Egg hunters keep eyes on prize |

Egg hunters keep eyes on prize

Amanda Holt MillerWestern Garfield County Staff
Post Independent Photo/Kelley Cox

Sara McCafferty, 6, practices hunting eggs year-round. This year she hoped to find the golden egg at the annual Glenwood Caverns Easter Egg Hunt. Caverns employees and Easter bunnies planted five large golden eggs among 1,500 smaller plastic ones filled with candy and toys. Each golden egg contained an annual pass to the Iron Mountain Tramway and Glenwood Caverns for a family or individual.Sara hunted eggs at the caverns last year, and went home with plenty of candy but no golden egg.”I want it. I want it. I want it,” Sarah chanted as she jumped up and down in line for the tram. “This year we have to get the golden egg.”Sara devised a foolproof strategy for capturing her prize.”I’ll point and tell somebody to go over there, when the egg is really the other way. When they start walking, I’ll go over and get it,” Sara said as her blond hair bounced up and down on her shoulders again. “I’ll get it. I’ll get it. I’ll get it!”Sara turned to consult with her redheaded cohort, Sarah Barca, 7, who seemed to have a calm confidence they would find something good at the top of the tram. Dressed in a purple Easter dress and carrying a basket with a furry bunny face on one side and furry bunny feet on the other, Sarah didn’t say much. She came from Eagle with her mom, Linda Barca, for her first ride on the tramway.The girls used most of their time waiting in line to strategize with their mothers. Sara’s mom, Beth McCafferty, suggested the girls go to the far end of the hunting grounds at the start of the event and work their way back toward the tram landing.The McCaffertys make regular trips to the Glenwood Caverns on the Iron Mountain Tramway. They have a pass and rode the tram free Sunday.Sara said she hunted eggs on her birthday, March 1, last year.”It doesn’t have to be Easter for us to hunt eggs,” Beth said as she boarded the tram. “We’ll do it any day of the year.” She said a family friend has plastic eggs at her house and the hunt is on every time they visit.For practice, Linda and Sarah played “I spy” on the car ride from Eagle.”That was to help with our ‘eagle eye,’ strategy,” Linda said.Sara asked the couple sitting across from her on the tram if they planned to hunt for Easter eggs. Jeff Pinkal, visiting from Denver, said the couple had an Easter egg hunt of their own that morning in the hotel room.”There was an extra special egg with an engagement ring inside,” Pinkal said.Pinkal and Kelly Couch decided to tie the knot just before heading out to explore the Glenwood Caverns Sunday morning. The couple met on a blind date arranged by Pinkal’s grandmother and Couch’s mother, who met each other at church. “I had some idea this was coming,” Couch said. “But I was surprised.”Pinkal hid plastic eggs containing messages and candy. One of the messages said to “open the green egg.” Pinkal said the green egg was missing. He had to present it to Couch, which he did on bended knee.Pinkal is a software engineer and Couch teaches first grade.”I’m in the first grade,” Sara said as she stood and raised her hand toward the roof of the tram.The crowd clambered off the tram right into the egg hunt, which was already under way. Sara and Sarah searched along the paths and behind the Glenwood Caverns sign, where Sara said she remembered one of the golden eggs was hidden last year.”They only found one egg between the two of them,” Beth said. It was blue, with pink and yellow polka dots and had a piece of candy inside. They arrived after the hunting grounds were mostly cleared.Between 150 and 200 kids searched for eggs Sunday morning, said Ken Murphy, operations manager. He said people lined up for the trams as early as 9 a.m.”We delayed the start as long as we could because there were still a lot of people at the bottom of the hill,” Murphy said. “But you can’t keep kids at bay for long.”The hunt started shortly after 11 a.m. Murphy said Caverns staff hid a few extra eggs later for some of the kids who missed the main event.Fortunately, a couple of kids who had much better luck than Sara and Sarah overheard the McCaffertys and Barcas lamenting their tardy arrival at the top. Alex Brown, 6, and Sidnie Ferguson, 4, dropped handfuls of plastic eggs into Sara and Sarah’s baskets.”It was really nice of people to give the girls their eggs since they didn’t find any,” Linda said.”It’s the rule,” said Deborah Brown, Alex’s mother.Alex found one of the golden eggs.”It was in the Coke machine,” he said.Deborah had just renewed her family pass for the Iron Mountain Tramway that morning. She wasn’t sure what they would do with the pass – maybe offer it to Alex’s grandparents, who visit from Craig, she said.Linda and Beth had their pictures taken with the Easter bunny. Sara and Sarah collected candy from the bunny and agreed they would have better luck next year.

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