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A mountainous Thanksgiving

Laugh Tracks in the Dust
Milo Yield
Damphewmore Acres, Kan.

Well, the Yield clan spent an enjoyable Thanksgiving week vacation in the Colorado Rockies — all except a couple of family members who got stymied by the huge blowing blizzard that snarled traffic in eastern Colorado and western Kansas.

We gathered at the Keystone resort just north of Dillon, Colo. For fun, some of the younger family members went snowboarding. Others took a snowmobile excursion that lasted three hours.

As for this old geezer, I had a bit of trouble coping with the 9,300-feet altitude, so I pretty much confined myself to a thorough enjoyment of extended quality time with of our 5-month-old great granddaughter. I also had the time to read a couple of good books and several magazines.

I did venture out to a couple of Keystone ski lodges and biznesses. It wuz my first time to be in a Rocky Mountain ski resort during the ski season. Over the years I’ve ridden quite a few ski lifts to the top of ski runs in the summer. But, it’s a whole new ballgame in the winter. First, it’s cold. Second, the crowds are huge and bustling. Third, I just don’t fit in well with the skiing/snowboarding crew. Ya’ reckon that could have something to do with my insistence on wearing bib overalls everywhere?

However, it wuz a good time to eat and drink in the warm restaurants. But, even then, I discovered that my tastes in liquid warming spirits wuz out-of-touch. In one upscale bar and grill, I asked the bubbly waitress for a double-shot of apricot brandy on the rocks. She wrinkled up her nose like I’d suggested dipping a drink from a hog lagoon. She said the bar didn’t stock apricot brandy. Nor, I found out, were there any peach or blackberry brandy in stock either. However, the place did pour peppermint schnapps — so I happily settled on that blood-warming imbibement.

For our Thanksgiving dinner, it wuz traditional — turkey and ham, dressing, sweet potato casserole, corn, and topped off with pecan and apple pie for dessert. I followed that up with a long afternoon nap. We had 10 family members who sat in on the feast.

We spent the evenings and odd times during the day playing an assortment of card games and board games. I may have lost some physical dexterity, but I more than held my own during the competitive games. We had fun all around.

Weather-wise, we got into the mountains in good weather on the Saturday before turkey day. The blizzard that raked the High Plains midweek skirted around the high mountains and we got just a light dusting. There wuz a rock slide close to Idaho Springs mid-week that caused quite a traffic disruption, but didn’t cause us problems. Three of our days at Keystone the temps got into the 40s and it wuz sunny. Cloudy/foggy days were good reasons for staying indoors by the fireplace.

I did enjoy feeding the chickadees, mountain jays and ravens bird seed and table scraps. One sunny day a tiny mountain gray squirrel woke up and joined the “deck feast.” The home we stayed in backed up to an open valley in a national park, so I wuz a bit disappointed not to see any mulies, elk or even a coyote. That would have been icing on the cake for me.

On our way home on Saturday we had a hefty 50-60 mph tailwind all the way. Our son-in-law joked that he just took his F-250 out of gear and let the wind take him home. We made the trip home in one day. It wuz longer than I like to stay on the road in one day, but getting back into our own home made it worth the effort.

The main thing about the entire trip is that we had a great time, everyone got home safely and we made a new batch of family memories to be thankful for.

• • •

Hey, scouring the internet for odd-ball news I discovered that odd-ball research has found a way to suspend a 700 pound weight from a smooth glass surface using an index card-sized adhesive pad called Geckskin. A recent invention from University of Massachusetts- Amherst underscores the value of basic science. The invention came on the heels of more than 50 years of basic research on gecko ecology and the lizard’s remarkable anatomy that allows it to walk up smooth walls and across the ceiling. Gecko feet = Geckskin.

• • •

Hey, if you have a busted taillight, a Colorado truck driver found a way to temporarily get off the legal hook. He wanted cops to see red, so a resourceful Colorado truck driver replaced his busted taillight with a bottle of red sports drink — and cops let him go without a ticket. A Longmont police sergeant pulled over the man, a driver for an oil company in town every two weeks, while he was on his way to get the light fixed.

Colorado law says all on-road vehicles must be equipped with a red light that can be seen from at least 100 feet away in daylight. Obviously, a bottle of refreshing electrolytes doesn’t fit the bill, but the cops let the driver go without a ticket and, true to his word, they spotted him at a garage soon after getting his taillight fixed.

Guess that proves that necessity really is the mother of invention.

• • •

Now words of wisdom for the week: Studies suggest that gifted people often have bad handwriting because their brains are working faster than their hands.

Those words are comforting to me. They explain precisely why I can hardly read my own handwriting. Have a good ‘un. ❖


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