Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Couple, Some Elk, A Moose and A Priest

Some of you know that Kevan and I spent a week in Colorado recently.  He had to go there for work and I decided to tag along since I had never been to Colorado.  The first 4 days I was stuck in a hotel room with no rental car.  This was my view.

I got a lot of work done during those 4 days.  I didn't have to make dinner, clean the house, put wood in the woodstove or drive anywhere.  I just concentrated on putting in a little extra work.  I realized that there is NOTHING good on TV and that it is VERY hard to sit in the same little room for 4 days at a time.  I couldn't wait to leave.  I probably gained 5 pounds (at least) from sitting on my bum the whole time.

On Friday night Kevan and I drove up to Estes Park.  It was a very pretty drive.  I was surprised at how different the landscape was as we drove.  Some of the mountains had a forest of trees, but then it totally changed to be more desert-like.

We stayed at The Historic Crags Lodge and I loved it!  I loved that it was built in 1914 and that they have old pictures all over the hotel.  We had old pics in our room too and a book that explained the history of the lodge.  There is a main room where you can congregate with other visitors or sit by the fireplace and enjoy viewing a scrapbook of their history.  Also, if you venture downstairs there is an entire wall of the bottom floor that is an actual mountain.  The wall is rock.  Kevan and I thought it was pretty cool, but I forgot to take a picture.  Here is a picture of Estes Park.

The room we stayed in was VERY small, but I loved it.  We could barely fit our little suitcase through the path at the end of the bed, but we had our own kitchenette, TV room and view.  The bathroom was pretty cute too.

We got up the next day (very early) and went to The Rocky Mountain National Park.  Kevan and I love National Parks.  I was on a mission to see some Elk!  I was told by everyone that knew we were going that we would see Elk.  Well, we went the entire day (almost) driving to all the places they told us they would be and NOTHING.

We did see some Mule Deer (below).  Don't you love his mule ears?  But, we didn't see any Elk.

We decided to stop at the Visitor's Center.  We met a very nice man that worked there and he told us a lot of great facts about the park.  Then, he told us that a couple that just came in saw an Elk herd of bulls down the road.  I IMMEDIATELY walked out to the car and waved him goodbye...yelling to Kevan that we'd better hurry.  I was still on my mission!

We drove down the road and I noticed a woman taking some pictures.  THERE THEY WERE......resting.

I was a little disappointed that they were just laying there, but I have to say it was pretty unbelievable to see them out, in the wild and hanging out.  There were about 20 of them.  It seriously made my day!

Then, we decided it was getting late and we should grab some lunch and head to Winter Park.  It was supposed to snow and it would be about a 4 hour drive and I wanted to get there before dark.

I are waiting for me to tell you about the Moose.  It's coming!

Before we left for Winter Park Kevan spoke to a few friends about which way to go.  We could take this unscenic traffic filled way:

Or go this way through the mountains and we may see a few Moose or Sheep.  

Even though it was supposed to snow we figured we could handle it. We went the long scenic route!  It started out great.  We drove around the mountains.  Saw a few female Elk laying around in someone's yard.  Can you imagine seeing this in your front yard?  I WOULD LOVE IT!

Then, stopped to buy some "Cherry Cider" at a local Cherry Market.

But, once it started snowing....our excitement turned to scary-ness.  At least for me.  Kevan seemed to always be calm and under control.  I was the one that got quiet, nervous, emotional, etc.  The one from MICHIGAN was the one afraid of the snow.  Go figure.

It started like this.

Then, turned to this.

We both had to use the restroom and there were only a few places along the way that would help us with this, but the parking lots had too much snow to stop.  We thought we might get stuck.

I told Kevan, "The only thing that would make this drive worth it is if we see a Moose!  I've never seen a moose before!"  Then, we saw this.

God is so great.  It's my moose!  Ok, maybe not "my moose", but the moose I've been waiting for my whole life.  I've always wanted to see one in the wild.

He decided to stop right in front of our car.  Kevan didn't want to stop because he wasn't sure if we would get stuck.  But, the moose wasn't moving!  He sat there and looked at us.  I thought he might charge the car, but then he made his way past us and we start up again.  Sorry for the steering wheel in the picture.

The moose gave us a little excitement and filled us with hope that we would make it through this blizzard.  We just wanted to make it to Walden.  Once we got there we thought we would be fine.  Also, Walden claimes to be the "Moose Viewing Capital of Colorado".  Who wouldn't want to go there?

We made it to Walden and ran into a gas station to use the restroom.  We talked to the lady there.  She told us we would have to go over ANOTHER mountain before we would make it to Winter Park.  I almost died!  SERIOUSLY??  Would our marriage make it through this?  This is where the priest comes into the story.  Just kidding.  lol!

We decided to press on.  We grabbed some water and food in case we got stranded.  The drive was going great until we had to start driving up the mountain.  We had another car behind us that Kevan wanted to let pass us (since I was making him drive so slow...oops), but I begged him (literally) to let them stay behind us just in case we got stranded. I wanted someone there to save us!

So, we kept driving about another 1.5 hours....up and down these curvy roads.  Snow off/on....of course we argued...I asked him why he chose this route....he told me to stop worrying...he threatened to throw me out of the car.  Just kidding.  He was probably thinking that, but he didn't say it.

We were about 45 minutes from Winter Park when Kevan noticed the car behind us was flashing his lights (turning them off/on).  I got a little scared.  We pulled over and then the car came up beside us.  There was a man in the car that told us that he was running out of gas and he didnt think he was going to make it and could we follow him.  My heart dropped.  I didn't know this man.  What if he DID run out of gas.  So, Kevan prayed that the Lord would be with us and if this man did run out of gas that he would be a nice man who wouldn't harm us in any way.  We could not leave someone out there in the middle of no we would have to help him.  Then, about 10 minutes later...he ran out of gas!  I checked to see if we had cell coverage so I could text my MIL and let her know just in case this was an evil person that was going to steal from us.  lol!  Then, the man got out of his car, turned toward us and I saw....he was a PRIEST!  Yup, a priest.
We gave him a ride to the gas station and then Kevan offered to help him fill his car in the middle of the blizzard.  His name was Mijanko and he was from Croatia, but he was currently assigned to a church in the area.  There is a little more to the story, but I won't bore you with the details.  I was very happy that God blessed us with this special moment to help this man.  I can't imagine what would've happened to him if we weren't there to help him.  He would've had to walk through the freezing snow or hitched a ride with someone else and as far as I could see....there was no one else.

Here is a picture of what it looked liked then.  It was a lot better since we were off the mountain, but it was still cold and snowy.

We arrived at our Winter Park hotel shortly after and enjoyed a nice dinner before falling asleep.  I barely made it through dinner I was so exhausted.  The next day we only had a few hours before we had to drive back to Denver to fly home.  Kevan wanted me to experience Winter Park so he had me go up on one of the tallest lifts.  I had never been skiing or to a ski resort.

Anyone that knows me knows that I DO NOT like heights, but I did it for Kev.  All I can say was an I know...I will never ski.  I'm sorry babe....I know you are disappointed.  Here is the view at the top.

On the way to the airport, I saw these too.  They were ADORABLE.

Lastly, we saw some buffalo and elk.

That was my Colorado adventure.  IF I go back again....I am not going in the winter....I hope.

1 comment:

  1. That adventure was worth spending the 4 days stuck in the room. What I have seen of the Rockies has been awe inspiring and you got to experience much more than I did at Fort Carson. You tell the story better than Kevan too.