Each September thousands of Braveheart wannabes descend on Estes Park. Our reporter checks it out in search of his own roots.
The United States is the Earth’s great melting pot, a place where hundreds of ethnic, religious, and political groups can coexist and integrate peacefully. Though far from any major port, or easy access to foreign lands, Colorado likewise has a decent mixture of interesting folks from faraway places.
That America is such a tremendous milieu of peoples regularly leaves many citizens in a quandary with regard to their roots. When the family tree demands that you describe yourself in increments of one-sixteenth, it’s tough to not have a wee identity crisis.
I’d long thought I had it figured out. Owning a name comprised of the titles of three Scottish septs (Cameron, Murdoch, and Burns), I thought I could at least label myself Scots-Irish, that handy catch-all title that means you’re pasty white (though often brightly reddened by the Colorado sun), and the ancestors you know about came from Britain or Eire. Yes, I thought I had it all figured out until I went digging for my Scottish roots in Estes Park.