My sister and brother-in-law (BIL) have a place in a Colorado town close to where I live. About 3 hours if you drive the normal speed limit. I realized you can make the drive in 2.30 if you drive a little above the speed limit, but that was only because I had 4 loads of laundry to do. Anyway, I headed over there on Monday after work. On the drive over there, I stopped at a Wal-Mart. I was walking blindly around the store when I heard an explosion. I almost fell to the ground thinking this is what Tom Ridge had been talking about, but then I realized they were celebrating the 4th on the 5th and that was the fireworks from the city park. As I drove out of that town and over the mountain, I could see the sunset in the background. The colors were the brightness and orangeness that made the sky look like it was on fire. And I let that smile spread across my face because this was going to be a good weekend. I arrived late, chatted with my sister about life, and headed to bed.
The morning arrived and my sister had a mountain bike ride scheduled for us. JJ (her husband) decided he would be our shuttle driver instead of riding. He was a smart man is all I can say. I haven't rode my bike seriously in a long time so she decided a nice 20 mile ride would break me back into rhythm. RIGHT! So JJ dropped LJ and myself off at the trailhead and said he would meet us at the end. I was told this trail was mostly downhill and mostly singletrack. In my opinion only one of those instances was correct. So we started riding down the trail. I saw the backpack before I actually saw the man. He pulled his pack out of the way and turned around which yielded a beautifully, shiny axe. I am talking a 4 foot handle axe. I immediately clipped out of my pedals and the only thought I had was he is going to cut off my head, but at least it will hopefully be quick. My sister had the same damn thought. I said hello and he said something like "UGH". Here is the kicker...there wasn't a tree within 2 miles for him to cut down. The only positive thing was that there wasn't no blood on the beautifully, shiny blade. We pedaled a little quicker once we were by him. My sister kept saying there was a little more uphill around the corner. I gave up believing her after about the 4th time of her saying that. 4 hours later after one more uphill, we finally emerged onto a dirt road which she said was all downhill to the pickup point. It was downhill, but the washboards were a killer. Thank goodness JJ picked us up on the road because I did not think I could handle the washboards tearing my arms apart any longer. I took a long nap upon arriving at the house.
Now my sister is one who has something planned daily and can't really sit still for too long. Wednesday morning she woke up early and then made noise enough to wake up me. I was laying in bed and heard some rustling in the leaves outside my window. I thought "great, I am going to see a deer right here". But then it was just her pouring coffee grinds on the plants. Starbucks told her it was good for them. Of course at 7am, I didn't think it was that great. I finally raised out of bed, gave her crap about making noise and grabbed the binos to watch the birds and chipmunks. JJ finally woke up and joined us on the porch to finish his book. We were watching Pygmy Nuthatches, White-Breasted Nuthatches, and hummingbirds. Then I saw a lizard on the rock and it looked like a collared lizard. I said pulling the binos to my eyes 'look a lizard, I think it is a collared"...flutter, flutter...one of those pygmies landed on my hand and binos. I immediately jumped up. I said 'what was it". Through laughter LJ said "it was a pygmy, but I am not certain because you moved so quickly". HELLO. I hate birds!!!! I had it happen one more time before I decided I would watch the damn birds through the windows in safety.
And then we made the decision for a hike. Up through the trees over the rough road we climbed. I had vowed after the fire to never drive a 4x4 road again, but there wasn't any getting out of this one. We would be doing a 9.6 mile hike. Hell, I had swamp ass from sitting on a bike for 4 hours and 20 miles yesterday and my body was not ready for 9.6 miles. We birded for a little while which makes a 9.6 mile hike turn into a 10 hour hike. We got up to this draw and JJ said what do you want to do? I said SIT DOWN. I was hurting, tired, and starting to stumble around because I needed food. We sat down and had a little snack. I said "if you two want to do the rest of the hike, be my guest, but I am going back to the vehicle". They decided since they had a 60 mile road bike ride the following day, they would go back to the vehicle as well. So we returned to the vehicle via the same trail, however; since I was tired and weak, it felt like a longer trail.
We arrived back at the cabin and had a nice dinner. Then LJ and I played a game of cribbage before I headed out of the state and back to Utah. I made really good time for some reason and really didn't feel like I drove any faster. I saw two deer on the side of the road. Their velvet on their antlers was glistening in the evening sunlight. And like the sunset that lit the sky on fire, the deer put that smile across my face.