Many of you that keep up with me or the blog know that this past week I traveled to Colorado, but some may not know the reason. When my dad passed away almost 2 years ago, he had repeatedly made it clear that he wanted his final resting place for his ashes in Colorado. Although it might seem strange for someone who spent the majority of his life on the East coast, CO was most definitely his favorite place. He had lived there for some years as a young adult and literally fell in love with it, but eventually duty called and he returned to DE to join the family business. Eventhough Delaware was his address, his heart was always in Colorado. He wanted his final resting spot up on a mountain in view of Rabbit Ears Pass just outside of Steamboat Springs, right along the continental divide. It's funny though, I had only ever been there once as a kid. You know how life gets in the way and it's never convenient or there's never enough money for a trip, etc. I wish I had experienced more of it with him!
Here's what I realized through this journey, along with my brother and some of dad's best friends...this was his final gift to us. We had set the date for April 17, which would've been dad's 60th birthday this year. While some might think we were going to great lengths to honor someone who had already passed on, this trip really was about us. I cannot tell you what a gift it was to spend a few days (sans kids) with my brother and my dad's buddies. It was such a gift to see and experience his favorite place in a huge snow storm no less! Lets just say though that this was not an adventure for the faint at heart!
I had to laugh though because I am an amateur skiier at best and my bro might have even less experience than me...I know, we put dad to shame but he couldn't stand "Pennsylvania foothills" after skiing the rockies. I can now see why! Anyhow, I digress. The thing is though, you can't exatly get up a snow filled moutain without skis! We had our first adventure with cross country skiis in 18 degrees, at 10000 feet and the whole thing took us all about 4 hours on the mountain because of our novice. Thankfully DJ & his wife Marie are both skilled and patient :)
Here's us heading up...
David and DJ, two of dad's best friends. DJ & dad met when they were just 13!
This was Rabbit Ears Pass the day before the snow, you can see the "rabbit ears" up on the mountain top. (iphone pic, sorry not the greatest)
Our little moose sighting!!
Good Morning Steamboat...
The "Eagles Nest"...where we stayed
Heading to town on an adventure... Ok, it was really just for coffee and souvenirs but everything felt like adventure on this trip!
DJ made dad's famous beer batter pancakes for breakfast!
My brother and I
Beautiful scene near town...
And here's when we finally made it up the mountain...
I will save some of the more personal images for ourselves but I did read a little something and we all said a few words. Here's what I read, "Into the freedom of wind and sunshine, we let you go. Into the dance of the stars and planets, we let you go. Into the wind's breath and the hands of the star maker, we let you go. We love you, we miss you, we want to you be happy. Go safely, go dancing, go running home." It fit the scene and the person, if you knew my dad at all. I am so thankful for this experience. It gave me a great sense of peace knowing we fufilled dad's wishes!