Family and friends are important to a lot of people. They help shape us, and create lasting memories. This is even more true around the Holidays. One of our annual Christmas traditions with our family and friends is going to find that perfect Christmas tree. The weekend after Thanksgiving we head up to the hills, dressed in winter clothing, dog in the back seat, firewood, saw, and of course, great beer. We enjoy an awesome snowshoe hike into the backcountry and pick out the perfect Griswold family Christmas tree.
On this year’s trek, we were graced by a crisp bluebird day and fresh snow on the ground. Hiking on the snow covered trails, still air, snow clinging delicately to the pines, everything as pristine as a postcard. What a way to spend a winter day in the Colorado backcountry.
Hunting for that perfect tree requires some effort and patience. My family are connoisseurs, not just any tree will do. The right tree speaks to you in a way and reminds you of what exactly you are celebrating. When you find it, you immediately know! The work to chop it down and haul it back to the car is suddenly worth it. Just don't forget the saw.
We hiked back to the trailhead, spruce-y loot in tow, and enjoyed a nice winter BBQ filled with burgers, beers, hot chocolate, snowballs, campfire, family, friends, laughs, new memories and a holiday load of fun. I will stress that you should get the tree strapped down long before cracking into some fine Colorado suds. Although it may seem like a thoughtful holiday gesture, that Subaru cruising behind you on I-70 is perfectly fine without a windshield full of branches and pine needles. Then again, this would definitely qualify as a Griswold moment.
Please note that permits are issued for the trees and there are regulations on the size of tree you can cut, so keep that in mind as you head into the Colorado wilderness we all enjoy so much. Protecting that environment is all part of the experience of living in the Mountain Standard Time Zone.
- Jarad Switzer