It’s good to occasionally get away from your regular life and go someplace completely different.  It’s even better if a family reunion is going on in a beautiful place, because your brother Tom and his wife Wendy had the excellent good sense to move to Durango, Colorado and invite everyone to come on over.

Just yesterday, we were here, in Silverton, Colorado.  Some of us drove up in cars, others took the narrow gauge railroad from Durango.  We all met up at Handlebars Restaurant, an 1800s saloon decorated with mining gear and stuffed creatures, where we occupied 5 tables.

Then we did a bit of shopping.  Malcolm wanted elk jerkey but decided that at $7, it wasn’t worth the risk. Hugh bought a pair of sunglasses.  I went antiquing with my sister-in-law, nieces, and dad’s girlfriend.  Ah, girl time.  So rare!

I bailed on an outdoor adventure hike which I heard involved leaping from 8′ ledges into pools of water.  A few of the guys went on without me and reported back later that the outing was sheer madness, involving sliding down gravel slopes with huge tumbling stones, wading through narrow rock channels and swimming through snowmelt.

The day before that, a huge group of us went rafting on the Animas River.  It was less dangerous than Emily’s outing in the Poconos of Pennsylvania.  As my brother Richard pointed out, you know your wilderness adventure is less than death-defying when your guide says “Now hang on when you see the Wal-Mart, that’s where the fiercest rapids are.”  We had a great time anyway and were grateful for less than Class 4 rapids, as my brother Jim nearly drowned the day before when he went overboard at the Royal Gorge and was caught upside down in boiling cold water.  So naturally, he’s planning to go again on his drive back to St. Louis civilization tomorrow.

As I write, Jim has taken Hugh & Malcolm out fishing this afternoon, an experience he actually may not survive, depending on where they rank on the Bickersons meter.

There was big drama at this particular reunion.  Details on Thursday!

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