This weekend I’m heading to Estes Park, Colorado to update this picture, taken in July 2000.
I’m going to the 100th year celebration at Cheley Colorado Camps. It was delayed a year due to the pandemic, but it’s been worth the wait.
The camp was founded in 1921 by Frank Cheley. My mother was a camper there in the 1940’s, riding on the train from St. Louis. In 1964, my older brother and I got on the Denver Zephyr at the LaSalle Street station in Chicago. The next morning the train pulled in to Union Station in Denver, and then by bus we went up into the mountains to Estes Park. My brother went off to his camp unit, Trail’s End, while I stayed at the main camp in a unit called Ski Hi (pronounced “Sky High”). I was homesick for about an hour, and then my cabin counselor, Tom Sass, taught me how to pitch horseshoes. All of a sudden I forgot all about going home, and had the best summer of my life: riding horses, hiking through Rocky Mountain National Park, climbing Longs Peak, and making friends that I still have to this day, including Tom.
In 1976 I returned to Cheley as a counselor, first in the youngest boys’ unit, and then back to Ski Hi, where I was the hiking counselor and then assistant director until 1986. And this weekend, I’ll be back among the peaks and pines.
I’m not sure about the internet connection out there — it was spotty the last time I was there in 2015 — but I promise I’ll take lots of pictures and share them with you.