A Report Relating to the Annual Thanksgiving Trek to Evergreen, Colorado

Can you tell I've started my annual re-reading of Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers?  I start reading it on December 1st of each year, with the goal of reaching the Christmas scene by Christmas Eve.  I'm not always successful, but I do love the story of the amiably naive Pickwickians, so the voyage is always enjoyable.

But I digress.  This is the second post of the "31 Days" challenge, and I wanted to share some pictures from our Thanksgiving trip, our annual adventure, to Colorado.

We visit our oldest and dearest friends every year for Thanksgiving.  We've known Janet since 1982 and Erik, well, since he started dating Janet.  We've traveled to see them at their homes in Wyoming, Alaska, Houston and now Evergreen. And we vacation with them every Spring Break. They have two daughters, now 16 (almost 17) and 14, and we have watched them grow up.

We always drive to Colorado.  It's a 12 hour trip, and Brian likes to drive it in one day.  We travel northwest through Wichita Falls, Amarillo and the Texas panhandle, through the flat plains of Northeastern New Mexico, over the Raton Pass and up I-25 to Denver.  To tell you the truth, I pretend to hate the drive, but I actually enjoy it.  Don't tell Brian.

Through the Texas panhandle the view is mostly of cotton and sorghum fields.  But once we enter New Mexico, the landscape is dotted with old volcanic cones.  The most picturesque is Capitan.  It's a pretty perfect cinder cone.
Capitan, New Mexico
I get excited as we come around a curve and have our first view of the mountains.  Hmm, snow capped already.
Snow capped mountains east of Raton
We always spend a day, usually the first, walking around the town of Evergreen.  We started with a walk around Lake Evergreen.
Brian and Elena at the nearly solidly frozen lake
The next day we went to see a buffalo herd at the aptly named Buffalo Gap and then to Lookout Mountain in the hills above Golden.  The view was amazing.
 And I took my first selfie.  Need to work on the centering thing.

Brian at Lookout Mountain
Thanksgiving morning the temperatures plummeted and it started to snow.  And snow.  Our hardy Colorado friends poo-pooed the storm as a minor snowfall, but Brian and I were excited.  It's been a long time since we'd seen 5 inches of snow fall.  And it was beautiful -- the large flakes floated down for hours.  The snow was fluffy and dry.
A view off the deck
 The dogs enjoyed the snow.
Tess and Trooper
We all had our Thanksgiving assignments. Carolyn was in charge of roasting and basting the turkey.
The men cooked.  I love to see men in the kitchen.  Brian made succotash and Erik made the stuffing and cranberry sauce.
I was in charge of mashed potatoes, and Elena and I made pies.

On Friday, we had a visit from a herd of elk.  This female actually tried to climb on the patio table to reach a planter.  Unfortunately, this time of year the planter  holds a candle.  She was disappointed.
So she and her elky friends tried their luck at the bird feeders.  They happily munched birdseed, but in the process they destroyed one of the feeders.
Bad elk!
That evening, we lit the outdoor Christmas lights for the first time.
Ta Dah!
The drive home wasn't nearly as fun as the drive there.  Winter Storm Cara had made the roads very slippery, so we had to go much slower than normal.  But we made it.

I don't have any pictures this year of our annual hike through the national forest to find the perfect Christmas tree.  Brian took several.  I'll post them tomorrow if I can find them.


Stitchwhiz said…
You and Brian have some great traditions. I like the drive to Colorado, too and the excitement the first time of seeing the front range of the Rockies off in the distance.
Vivien Zepf said…
Sounds like a wonderful trip filled with friends and heart warming traditions. Perfect!
Maria Shell said…
Walt heard on NPR that you can shame animals. So whenever the moose get into his garden he runs outside and shames them. It works. They wander off, but then they wander back. Urban moose are very tenacious. Happy Holidays Heather!
Norma Schlager said…
I know I'm going to enjoy your daily posts in December. I thought about it, but never did sign up.
Stephen Jarvis said…
Hi - I don't think we have chatted before, but you might be interested in taking a look at my novel Death and Mr Pickwick, which tells the story behind the creation of The Pickwick Papers. In my view, The Pickwick Papers has the most fascinating backstory of any work of fiction. You can find out more about my novel at www.deathandmrpickwick.com There is also a very active facebook page, and a real sense of a 'fan community' building there. And, if you click on the 'Further Reading' tab on the website you will see a link to a flipbook of the facebook posts, and you'll see the range of things covered.

Anyway, I do hope you will take a look at the novel. It is published in the USA by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and in the UK by Random House.

Best wishes

Stephen Jarvis