Blog Four, Dates: July 29 – September 30, 2022
Isaiah 54:10 “For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed.”
We returned to Dallas from Hawaii on early morning Wednesday, July 27 with time for a few days to wash all the laundry, shop for our bulk purchases at Sam’s Club and repack for our return trip to Creede.
Friday, July 29, we drove straight through all day and returned to Creede at approximately 11 pm. Our youngest daughter Amanda, who was staying in our RV to dog sit while we were in Hawaii, was scheduled to go back to Dallas the next day on Saturday morning and then later that afternoon on the same day, July 30, the Bockoven boys (son-in-law Karl, grandsons Parker, and Blake) were scheduled to arrive.
Bockoven’s Visit: On Sunday, Parker and Karen went to Alpine Ministries’ church service held in the RV park’s Elk’s Lodge where Derold Zimmerman (the owner of Mountain Views RV Resort) was scheduled to give his testimony. Derold’s testimony had been advertised on the Resort’s bulletin board and an email was sent out to the lessees which in turn brought in a full house with standing room only. His testimony started with his growing up in a Christian home and the strong relationship he had with his youth director during his teenage years. He spoke about how in his early adult years, he strayed away from the Lord for a time. His testimony covered his journey from childhood through his recent rare stroke that he suffered in late 2021. Hearing Derold’s testimony and also thinking about the many good people we have met in this park assures us that we made a good decision in purchasing our Mountain Views RV lot.
There were five of us and we only had a 2-seater Side-by-Side UTV (SxS). We knew this might be a problem since taking trail rides is one of the most fun things to do in Creede. Fortunately, one of our great neighbors allowed us to borrow his 2-seater SxS which Karen and Parker drove. Karl and Blake drove our Kawasaki KRX 1000 SxS and Bill rode along with Terry, another friend in the park, in his KRX SxS. We were able to take a ride up the trail through Creede known as Bachelor’s Loop and from there we continued on up to the Continental Divide. It was one of a few rides that worked out during the week they were visiting without us needing to rent a SxS that runs approximately $500 a day.
The Bear’s Lodge is a gathering place for people in the Resort. They sell ice cream in the evenings and they have a pool table and other tables set up for guests to play games. Parker and Blake met the grandchildren of the owner’s family who come every year and work in the Resort at various jobs. A few of them, Spencer and Wyatt, who were about Parker’s age were handling the ice cream sales and the four boys became friends. There was a younger brother, Holden, who was a little younger than Blake. On Monday and Thursday evenings several ladies meet up at the Bear’s Lodge and play dominoes (Mexican Train). The boys would go play with their friends while Karen played dominoes with the ladies. One evening after the ice cream shop closed, all five went outside and played for quite some time. Blake said it was one of his funniest times.
Another all-day ride we were able to take while the Bockovens were visiting worked out because friends offered to take them in their 4-seater SxS while Bill and Karen rode their own KRX 2-seater. It was so much fun riding along with such a big group. We started early morning, driving the SxSs to Antler’s Riverside Resort for breakfast out on the patio over the Rio Grande River. After breakfast it was riding on up to Love Lake, then past Love Lake to Copper Creek Falls. This was our first time doing this ride and it was amazingly beautiful. There were several SxS vehicles on the ride and at one point friends Gary and Lisa, one of the 4-seater couples, made Parker very, very happy with they offered to let him drive theirs. Karl and Blake continued to ride with our other friend Terry in his 4-seater. Karen had already let Parker drive our 2-seater down Bachelor’s Loop, so this was his second time to drive.
Unfortunately, we experienced our first flat tire while on this ride. We were warned by a couple following us that the back tire appeared to be flat, it was leaking air quickly and needed to be fixed while on the trail ride. A very large nail (more like a 8″ spike) was found in the tire. Fortunately, we had everything we needed to fix it and there was plenty of other riders willing to help show Bill how to do a SxS flat repair.
The same day, that evening, we were invited to do a ride up to Hot Dog Hill, a mountainside where a large group of friends drive their SxSs, bring chairs, and cook hot dogs out on an open fire. It’s beautiful scenery, but mainly just a time to get together and visit. The boys brought their football, tossed it between themselves, roasted marshmallows and we all had a great time.
Creede has an informational Mining Museum Creede Underground Mining Museum and Community Center where we took the boys. The unique museum was enjoyable and informational and we all enjoyed it. They offer a few different types of tours; we selected the self-guided one where we were provided headsets and a tape recording that described each of the exhibits. Although underground, it was never a real mine, rather local miners dug and created several tunnels that were created specifically to show visitors samples of equipment and techniques to educate how mining was done.
The boys enjoy playing Rummikub, and the five of us played a couple of rounds. Karen won one of the games, and Blake played strategic and very well to win the second game!
