Why wait - let's write Aaron's trip report now!
Posted 31 July 2004 - 11:11 AM
Midnight - before beginning of trip. All is quite in household. Aaron checks everyone's room - all are sleeping fretfully with slumbering anticipation of the great adventure ahead. Aaron checks the mirror to make sure that he and Dog are still well camouflaged. The pillows and blankets are still in place, so anyone who rouses to see him creeping about will be fooled into thinking he is actually in bed asleep. With the grace and stealth of the prowling bear he hopes to see on his trip, he positions himself with a clear view of the objective and then issues his command, "Ok, FETCH." Dog looks at Aaron like he's one dip short of a full cone but decides to humor him and complies. After bringing back a ball, yesterday's newspaper and the remains of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Dog finally retrieves the object of Aaron's quest. Grinning with satisfaction, Aaron retreats to a secluded corner to view his prize. Carefully controlling his glee, he opens the camera bag and then gasps in horror at the note he finds instead of the camera. "Aaron - I'm on to you, bud. Quit trying to confiscate the camera 'to protect it.' Neener, neener, Jenny"
What a way to start a trip!
Posted 02 August 2004 - 05:03 AM
Posted 02 August 2004 - 06:49 PM
Posted 03 August 2004 - 07:09 AM
Just a note to let everyone know that we arrived in Estes Park on Saturday, without experiencing any problems along the way. We decided to spend the day in town, eat dinner, do some shopping, see the sights.
During our stroll through town, the children were very interested in the "bear-proof" trash cans that we pointed out to them. They had never seen these, and were curious how they worked. Aaron took a minute to show them how the latching mechanism operated, and how it made it very difficult for the bears to gain access to the contents of the can. Then, for some reason totally unknown to me, he decided to CLIMB INTO the can, apparently to further demonstrate the abilities of the can. When the lid on the can closed, the locking mechanism seems to have frozen into place.
I tried everything I could think of to get the latch loose, but nothing seemed to work. At that point, Aaron started to panic. The next thing I know, I have a totally distraught husband, screaming and pounding on the can to be released. And of course, once the children hear the panic from their father, then they too went into full blown panic mode.
By now, you can imagine that we are starting to draw a crowd. A few people tried their hand at releasing the lid, but they too had no luck. One of the locals was kind enough to call the Estes Park Fire Department on their cell phone. Minutes later, we were happy to see the arrival of seven Estes Park firefighters.
Initially, they tried to beat the latch loose with an axe. Repeated screams from Aaron, mentioning long term brain damage from the volume inside the can, made them decide against continuing with that plan.
They ended up using the Jaws Of Life to cut out the entire side of the can. After being trapped for nearly an hour, Aaron was obviously overjoyed at finally being released. The children and I went to hug him, but with him fermenting in the trash can for the past hour under the hot sun, he smelled pretty rank. And there was no way I was going to let him back in the van, smelling like that. Once again, the firefighters came through, being kind enough to hose him off.
Aaron is doing fine now, and he should be sending additional updates later. He refuses to go back into Estes though. Seems he is a bit of a celebrity, seeing how he made the front page of the local papers.
Posted 03 August 2004 - 08:32 AM
Posted 03 August 2004 - 08:55 AM
Posted 03 August 2004 - 10:34 AM
AND, by the way, Malok, what's the status on the anticipated nativity? We're all anxious , but probably not as much as you and your wife!
Posted 03 August 2004 - 10:35 AM
Posted 03 August 2004 - 11:35 AM
Posted 03 August 2004 - 11:48 AM
I think all of us find him to be quite unBEARable!
Posted 03 August 2004 - 12:57 PM
As others have posted on the Forums this summer, EP and RMNP are having a lot of rainy days. So, too, have we during our week here. Today’s hike was rained out, so we decided to explore some of those “rainy day” options that folks have been posting. Jenny and I took the kids to the climbing wall for an indoor adventure. They have all levels of difficulty, even some scrambles for the kiddos, but mine seemed a bit reluctant. So, ever the brave, adventurous dad, I offered to go first and show them how easy it is to do. I strapped on the harness (careful with THOSE straps, if you please!), which was then attached to a long rope that ran through a pulley anchored in the (far away up high) ceiling. Ready, set, GO! At first, I had no problems moving up the wall, easily reaching hands and feet to the next outcroppings. But then, the wall seemed to start curving back out toward me…was I really on the right part of the wall for novices? I looked down – big mistake! I was already about twenty feet up the wall! And, the ledges and handholds seemed to be smaller and in odder positions. I guess I could start backing down the way I came and try to get on the right part of the wall – where it doesn’t bend out to greet me! Ok, step down, move left hand, drop right foot…oops! Both feet have flown of the wall, and all I have are two hands holding to very small grips! When I tried to swing back, I started to feel my hands slipping…and almost instantly, I was out in the middle of the room, suspended by my harness and rope from the ceiling. The looks on my kids' faces told me they would not be scrambling up after me any time soon!
