A couple posts ago, I wrote about the feelings associated with my husband’s 10 year high school reunion. In mid-July Chad and I hopped on a couple of flights back to our hometown to experience the occasion in real time. It’s a longstanding tradition for former high schoolers to convene during the town’s Cattlemen’s Days celebration—Colorado’s longest-running rodeo and Gunnison’s most fun week of the year.
We left Milwaukee on Thursday afternoon and, after several delays, arrived in Gunnison (via Denver) at about 10:45 p.m. The air was cold and it was dark and we immediately felt at-home, especially since everything was closed and there was nothing to do but drive around town for the sake of nostalgia and post-travel jitters.
Chad’s parents let us drive around his old Jeep (that we just handed over in February, lol), which was icing on the cake. And because of a rise in COVID cases, Chad and I stayed at a hotel in-town. This was a first for us, and we enjoyed an opportunity for a little bit of change.
We packed in a lot of fun in a small window of time. Here are a few of the highs:
- A softball get-together, where a few of us met up and reminisced at the fields
- Grabbing a slice of pizza and garlic knots at Pie-Zans
- Coffee and Firebrand sandwiches with Chad’s family
- A super fun bonfire at the Jackson household
- Riding on the Class of 2012’s float in the parade! We absolutely loved catching up with so many people from Chad’s grade who made it into town. Also, I realized that I’m an excellent coffee thrower, lol. This was the most fun!
- A quick order of hash browns from the W Cafe with friends
- Shopping the Gene Taylor‘s sale – I got myself a cowboy hat
- Heading to the rodeo, where we sipped our beers and watched from a gate. This was one of the better times we’ve gone. Shout out to the barrel racers – our favorite part
- Lunch to-go from Anejos (including a margarita!) with my parents!!!!! It was so nice to see them and the pups
- A really nice reception at the Blackstock Bistro, where we overtook the upstairs floor. It was great seeing everyone and mingling!
- Enjoying a drink from The Dive
- Dancing at the Elk’s Lodge (even though they had a $20 cover, yikes)
- We received some incredible updates from our friend Haley, who was kind enough to watch Wally at home
There was also an incident at the hotel: a semi truck cab parked on the curb caught fire! The Jeep was parked in front of it and sustained some fire damage. That…was an interesting (and maybe unrecommended) twist to our trip. That, and our 7 a.m. flight the next morning after a night out.
Overall, we had the best time just hanging out with amazing people. I loved meeting a few new faces and just shooting the shit with old friends.
I’m not sure when we’ll be back next (well, probably for my own reunion next summer), but I can say with confidence that we made the most out of our trip.
Cheers to Gunnison, the memories of our hometown, and to the class of 2012.