In my lifetime, I have taken many trips to my grandfathers house. He used to live in San Diego, California but about seven years ago he moved to Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Now usually most kids cannot stand to go and spend time with their family, especially with the oldest members of their family, but I have a very different story.
My grandfather is an extremely interesting man. In his years he accomplished many great feats and attained a very nice lifestyle for himself in which he (unlike most retired people) perpetuates his knowledge into various experiments and inventions that he thoroughly enjoys. The trip, or travel time itself, is just as fun as the rest of most trips.
Getting to drive hundreds of miles in the other direction of your home at age 17 is no easy thing to do. One must be completely self reliant and confidant to achieve a successful and prompt rendezvous with the predetermined destination, otherwise we would have been lost in the very vast desert in which we drove through. It was extremely fun to do, especially with a very close friend.
Over the years I have visited him with just my family. However, last spring break, I took a week out of my break to go and visit my grandfather (grandmother as well) with a very good friend of mine. We took no family but just ourselves.
The distance from San Diego to Pagosa Springs is about nine hundred miles or fourteen hours in the car, no short trip especially considering that I had to drive it all myself in one leg. Not only did I take the time and effort to go their, but I went during the time most teenagers like to invest their time into partying or enjoying the company of their friends. Now that the magnitude of how much I enjoy visiting my grandfather has been established, I can explain why it is so fulfilling to visit him.
I think that my generation is turning into a very dependant and unreliable group of people. Of course there are many exceptions to any presumption, but for the most part, children today are just too naÃƒ¯ve and unwilling to expand their minds beyond the next episode of the ‘Real World’ on MTV. The reason in saying this is that my grandfather built his life on completely opposite principles.
Principles that I have come to love and strive to attain. His principles are, self reliance, excruciating and unrelenting hard work, and being modest no matter how much one might achieve. Every single time I go to his house in Colorado, he is working on something new.
It could be the hydraulic arm he built to shave the thousands of trees on his property or the car that he was building in his shop that he was making from the ground up, no frames, no pre built bases, just his own ingenuity and the knowledge that he possesses. That is amazing for one man to know so much about mechanics, to just build a vehicle. And that is why I love going to his house.
He is not the average ‘run of the mill’ retired man that spends all his time playing golf and attending frivolous events, he is the opposite for he never ceases to create and imagine. This trip was hardly a vacation for me for all I wanted to do was absorb as much information and ingenuity I could out of my grandfather. Still, even after I left, I felt as if I didn’t achieve my goal of learning as much as I could. I would honestly take months of my time just to be around my grandfather so I could learn from him, an internship if you will.
Aside from the unusual mental engagements of my trip I also did get to relax and enjoy a bit of luxury. I was able to ski up in the very frigid mountains, which I am very foreign to because of where I live. I also got to ride in my grandfathers plane. And there is absolutely nothing I love more than flying, especially when your in the cockpit of a small plane. You have the sun in your face the clouds beneath the fuselage and the thrill of going about 450 miles of hour. Not to mention the unnatural feeling of being thousands of feet above the earths surface. But what I enjoyed most was learning so much from my grandfather. He did nothing except be himself, and that is what was so amazing about the trip.
My grandfather is an amazing man. His intelligence and swagger is what I love about him and is why I take time out of my schedule to go and visit a relative that is 56 years older than me. I can only hope to take as many trips to his house as possible before I have the inability to learn from him.
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