Rocky Mountains, hi, how are you?

I woke up this morning in rarified air.

First person awake, I smiled at the thought of big family so close. My dear wife Karen soon to awaken from my stirring, my darling daughter Elisabeth and her terrific boyfriend George Three on the first floor below, sisters- and brother-in-law and nieces and nephews in other units close by and more to arrive today.

Good first morning at the Miner Family Reunion. Fine first morning in Estes Park, Colo. My, it had been some afternoon and evening Thursday, meeting Jana and Dacia and Drew from Alaska and Steve and Joan and Ross from Oregon and Washington and Stormy from Texas for the first time, and seeing Lynne and Kimi again. Karen’s siblings and their beloved. My family, too, it’s so obvious as we ate and drank and walked this lovely little town and basically carried around. There will be many blogs to come, yes, indeed.

Sun coming up in the Rockies.

Sun coming up in the Rockies.

But first I had to wander outside the Lovely Cottage Karen snagged from her online search to see the sun peek over the peaks here at the entrancet to the big National Park. Just last night, the nice woman behind us in the checkout lane in Safeway who provided us with her store card so we could get the appropriate discount — $12, thank you so much, ma’am — told me I had to see this. Thank you again, polite resident.

Click on any gallery photo for a description. Click and hold on the right photo for an enlarged slide show.

I walked a bit up and down the block, and shot liberally with my iPhone as the clock approached 6:30 a.m. Mountain Time.

That's where we're staying.

That’s where we’re staying.

The blue Lovely Cottage we’re calling home and its backdrop caught my eye and took my breath.

Across the street.

Across the street.

Down the block.

Down the block.

I didn’t have to wander too far for the majesty of my surroundings to sink in.

Yes, this will be quite a setting for the first time for all five Miner siblings to be in the same place in 20 years. And it was my idea that the time had come for such an occasion. My dear wife worked hard for everybody a to agree on dates and a place. Hooray for all. Unfortunately, Karen’s son Daryl, and Lynne’s husband Chuck and son Chaz can’t make it because of work commitments. Chaz is deployed in the military. We’ll be thinking of them all.

There’s a balcony from the den on the second floor of the Lovely Cottage.

Balcony bliss.

Balcony bliss.

Hi, Neighbor.

Hi, Neighbor.

And because I think the mountains are beautiful, a gallery:

Does your family have a regular reunion, and if so, can you share stories? Do you live near your siblings or spread out, and can you explain? Have you ever been to the Rocky Mountains, and if so, what have you done here?

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96 thoughts on “Rocky Mountains, hi, how are you?

  1. Mark, I absolutely love Estes Park. Used to take the kids there when we lived up in Fort Collins. The air is beautiful, the people are cool and laid back, and the scenery is unbelievable. Hope you have a lovely family reunion!!!! Sounds like great fun!!! I, on the other hand, have got to go get ready to go earn my honest crust (as my dear old Dad says).

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  2. My In-Laws have a tree house in Northern Georgia deep into the Woods. They finished building a new home there by Mother’s Day this year. We all went up for a house-warming Mother’s Day weekend (like they need another home?). Since we are fortunate to all live here in sunny Florida within 45 minutes of each other every weekend seems like a Reunion. I am so delighted to know Karen and you have arranged this Reunion, how wonderful for you all! Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy. Pic’s beautiful Terp! Nice job. Be safe. Gatorette.

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  3. Beautiful and breathtaking views. Wonderful to be up early enough to catch the sunrise. Years ago our family met at my grandfather’s home on Long Island for a weekend of fun and food, sun and swimming. Every year on his birthday we all got together too- everyone making the effort to come from near and far. He is gone 19 years, and there have been no such gatherings since.

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  4. That is so surreal Mark – standing on the balcony and looking right at that huge rock escarpment. Very, very cool. I’ve been through Colorado at night but never had a chance to stop and explore. Hey I think Aussa works in Denver at the Fort Logan Mental Health Institute – are you close to there?

    Such a once in a lifetime venture – getting all those people together from all over the continent. Very neat. You know once in a lifetime things fascinate me. It really focuses your attention on what is happening here and now as you know you will never see it again. It seems to intensify the experience. When I was in my 30’s and my Mum’s Mom – Nan – was in her early 90’s, her family did that in Halifax. There were over 100 direct relatives at the party – about 1/2 of those who were invited made it. Big families. Anyway, you would have laughed Mark, the photographer wanted a picture of the whole crew together and he had a stand – like stadium seating – where we could all sit. He was just taking the pic when the stand failed and we all went over backwards, including 92 year old Nan. She was laying in the remains with her legs in the air laughing her head off. We actually have pictures of us and the stand as it collapsed – funny memories.

