Archive for September, 2011

Rubies and Flowers and Camping

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

The Modernism Show was smaller than last year. I especially missed Steve Cambronne’s work, as he didn’t attend this year. On Friday night, my youngest daughter competed for Miss Modernism but didn’t place. Still, it was nice that some of the audience told her they thought she should have won. The winner, Gracie Stein, is a nice gal though and even posed by the door of my Airstream.

The show seems to always run through August 28th, my wedding anniversary. This year was our 40th. That number is hard to imagine, but then so is the thought that we now have eight grandchildren. Rubies represent forty years and that is what Patrice got, along with my tradition of a rose for each year.

We celebrated by having coffee and cake with some of our friends at the show, Jim Cooper, Luke Bernander, Jim Lane, Chris Hildenbrand, Kim and Harry Truitt. My daughter, Molly, came with three of her six children in tow.

When the show ended at three o’clock, we simply continued west on I-70 with the Globe Trotter and camped in Golden Gate State Park for two nights. The park is well used but taken a little for granted. It is just a few miles north of the mountain gambling town of Blackhawk and so is convenient from the Denver area. Traffic is heavy from Golden to Blackhawk because of all the gamblers, but the park itself is a quiet hidden gem, populated with aspens and lodge pole pines. The campground has long pull-through sites, but the most level are the back-in sites. They are electric only, but there is a very nice new dump station.

Golden Gate State Park

No, this is not how many couples would celebrate their fortieth, but it was an opportunity for us to spend a cozy and private two days together without any distractions. Patrice was happy with that, and when she’s happy, I’m happy.

The park has numerous hiking trails and I took one listed as “moderate” on impulse. I’d told Patrice I was just going for a walk around the campground, but instead thought the two and a half mile trail wouldn’t be much harder or require any preparation. It’s been awhile since I’ve taken a hike and forgot safety. In my mind, I didn’t think it would be all that much more difficult than my daily walk around Heather Gardens. I should have let Patrice know where I was going. I should have taken water. I should have been wearing better footwear.

At first, the trail was easy, but it quickly became quite steep and covered with loose stones. I passed some hikers who were returning, but after that, I was alone. I suddenly realized that I was breaking all the rules. It was only a few hours till sunset to boot and the thought occurred to me that if I tripped or fell and injured myself, I could easily become one of those foolish flatlander tourists that make the news from time to time, needing search and rescue. The irony is that I had a pack with everything I was supposed to have back in the trailer.

Fortunately, the weather was great, and I made it to Panorama Point without too much difficultly, but from there I walked a short distance over to the road and took that back to the campground instead of the much more difficult trail. Still, I know what I did was stupid. I really do know better.

Patrice and I - together since we were teenagers.

About the Author

Hi, my name is Forrest McClure. I've been writing for the magazine since its inception. My wife and I travel with our 1966 20' Globe Trotter or our 1986 32' Excella. So, my primary interest is vintage travel trailers.