Party on!

We started this week with Fathers’ Day and in our family, if Fathers’ Day comes, can LeRoy’s birthday be far behind? Sometimes it is even the same day, so LeRoy gets only one present for both. This year was worse because so far, he didn’t get any! We’re going shopping tomorrow and I’m sure he’ll get his share.

One of the other volunteers, Judy Foster, has a birthday on June 19 and since LeRoy’s is the 21st, we had one big party on Tuesday night with two cakes and homemade ice cream. Any reason for food, we’ll take it! I wasn’t fast enough to get a picture of LeRoy’s carrot cake before the hungry crowd hit, but this is what we took home.

One of the things about this volunteer group that we love is how easily we laugh together. When we are together, there is a positive atmosphere and lots of fun. Most of us have worked together here for a minimum of 2 to 3 years and it hasn’t always been this way. Christian friends are priceless!

The younger couple next to me on the front row are Mark and Charlotte Callister. Mark is the Facilities Manager/Chaplain for Golden Bell and Charlotte is the Volunteer Coordinator, our “mother hen”, trying to keep all her chicks together and headed in the right direction. What a job she has, trying to herd retired people who aren’t used to having a boss any more! I hope we serve well, no matter how much grief we give her.

Yesterday was our last day off for the week (we work three days on and three days off with Max and Paula Reser, the couple on the left end of the front row), so we decided check out what was going on in the area. We’ve been coming to Teller County since in the 1970s and we enjoyed Cripple Creek before the casinos came in. Cripple Creek is the home of the Molly Kathleen gold mine where we have toured with grandkids and the present day donkeys that run wild in town are descendants of the donkeys that were used in mines in the area. (This year, there are two babies, the first in several years, but we didn’t see them.) Donkey Derby Days celebration was going on this weekend. That much hasn’t changed. It still includes a small-town parade with horses, Shriners, military groups and veterans. This year, there was even a Huey helicopter on a trailer. The rodeo queens are still young and beautiful, even though the town itself is little more than one casino after another now. Bennett St. is the parade route and the main street through town. It was crowded with vendor booths for several blocks.

In the midst of the casinos, one sign stands out as a remnant of the tourist town that was.

The general store is always packed with people looking for shirts, souvenirs, fudge and most importantly, ice cream. We rarely buy anything else, but seldom do we pass on ice cream! LeRoy chose the rum raisin and I got the salted caramel. Yummy! The sign refers to 2 mile high ice cream cones because the altitude is about 9400 feet, pushing two miles high. Well, that and the cones can be piled astronomically high as well!

Before last year, our RV park here only had one host couple and they parked in the host site. Now that there are two, we have to change the sign for the check-in site when we trade off. Last year, we were able to use the little trailer that is a part of the park as an office, but this year there is a volunteer staying in it, so LeRoy and Max have been lobbying for a shed to use for check-in. This week LeRoy, with the help of another volunteer and a truck, was able to move the old stable shed from what was the corral area and begin remaking it to hold the Funyaks at the pond. Once that is accomplished, the current Funyak shed will come to the RV park. LeRoy is loving this project!

We’re looking forward to having company this week. Heidi and her youngest daughter Jadelyn will be coming to stay a few days and soak up cool before heading back to Kansas. Can’t wait!

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