Rested from a full night’s sleep we were up, dressed, packed, cabin cleaned and RV loaded – kids and all – by 7:30 a.m. As Big Truck pulled out of the Timber Lodge driveway my energetic daughter was in the mobile kitchen, setting out breakfast and singing “On the Road Again”, Willie Nelson style. She had a grocery list prepared and we stopped at a Safeway on the way out of town. We needed full provisions for remote camping the next 3 nights, with only 1 night at an RV Park after a full day on the road today. We found our usual 8-spaces-at-the-far-end parking slot; Laura and Paul were in and out quickly, and we were On the Road Again.
It was a school day for Emily and Molly. Molly chose the table for her classroom space while Emily retreated to her bunk with a pile of papers. Molly finished her work first. Immediately my junior card shark asked me to play cards. I decided to teach her to play solitaire and we laid out our respective cards across the table from each other as I explained the rules, hoping she wouldn’t be as good at this card game as others. Silly Grandma. Molly picked it up quickly and soon I was paying attention to my own game to try and win before she won hers.
We were now driving through a true Colorado mountain pass, going up higher and higher. Out the window I saw delicate snow-melt waterfalls, and rocks and boulders of all shapes and sizes mingling like socialites at a party. Among the rock socials were tall trees and skinny bushes, some growing out sideways, all of them distant and aloof like bored chaperones. We were up in the mountains.
Molly brought my attention back to the cards on the table. She was already over solitaire and ready for a more challenging game. I decided to teach her poker – 5 card draw. After all, she was 7, about the age when my granddaddy taught me poker – it was time. Her mom glanced up from her book as I told my granddaughter what I would be teaching her, but said nothing. Big Truck was at the moment quite peaceful, no reason to stir things up. I shuffled, dealt us each 5 cards and briefly explained what a good poker hand was. As expected, Molly soon learned “the power of the ace” as she described it. She’s good. With a simple pair Ace high and a good poker face, for several hands she cleaned my clock at poker.
We drove on passing Blanca Peak – another “14-er” – and the sand dunes of lower Colorado. Emily had rejoined us and was busy entertaining Alex with a game of “Hi and Goodbye.” He would wobble up to her and say “Hi!” She would dive under a couch cushion and say “Goodbye!” Alex would giggle hysterically and wait for to reappear before saying excitedly “Hi!” This was re-enacted about 89 times until our tired driver, Mountain Pass Man, pulled Big Truck into Mesa Verde RV Resort. Goodbye to the road for the night. Hi to showers and full hook ups and my RV bed.