Tuesday, April 4, 2023

C is for Continental Divide

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter C

Our family doesn't take a lot of big vacations. We are lucky enough to have access to my parents' lake house on Lake Taneycomo in Branson, Missouri, so that's where we have spent most of our vacation time over the years. Every few years, however, we would take an actual trip, and in 2009, when my son had just turned 14 and my daughter was 10, we took a vacation to Rocky Mountain National Park.

We stayed in an adorable cottage on a stream that was built (and decorated) in the late 1940s that was a short drive to the RMNP. We had several excursions planned during our stay, including hikes and exploring Estes Park, and the first full day we devoted to driving the length of Trail Ridge Road.

This road was built in 1931 and covers 48 miles from Estes Park on the east to Grand Lake on the west. The road winds through the tundra, reaching elevations over 12,000 feet, and provides spectacular views of mountains and wildlife. There are many places to pull off and explore further, and one of these places happened to be access to the Continental Divide.

If you aren't familiar, the Continental Divide, where water drainage (as in streams, rivers, and run-off) on one side flow to the Atlantic Ocean and on the other side, to the Pacific Ocean. Eventually.

My son was fascinated by this and told us several times before and during the trip that he planned to pee on the Continental Divide so half of his pee would go to the Atlantic and half to the Pacific. Eventually. We all had a good laugh about the thought of it and that was that.

That was NOT that.

Little did we realize that my son did not pee when he got up that morning. And he didn't the entire morning of our drive and he didn't when we stopped for lunch. 

When we arrived at the Continental Divide in the early afternoon, it was fairly crowded. Tourists were taking pictures in front of the sign, and we had to wait our turn to snap a photo. I got one of the kids posing next to the sign, and then I said, "Hey, Kyle, stand behind the sign and pretend you're peeing on the Continental Divide!"

As I took the picture, I heard a woman exclaim, "That boy is PEEING!" and when I moved the camera to see who she was talking about, I looked in horror at the puddle forming in front of my son's feet as he stood behind the sign.

The woman and her travel companions were loudly talking about how disgusting an action it was and I heard one of them use the words "park ranger".

"Run to the car!" I cried, and we all hustled to the parking area, jumped in the car, and took off before my son was apprehended.

"WHAT DID YOU THINK YOU WERE DOING?!" we shouted at him, and he calmly replied, "I TOLD you I was going to pee on the Continental Divide. I'd been saving my pee all day."


A couple of notes:

*I've been on Blogger for 11 years and never noticed the smiley face on the Blogger toolbar until today.

*The reason I even saw the smiley face was because I googled "how to make an accent mark in Blogger" so I could type the word "touché" correctly and found a tutorial.

*I feel really stupid for all the times I have used :) instead of 😊

*The 14 year old who peed in a national park is now a physician.

*He would do the same thing again today, given the chance.


  1. Omgoodness that’s hilarious 😂

  2. Well done to your son for an excellent imagination.

    1. He spent way too much time imagining how far his pee could go, I fear!

  3. Replies
    1. I just wish he'd picked a more private place for his little experiment!