Events and Campouts - 2012

January 21
Old Neighborhood
Restaurant

February 11
Armadillo North

March 10
Apple Creek
Restaurant

April 27-29
Greeley RV
Park

May 18-20
St. Vrain State Park

June 15-17
Cherry Creek
State Park

July 20-22
Riverview RV Park

August 24-26
Arrowhead RV Park

September 21-23
State Samboree

October 5 - 7
Greeley RV Park

November 17
Jim and Nick's
Barbeque

December 2
Christmas Party
White Fence Farms



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January 21  Old Neighborhood Restaurant




 This is always an exciting meeting, being the first of the year,
 a chance to think about all the good times we had last season, and an opportunity
to begin planning for this coming camping year.

 






 February 11 - Armadillo North

February in Colorado can be an exciting time, weather wise. Like in 2006, when the Aspen Leaves chapter braved - 17 deg temperatures to get together. 17 below zero, wow! This year was different. The temperature was 17 deg above zero, warm enough for shorts and a tee shirt. 16 chapter members joined for a terrific lunch. There were really some interesting menu choices. Considerable discussion took place about the 2012 camping season, and it sounded like most people wanted to start camping as soon as possible.



In the past we have arranged for a Mexican buffet at Armadillo, but this year we elected to order off the menu. There were a number of interesting choices. Some folks went spicy like Jalepeno Enchilladas. Others went mild. There was even a menudo order.



Guests Cheryl and Ron joined us for lunch a second consecutive month. We hope they will be able to camp with us this year.





Guests Thelma and Joey were able to join us for lunch. We certainly hope they will be with us in the future.




March 10 - Apple Creek Restaurant



In March, we visited one of the chapter's favorite restaurants, Apple Creek in Aurora. The place always has good food. We even have a seperate room to hold the meeting.


 

Dave says a blessing before we begin the meal.



Ruthie does a great job keeping the chapter photo book up to date. Thank you Ruthie.


 April 27 - 29 - Greeley Campground





Five rigs made the trip to Greeley RV park to enjoy the weekend. Unlike some camp outs in the past, the weather this year was near perfect. There was no rain or snow and just a little wind Friday evening. Friday evening, Sheryl ordered pizza delivery. This was the first time the chapter has done pizza in recent memory and it worked out very well.







Ruthie, Dave and Cheryl take a tour of Dave and Ruthie's new Road Trek RV.



Ruthie



One of the highlights of the weekend was welcoming new members Ron and Cheryl to our group. We all had a great time getting to know them.



We were also joined by guests Joey and his mom Thelma.




This was also a time to congratulate Ron on his recent retirement. 







This was the first camp out for Renee's new puppy "Ivy".




Of course we ate well, as is the norm for the Aspen Leaves. 



Shrimp fettucini Cajun style.



Joey relaxes a bit



Shelby meets Ivy






The "29" Club

What are the chances of 3 people having the same birthday? It's true, we had ten folks at the camp out and three of them have the same birthday, October 29th. In fact, our weekend seem to be full of surprising "3's".



May 18 - 20 St. Vrain State Park

Formerly known as Barbour Ponds State Park, St. Vrain State Park has undergone major changes and renovations. Ponds have been cleaned up and shore lines improved. The ponds are regularly stocked with fish, drawing a large population of water birds. While there, the Aspen Leaves chapter saw ducks of many varieties, geese, pelicans, and herons. 

The campgrounds sites have been improved in many ways. Each features level paved pull through sites with shade structures, fire pits, and full hook ups.

The pelican fans in our group were quite anxious to see and photograph the birds, but between weather and un-cooperative wild birds, there were few photo opportunities.

The weather this weekend was not great, cool and rain, but the large room provided by the state parks system worked out fine for Saturday gaming. The wet cool conditions forced us to cancel Saturday morning pancakes, but the evening pot luck and Sunday breakfast came off without a hitch. The weather broke long enough to eat outside at Jim and Renee's camper.

We had a splendid campfire Saturday evening and roasted the biggest marshmallows you have ever seen. Making S'Mores with the large marshmallows proved to be a challenge.






Pelican Chasing

The pelicans were not cooperative this year. Our group photographers had to keep searching the many ponds to get nice photos.





St. Vrain is a very attractive state park

Here is the description from the Colorado State Parks website:

Ponds that are home to graceful Egrets, white Pelicans and tall Cormorants, invite vistors to observe and enjoy nature to the fullest.  The Park has great new facillities, with more under construction, such as additional hiking trails and Blue Heron Reservoir opening in the near future.
 
St. Vrain State Park is a family-friendly destination for visitors seeking a peaceful and simple outdoor break. It’s easy to reach along I-25 between Denver and Ft. Collins at Highway 119 (exit 240). 

