We’ve been busy with volunteer work all during July, so we haven’t done much away from Golden Bell except for some trips to Colorado Springs. We are, however, enjoying cool days and even cooler nights, which is really the reason we come to Teller County. The scenery is beautiful and the weather is just about perfect. Even work isn’t so bad when the temperature is in the 70s!
LeRoy has had a lot of variety in his work this year. He has been a mechanic, a painter, a gardener and a mower, among other things. He really likes the guys he works with and for and there’s never a dull moment. I’ve spent most of my days doing laundry and while it’s tiring, it isn’t really difficult. I’ve already been forewarned that there will be an abundance of laundry this coming week, because the lodge has been in use all weekend with a very large family reunion and a church retreat. When the governor wouldn’t allow overnight camps throughout the shutdown, they had to get creative to keep income flowing so they began day camps for children of essential workers. That has been pretty successful but now that it’s about time for school to start, either in the classroom or virtually, day camp will end in two weeks. The last residential camp was over Friday and the summer staffers have started going home, so we’re about to get really quiet. Tonight all the volunteers and summer staffers, along with the paid staff members, are celebrating with a chuckwagon meal.
One night this week, we went into Woodland Park and ate at a new-to-us restaurant, Southern Lilly. Their special for the evening was Crawfish Boil, so we split the large one. It was a beautiful, tasty meal and the crawfish were huge. No pictures of the blackberry cobbler baked on a little cast iron skillet and topped with ice cream, we just dove in and ate it all!
There is a little brown vintage travel trailer here in the RV park that has affectionately been known as the Dawson Mansion. Far from a mansion, it has provided living space for volunteers in the past, even though the pipes were so leaky that the tub and sinks were stained with rust, the bed was awful and the furnishings were uncomfortable. This year, the new camp management decided that we needed a little store here to sell the things campers forgot, as well as candy and ice cream. We think it’s the best use for this little place yet! Since I’m usually finished for the day in the laundry by 1 or 1:30 and the store is only open for a couple of hours in the afternoon, I am taking care of the store Monday through Thursday. There’s too much light to get a good picture, but you get the idea.
We also have RV supplies and grocery supplies. I have a hard time believing anyone would go on a weekend camping trip without some of these things, but I suppose it could happen. What do we sell most? Ice cream and ice, with candy thrown in as an afterthought. I haven’t been in the store since Thursday, so I’m not sure what this weekend’s campers thought they couldn’t live without!
We’re starting to make plans for our departure in just under 3 weeks. I think the volunteers are all leaving at about the same time, give or take a week. The paid staff has already started doing the housekeeping chores that the summer staff has done, so even though the rest of us can drive away, their work goes on. They deserve a rest and I’m sure they’ll get one sooner or later, but the camp is also a conference center that runs all year round, so I’m sure it will be brief and staggered.
Since it rains about every afternoon, I thought I’d leave you with a picture one of the Kansas summer staffers took. It pretty much sums up how so many people feel about Golden Bell.