Tuesday, January 6, 2015

MOUNTAIN CAMPING

One of my goals in 2015 is to organize the 100-plus years of family pictures.  This seems to be my goal every year.  The problem is I get side-tracked, and never seem to accomplish completely the task.  I love finding the tie that binds our generations together, and get so involved that nothing gets really organized!  Here's an example of how my brain is all over the place when I am trying to organize those photos:

My great-grandparents loved to go camping in the mountains every chance they had.  
 I suppose camping in those days was not much different from living at home -- no indoor plumbing and cooking on a wood stove.  However, it was much cooler in the summer mountains than on the hot, arid Colorado plains.

My mother was raised by these grandparents, so she was well acquainted with camping.  She never complained about anything; but I don't think she was as enthused about it as my dad.  He was raised in a family of sheep and cattle ranchers, so he knew about camping-out as a part of rigorous labor.  But, he also enjoyed going camping as a social activity and showing off to friends and their families his considerable culinary skills on an open fire.
Fancy duds for social camping in the 1940s.  My mother on the left in both pictures; my dad on the right in first picture.
I reluctantly was taken along on these social excursions to the mountains.  On one particular trip, I must have been a really obnoxious 11-year-old complaining about the lack of comfort and facilities.  After a couple days of my complaining, Mother packed me up into the car and drove into Leadville, Colorado.  She secured me a room at the venerable Vendome Hotel; generously tipped the desk clerk; arranged for room service; gave me a sack of coins to play the pinball machine in the lobby; LEFT ME; and she went back to the camp site for the remaining two days.  I had a wonderful time alone and remember every detail of that corner room on the second floor.  Today she probably would be arrested for abandonment; but she taught me a very important survival skill ---- a nice hotel trumps a dirty camp site any day!!

  In 1967, Bob and I were planning a road trip to Saskatchewan, Canada.  He wanted to camp out in Prince Albert National Park.  I thought, "OK, I'm a married adult, I can compromise, I can do this."  Being the smart man that he is -- before we left home, he outfitted the back end of our Chevy Suburban with a mattress.  Since I was in the first trimester of a pregnancy, all I wanted to do was sleep anyway!  
Don't we look like we're having fun?  I hope I didn't complain too much, but that is the only time he has suggested we go camping out in the wild in the 56 years of our marriage.

BUT, we sure have stayed at a bunch of nice hotels over the years.  Have you ever stayed at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs or the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver?  Now, that's my idea of mountain camping!

I'm joining the following:
Coastal Charm for Show and Share Tuesday
Kathe With An E for You're Gonna Love It Tuesday
A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Be Different Act Normal for Show and Tell Saturdays

2 comments:

SmilingSally said...

Hi Sally,

My idea of camping is exactly like yours! I prefer nice hotel rooms.

Jann Olson said...

Oh my gosh Sally, I am dying laughing over your mom taking you to a hotel. lol! I was quite a tomboy growing up and dearly loved camping. When our older kids were young we did lots of camping because that was about the only entertainment we could afford. It use to be cheap. Not so much anymore. Our youngest daughter was 8 or so before she ever went camping because we mostly stayed in hotels after she was born. She dearly loves the outdoors and getting dirty. I still love to camp, but we don't do it very much. Thanks for sharing this fun story with SYC
hugs,
Jann