In August, 1966, my sister Leslie and I, and our Cadette Girl Scout troop took a long awaited camping trip up Poudre Canyon, in the Rocky Mountains west of Fort Collins, Colorado. All of the girls in the troop had worked hard to raise the money for this adventure. We sold a lot of cookies, calendars and had formed a folk singing group, complete with granny dresses. Directed by the leader’s oldest son, we performed “The Cruel War” and “Blowing in the Wind’, and other folk songs of the early 1960’s for church women’s groups, community gatherings, Grange meetings. We sang for donations and made enough money to take around 10, 8-10th grade girls and six adults on a five day camping excursion.
We had a great time that summer. We went horseback riding, camped on the Cache la Poudre River near Rustic, CO, where we toured the original stagecoach hotel, visited the Red Feather Lakes area where we were given a tour of a fire spotter tower with a real forest ranger and clambered around a volcanic rock area. I was not looking for kimberlites and lamproites, rock areas where diamonds are sometimes found, the rock formations were fun to climb and were just plain cool.
My fondest memory, the one that still causes me to laugh out loud today, was a drive to an abandoned homestead, complete with log cabin, in an alpine meadow. We were driving across a cattle ranch area and had just passed over the cattle guard crossing. We were in a four door sedan and the going was rough so the car was moving slowly. The windows were down and as the car slowed to a crawl there were several cows not far from the vehicle. Leslie leaned out the window and called, “here, kitty, kitty.” The cows looked up at her briefly and then went back to grazing. The other girls and I were stunned and then we laughed loud and long. It was priceless. Ah, younger sisters, can never get away with anything, especially, in our family.
Over Labor Day weekend, Sally, Penny, Leslie and I went “RVing” to western Kansas for our sister weekend. We visited several places, Monument Rocks, Gove County; St. Fidelis Church (Cathedral of the Plains), Victoria, Garden of the Gods, Lucas, Nicodemus and ate fried chicken and the best cole slaw in the world at the Brookfield Hotel, Abilene. Leslie was driving her RV through the cattle range on the road to Monument Rocks, when we passed over a cattle guard and saw a herd of yearlings milling around over the gravel road ahead. They were about three quarters of the way across the road. Leslie slowed to a stop to assess the situation. In the distance, there was a vehicle coming towards us. Leslie drove forward, moving to the left. As Leslie pulled up beside them, Penny rolled her window down and yelled, “HAW!” The startled young cattle turned and galloped away. We all laughed and the “here, kitty, kitty” memory on the other cattle range all those years ago flooded me.
Today is Leslie’s 60th birthday. She is celebrating, with Aunt Mary, Uncle Chuck and Cousin Tami at the cottage in New Hampshire. Her birthday party is being given by her nieces next Saturday evening. We are all looking forward to a fun evening with family and friends.
“A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost,” Marion C. Garretty, American journalist, broadcaster and author.
Happy Birthday, Leslie, wishing you many more……….
©2013 Susan Kendall. All rights reserved