Without much enthusiasm, Josh asked if I wanted to check out the Red Rocks detour. Sure, I replied, why not. So we turned our little rental car left onto the dirt road intended to take its travelers to Red Rocks. But we never made it. Instead we were derailed by the most glorious mud bath ever.
A mud bath.
Elephants, of course.
Less than 100 yards in from the main tarred road, a herd of elephants were leisurely enjoying a mid-day spa treatment, happily rolling in a shallow mud hole. The youngsters playfully pushed their brethren into the brown liquid, tumbling over each other with all the grace of drunken sumo wrestlers. The adults sucked up mud in their trunks and stoically spewed it out onto their backs, flanks, undercarriages, and even right in their own faces.
The bathing went on. And on. And on. With what seemed to be no end in sight to a truly entertaining show.
A baby tries to get in the mud while a few mid-size elephants roll underfoot of a large mama elephant.
Until one by one, the mid-sized elephants wandered off to nibble the surrounding grasses. Followed by the juveniles, sticking close to their mamas. And then last, but certainly not least, the big males left the mud hole to chomp on the nearby trees, ably breaking off branches and striping their leaves asunder.
And so we headed on our way. Ultimately deciding that the elephant spa day was much better than anything we might see at Red Rocks, prompting us to make a languid u-turn and continue our journey north.