Summer Vacations on Colorado

Written by Bob Ittner

This Thursday June 8 we will be flying to Albuquerque and then motoring to Santa Fe for a couple of days and then on to South Fork Colorado to stay with friends. I am reminded of the fond memories of summer vacations in Colorado. 

We would leave the hundred degree heat of Midland to travel to Santa Fe on our way to Lake City Colorado. My father would get everyone up by playing at full blast John Phillips Sousa marches. My mom would pack a picnic lunch and off we would go. We would reach the coolness and charm of Santa Fe in the late afternoon so different from what we left. The next day we would start on our way to Lake City stopping at Alamosa or Del Norte to buy groceries. My father had a grocery list which he kept for all of our trips so he didn’t have to make a new list each time we went. On the way we would stop for lunch but we didn’t eat out once we got there. 

We didn’t refer to our father as dad or father or pops we called him Frank, which was his name. He was an excellent cook and took the art seriously. He wanted my mom to rest on the vacation so he did all the cooking.

When we got to South Fork which we will be visiting next week, we turned north to go to Creede. At that point you’re starting to get into the mountains. For years the road from Creede to Lake City was unpaved. We first stayed on the lake in rustic cabins although we didn’t think they were rustic. Frank, who was not an early riser, could get up without an alarm clock to fish the lake in front of our cabin. He was an excellent fly fisherman and might have five or six fish not long after the sun was up. In those days, it wasn’t catch and release, so we would cook any fish that we caught. Near the end of our trip he devised a method using empty milk cartons to freeze the fish so we could take them back to Midland. 

We would wade the streams and not see a single person. There were no houses on the stream. Some of the streams we fished might be eight or 10 yards wide. We figured out that if you started late in the afternoon you could get into really good action at feeding time. Wading was very peaceful, the rushing water, trees, the mountains, the blue sky, the solitude. In all the years that we went, we never had a TV nor did anyone else. We listened to the radio which was sporadic in its reception, but one radio station KOMA  in Oklahoma City we could get most of the time. Much has changed since then not all of it for the better but I sure do have some great memories.

7 thoughts on “Summer Vacations on Colorado

  1. clifford hardwick June 12, 2023 / 2:18 pm

    Idyllic vacation!

  2. Peter Creasey June 12, 2023 / 2:43 pm

    Interesting posting, Bob. We would occasional venture from Midland on the same route, including the unpaved road into Lake City and enjoy the same activities you describe. You describe everything right on.

    . Pete

    ___ J. Peter Creasey ___
    ___ Crehan Company, Realtors … 713-520-0270 ___

  3. John T Giganto June 12, 2023 / 3:48 pm

    Great story for a guy that must struggle to bend over to get the fish when drops them.

  4. Linda Mills Wofford June 12, 2023 / 3:58 pm

    Great memories, Bob! And you described it so well!
    My family and I went to Colorado almost every summer, and I went to summer camp there for a month. I can still smell the pine trees.

  5. Max Berry June 12, 2023 / 7:41 pm

    As everybody says, “Ah, the good ole days!”

  6. Mary Hardie Teeple June 12, 2023 / 9:15 pm

    Oh Bob such great memories. Frank and Thornton would have loved the Upper Blanco Basin Fishing. We were there last week while in Pagosa Springs. My very favorite place in America. This June the grass is greener than green , the river high , the 13000 foot mountain peaks still with snow. The sky blue and the clouds magical.

  7. Anonymous June 17, 2023 / 3:15 pm

    Beautiful! Great part of our country to enjoy…and yes, KOMA was the go-to station. Great story!

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