I have written before of my love for camp. Don't confuse this with "camping", as in sleeping in a tent or trailer, cooking outside, and roughing it. I'm talking about church camp, where I went every summer from 3rd grade through high school. Then I was privileged to be a counselor when I was a teacher and had summers free. Then I sent my kids, and now my grandkids.
At our beautiful campground here in Colorado, I spent many years going to missions retreats in October, when it was the most beautiful time of the year up there. It was always hard to head back down that mountain into the valley and "real life" after so much inspiration.
This past week-end was a true mountain-top experience for DC and me as we spent the week-end at Family Camp with my sister and her husband. (Don't you love the hair??)
We really needed a getaway, and didn't know until the last few minutes if it was going to work out or not. But about 4:30 Friday afternoon, we headed down the highway, hoping that we didn't get into too much of a traffic jam with the masses heading for Labor Day fun.
We were not even 15 miles from home, thankfully in the right lane (DC is a very even-tempered, non-competitive driver and doesn't change lanes often). Suddenly the left lane exploded into a disaster - at least 5 cars crashed into each other's trunks, with burning rubber pungent in the air and tires screeching. It was horrific, but we were going fast enough that we have no idea what carnage ended up destroying those families' holiday week-end. We thanked God for protection and continued on our way.
We had no problem getting through Denver, but close to Colorado Springs, the highway narrows into two lanes, and we did maybe 30 mph for an hour until the third lane resumed. In the meantime, it was getting closer and closer to the time of the first chapel service. One of the main reasons we wanted to go was because the speaker is probably our favorite preacher we've ever heard - and believe me, that's saying a lot for two p.k.'s like us!
We arrived at 8:00, one half hour late for the beginning of the service, just in time to hear the end of his introduction of himself to the audience. It is without a doubt that we were there for a reason, because every message, every song were just what we needed. (This is the view we used to see as we sat in chapel services - now they have turned it around so that this view is to your back - probably for a very good reason! Who could concentrate when you could see this??)
There were many young families, large families, diverse families and it was fun to watch them having fun. The four of us went there with one agenda - do nothing but relax, read, walk, rest. And that's what we did. There were so many activities available, but we availed ourselves of only one - the two guys played horseshoes for the first time in a very long time. See the horseshoe at the top of the picture? I love this shot - especially since DC is playing left handed, and he does everything else with his right.
They came very close to winning - lost by 1 point actually. This is our esteemed speaker who was a terrific sport and ended up playing the rest of the afternoon - he was surprised to keep winning.
The accommodations are definitely not 5 star - it IS a camp, after all. The mattress was about six inches of foam on a plywood base - it is somewhat akin to sleeping on the floor. My back just about did me in. But everything else was wonderful.
The aspens were starting to change already.
The mornings are so serene - with tiny wisps of cloud --
In the afternoons, the clouds tend to build up. We didn't have any rain, though.
We did a lot of walking around the awesome property --
There were many beautiful areas of wild flowers - these looked like miniature snapdragons to me.
Next summer we're going to have a family reunion in this beautiful facility.
The other direction was as lovely as the view from the campground. The buildings were built very artistically, and it appears that the town is working very hard to restore them to their original beauty. Most of them had the year 1899 displayed somewhere.
These old mining carts filled with wild flowers were all over the sidewalks.
"When the sun set at the end of Adam's first day, did he know it would rise again? Lying wide-eyed on Eden's grassy carpet, did he stare into the twinkling void, stunned by the glory above? Did he invent song to express the wonder of being alive in such a world? I see Adam, in Charles Wesley's words, 'lost in wonder, love, and praise.'
3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.