We decided to take a day off from all the landscaping improvements and "do something fun" on Sunday. What we decided to do was to lolly-gag our way up to Rocky Mountain National Park to see a waterfalls, with a stop for lunch in Estes Park along the way. It was kinda what we had planned to do with Moother when she visited at Thanksgiving, but that ended badly. This time, it went more-or-less as planned.
We got to experience some "monsoon season" mountain thunderstorms during the drive in, but we never really got rained on. At Estes Park, we parked in a lot that is normally full, and then went strolling. Something up a side street caught my eye - it was an artificial pond with a waterfall under a staircase. We went to check it out. It turned out to be the teaser for a much larger set of artificial ponds and waterfalls on the second floor where they had big trout that you could feed. The Childrens loved that. We ate at the restaurant there, and then went to attached arcade where The Mrs. proceeded to hustle HannahC at the pool table. Then we were off.
RMNP was chock-full of elk. They were just everywhere. There are so many elk in RMNP that they are destroying the park to the point that the National Park Service is going to do one of those night-shoots. You know, the kind where instead of allowing a bunch of hunting tags to go out during elk season (wouldn't want to do that, what with elk throughout the entire state of Colorado being on allocation with a lottery draw required to allocate the tags to the overabundance of hunters each year), you hire a couple sharpshooters with night vision goggles and let them go out and just start shooting hundreds of elk in their sleep.
Then, you can go back to pretending that the National Park Service is too sophisticated to allow hunting, a facade necessary to keep the tree-hugging enviro-weenies coming back. Disapprove of hunting for the much preferable slaughtering.
But, anyways, The Childrens were very excited to take the bus ride up to the trailhead for the waterfalls, as they enjoyed the bus the most of everything on their first (and only prior) visit. The one that ended inauspiciously in the parking lot at the trailhead to the waterfalls.
Only problem is that bus service doesn't start until next weekend. But we managed to get beyond that disappointment and drive to the trailhead. It's 0.9 miles to the waterfalls with only a 210 ft elevation gain along the way, so I tossed MaxieC up onto my shoulders and we set off.
I think the entire 210 ft elevation gain is done over the course of a couple hundred yards where there are stairs built into the trail. About halfway up the stairs, I started to realize that maybe, just maybe, I wasn't in the kind of shape required to stride along so confidently at 10000 ft with a small boy on my shoulders. I started to wonder if maybe I should cut back on the beer a bit and ride Carl more. I started to wonder what happened to a small boy's head if, say, he were riding on his father's shoulders six feet off the ground and suddenly his father keeled over and he hit his skull on the corner of a cut stone stair. So I did what any responsible father would do.
I stopped, turned around, and said, "Are you two going to try to keep up, or should I slow down?" to the womenfolk, who were lagging behind.
We had a nice little hike to the waterfall. There are a bunch of pictures, but I don't know where the camera is.
[Oooo - I added some dirt to the cricket aquarium this evening, and one of the crickets, Creepy, is laying eggs in it right now. We had been intending to add dirt for them to lay eggs in for a long time, but never got around to it. Tonight, we went cricket hunting under the pavers in the back planting bed and caught two. Then MaxieC grabbed a couple handfuls of dirt, which reminded me to add dirt. We have six crickets right now. Five went to the bearded dragon last week, but we received no rats in payment. Which is good, cuz I think two rats seems to be about the right number. Rats are quite a bit more sturdy than hamsters, as it turns out.]
On the way back down, we were passed by a couple old ladies who had an altogether disturbing amount of makeup on, one of whom also had a bizarrely oversized breast augmentation. This is the conversation I overheard:
California Woman 1: "They must not like traffic laws much around here."Now, for the record, I would like to point out that I have lived in Colorado for 9 months, and I have yet to see a shot-up street sign. But, I must admit, I haven't been up in Tinfoil's neighborhood. I have also yet to see a white stop sign.
California Woman 2: "Why do you say that?"
CAW 1: "All the traffic signs are all shot up."
CAW1: "All the signs have bullet holes in them. Especially the white stop signs."
CAW2: "Oh, that's because this place is full of white males. Republicans."
CAW1: "Yeah. It sure is a different world."
We saw a little gray squirrel who was collecting pine cones and burying them in a network of holes under a pine tree. MaxieC and I sang a little "gray squirrel gray squirrel swish your bushy tail," which of course made The Mrs. glare at me. I probably never should have written one word of this post. But we here at Me, CherkyB thrive on controversy. The fans demand it, in fact.
After eventually dragging The Childrens away from the gray squirrel, we got a little farther down the path and overtook the CAW's, who were throwing slices of papaya to chipmunk. Papaya. Jesus H. what goes through people's minds. I walked on by, with MaxieC on my shoulders. I calculated in my mind the odds of The Mrs. being able to walk by without chewing out the womens for feeding a chipmunk.
I calculated zero.
About 50 yards around a bend and down the trail, I set down MaxieC and prepared to wait. We found a bunch of ant hills, and MaxieC amused himself watching the ants. We waited. And waited.
Eventually, the CAW's came by, and CAW2 was saying to CAW1, "Fruit, nuts, vegetables, anything that's organic is OK."
Then The Mrs. came storming along. "You know what she said to me? She said it was OK because it was organic!"
We strolled happily back to the minivan. Happily except for the fact that MaxieC and I kept singing "gray squirrel" every now and then without thinking about it cuz it's the kind of tune that catches in your brain.
Ellie323 is back from the dead with three new posts in the last two days. This after a hiatus of seven months. I particularly like this post which really establishes a new high-water mark for craven self-aggrandizement.
I'm going to have to try harder.