Jeff has taken his wee family out to the forest to cut their year Christmas tree for the last three years.
This year...Bernie and I were invited to go too!
November 29th two cars were on their way up through Wyoming and then back to Utah to find the perfect tree.
(Two hours of driving it was...)
Snow on the ground made it just perfect don't you think?
(I thought so...)
We pulled into a small lot where a permit was purchased and a "cutting map" was obtained.
Apparently trees could be cut in a very large forested area.
I thought I saw several excellent trees in the forest about three minutes away from where we bought the permit.
We drove on an ice slicked road past a car that had slide off into the wood.
We drove and drove some more.
The snow on the road got thicker and thicker until the road became merely a snowy path.
Bernie and I had Luke in our car's back seat; Jeff and Rachel were ahead of us with Calvin.
I kept seeing wonderful trees...Jeff was in conquering mode and drove up and up the mountain, passing cars stuck in the snow and skewed in various directions.
Eventually Bernie backed us down thinking we would get stuck in the deep snow.
While we waited for Jeff to back down too...
Bernie decided to hike up the hill to see if Jeff was stuck.
Luke wanted out of the car after two hours in his car seat.
I think this was the most snow he had ever seen.
A powder suit would of been good.
And something other than my light weight gloves to wear.
(His snow gear was in Jeff's car.)
Getting back up is tricky!
I waded in and grabbed him, then we carefully navigated our way back to our car.
While we waited in the car I snapped a few pictures of Luke waiting in the back seat.
We had sung folk songs most of the trip.
He was singing to pass the time.
Bernie eventually came back and said Jeff was actually not stuck and we would continue going up the road.
We made it!
Luke got his real snow gear on and the Great Christmas Tree Hunt of 2014 was ON!
Look! Look! Look!
(as my first reading book in first grade would put it.)
Wanna go find a Christmas tree?
Bernie and I agreed (after I said I wanted a Sub Alpine tree) that this would be our tree.
I had hiked around (like for five minutes) and decided this one was just great!
A guy who was walking around looking for a tree for himself was carrying a small chain saw.
He offered to do the cutting.
Jeff is a traditionalist.
He came armed with a hand saw.
He looked and looked, climbing higher and higher up the mountain until he saw the perfect tree.
Rachel climbed up and gave the tree her thumbs up.
I hiked up the hill with him to document the harvest.
And down the hill he goes with his trophy tree.
And down I went too, landing neatly on my fanny.
The view from up high back down to our cars.
Jeff got a Lodge Pole pine.
He is 6 ft 2 inches tall.
Yes, that is a BIG tree!
The yellow item behind Jeff is a sled that we brought thinking it would be fun for Luke to ride in.
Luke did not think it was fun at all.
Maybe next year he will have fun on that.
Jeff actually selected this area because Olaf was already in residence.
Let's face it: Building a snowman is a LOT of work.
Adopting a ready made Olaf is just great!
This (semi frozen) Olaf had trouble keeping his eyes, nose, arms and other parts attached to himself, somewhat like the Olaf in the Frozen movie.
Luke was more than happy to fix Olaf up over and over again.
Time for the Christmas card photo!
(Luke is screaming because taking a Christmas card photo is NOT as much fun as fixing up Olaf.)
I must remember to ask for the photo of Bernie and me with our tree on their camera...
The trees are loaded up...
(I think Calvin slept through most of this adventure.)
I love this boy's eyelashes.
They are so long, just like his mother's.
Brave Rachel slogging through the slippery snow with a baby on her chest.
Doesn't she look cute?
Say goodbye to Olaf....
I don't want to leave Olaf!
Down the mountain we go....
Past winter beauty...
Rivers still running for now.
A clue as to about where we were.
Ahh...back to the highway.
Mountains and volcanoes in the distance.
Farmlands with cattle.
Farmlands with farmers with a sense of humor!
The tree now stands gilted in our living room, in all its wild imperfect glory.
So special, more special because of the family fun we had getting it.