Kathy Bassett's column, "The View from Maybell," appears in the Saturday Morning Press.
Uh hummmm : Well, gosh.
You already caused your whole family to stare at you with big, long pouty faces when you explained to them that there would be no vacation this year.
No pyramids in Egypt.
You had to get tough when they started whining just to get it across that you thought it was far more important to pay bills and buy food. Made you feel like a louse.
So, OK. Now is your chance to get back into their good graces. You should bring them to Maybell for a lovely vacation. Aw, right. Get up off the floor and quit laughing while I explain to you what a great time you would have without having to spend a ton of money.
First of all, you need to go out in the shed and gather up that tent you haven't used for years and beat the dust off it. Then, if you don't have sleeping bags, lots of blankets and pillows will work. If you want to come for just a day, then forget all the tent and camping stuff. If you want to spend several days, then get it back out again.
Do you have fishing poles and fishing licenses? How about a camera? So, OK : you don't have money to invest in books, but how about borrowing some from the library about rock hounding, wild flowers, wildlife and such. Oh, yeah, make sure your kids all leave their cell phones at home. They won't need them.
Then, to start off your vacation, day No. 1 should be spent May 10 at the Maybell Park. That's Maybell Cultural Heritage Day, when lots of fun stuff is going to happen. Free admission. And there is an up-side - you won't have to worry about getting sick on cotton candy after taking several whirling, spinning upside down carnival rides. You probably should get there about 8 a.m. to enjoy the breakfast that will be available from the Maybell Women's Club.
There will be an old historical sheep wagon to explore and a team of horses pulling a hay wagon to take you around Maybell for a small fee. There will be stuff for kids to do. There will be tents with several fantastic vendors of wonderful items such as paintings, sunbonnets, handmade dolls, quilts, baby items, homemade frames, wonderful candles of all kinds, homemade soaps, collector dolls, old coins (if the guy doesn't get railroaded into staying home and working) antiques, metal art, wooden items. It'll take awhile to enjoy looking at all this.
Then, we hope to have a wonderful singer/songwriter on site singing his lovely ballads and selling his CDs. Queeda Mantle Walker will be in the park to sign her newest book, "Last Ranch in Hell's Canyon."
And suddenly, it gets so quiet. Listen. It is faint at first and gets louder and louder. You should hurry over to the fence facing U.S. Highway 40. With your camera, of course! Talk about awesome. Your children will never forget the sight and sounds of a few hundred head of horses galloping right down the highway through Maybell.
And real cowboys. Wow.
After the Sombrero Ranches Horse Drive, you wander back through the park for the rest of the festivities. There will be a silent auction for some gorgeous items donated, and a drawing or two for some things you won't want to miss out on, such as a Sombrero Trail ride. Lunch will be available and then at 1 p.m., all the drawings and silent auction items will take place. You must be present to win
When the Maybell festivities are over, then you will have plenty of time to hop in your loaded vehicle and head up Colorado 318 to so many historic places to camp.
You can fish in the Green River, hike, maybe see a moose, plus lots of other wildlife, and possibly wild turkeys, explore rocks, see the wild horses up Sand Wash.
I hope you didn't forget your topo map because there are a jillion places to camp. You can explore Douglas Mountain. You can listen to the coyotes howl while sitting around your campfire at night, roasting marshmallows and making smores. You can have quality family time. There is only one rule. Make sure you stay on public lands, do not trespass on private property and don't be trashy.
Congratulations. You made wonderful memories.