For several summers our friends and family have spent time camping in the mountains of Colorado. We always look forward to the trips as the seasons change. Unfortunately, more than seasons tend to change up there. The beautiful forests have been replaced by desolation thanks to the infestation of the pine beetle. Millions of trees were killed and now stand as ghostly statues on the mountainsides. Our campground was once in the middle of dense forest. Now, it is practically in the middle of a meadow. Thousands of dead trees were removed because of fire danger and now only aspen groves and tiny pine trees no taller than my children remain. Such a sad sight. The same goes for all the tiny mountain towns near there. Once bustling sidewalks are empty, family grocery stores die, and buildings are left for sale as long as we can remember. Nestled in the heart of a nearby small town is a wonderful restaurant and one of the best museums you will ever visit. Their town caboose greets you on the side of the road. It was also donated in 1989 and has sat at the edge of town ever since. We have visited it before when the kids were little (they vividly remember daddy being dive bombed by the family of birds that call it home) but this year it had much more meaning than before. Isn’t it funny how you notice more of the little things once you have had a similar experience? This was more of a research trip, taking close-up pictures of signs, stenciling, lights, and looking inside through broken windows. Our caboose’s “cousin” was made a couple years later, but was still strikingly similar. With camera in hand we walked around taking all sorts of pictures and made a valuable discovery. Laying dusty and forgotten on the floor inside the caboose were several pieces of scrap. Metal scraps, signs, boards, and a door. Did I mention we are in desperate need of a door?? With all the dismantling that was done with our caboose we lost several valuable items, including this very important one. The discovery led us immediately back to the town hall where we left our contact information and made an appointment to talk to the town mayor. A successful discussion with the town board saw us making a very long one-day roadtrip two weeks later to retrieve our door. The very next day we held our breath as the hinges were attached. A perfect fit!
A Camping Trip and a Door