The (Very Cold) Hunt for the Schrammel Christmas Tree

We joined our friends the Teagues for a trip up to northern Colorado for a weekend in the woods to both 1) spend some time in a rustic cabin just hanging out and 2) harvest a Christmas Tree for our homes.

We left Saturday morning and started heading towards the Red Feather Lakes area of the state, which is about a 2.5 hour drive NNW of here, stopping in Ft. Collins for brunch. It was a great drive for we not only got to see a new part of our home state, but got to see some pronghorn and big horn sheep along the way.  We arrived at the cabin early afternoon and promptly got the fireplace and gas furnace going, and got the cars unloaded.  The cabin lacked some modern touches (e.g. running water, indoor plumbing) but it made no difference, as we settled in and enjoyed watching the many whitetail deer running around the wood.

We've heard that this was another beautiful area of the state, and it appeared so during the drive.  Unfortunately, we weren't able to get many expansive views for the much of the visit as a cold front came in Saturday night.  A very, very cold front, bringing nearly constant flurries along with it. 

How cold?  We woke up Sunday morning -- the day of our Christmas tree hunt -- to -4 degrees.  After a hot breakfast and putting on every piece of warm clothing we could find, we drove to the place where we were going to get our Christmas trees. 

Now, this was no average Christmas Tree excursion.  It was, at least in theory, about as Rockwellian as one could get:  we would board a horse drawn sleigh, be taken into the forest to both get our trees as well as enjoy some hot chocolates and cookies in a cabin, and then have the horses pull us and our trees back to our cars.  Theory, though, has a freezing point of -1 degree, which was the temperature when we got out of car to begin the sleigh ride. 

Multiple layers of blankets and Christmas carols couldn't keep the spirits -- or hands, feet, or faces -- of Chloe and Evan warm very long.  And the driver took notice, for the 2 Belgian draft horses pulling our sleigh -- Zeus and Apollo -- picked up the pace noticeably.  Suffice it to say that we arrived at the cabin none too soon.  We went in, huddled around the wood stove, and enjoyed the hot chocolate.  John and I then headed out to find a tree for our families. 

Unlike Christmas tree farms that I was used to back East -- where there were neat rows of trees that one could easily walk in between, and the trees were somewhat evenly spaced mostly symmetrical -- we were hunting on a hillside in the forest, where few of the trees have the qualities just mentioned.  So, the hunt took a while (thankfully, the constant movement of walking up, down and across a snowy hillside staved off the effects of the cold.) 

After what I'm guessing was about 30 minutes of searching, I found our tree.  I cut it down, dragged it through the forest a little, rolled it down an embankment, body-slid down said embankment, and took it over to the cabin where it awaited to be tied on to the sleigh.  John's quest ended shortly after mine, and we both went in to warm up some before getting back on the sleigh.  Not only were we glad to have brought back trees for our families, but we were glad to see our kids were in much better spirits as well (whipped cream hot chocolate and cookies have a tendency to do that, it appears.)

It was then back on the sleigh for the ride back to the parking area.  A few carols and a few laughs later, we were there.  After tying down the trees to the top of the Explorer, we headed back to the cabin to pick up our dogs and belongings and begin the drive back to Boulder, where things were much warmer... it was 10 degrees here when we got home.

(Pictures, top to bottom:  Chloe and Evan watching deer around the cabin; Me holding a sleeping Dulce; Peggy hanging out with Zeus and Apollo; KnPnC.)

1 comment:

  1. That is SOOO cooooool! What an unforgettable way to get a tree!