Thursday, February 23, 2012

Baby it's cold outside!

I live in Denver, Colorado and today it is snowing like crazy!  Yesterday however, was 60 degrees and sunny.  Such is the life of Rocky Mountain livin'.  I'm a Colorado native but the weather here can still surprise me. 

As I was driving in today I was reminded of a time I went snowshoeing with my Grandpa and my Uncle.  Before I share that story I should "set the stage."  My Dad's side of the family owns land in Fairplay, Colorado and every winter we take a trip up for some snowshoeing followed by a fire and a picnic in the snow.  Everyone contributes to the picnic bringing homemade treats ranging from soup, green chili, dips, bread, etc.  There are also libations ranging from cigars, wine, and the occasional pull from the whiskey flask.  It is so much fun and I look forward to it every year.

This particular year no one in the family was available for the annual trek up to The Land except for my Grandpa, my Uncle and me.   We knew the weather forecast was calling for chilly conditions but we had plenty of winter gear and we were not going to let a bit of chilly weather detour us!

Before getting out of the car we noticed that the thermometer was reading -6 degrees.  No biggie!  We are Coloradoans, we can handle this.  You should also know that The Land sits in a valley and the wind can be vicious at times.  This was one of those times...  With the wind chill who know how cold it really was.

Upon exiting the car we all put our gear on as fast as we could.  When it is that cold outside you don't want to have your skin exposed for very long.  I don't think any of us has ever moved so fast!  We were probably done layering up, bundling up, and gearing up in 5-10 minutes tops.  On a normal day that can take 20-30 minutes. 

From the time we got out of the car, to the time we were ready to go the tube on my camelpak FROZE.  The insulated tube was frozen solid.  We should have called it a day right then and there.  Nonsense!  We can do this.

We started off snowshoeing... we made it to the top of a nearby hill... we looked at each other... and we turned around.  It was the shortest snowshoeing trip to date.  We were probably outside for a total of 45 minutes and that was long enough for my cheeks to be bright red and wind burned!   

Luckily there is a Motel in the town of Fairplay that we made our way back to and we had hot chocolates and I got to spend quality time with my Grandpa and my Uncle.  To this day, my Uncle will share that story over and over again.  He always tells the family and they all say, "we know, you've told us this one already!"  But he keeps right on telling it.  He tells his friends and even random strangers if snowshoeing or cold weather makes its way into the conversation.  That is what warms my heart the most.  The adventure itself was worth it, but hearing my Uncle say, "that trip that Kendra and my Dad went on was the most memorable yet," makes me feel proud, happy and special.

Do you have memories like this?  Something that maybe wasn't too big of a deal but it has left a significant imprint on your heart?  Those are my favorite kind. :)

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