Monday, August 17, 2015

Yoo 679 - Estes Park Family Reunion, Pt 3

The last of Colorado! I'm trying not to forget everything but it's been almost a month. Memory fails.

But you see that picture up there? I wish I could apparate right to that spot for lunch breaks every day.

The elk were all over the grounds at our hotel every morning. Fun to watch. Slightly related, my Uncle Ray brought peppered elk jerky that was just awesome...

We went on a hike up to Emerald Lake in the morning, past Dream Lake and maybe Nymph Lake? It was crowded but gorgeous. There are few times I'm happier than when I'm in beautiful places with my camera.

Also, bonding with my dad thru our shared stubbornness. Love you dad!

My mom, Aunt Shawna, and I walked into town that afternoon because we could. And I needed to prove that I can do shopping. Well, on the way there this nice elk head popped out of the grass unexpectedly. Hi buddy! I'm so glad it wasn't a snake. When my mom first drew attention to it she was using her snake voice so my initial reaction was quite startled.

And my favorite parts of that excursion included the zebra rock at the rock shop (no picture!) and the Images of Rocky Mountain National Park photo gallery. Absolutely stunning pictures. I aspire.

Watching a shot glass take form.

I was going to get one of these for my "minion" at work who was taking care of business while I was away. But then, $50. He told me the picture was souvenir enough. Nice minion.

And probably my favorite part of the reunion: four-wheeling with Brynnan! It's about the greatest stress release I have experienced to date....once I had the nerve to be the driver. I was so scared I was going to wreck it! Not to mention, the last time I four-wheeled with these cousins my foot got run over. But no one remembers this except for me? I had a scar! This is what blogs are for. So the details of important family tragedies get immortalized before time robs them of their truthfulness and impact. Unfortunately I did not keep a blog as a toddler and now my story has no clout.

Anyways, four-wheeling was a blast. At one point we were barreling down some lost forest road when we started passing trees with threatening signs.




And other such cordialities. We turned around straight quick until Uncle Ray assured us that that only applied if we went off the road.

I'm glad we made it past that point because the most fun was definitely after the signs.

Brynnan was the brave one who went sans helmet. Even with me driving! And told me important things like "probably should wear pants so your legs don't burn off" AFTER we got up there and I had nothing but shorts. Thankfully we improvised with some stray sweaters and my legs remained intact.

My favorite part of this picture is Uncle Zane trekking off to the "restroom" in the background.

And let me not forget how sore my thumb was from pushing the gas forever.

Adam almost got the ATV stuck here.

Surprise surprise! A video! Lower your expectations before you press play...

He thought he was pretty cool when he got the "Legend" Coke.

And now, for the ACTUAL BEST part of the day: I SAW A BEAR.

Here's proof:

Wait. You don't see it? Look real close. Right at the center of the picture. See the approximately 5 black pixels there? Total bear butt.

There we were, just a driving along the highway, when all of a sudden I spotted a bear meandering thru the trees just down from the road. AND NO ONE BELIEVED ME. I made two vehicles turn around while Adam and I sprinted back up the road to prove I was right. And I was. The bear was a ways off then, but he looked at us like "Do I have the energy to attack stupid humans today?" Long pause as he stared at us. "No." And with that he ducked off into the depths of the forest. But not before I obviously got this National Geographic of a photo.

Ok, not the coolest bear story ever.

A happier moment before a sad "broke the jack" moment...

And trying to save a parking spot for Uncle Ray.

Let me not forget the pizzas that Aunt MaryAnn made for dinner that night! I have never. Tasted any pizza better. Than Brynnan's pizza. It was make-your-own pizzas and I cut ahead of Brynnan but I should have gone right after her because SHE DID IT RIGHT. I can't even remember what was on it. Maybe some pesto? And the white sauce? It was so good. And then a "balsamic vinegar reduction" to go on top. That phrase is almost too fancy for this blog but heaven help me that stuff belongs on all pizza.

Also not pictured is me and Adam and Brynnan fully clothed in the hot tub. We didn't want to walk alllllllll the way back to our room to get our swimsuits so we decided we didn't need them. Instead, it was way better to hot tub in our clothes and then have to walk back across the parking lot in bathrobes.

I think that's the rest of the highlights.

The only casualties of the trip were the water bottle and sun hat case I left in my parent's car. And the ALMOST $450 Southwest voucher I got for giving up my seat. If that darn couple would have shown up to the gate on time, this gal would've been a little richer and bumped to a direct flight a bit later that evening.

But noooooo. They took their sweet time and instead I got stuck between two large people and still had to hang out in Houston for a couple hours.

Bygones. I still got $50 for giving up my boarding position.

Have a great day :-)

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