I hope this afternoon and the upcoming days are better for him and his family! :P
Posted 03 August 2004 - 01:44 PM
Posted 03 August 2004 - 05:58 PM
Don't count on that, Malok. Aaron's vacation continues to be packed with adventure. It seems that after the debacle with the trash can and the less than stellar moment on the rock wall, Aaron wanted a positive experience to assuage his feeling of ill-usage (whether justified or not.) Nothing suitably rewarding came to mind, so he started to ponder what his friends at rmnpfourms would advise him to do. After discarding the idea of going down the list of members alphabetically as unfair (he might accidentally leave someone out that way) he decided to just close his eyes, let his mind wander and see whose words of wisdom might come to him. Unfortunately, the van started to wander as well, since he was driving at the time, so the words of wisdom actually came from Jenny; and they were rather emphatic. Happily, as soon as the words, “All right, all right, don’t scream again!” came out of his mouth, an idea hit him with the force of the SUV out of whose path he had just jerked the van. Scream - for ice cream! Grand Lake ice cream! That would work - it would get him out of Estes Park and away from all those gawkers who were still pointing & giggling; he could offer it to the family as atonement for his driving lapse; it might earn him some brownie points with ProfHall, who would then let him in on the secret of what he teaches. Perfect!
So focused on the goal that he was almost blinded to all else, Aaron had no clear memory of the drive to Grand Lake (though Jenny and the kids claim they will never forget that ride as long as they live.) Wasting no time, Aaron made a beeline to the store with the large ice cream cone sign hanging in front, headed for the door and then halted in his tracks. There was another sign on the door - “Gone On Vacation, Reopen August 9.” The mental image of a calendar came into his mind (since it was a “Bare-It-All Babes In the Wild” calendar, it’s fortunate it was only in his mind and not visible to Jenny.) Written largely in red on August 9 were the words BACK AT HOME. By this point, Jenny and the kids were so glad to be out of the van, they really didn’t care; they just shrugged and headed off up the street. Aaron stood there, bereft. What would ProfHall say to him? How could he explain his failure? What about his ice cream? He gave the door a little kick in disgust.
If he had just gone on with his family, the day might have been salvaged. That one, tiny kick was his downfall, though. It seemed to him that the door gave way just a bit on contact. A glimmer of hope sprang into his eyes. What if they weren’t really closed yet? What if they were leaving that night & had just put the sign out a little early? He couldn’t possibly know unless he tried the door, so he gave it another kick, a bit harder this time. Sure enough, the lock didn’t seem nearly as secure as it ought to be. They were probably in there right now. He rattled the handle, but apparently there was a problem with it. “It must be stuck,” he said to himself as he threw all of his weight against the door. Other than really, really hurting, that didn’t have much effect, so he decided to go back to kicking. Just a few more well placed blows and the door flew open with a crash. Aaron’s momentum carried him right on inside the store.
As it happens, the owners had left the previous Sunday. They had discovered the problem with the lock but hadn’t had time to get it fixed before they left, so they had done the best they could to secure the store. They were correct in thinking that the large bag of garbage they had hung just inside and rigged to rip if the door was opened would halt any would-be burglar in his tracks. They were equally correct in the notion that the drink cans they had planned to recycle would make a sufficiently loud racket as they came crashing down to stand in for an alarm. Before Aaron could even blink, he was surrounded by the kind of attention he really wasn’t interested in attracting again, wearing a smell that, before this trip, he had never dreamed he would sport not once but twice.
The story has a happy ending, though. Several people in the crowd had also driven over from Estes Park and knew of Aaron’s celebrity status from the newspaper. The officer of the law who was watching the whole thing as it happened from across the street had recognized him, too, since his brother-in-law was one of the firemen involved and had regaled him with the story and a thorough description. By the time Jenny and the kids returned, Aaron was actually signing a few autographs (albeit one was on the bottom of a check large enough to cover the damage to the door.) The crowd dispersed, and Aaron was left alone to face Jenny. She agreed to let him in the van this time, but only after they had walked over to the lake. She didn’t say it, but she didn’t intend for Aaron to leave without getting a look at the lake. A close look. A very, VERY close look. She might even tell him afterwards about the change of clothes she had thrown in the van for him, just in case it was needed. And it was going to be needed.
Posted 03 August 2004 - 06:07 PM
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