Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Vacation Day 5-I'm home

And now back to our regularly scheduled blog postings.

After our rafting trip we'd driven to Boulder to spend the night and to see Ashley. Her grandfather was in town for a high school reunion and we were lucky enough to get a room in the same hotel as them. Sadly her brother wouldn't allow us to have much time with her. He said that since they were on a 'family' vacation she needed to go sit in the room with him and watch him play video games. Sigh.... We treasured the two hours we had though. After a quick breakfast, pictures of the awesome view,and teary goodbyes, we headed down the highway to my part of the state.

Growing up with parents that both worked, and then divorced the summer before 5th grade, I spent my summers living with my grandparents. My Dad's parents lived in the NW part of Oklahoma and my Mom's parents lived in the Woodland Park/Divide area outside Colorado Springs. While living with them in the cute RV park they started volunteering at a Nazarene campground a few miles up the mountain. Grandpa being a carpenter was exactly what the camp director needed! A year or two later and they were living at the campground.

The campground hosted family and children's camps during the summers. That meant a lot of workers were needed. It was staffed by older volunteers and college students. Not just any college students, those that attended one of the eight Nazarene colleges. I was inducted into their group as sort of a mascot. After a while the powers that be decided that I was an untapped helper and shortly after my name was added to the worker list.

I loved it! I happily washed dishes, served drinks or food, hauled trash, and cleaned bathrooms. As I proved myself with those tasks they let me teach archery, riflery, rappelling, and go on tubing trips. After a few years I decided to move out of my grandparents RV and into the girls bunkhouse. I then started actually 'hanging out' with the college kids. Going to movies, out to eat, and on hiking trips. One of my favorite places in the whole world to go wasJosh and John's ice cream.

I am not a fan of homemade ice cream. But when the car goes there and you're in the car, you go. I'm so glad I tried it. I fell in love.

Every time I'm in town I have to go there. We left Boulder and I only had one thing on my mind.

The location has changed but everything still looks the same.

The menu,the cow trash can,the ice cream makers,and the wooden spoon in my Cookies and Cream.Now the vacation could continue. I'd had my ice cream.

Having lived in the area for 10 summers I know the roads, landmarks, and curves by heart. But my favorite thing is when I can finally see my mountain. Pikes Peak.Hello old friend.

As we pulled off the highway onto the County Road my heart started racing.

When I finally saw this I got teary eyed.But wait, what was this? They have done some remodeling to the lodge. It looks incredible!After a talk with the camp director about my history there that bored my sweet children to tears, we headed down the road to our room at the Chalet.

But my excitement faded when I saw this.Don't get me wrong, it's nice, but where were we supposed to put the three girls? Shawn made a phone call back to the lodge and asked if we could get another room close by of the same size. Instead we were offered a bigger room that had just been vacated. If we didn't mind making our own beds, it could be ours.

As we walked in we saw this.Hello, I'd make all the beds on the property for this!This is the view from the girls bedroom.Here's where they slept.With a full kitchen, two separate bathrooms, and that view,we said YES!!!

We settled in quickly and grabbed our bikes for a short ride around the property. Every inch of the place has a memory for me. My grandpa built so many things there. The RV park was our first stop. He and my grandma built it from nothing.

As we set off the afternoon rain shower started and we saw this. What a blessed place Golden Bell is! It has its own rainbow:)The pavilion in the RV park. My grandpa built it, but yours truly helped pour and smooth out the concrete floor. Sure wish I'd signed it.The slots for the tents or RV's are as unimposing as can be. The feel of nature is still there. Grandpa and Grandma knew what they were doing.And hello, there's my mountain. Even the backside of it is amazing.After a quick stop at Inspiration Point, we were off again.We passed the amphitheatreand the bath house. I could feel Grandpa's presence. I'm teary now just looking at the pictures.After a game of putt putt that I'm sure I won...
we stopped at the chapel,and the gym that still has that mustard colored carpet.I also helped with this concrete. It was one of my favorite jobs in all 7 years. After it was smoothed five of us got to guard it for the evening. We played cards, talked for hours, and carved our names into the left edge. I was so excited to see that! But I quickly got upset to see that this was new concrete. Wonder if they carefully sawed around our names and saved it somewhere on the ranch. I'll have to e-mail and ask that.When we got back to the Chalet we found these two ladies waiting for us.They stayed around for a while but when we started building our bonfire, they left.

All of Shawn's Cub Scouts skills came into play.Soon we were grilling our dinnerand dessert.I felt like I was back home. I couldn't wait for the next day to continue my walk down memory lane.


Alisa said...

I love Colorado Springs- I am sad we did not make it out there this summer
I lived there for 2 years on my own, and LOVED every minute of it!
Jay's family still lives there, and I have that same feeling as you whenever we drive in. Its like going home!
Glad you had such a wonderful trip!

Jennifer said...

How cool is that ice cream shop. I love home-made ice cream!...and the cow trash can...too cute!!

Jeremy and Melanie said...

I'm teary eyed too...thanks for the memories!

Cozyflier said...

Good memories girl! I'll have to tell you your other grandmas version of these summers some day!