First of all, we are sorry about our lack of posts. The last month has been filled with lots of riding and lots of planning for the future. First, we will catch everyone up on our activities then we will let you all know about our new plans.
We stayed in Colorado for another few weeks. We played with friends in our campground, we went on a few hikes, we had some great rides, and we all got chased by a large bull moose. We will begin with the moose and Colorado’s latest attempt to kill the Murphy family (I say with a smile).
We were on the tail end of our favorite mountain bike trail when we came over a rise and onto a more level part of the trail. Alexander was on point with Victoria right on his back wheel. I followed Victoria close behind and we were all trying to catch our breath after climbing a long steep hill. We were just beginning to enjoy the more level trail when I called out for an emergency stop. I saw through the trees about 40 meters ahead a large bull moose with a full head of antlers, and he was staring intently right at us! The kids both locked up the brakes and came to a stop. I told them both to get behind me and Ashley and prepare to run and get behind a tree. They did so immediately and Ashley and I attempted to assess the moose’s attitude. As a family we had recently studied the local wildlife, particularly the moose. We learned that if the moose has its ear flat and is licking its lips it is agitated and that you should be ready for a charge. Ashley and I determined that it did not seem to be too agitated but he was not moving and just staring right at us. We gave him his space hoping he would move on but after about 5 minutes of not moving and just staring unwaveringly at us we decided to try to ride around him. Ashley and I advanced on his position trying to determine if the trail veered away from him but determined that he was actually standing on the trail and that there was not easy way around him. So we retreated back to our bikes and our kids. After another five minutes or so of waiting for him to move on, Ashley and I again advanced to see if we moved closer maybe he would move on. However, as we approached this time he did indeed move, just not in the direction we were hoping for. He charged right down that trail right at us! Ashley and I quickly turned and ran and told the kids to follow close. We all ran behind a mass of fallen and twisted tree trunks, about 10 meters off the trail from where our bikes lay. The moose ran right up to where our bikes were on the trail and decided to stop there. Now we could not even ride in the opposite direction because he was standing over our bikes. We hid behind our downed trees for another 5-10 minutes until the moose got bored with terrorizing us and then he moved on. Once we thought he was far enough away we all ran to our bike and sped on down the trail as quickly as our tired legs could go. Where was Ranger during all this you may ask? Well he was hiding behind my legs most of the time. I don’t think he ever even acknowledged that there was a moose close by. The kids were definitely a little scared but they kept it together, followed directions quickly and were able to laugh about it as we rode away. I, on the other hand, that I saw a moose behind every corner and every tree for the rest of the ride back to the car.
We were very lucky to have met a nice family while in Granby who had many children, but particularly boys Alexander’s age and a girl Victoria’s age. The kids hit it off great and played together most every day for two weeks straight. It was great seeing the kids have friends to swim with, play games, listen to music and play with toys together. We met them at one campground and we all moved together to another so that the kids could continue to play together. Ashley also really benefited from have interaction with another adult other than having to listen to me and all my stories that she has heard a million times before.
We planned on going to Crested Butte CO after Labor Day but Colorado’s crazy weather had other plans. On Labor Day weekend our two families spent 80 degree days swimming on Granby Lake, sweating and always looking for shade. The Tuesday after Labor day had snow and a high temperature for the day of 29 degrees. I don’t know how that is even possible. We spent three days hiding in our trailer because it was freezing outside and we had almost no mild weather clothing let alone cold weather clothing. So as soon as the passes looked clear we headed to Moab, UT and back to 80 degree days.