and higher! Along the way a herd of elk was spotted and those New Yorkers jumped out of the car and went running across the tundra to get a closer look!
At last we were at the very top!!
We had a little picnic and photo shoot. This is a great shot of the kids…not sure what the parents were doing!
But then here’s a good one of the parents, and typical of the kids! It’s hard to believe Nolan was smiling and looking at the camera…rare!
And here’s a very young set of grandparents!! Life is good at the very top!