Saturday morning we went and picked a Christmas tree. By picked, I mean found one in the forest and sawed the thing down ourselves. And by ourselves, I mean Kevin and Joel. That was the manly part. I did the girly thing and chose the actual tree then took a lot of photos. And tried to look cute while sinking up to my knees in the snow.
We kind of went into this deal thinking it could well be one of those things you decide is an over-rated winter experience. That's what all my southern friends who have cut their trees from commercial farms told me. But I feel it is important to remember that in their Florida experience it was probably 85 degree and they were wearing shorts. You can understand how that might take the feeling down a notch, eh? For our outing it was about 28 degrees F. And for once Joel was not wearing shorts. So.
The deal here is you drive up to Woodland Park (sort of at the base of Pikes Peak), go to the middle school parking lot, buy a $10 permit from a forest ranger, and then head up the mountain off Rampart Range Road and into the woods. You can pull off anywhere you like and cut any tree with a trunk diameter of less than 6 inches. That may sound a bit small, but any larger than that and you're looking at a tree so tall it would have to be left in your front yard.
We found a spot way up the road where we thought no one else would go, but at least 50 other people had the same idea. No matter. We still had a sizable tract of the forest to ourselves and after only about 45 minutes of hunting we found a great specimen. Now, I need to warn you that "great" is a relative term where the cutting of natural growth forest evergreens is concerned. No one ever fertilized or pruned or carefully spaced these trees, so they are all a bit on the wonky side, and that means you are really just hunting for the least degree of wonk. Or at least the particular brand of wonk you feel suits your family. We know we are not normal and I have never pretended to be capable of pulling off a Martha Stuart Christmas, so feel free to bust a gut laughing at what we thought was a great find.
Once we grabbed a family photo and had our tree secured to the top of Silver (that's the 4Runner) we headed back down the mountain. We had not gone 100 yards before the snow started, which really seemed quite fitting for our first tree-picking outing. We got it all decorated on Sunday, along with the rest of the house. I even used some spare branches to make a swag for the front door. I'm so bad at that type of thing that I actually made one that is way out of proportion to the door size and gets stuck in the frame when we close it.
I think it goes nicely with the loveably wonky tree.
From the Keiters:
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