Nearing The End of Summer ― A Kenosha Pass Walkabout

Kenosha Pass overlooking South Park in Colorado

Kenosha Pass overlooking South Park – Photo © 2014 by Pat Ruppel

Ahh, the long Labor Day weekend has come and gone. It’s the holiday that falls on the first Monday of September when many families in the U.S. celebrate by barbecuing, camping or going to the beach for one last time before the seasons change. For me, it has always signaled the end of summer.

As I look back over the past few months, I can’t help but reflect on what I did and wonder where the time went. It was a beautiful, cool summer with more showers than usual keeping everything green. We didn’t do much this year except take a ride now and then. I thought I’d share one of those rides with you as another walkabout. 

It’s not far from home and a familiar route hauling our horses to many county fairs our girls participated in, as well as 4-H retreats. I hope you enjoy this spontaneous jaunt we took one evening in July over Kenosha Pass in the Colorado Rockies.

I can remember many times driving down that highway, late at night, through snow storms. There was one night in particular when the highway finally opened, the kids and I packed up and headed over the pass to a 4-H weekend retreat. It was one of the firsts for me as a chaperone and a first camp for my daughter and her companions. We didn’t get in until the wee hours of the morning having called ahead to let them know we were on our way. When we arrived, a lot of the campers bundled out of the lodge, got our gear and helped us get settled.

Then, there was the time we were coming home from the little town of Jefferson and over Kenosha Pass. My daughter had a 4-H business meeting and it was late – almost 11:00 pm. The mountain highways are not well-lit and before we knew it, there stood a deer in the middle of the highway. It was too late to avoid and I hit it. We had stopped and pulled over to see if there was anything we could do and survey the damage. But it was too late. It had lived long enough to get up and drop on the side of the highway. Needless to say, the rest of the way home we cried and agonized over the “what-if’s”.

Other times were on hikes when the aspens change (see pictures I posted in a story I wrote called, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”) and going over for 4th of July fireworks with the girls when they were young and, now, with our grandkids.

Making memories is what it’s all about and we’ve sure made our fair share of them over the years. Now, as the sky takes on a different look and the air feels crisp, I draw on the warmth and love of the mountain peaks around me knowing that, in their silence, they’ll hold my memories tight, keeping them safe for when I need to revisit and remember what is real and important.

I hope you’ll share what you did this summer and the memories you have made.

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

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21 thoughts on “Nearing The End of Summer ― A Kenosha Pass Walkabout

    • So true, Joanne, it keeps us grounded and sane with a hope of laughter and love. Thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy seeing your happy face. 🙂

  1. Oh, Pat, you have made me so homesick for the Rockies. I haven’t been out there in eleven years. At the same time I could feel the peace of being there. Thank you for the memories.

    My summer was a bit boring. 😉 There wasn’t a lot going on this summer and when there was something a few of them were rained out. But this summer did hold a few gems such as the free picnic hosted by an independent radio station with some amazing live music and opportunities to listen to bagpipe concerts. The highlight was being able to witness the birth of my newest grand baby.

    • Hi Lois — Thank you and I’m happy I could at least bring the Rockies to you if you can’t make it back out here. They are beautiful — I have to pinch myself sometimes when looking around.

      Same here with a low-key summer and not much going on. Sounds like your weather has played a big part in that, as well. It’s been downright cold some weekends. I can only imagine what the campers feel huddled around a campfire. That’s the best thing this summer — fire danger is way down. I love that!

      I’m glad you liked the video — took me awhile to figure out how to edit and all that stuff. I’m still a work in progress but at least you get the picture. So glad you enjoyed it, my friend. 🙂

  2. Just beautiful Pat. I watched the video on FB this morning with my cup of tea and felt transported with you on a road trip across the Rockies listening to relaxing music. A real treat. Your love for your home is evident and I can see why. So many wonderful family memories – even if some not without their struggles – form a a testimony to a life well lived my friend. Gorgeous, thank you so much for sharing your day out with us 🙂

    • Thank you, Sherri. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and felt relaxed in the ambiance. You don’t know how much that means to me. It’s what I was shooting for. They are some good memories even the difficult ones. They’re the ones that go directly to the heart – no messing around and no regrets. It is a life well lived, my friend, and know you are doing the same in your garden in the beautiful UK. Sending you hugs and warm blessings and have a happy Wednesday. 🙂

      • Beautiful and ambient…loved it. I’ve had a friend and her husband visiting from California these past couple of days, someone I haven’t seen in 12 years and who I first met 20 years ago when our girls were 2 years old. The warmth in my heart from all that we shared has reminded me of a live well lived,even amongst all the pain and the hurt, the grief and the loss. There was something very tender, pure and comforting about you post that came at just the right time for me. I can’t quite explain it. I’m endlessly grateful for old friends and new friends, ones like you who reach out and bring so many blessings into my life and many others. I hope you know that my friend. I needed your hug today….hugs and blessings right back to you and now I will say have a happy Thursday 🙂

        • You’re truly welcome, Sherri. There are no accidents, I believe, and we find how much we really are connected in the most intricate and unique ways. You just made my day in sharing this and in putting this out only God knows who needs to see it to touch their heart. It’s His message to you on how much you’re loved, my friend.

          I treasure your friendship and love knowing your life is well lived. Sometimes, we don’t realize it until 12 years later when it comes back around again to remind us. 🙂

    • Thank you, Susan. It is peaceful and awesome at the same time. It kind of takes your breath away the first time you round the bend on the summit and pan out over the view below. I love it and happy you went on the journey with me on the walkabout video. I’m new at this video and editing process and it’s a trip in and of itself just putting it together. So glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  3. Thanks for letting me ride along through that beautiful pass Pat. Isn’t it wonderful how God in al his infinite wisdom gives us these gifts every day. He wraps them in beauty and then we get to open them any time we please. They never get old nor do they ever break. I live where the sun shines and the ocean is close by. I love the hustle and bustle of the beach. Looking out on the vast ocean I can hardly tell where the water ends and the sky begins. In his gift he shows us that ” Home is where the heart is. ” :o)

    • I love that you enjoyed this, Patricia. It’s the closest thing to heaven if I can’t have the ocean. I grew up near the ocean and missed it dearly when we moved west over 40 years ago. It’s been awhile since I’ve been back but the moment I hear the seagulls and smell the salt water I know I’m there. It takes me back. I can picture your view and understand what you mean when you say, “it never gets old”. God is so good in giving these beautiful places. Thank you for sharing this with me. 🙂

    • I’m happy you enjoyed taking the journey with me, Andrea. It is much like a meditation taking in all the majestic mountains. So different from your part of the world in England and Scotland being near the ocean. I love that, too! Thank you. 🙂

    • I’m glad you went along for the ride, Bev, and enjoyed it. It is remarkable country and I’m blessed everyday. It’s moments like these that keep me humble reminding me not to take it for granted and become complacent. Thank you. 🙂

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