Do you think you have been on a crazy family vacation? Wait until you read about my family’s vacation to Crested Butte, Colorado in July 2011. Thirty nine people – two grandparents, seven adult children and their spouses, and twenty-three grandchildren – traveled to Crested Butte for my grandparent’s fiftieth wedding anniversary. Although we were excited to see our family, we never imagined the chaos our family would cause!
After arriving in Denver, my mom, sisters, and I rented a car before going to a hotel, where we would spend the night before the long trek to Crested Butte. We unloaded the rental, but to our horror, a large duffel bag was missing. In fact, it was the most important piece of luggage; it contained our hiking boots, water packs, a backpack, and half of my mom’s clothing. “How could our vacation start so badly?” we thought as we frantically called the airport, shuttle service company, and car rental company. We resigned to buy new items in the morning; however, as we were returning from the University of Denver campus, we received a phone call from a shuttle bus driver. Our bag was in the back of his bus!
Once we double-checked the luggage the next morning, we set off for Crested Butte. After a four hour drive, we finally arrived. We were staying in a magnificent house with three other families. The house even had an elevator, which we quickly employed to carry groceries to the third-floor kitchen. My mom and I volunteered to make dinner for everyone the first evening. We ran out of spaghetti before the last group even arrived at the house. As my mom and I scrambled to make more food, we wondered to ourselves, “Is the rest of our vacation going to be this crazy?”
The next morning, I asked myself, “Am I really this crazy?” Some of the members of my family, including myself, planned to climb to the peak of Mt. Crested Butte, which is an outstanding 12, 162 feet above sea level. While most of the hike follows a clear trail, the final climb to the peak required scrambling up large, wobbly rocks that could turn treacherous in an instant. Luckily, all of us made it to the peak…what a view! We could see the houses we were staying in, the small town of Crested Butte, and the snow-capped peaks of other mountains whichever way we turned. I knew all the chaos of my family vacation was well worth it after that fantastic view. Unfortunately, our family could not quite make it unscathed on our descent. My sister tripped and sprained her ankle, which left her in a boot the rest of the week.
The rest of the week flew by. We went hiking to Copper Lake and crossed five different streams that had temperatures around forty degrees. The view made up for frozen toes; we could see the peaks of the East Ruby Mountain Range. When the entire family went white water rafting, we set a new record. Four people – all in the same raft – managed to fall out of the raft within thirty seconds! Later in the week, some of the cousins had a snowball fight! Finally, we ended the week with a slideshow for my grandparents, including family pictures, hilariously candid interviews with the cousins, and unforgettable photos from the rafting “incident.” As I went to bed that night, dreading the thought of leaving, I realized that our family vacation turned out so differently than I had imagined…it was way better!
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