We woke up with the top of Lost Ranger still shaded from the sun. As we got dressed, the suns rays creeped into the valley. We headed towards the road, still shrouded by the beetle kill pines. This section of trail was covered in downed trees. We climbed our way down to the trailhead and walked a gravel road. A ranger pulled up beside us and asked us how the trail had been and we told them the Zikels had been gorgeous. Behind these rangers, a long line of cars proceeded.
We walked around eight miles down the gravel road. Here Garbelly got signal and found out his sister had been in labor since midnight and family were on their way to the hospital. The trail had provided again. We would be able to be in town for the birth of Garbelly's niece or nephew! Just as we received this call, we see a white truck with a wooden back end. It was Delia and the one and Wild Bill Ducote. He whipped the truck into a pullout and got out hugging both of us. After the initial excitement of seeing a great friend in the middle of nowhere, we got in the truck and turned around. He offered us some leftover pizza from a place he had been to in Lander. It was unreal. It was covered in pesto, garlic and lots of cheese. We quickly wolfed it down as we turned onto a highway leading to Steamboat Springs.
We made it to Steamboat and did what we always do; ate a ton of food. We stopped into a BBQ restaurant (Critter's favorite place to search for veggie options) and ate pulled pork and fried zucchini. After this, we decided to head to the Yampa river, a popular lazy river running through town, and go for a swim. We found a nice eddy just below a rapids and hung out there watching inner tubers scream as the went down the small rapids, sometimes flipping into the water. Wild Bill was the tubers number one fan as he swam to get sandals floating down the river and push people out of eddys they were trapped inside and could not move. This swim was also a pretty nice bath and laundry time. We did not look completely like three homeless people bathing in a river, but not far from it either.
After we got out, we drove down the Main Street looking for ice cream and a hotel. Along the way we saw a putt putt golf place and could not help but pull in the parking lot and play some golf. We were older than anyone else on the course by a decade or two. We played for an hour or so and even had a few hole in ones. When we finished playing, Garbelly and Wild Bill had tied with a score of 50 and Critter with 57.
After this we looked for a room to stay. Every hotel in steamboat was completely booked up besides a room for $350. It was about $300 over our budget. We looked and found cheap hotels in the town of Craig 37 miles away. We decided since we had a car, this was our best bet. On the drive Garbelly called his parents and family to check on the status of his sister in labor. No baby yet. He could barely keep in his excitement. Within hours he would become Uncle Garbelly!
Once we arrived, we found out that every hotel was booked there for a soccer tournament. Looking back, we definitely should have called and asked first. Finally out of pure luck, a local inn had one room left with a single bed. One hour later, Garbelly's sister had a baby and we all found out it was a baby girl!! Garbelly was beyond excited. A few years may have been shed.
What a day. Filled with best friends, swimming and a new niece. At midnight we finally fell asleep.
Garbelly & Critter
Marion Ruth Mitchell