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Don’t Ever Think You Can Outrun Your Dad…

We had a family camping trip last weekend, the first of the year! My dad called a few weeks ago to let us know that Land’s End road was open. When I was a kid, we used to camp and picnic on that road all the time. We also spent lots of weekends on the Grand Mesa, and then my parents discovered the Uncompahgre Plateau.

I haven’t been to Land’s End since I was a kid so I was totally excited to head up this last weekend! I have a lot of memories of picnics and camping trips but the problem was, I couldn’t remember where the turn-offs were to get to some of the spots. So on Saturday afternoon, we all headed down the road to the spot where we spent a lot of time.

Now, this spot was special for two reasons: 1) When I was about 8 or 9, I went exploring down the dirt road and ended up finding an apple tree growing right next to the creek. My family loves to recall the day they saw me running down the road, all arms and legs, looking like one of those lizards that runs on water, screaming my head off about an apple tree. Of course, they didn’t believe me. So I insisted they follow me up the road and I would damn sure prove it to them.

We took that same walk Saturday. And we were all quite shocked at how FAR from camp the apple tree was!  At the time we didn’t think anything of it. There ARE wild animals in the area; however, I have never seen anything but elk and deer. My dad and husband have seen bear and lots of their tracks. But when you’re 8 years old with a wild imagination, exploring the forests is a PERFECT place to be!

Anyway, so we went walking up the road and the apple tree is still there and in full bloom.

Now for reason 2) When I was about 12 o r 13, we were camping in our usual spot right by the creek. Now, everyone at that age is cocky and you think your parents are so over-the-hill. I had been pestering my dad all day about how slow he was and how I could outrun him. Ah, the foolishness of youth!

Now, my dad had decided to take a nap one afternoon in our lounge chairs. That was the opportunity I had been waiting for. I retrieved an old coffee can and dunked it into the creek. I walked up behind my dad and spent a few minutes positioning my body so that I could give myself the best advantage: close enough to douse him good with the water from the ice-cold creek, and yet far enough away as to give me a kick ass head start to run like the wind.

My mother was sitting quietly in a chair and kept shaking her head. She knew how this would end and yet she chose to shake her head rather than shouting and waking up my dad. At that time, I thought she was being silly. I could totally outrun my dad, so in my mind, there was nothing for me to fear!

My heart raced and my muscles bunched. It was now or never. I threw the water on my sleeping father and turned to run. To my great surprise, I found my feet leaving the ground, and my body turning head over heels. What the HELL? How could he have possibly caught me? I was trying to figure out the seeming loss of all things logical when I noticed that my dad was carrying me into the creek.

Now, one would think that at this point, I would have realized the error of my ways, and apologized. But nooooooooooooooo. My teenage attitude simply wouldn’t allow such nonsense. Instead of keeping my mouth shut, or perhaps begging my father to NOT throw me in the frigid water, the cocky voice insisted that he wouldn’t throw me in, no way would you throw me in!


He threw me in.

And I stood in the water (which was probably about mid-calf) and cried me eyes out! Oh gosh, was I PISSED! I mean, how the hell could he have caught me, and then have the nerve to throw me in the damn creek?!?

So on the family camping trip last weekend, I had to get a picture of the creek that so coldly taught me a valuable lesson: don’t EVER think you can outrun your dad!


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