Summer at Golden Bell

Our summer here is at an end. It started back in mid-May with our first glimpse of Pikes Peak.

And a week later, our campground looked like this!

This antique trailer used to belong to Mr. Dawson, the man who laid out the RV park, and he donated it when he upgraded to an Airstream. This young woman and her brand new husband came to spend a few nights of their honeymoon here because she is, I believe, the great-granddaughter of Mr. Dawson and she has fond memories of time spent here. She and her mother, I think, were here several years ago. We remembered talking to them then.

For years, the “Dawson mansion” was housing for volunteers who weren’t RV’ers, but in the last few years, it has been transformed into the Dawson RV Trading Post, a little store with ice cream, candy and odds and ends of other supplies. The bathroom had been improperly prepared for winter awhile back and this year LeRoy and Mike took out the tub, broken stool and lavatory. Then they moved on to the kitchen. Next year, we have a new dream in mind for this vintage Hicks camper!

The summer wasn’t without incidents, but fortunately none of them included personal injury to us or our campers. Trailers, tow vehicles and trees took the brunt of them.

Over the years we’ve made good friends with other senior volunteers, but the highlight of our years has been the relationships we’ve built with the college senior staffers. This summer Taylor Rodriguez, now a young Marine sergeant, came to visit with us while he was home from Okinawa to attend a funeral service. It was so good to see how far he’s come from the very quiet but memorable young man he was when we first met him.

We’ve had lots of “favorite” volunteers, but Wayne Reif and his wife Mary hold a special place in our hearts. Mary passed away within the last couple of years but Wayne came back to visit more than once this summer. That man has the best bear hug in existence!

Our favorite visitors always are our family. This year granddaughter Jordan and her family were here in July and we’ll see them again on Wednesday as we go back to Wichita. I imagine Sara will have changed immensely and we’re anxious to hear from Rae about her days at “school”, if we can keep her still long enough to ask. That sweet girl is never still!

Joel Garcia is the director of Golden Bell. We met him and his wife Olivia first in 2014 when he was the facilities director and their older three children were infants and toddlers. We have had the privilege of spending time with those three this summer, as well as the two younger ones. Daniel is a teenager and works in the kitchen. I don’t have a picture of him. It’s been a while since we’ve had little bitty grandkids and these are so fun. This is what happens when Zoey has access to my phone!

Jacob is a real helper. One day he even helped a single woman put up her tent in the rain.

The Garcias believe in putting their kids to work early! I couldn’t help grabbing a picture when I saw Joshua trying to push the sweeper. He will be a year old this month and he is a sweetie, always has a smile for everyone.

Miss Sophia was occasionally a Disney princess and always a drama queen!

As usual, God provides some of the best things each summer. We’ve had snow, lots of rain, grauppel, and even hail this summer. Thunder storms, too. This double rainbow was about the brightest I’ve ever seen.

Not all God’s provisions are scenery, though. This is one of our campground kids from last year being baptized after recommitting her life to Christ as a counselor in training this summer.

Earlier in the summer, Loren and Vicki Duerre from Idaho came to volunteer for a month. Vicki had to go home due to family obligations after that time, but Loren stayed a couple more weeks. They were so easy to get along with and we hope they come back again.

So that about rounds out the summer. This weekend was the family camp for the Colorado District of the Church of the Nazarene and tomorrow morning’s breakfast is the last hurrah. Our co-hosts, Mike and Gloria Newsom, will be leaving tomorrow morning. They’re just the kind of volunteers we need, younger and ready to serve. They make great camp hosts, easy to talk to and not afraid of much.

We’re mostly ready to go as far as our RV is concerned. We’ll just have to gather everything up from the RV park and take it back to the lodge office and we’ll be ready to hit the road Tuesday. See you down the road!

About 2010liberty

Retirement agrees with us! After traveling in our 40' Silver Eagle bus conversion, whose name was Liberty, since 2010, it was time for a change. Now we spend the winter in Yuma, AZ and travel during the spring, summer and fall setting the Pace!
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