It’s funny how we slip into routines, even when on vacation from our ordinary lives. We create different and more interesting schedules for ourselves, but there still seems to be a fundamental need to orchestrate “order.” During a week of hiking in Utah, Hannah and I began every morning with breakfast and a run, just the two of us (because the boys’ new morning routine was to sleep in as long as possible!).
We ran the Pa’rus and Watchman’s Trails each morning we awoke in Zion National Park. At Capitol Reef, we ran through creek side brush and on a gravel road. In St George on the morning of our flight home, we ran up the mountain road outside our hotel parking lot and through a new neighborhood with some incredible views.
Breakfast always came first though. We knew our options would be somewhat limited our morning in Boulder, but set out on foot for an adjacent coffee shop that we’d spotted the night before.
It was closed. It was 7:20AM and the coffee shop wouldn’t open until 8:30. “8:30-ish” to be exact. We looked hopefully toward the Burr Trail Grill next door but found it also darkened. Remembering a diner around the corner, we walked on, hoping for the best.
It was perfect running weather, slightly cool, but with a glowing and growing sunlight that hinted at another gorgeous day to come. The countryside road was deserted, not a car in sight. I figured we’d just start running after breakfast, see what there was to see, turn back after twenty minutes or so, and then grab some sort of breakfast to take back for the guys.
The first calf that wandered on to the road was pretty cute and about the same size as either one of us. As more and more emerged from the thick bushes however, we slowed down. Startling a herd of anything didn’t seem like a good idea. We could see the diner just ahead, however, so we edged forward in a semi-confident manner. I’m all about new experiences, and while I’d been around farm cows as a kid, we certainly don’t have them in our suburban Ohio neighborhood. I even smiled, knowing that Hannah would remember this morning. It was a little odd to fine cattle wandering at will across the roadway, but we’d encountered open range areas throughout Utah.
Their little cow noises were endearing at first. After all, we were walking amongst children. No doubt, fun little cow games would shortly ensue. But, suddenly we found ourselves in the middle of the “playground,” and a very large, solid, and annoyed cow began making steady progress in our direction. It was a bit of a dilemma. The calves had filled the roadway behind us. There were unknown bovines lurking in the bushes. Steady rustling only fueled the imagination as to the heft of these “invisible cows.” And the annoyed “Cowzilla” was quite insistent that we did not belong there. She made her way to the road, bellowing louder and louder, seemingly encouraging the whole gang into action. Suddenly, we were the ones being herded. There was no backward route. No way forward. And there was no way we were going near those bushes.