We moved out west for the lure of snow, adventure, and opportunity. Although we used a Jeep to venture across the great plains and Rocky mountains instead of a Conestoga waggon, we felt the thrill of going into the great unknown. In pursuit of maintaining this grander, we sought out an adventurous way to find a Christmas tree. Considering the astronomical prices of these trees inside the city, I perused the Internet (as I’m sure the first Western settlers did) in hopes of finding a great location outside of the city where we could chop down the tree ourselves. What I found was profoundly better! We were able to purchase a ticket that would allow us to chop down a tree in the Snoqualmie-Mt. Baker National forest. For only $10 (and an additional $10 for a saw), we were about to impart on a truly magical adventure.
Yesterday was the chosen day–the day where we would conquer the great Western woods and triumph with a breath-taking Christmas tree. Well, it turned out to be a little less glorious than that.
It poured. I mean torrential downpours. We were hoping it would be snowing as we climbed into higher elevations; but much to Ryan’s great dismay, it was raining in the mountains too (Please pray for Ryan as he’s sinking into a deep snow-less depression). We drove on down this dirt, winding road where the trees seemed to stand as tall my aspirations of finding a that perfect Christmas tree. We eventually parked and began to climb a bank in the ridiculous and taunting rain. We were quickly drenched, but we pressed on. This is when we began to despise Christmas in the west…
The trees were terrible! They were so thin–both in their trunk and in their branches. Why in the world was the National Forest so anorexic?! Ryan slipped at one point and sunk into the ground about 4 feet. That’s when we realized that we were not walking on ground at all, but actually on old dead trees. We climbed on and cut a tree down. It was ugly to say the least… but it was getting darker and the rain was washing away our Christmas spirit.
We strapped that tree to the roof and began our descent. As soon as we began to drive, the more attractive trees began to appear. They were taunting us. I told Ryan I wanted a better tree. He called me Martha Stewart. I reminded him that he started our adventure by notifying me that he did NOT want a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. We stopped. There it was. Our tree. We quickly and discreetly removed the other tree from our roof. Ryan propped it up so the tree could at least pretend to live on; but just as he began to prepare to cut our beloved tree down, it struck back. Like a Wild West shoot out, the tree prickled Ryan ’till he recanted his desire for the tree. Even the trees are untamable in the west.
We looked around for another tree to love. We found another anorexic tree, but at least this one seemed to have good shape. We prefer the pear-shaped tree, of course.
Onto our roof it went, and on we drove. Until… we drove past this vehicle with an incredible tree. It was perfect. It was already claimed, but we could go where they went. We, too, could triumph over these woods. We found another tree, only to discover it was really two trees. We looked some more. I was literally running around… racing against the setting sun. We finally found one, right next to the highway. We made the discrete exchange once again, and drove on home.
One would think that in distant Seattle, the woods could no longer retaliate against us. Unfortunately, this would be poor thinking. Ants. It’s so warm here in December that there are ants infesting our Christmas tree. It’s sitting in our garage as we speak. We’re hoping they’ll die soon. Maybe our tree will let us celebrate Christmas someday.
Oh, what a day.
I’ll write an update later. My lunch break has ended. Also, photos to follow!