On the Trail: Hiking with my grandma
July 28, 2006
A couple of weekends ago, my parents and grandparents arrived in Aspen to spend some time with me, see the sights and attend the Aspen Music Festival and School’s annual free day of music.I know you can relate to the frenzied house cleaning that happens before your parents knock on the door, so imagine how much worse it is when you also have to think up an itinerary for your mother’s octogenarian parents.My grandparents are healthy 80somethings who walk two miles or so most mornings, and have traveled the world extensively. I presented my mom with a list of acceptable activities we could all enjoy during their stay, and the one thing at the top of Mom’s list was a trip to the Maroon Bells.So it was a drizzly afternoon that my parents, grandparents and I hopped on the bus up Maroon Creek Road, and listened to the driver’s colorful spiel about the history and geography of the area. As we walked the length of Maroon Lake, I kept my eyes on the trail, listening to Mom and the GPs (as I call my grandparents) ooh and aah over the wildflowers. We walked slowly, and I noticed rocks and roots everywhere that I hoped the GPs would notice and step over.Grandpa George turns around to head back at the end of the lake, but Grandma Lou decides to head a little farther with us, hoping for a good view of a nearby waterfall. We got a view by walking up a short, rocky section of the trail, and I squeezed my grandmother’s hand firmly on the way up, praying she’d make it up OK.She did, and later both of my grandparents raved about our visit to the Bells. It’s something they never thought they’d see, they say.Their last night in town, we’re sitting at Boogie’s reflecting on their trip when Grandma admits that traveling in your 80s isn’t exactly easy.”Promise me that when your parents are our age, you’ll take them somewhere like this so they know what it’s like for us,” she said to me.Oh, I promise.