Saturday, October 8, 2011

First Snow

All week I have been hearing about a big storm coming in this weekend. They called for a possible 6 to 12 inches of the white stuff above the treeline and a couple inches in mountain towns like Vail. Only rains were expected here east of Denver. I know the weather here is highly unpredictable. I know that most times the forecasts aren't right. We learned that fact early on. Still, waking up this morning to wintry precipitation was definitely not expected. It's still early October, and last year snow didn't fall until November! In fact, we had only just turned on the heat the night before! Welcome to Colorado.

I managed to snap a picture of the small amount of snow accumulation in our back yard before the following (expected) rains managed to melt it all away.

After that, it was Saturday as usual (except I was a bit more awake than usual from the "snow event"). I took the "Pickles" to get hair cuts. The Boy was getting shaggy and The Girl, who has been scolded regularly for not keeping her hair brushed (until I threatened to have it cut short and she said "ok") was getting a new shorter-than-ever hair-do.
Her hair is still damp from the haircut
Once back home, we munched on pizza. We had planned to go to the Punkin Chunkin Colorado event (formerly known as Jack-O-Launch at PumpkinFest) at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. Teams competed to see who could hurl pumpkins the farthest. Each team had their own catapult contraption they designed for maximum pumpkin launching. The event also had kid-friendly activities, live bands and vendors.

It was still a bit cold and rainy and we almost decided against it, but when we heard they had moved a large portion of the activities indoors, we decided to stick with the original plans and head out there.

The Arapahoe County Fairgrounds is only about 10 minutes from home (if that far). Half way there, driving toward the prairie, the ground was dusted with snow and the rain had changed to snow and was coming down quickly. Still we kept on. The event was to take place "rain or snow" (I guess they didn't expect sunshine).

We drove through the muddy parking lot ($5 parking fee), found a place close enough to the entrance and hurried inside. The first thing The Girl discovered was a cattle roping area. Basically, it consisted of 2 bales of hay with each one sporting a bull's horned head (fake of course). She grabbed up a rope and started tossing. It wasn't long before she roped her steer. The Boy joined in and caught his own.

While The Girl tested her cowgirl abilities, I purchased tickets to use for some of the activities. Tickets were $1 a piece and were used to participate in the various activities - face painting (5 tickets), airbrushed tatoos (3 tickets), candle-making (2 tickets - though I never could find the booth), pumpkin patch (where you could pick your own pumpkin to take home - 5 tickets), Pony Rides (5 tickets) and Scarecrow making (7 tickets). Cattle Roping was free and of course so was watching the Punkin Chunkin competition. There were other activities but I can't remember them all.

We came across a pumpkin carver who had on display some impressive pumpkins!

We also saw the local SCA group (Society for Creative Anachronism) which interested the Pickles with the armor and weaponry on display, me with their period looms and Mr. LH because he used to be a member WAY back in the day.

While Mr. LH chatted with the SCA folks and The Boy continued to study the swords, The Girl and I decided to make our own scarecrow. We had to draw the face and chose to model our scarecrow after none other than Jack Skellington.

The Boy came over to help stuff the head with straw while The Girl and I picked out "Jack's" clothes.

Everything was tied off, stuffed and pinned together. Pretty soon "Jack" was completed! I think we made a fine scarecrow.

We let him hang out with others of his kind as we explored what else there was to see and do.

Meanwhile, the snow outside kept falling...

After wandering through looking at the vendors booths including one belonging to the Aurora History Museum, it was announced the next round of the Punkin Chunkin competition was starting soon. We headed headed out into a colder and whiter world.

I keep thinking that if this event were being held in NC, it wouldn't be snowing. And if it were being held in NC and it DID snow, it would be cancelled. But it wouldn't matter either way because if we had seen a flake fall in NC, we wouldn't have left the house in the first place. Now here we were on the outskirts of town at the fairgounds in the middle of nothing but prairie, snow falling all around us, wind driving the snow down the backs of our clothes, wet soaking through our hats and gloves and we were walking out to watch pumpkins being launched from catapults

and smashed into pumpkin goo.

And we were not alone. In fact, there was a sizable crowd out there with us. Either we were all crazy idiots or the weather didn't make a difference.

We only watched one round of launching before I wimped out. My hands were numb from the wet cold and I couldn't hold the camera any longer. One side of my jeans had been soaked through from the driving snow, too. I really didn't think I'd have to leave the house this morning in full snow regalia! What was I thinking? Mr. LH and the Pickles were happy to "escort me" back inside.

Once we warmed back up, The Girl roped herself another steer...

...we chose a pumpkin to take with us...

...picked up "Jack" the scarecrow and headed home to fuzzy socks, warm baths, piping hot beef stew and hot chocolate. We were even able to catch a beautiful October sunset.

It was a good day. Welcome to Colorado!

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1 comment:

Joy said...

Gorgeous sunset! What a fun day, even with the crazy weather! Elizabeth had fun watching the kids rope a steer and make scarecrows. :)