that time i...was almost trampled by an elk

As a child, I loved Spring Break.  It was right around the time my brain shut down and I just stopped paying attention in class.  Here in Colorado, it also signaled the time when the weather wasn't sure if it was going to stay bitter cold or move into summer.  Spring was always skipped over, except for maybe two days in March.  Not three days, just two.

So it should come as no surprise that my daughter, Avery, too pined for Spring Break.  She also stopped learning sometime back at the beginning of March.  Her homework took an unseasonably low dip in turn-in rate.

This year brought an even better treat with it.  Beyond the summery, warm 70 degree weather, we also had an extra visitor in our house:  daddy.

Even more exciting than Kevin's arrival, we had another vacation planned.  Originally, we had planned to take in skiing and tubing.  But, with the unusually warm weather, we decided to cancel the original plans, and head for a mountain cabin.

We stayed at the YMCA Camp of the Rockies, located at the foot of Rocky Mountain National Park, and the site of several family vacations previously.

This camp provided us a nice cozy cabin with a fireplace, lots of family activities and one day where we ventured into RMNP.  That's where it all happened.

We were on the road into the park, just past the Visitor's Center when we saw one car pulled over the side of the road.  (If you've ever ventured into a National Park, you know, that's when you start looking around for wildlife).

That's when we saw the herd.  Not just a small herd.  A herd of almost a hundred of them, standing, grazing, laying around in the field.

So I pulled over safely (luckily, there were pull over points right there), grabbed my camera, and got out of the car.  Avery followed behind because yes, wildlife is still cool at her age (give her 6 months and we'll reevaluate).

I just started snapping photos.

It was gorgeous.  Until, the unthinkable happened.  They just started crossing the road.  Right.Next.To.Me.

10 feet away from me.

I hugged my car as close as I could, put Avery behind me like a protective mama bear should, and proceeded to continue taking photos.  Even though I really didn't want to have the nightly news headlines to read:  "Tourist Woman Gets Trampled by Elk.  Camera Still in Hand. Husband Sat In Car Watching."  Seriously, that headline would've been even more tragic than the elk attack.

When an elk would cross, they would start running.  Not walk like you would think.  They would get spooked by the cars coming and just start running.

Once across, they would slow down and walk in the field.

It was beautiful to watch them think about crossing, turn around a few times, go back to the herd, come back to the road, and finally, after the stars aligned, they would cross.

So a few of them made it across.  Others turned back around and decided the cars were too much for them.

After about 15 minutes, I finally got back in my car and we actually ENTERED the park.

I must say, that was the most exciting part of Rocky Mountain National Park for me.  We also had a rather nice rest of our vacation, full of some exciting, and some mundane points.  That's what a vacation is for right?

So when Avery returns to school today and is asked the question, what did you do on your Spring Break?  She's got a few cool things to say:

  • Visited the Hotel that inspired Stephen King's the Shining
  • Got snowed in (yes - there finally was snow) in a cabin for one night, then it all melted the next day
  • Ate a burger, topped with chicken fried bacon (you read that right), topped with gravy and cheese
  • Found the best BBQ in Colorado (FINALLY!) - we ate there twice, once on the way up to the cabin, and once on the way back to Denver
  • Ventured into town to eat ice cream for dinner
  • And almost was trampled by a herd of Elk
I think I earned some Cool Mom Points.

So what did ya'll do on your Spring Break?  Did you earn any cool mom points?

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