Coming down from a Rocky Mountain high – Part I

“Sold,” the auctioneer shouted. “Number 148.”

Oh My Gosh! That’s me!

Jim usually takes the bull-by-the-horns at events such as this but he had momentarily left the table and I was definitely interested in this item on the auction block.

The bantering had been fast and furious and when it stopped, I was the highest bidder on a three-day-four-night stay in a three bedroom, three bathroom condominium in Keystone, Colorado.

John Muir (1838-1914), the Scottish born American environmentalist, naturalist, traveler, writer and scientist who thought nature was a primary source revealing the character of God once said:

“Keep close to nature’s heart, yourself, and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”

Already I was dreaming of climbing a mountain and cleansing my soul in the unbelievable Rockies.

When I broke the news to Jim he was surprised and delighted. We hoped this could be another all Dunavan family vacation as our two sons, daughters-in-law and four grandchildren would be invited along.

The auction was held in November 2012 during the annual gala/elegant dinner/fundraiser at Concordia Academy in Roseville, Minn., where our son, Dean, teaches. We learned the condo is owned by a couple from the Twin Cities who have had five children graduate from CA.

The two younger Dunavan couples (Troy and Sheri and Dean and Jyl) were at the gala. They witnessed what had just happened. They accepted our invitation even before it left our lips. In due time all calendars and summer schedules were checked and we zeroed in on July 18-22, 2013.

Snow greeted us when we checked in at the condo’s registration desk. The Minnesota grandchildren gloried in the white stuff

And this is what our eyes beheld as we looked elsewhere – in every direction.

Before I write more about the condo and the Rockies, which will be Part 2 of our adventure, I must tell you of the first three legs of our trip.

It all started on July 13 at a family wedding in Mandan where my grand niece, Rebekah Baneck and Tim Janke were married in Messiah Lutheran Church.

From there we spent two days in Medora, N.D. Oh Medora! I have been there several times but never have I enjoyed it as much as this time. The Rockies are beyond beautiful and in its own way so is Medora and its surroundings.

We savored every morsel served at the pitch fork fondue. It was veteran’s night on July 14, and our patriotic hearts soared as we watched a flag ceremony conducted by members of the VFW.

As always, the 2013 Medora Musical was outstanding. The Burning Hills Singers sang and danced to the music of Waylon, Willie and the Boys, the Man in Black and Merle Haggard. The audience also was wowed by High Voltage, an acrobatic team that has performed around the world.

We visited the Chateau de Mores, the 1880s style 26-room Chateau that once was home to the Marquis and his wife, Medora, for whom the town is named.

We enjoyed the Badlands Motel, the restaurants and shops as well as horseback riding. I believe the icing on our cake was going to the Old Town Hall Theater to see and hear Joe Wiegand portray Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States.

Wiegand, who has been performing in Medora since 2008, is not himself as he speaks and entertains. He steps wholly into the person of Theodore Roosevelt and totally captivates the audience. He tells of his childhood, his growing up years and his years as president. Even our grandchildren were mesmerized by him.

When Roosevelt spoke of the work ethic he was taught as a young man, he made a statement we took home with us. It’s this: “When you work, you don’t play, and when you play, you don’t work.”

Young people from around the world work in Medora. We celebrated Granddaughter Grace’s 15th birthday at the Theodore Roosevelt Hotel Restaurant where four of the servers wished her “Happy Birthday,” in their native tongue.

We could have stayed in Medora much longer, but we had many miles to travel and more people and more beauty to see.

Stay tuned for Part 2 – Hiking at Vedauwoo in Wyoming and at 11,000 feet in the Rockies.

Until Soon

One thought on “Coming down from a Rocky Mountain high – Part I

  1. You have made me realize that I must get back to Medora. It has been way too long. Thanks, Naomi. (I suspect you’ll convince me with your second installation that I must get to Keystone, too.)

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