Wednesday, September 17, 2008
My father, Art Brown, has always been a role model for me. At 87 he plays golf, sometimes twice a week, works out at the health club where he chats with pretty young women, explores on the internet, and is someone I can call with an electronic question and have him figure it out over the telephone. He is also my good friend.
About a week ago, I met Bob and Dale, who is one of Bob's old neighbors from his Ann Arbor days. Dale is about 70 and doing fine, but slowing down just a little. Talking to Bob later, I was reminded of this trip where my 76 year old father and I went off-roading through Colorado.
We met in Vegas and drove up to Telluride, one of our favorite places. I just wish I had bought some property there the first time we visited, since I couldn't afford to live there now. On our first visit, the town was sleepy all year and the main street through the town was dirt.
From there we went north to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and up to Marble where we found our first real off-road trail.
This trail follows the Crystal River up to the ghost town of Crystal City and its iconic mill, shown below. While there, we talked to a family whose great-grandfather had owned mines here in the silver rush. He loved it so much that he and his family have been coming back to visit every summer for 4 generations.
Rocky Mountain high country is full of color in summer.
Part of our off-road adventure was to cross over Taylor Pass, where Papa met some attractive young women having a day out of the city. My father has always been a babe magnet. It looks like that gene skipped a generation.
Finally, we looped back around to Telluride by a southern route. This shot is of the upper Rio Grande valley. Up near the headwaters, we crossed over a high pass and down into the Animas River valley and the town of Silverton.
A few days ago, Papa said he had enjoyed these travels and staying active in retirement. Paraphrasing, 'My 70's were good. You slow down a little, though, when you hit 80.' For me, that's a good measuring stick for the future and I'll do my best to live up to it.