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.