Formerly named Barbour Ponds, this nature and people-friendly park offers 604 acres of land and 152 acres of water split among several ponds. It’s a great place for anglers, campers, photographers, birders, walkers and anyone who loves nature.

Since 2006, Colorado State Parks added amenities like modern camping facilities, trail additions and fishing piers, with many more improvements on the way.










Ivy loves watching the birds




Making friends - Ivy and Ron



Most of the camp sites are located right next to a lake



Ron and Dave



Ruthie and Cheryl



Ron and Fred





Cherry Creek State Park
June 15 - 17



In June our chapter traveled to Cherry Creek State park. In Colorado, May and June can be exciting months weather wise. This weekend was no exception. On Friday afternoon we were surprised to hear tornado sirens sounding all around us. There were three tornados reported east of the park, but nothing close. Things cleared up and the group was able to play yard games and table games. Our theme this month was "Western", so you will see a lot of western wear in evidence.





Dave and Rich have a good game of bean bag toss



Saturday morning, Ron cooks up a batch of blueberry pancakes. They were terrific.



Joey, Jim, and Dave play a version of Farkle, a really interesting game of dice.



Just relaxing.



Cheryl, Ron, Thelma, and Joey place their new member signs on the group display.



Christie and Richard were voted in as new chapter members and received their member sign.



Fathers Day cake was the featured dessert on Saturday.

Following the western theme, we had steaks, baked beans, corn on the cob, garlic bread, salad, and deviled eggs. The Aspen Leaves chapter has always had very good cooks, and this weekend was no exception. On Friday we grilled hamburgers. Normally the group does not have a pot luck dinner. Usually we will go to a local restaurant or even order pizza, but we decided to do something a little different this time.



Saturday the Aspen Leaves held the regular monthly chapter meeting.



Sheryl and Jim try to keep things orderly at the meeting.



Cheryl



Cheryl and Ron



Joey



Thelma



Sunday Morning Surprise!

The group awoke only to find that a pack of 5 coyotes were looking for food. A small dog warning was issued, but the coyotes left after about an hour.



We were surprised and very happy to be visited by former members Sharon and John. It was great to see them. They were visiting from their new home in Texas.

Also visiting was Wayne and Thelma.







Renee

Riverview - Loveland, CO
July 20 - 22



July found the Aspen leaves at Riverview campground, just west of Ft. Collins. The campground is close to town but has a real mountain sense, especially being right on the river.






"Don't Forget The Stockings"

Our theme for the July camp-out was "Christmas in July". We had a couple of different Christmas trees, stockings, and members dressed in their best Christmas clothes.




A veggie Christmas tree? Now that is just plain weird.



Something new at Riverview campground. We were all delighted to see the carvings in the campground. You could find them just about everywhere as you walked around the area. Riverview is a very beautiful site, right next to the river, with lots of things to see.







Oh, we don't miss any meals. That is for sure.

Arrowhead RV Park - August 24 - 26



Arrowhead Point Campground is located in the upper Arkansas river valley, and is one of the more scenic areas in the entire state. From this campground, you are but a short drive from many beautiful sights. The campground has good meeting facilities and the owners are just as friendly as can be. The Aspen Leaves chapter had a great weekend campout in August. The weather was good and so was the food.



Arkansas River



On Saturday the members made a visit to the "Jumpin' Good Goat Dairy" in Buena Vista.
This was a very fascinating tour. The dairy has hundreds of small goats and does quite a large business selling goat dairy products.

Notes from their website:

These days the whole family is involved in dairy operations, joined by a fantastic team of production, craftsmen, packaging, livestock, and marketing professionals -- all spending their days loving goats, and their nights crafting cheese.  Our goal? To create a regional destination for all things wholesome to eat, in support of local producers and talented food purveyors.

From our humble roots five generations ago when Dawn’s family first homesteaded and began ranching in Colorado, to our new 4,200 sf dairy, cheese aging caves and Country Store in Buena Vista, Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy is proud to be a member of Colorado Proud Products, and is excited about becoming one of the premier goat cheese manufacturers in the nation.



Lots of good stuff to buy in here











The night guard crew

The dairy had quite a problem with mountain predators at first, but with the addition of these watch dogs, and some really mean Llamas, things are now under control.




Cottonwood pass is just a few minutes from the campground.



Gold mining was a big activity in the 1800's along the Arkansas river. This site is only a few minutes from the campground.




The scenery in the area is hard to beat, really some of the best in the state.







A good turn-out for the weekend



Life is GOOD!



Jim, Dave, and Fred



Ruthie




Quincys Steak House was the site for our Friday dinner. They have very good food.