Creede does not offer much in shopping. There are a few souvenir shops, but the boys could not find anything they wanted. So we decided to drive to Pagosa Springs which is about the same distance as Alamosa where we usually go to make our monthly Walmart runs. The Platoro SxS trail is on the way to Pagosa Springs and we stopped to make a short drive up a portion of the trail that is drivable in a truck. Bill and Karen had visited Pagosa Springs several years ago with Cathy and Dean (sister and brother-in-law) and we caught several trout behind the Chamber of Commerce. This time, we walked around all the downtown shops, the boys looked for souvenirs, and we had a nice lunch. On our return trip back to Creede, we stopped at a scenic roadside to see Treasure Falls. There was a hiking trail up to the foot of the falls that Parker wanted to take, but it was late afternoon. The hike was ¼ mile with an elevation gain of over 300 feet with an estimated time to hike of about 35-45 minutes. Unfortunately, we were all tired and no one wanted to take the hike with him.
On the last full day of the Boys’ visit, we took them to tour the Last Chance Mine Last Chance Mine – An 1891 silver mine with rock and mineral collecting, and a museum. Unlike the Mining Museum that we visited earlier; this is a real mine. The road to the Last Change Mine is easily accessible by a vehicle, although it is recommended to have 4-wheel drive. Bill and Karen visited the Last Chance Mine last year but had not taken the guided tour. We were very fortunate that our guide was Jack Morris, chief miner and owner/developer of the Last Chance Mine. Jack tells a very interesting story of how he acquired the mine and how he developed it for tourists to learn about the mining industry that was prevalent in Creede. Following the tour of the mine, the boys were provided large buckets, and a hammer, and directed to an area on the property where visitors can dig for rocks. You collect your rocks, take them to one of the staff who goes through your collection, explaining what is in your rock(s), and then weighs the ones you want to keep. You pay $2 per pound for your keepers. If there are some that aren’t really very valuable, they often just give you those for free. Karl and Bill enjoyed assisting the boys in their rock finds, and the boys had a very good time.
Our last day ended with a game of Bingo at the Elk’s Lodge. None of us won, but we all had a great time! It was a full week of fun that seemed to have flown by.
Lester & Margaret Hutson, our former Pastor from Houston Visit: They were in the area to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary, staying in South Fork. While they were in the Creede area, they visited us at our campsite on Sunday, August 21 which was a great time spent even if for just a few hours. Antlers Resort is a place they have been coming to for many years to vacation. They became lifelong good friends with Jim Davis, the original owner of Antlers. Bro. Hutson kept his promise to Jim and conducted Mr. Davis’ funeral at the VA Cemetery in Dallas this past summer.
Lester is an avid fly fisherman and told a wonderful story of the time he and Leland Lanier (another former pastor) were here on a fly fishing trip, it was the last trip he made with the Laniers as Bro. Lanier passed away shortly after their trip. Bill took a photo of the Hutsons, unfortunately, there was a malfunction and we did not have a photo of their visit with us in Creede.
Annual Headwater’s Music Festival: The Headwater’s Music Festival is held each year in August the weekend before Labor Day. Bill started helping out last year and was recruited to help again this year. We both were included in one of the planning meetings where there was an agenda listing a couple of pages of things that needed to be done to set up as well as tear down the day after the festival. On the Friday night before the festival, we were co-hosts for a dinner with the Holts. This year we were honored to have the 4th Infantry Division Band from Fort Carson, Colorado, join us for the dinner. Following dinner, they performed a “free” concert at the Elk’s Lodge for all of Mountain View RV Resort. It was very good and enjoyed by everyone. The Ft. Carson band was also the opening act on the music line-up for the Music Festival on Saturday.
On Sunday afternoon’s last day of the Festival, there was a surprise sudden downpour of heavy rain and sleet that very quickly dropped the temperatures to very cold. Many attendees left, but we stayed along with many die-hard music fans who stayed through the final performance.
Beth & Chuck Ewing: Our good friends Beth and Chuck Ewing from our neighborhood back at Twin Creeks Allen,TX arrived for their couple of days’ visit in time to catch the afternoon Music Festival. They also got to enjoy the sleet and cold where Beth and Karen were both freezing in sandals that had been appropriate for the beautiful early part of the day.
The Ewings and Smiths later joined the group of volunteers for dinner at Antlers following the Festival Sunday evening. A good time was had by all who attended. Beth and Chuck were staying a few nights at Antlers.
The Ewings rented a SxS for one day, so we took them on a full day’s ride up Bachelors Loop. We stopped at Last Chance Mine and walked around, but they did not take a tour. Following our ride, they came to our campsite where we cooked out and enjoyed the evening around our fire-pit.
What a wonderful full season in Creede, Colorado this year. There have been nice visits by family and friends. Out next and last blog will be posted in the next 3-4 weeks as we wind down for the 2022 season.