State Samboree



The state Samboree was held in Pueblo this year at the Colorado State Fairgrounds. This is an especially good facility as it has plenty of room, and a lot of buildings if needed. The theme this year was "The Fifties". Hoop skirts, "57 Chevy, rolled-up T-shirts, all the memories came back as participants dressed up for the events. 




The Aspen Leaves chapter sold pies as is our long standing tradition. We sold a lot of pies, probably 30 or 40 altogether. There were not many slices left over, and the members gladly ate up the left overs. This has always been a good fund raiser for our group and this year was no exception. We made over $200!





Look who Sandy and Sheryl found



There was entertainment provided both Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday was especially fun as the whole crowd was dancing their hearts out to the old 50' tunes. What fun!


Greeley RV park
October 5 - 7

The Aspen Leaves chapter visited the Greeley Freight Train Station during our camp out. We were lucky enough to have a guide that was one of the original founders of the facility. The building was actually built new just to house the train lay out. Design and construction took almost 10 years.



Rave reviews from all over the world are flooding in as the Greeley Freight Station Museum enjoys its second anniversary of existence located hard by the mainline of the Union Pacific Railroad in Greeley, Colorado.

This one-of-a-kind facility features over 600 railroad-related artifacts ranging from a Virginia and Truckee Railroad switch key to a full-sized Colorado and Southern wooden Caboose available for examining both inside and out.

Designed to appeal to visitors of all ages and nationalities, the GFSM has set record attendance marks in its first two years of operation and has become the leading year-round tourist attraction in Weld County, Colorado. The highlight of the museum is its huge, 5,500 sq. ft. operating miniature railroad dubbed "the finest model railroad I’ve ever seen", by the 30-year senior editor of Model Railroader magazine, Jim Hediger, Milwaukee, WI.

Visitors may actually stroll through this three dimensional creation while the railroad is in operation. They are surrounded by rugged mountains with handmade features including 16,000 fir, 8,000 deciduous and 4,000 aspen trees. Rivers abound. Scenery becomes three dimensional art.  The use of cameras is encouraged and guides are available to answer railroad-related questions and to point out unique aspects of this one-of-a-kind modeling wonder. Take a visual tour through this amazing railroad in miniature via the GFSM website, then plan of visiting the museum in person the next time you visit Colorado.

All aboard!



The detail is simply amazing. The train lay out has around 25,000 tress, all made by hand.



Hand made trestle



The train layout has such a high degree of complexity, it needs a dispatch office to contact workers in the various rail yards. It takes 12 to 15 volunteers to operate the rail line at it's maximum level.




There is even a town in the display complete with running vehicles, that actually stop for the traffic lights, and wait untill they turn green.



Jim and Nick's Barbeque
November 17



Jim and Nick's is a relatively new addition to the chapter's restaurant list. We having been coming here for a couple of years now. The barbeque food is pretty good and we have a room to ourselves. Dave and Ruthie have been organizing this get together and they do a terrific job.





Christmas Party - White Fence Farms
December 2



A Special Tribute to Fred and Sandy

click here

2012 Christmas Party

The Aspen Leaves Chapter returned to White Fence Farms for our annual Christmas Party. 18 members attended the lunch get together and we all had a great time visiting and talking about the last year. There was a lot of conversation about camping in 2013. It appears that we are all ready for the next season, and winter has not even arrived in Colorado yet. The food was good as usual and so was the shopping.



Another great get-together



Thelma and Renee visit




Christie, Fred and Richard

"Where's the food?"


Fred and Sandy



Each year the chapter provides decorated bags for Christmas cards. Also in the bags was a very nice surpise from Cheryl and Ron A., a jar of Pomegranate jelly!



Ron and Joey distribute their cards



Dave and Ruthie



Sheryl and Ron



Our party theme this year was "Old Time Christmas. Here we see some old time toys.







Fred Sandy Sheryl and Renee

Hosts Sheryl and Renee take a moment to give special appreciation to Fred and Sandy for 28 years of service to the Aspen Leaves. These fine folks became members in September of 1984.

 From 1984 to 2012, Fred and Sandy have held 21 different offices. They were president in 1989, 1990 and 2001. The two held the office of vice-president in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000 and were secretary/treasurer in 1988, 1996,1997, and 1998. Fred and Sandy served as secretary in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Finally, the two members have been our chapter wagonmaster in 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Next year in 2013 the two will continue as wagonmaster.

The Aspen Leaves chapter has been a thriving group for 31 years now, all as a result of the contributions of the many members. Fred and Sandy have gone above and beyond the call of duty to contribute so much service over the years. We all congratulate them and sincerely thank them for all of the dedication and service they have provided over the years.



Specially constructed pin of appreciation



December Officer Induction

December is the month were we induct our new offices. Here the 2013 officers receive their induction hosted by Dave Hasselblad.