    Wonderful pictures Mark. I look forward to seeing more pictures and relatives as the reunion progresses. Have a great time!

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  5. My husband and I visited Colorado in 1981. We were in awe most of the time at the beauty surrounding us. One of my best memories of our trip was climbing Pikes Peak via the cograil. Additionally, we took a road less travelled that turned into a very narrow road along a canyon wall; a thrilling drive with magnificent vistas! It has been 34 years, but if I close my eyes, I can relive every moment of that special trip, including the fun we had with our 2 canine companions. Have fun making new memories!

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  6. Ah, no, we don’t have family reunions, which we all think is fine, which is probably why we don’t have family reunions.
    I’ve actually spent time in Estes Park, rock-climbing in college. I was so young and brave and fit! lol — I remember it was this time of year and I had no allergies there, and feeling like that was amazing! It was a beautiful place.

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  7. Those first pics almost seem like you and God are in on a secret, seeing the wee morning hours while others still sleep. The mountains right up on you like that seem to say, “Nature is stronger than you. You better recognize.” I helped a friend move to Denver in 1998, when we were young and strong and eager to move boxes and drive a U-Haul truck, and I recall that the windy mountain roads made me a bit dizzy. And I needed Chapstick due to the humidity that is otherwise a constant presence in my life. But it made for fabulous hair days, unlike in South Carolina earlier this month at our recent family reunion. Ours was filled with germy sickness, so I only hope you all are healthy and able to do some hiking!

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  8. wow things had been a bit quiet with you so i guessed you were up to something awesome and so it proved. It looks amazing. I am so looking forward to your blogs from the Rockies, Have a great time with you family.

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  9. Wow…Mark, the fun has just begun. You are in a photographer’s paradise. Enjoy the views, and thank you for sharing with us here. We spent our first 4 married years in Utah. That’s a whole different kind of mountain range right there. Will look forward to your impressions, and your posts. ☺ Van

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  10. Beautiful pictures, Mark. My better half and I love the Rockies. We spent some time in Valemont and Jasper in June. You can’t beat the fresh air, the smell of the soil, the feeling of nature you don’t get in the city. Have a great time at the reunion!

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  11. Great pictures Mark! Looks like you and Karen are having a wonderful time. Will be calling you soon about a cruise party!

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  12. Happy Mountain Reunion-ing MBM! One side of the family has a reunion every 4 years. We have just this year initiated a “Gathering” so we don’t have to go 4 years before gathering. Less planning. Less stress. Eating and visiting for whoever can make it. I hope ours goes as well as yours look! πŸ™‚

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  13. Ah, my old stomping ground bro Mark. Closed forever now because of that nasty MS, and the fact that it just doesn’t go well with high atmosphere as well as heat. Not so much heat in Colorado, but the high atmosphere is there in abundance. Too much pure oxygen. Both of my sisters live in the Springs or near the Springs, and I can’t even visit them any more. They are here now though, for our Mom’s funeral.

    We used to have reunions every year, but my family all moved away and scattered to the 4 winds. The last big reunion we had was 15 years ago, with an estimated attendance of 575 family members. I had 72 cousins at one time, but age has taken it’s toll on so many of them. Time has also added over 1000 more to the list, because my Grandmother had 13 kids, all of whom went forth and populated the area around here. Not sure where it’s located, but see if you can find the area that contains the monuments with John Denver’s songs lyrics engraved on the stones. Maybe you have to be a Denver fan to appreciate that, but there is one word to describe it —– “Awesome”.

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      • It’s the first time all 7 of us have been together since June, 2006 Mark. That was the year my youngest brother celebrated his 25th anniversary as a priest, and everyone came home for that. It takes a funeral to get the cousins together though. One of the sad facts of life now that we are all getting older. But some good points today were seeing two grandchildren I hadn’t seen since they were very young, due to my son and their mom divorcing, meeting my future granddaughter in law, seeing some nieces that were as close as my own daughters while they were growing up, so many people I didn’t expect to see and was so happy to finally see and meet in the case of my future granddaughter. Mom’s up in heaven working overtime to heal a lot of old wounds, and getting us back together.

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      • I’m glad to hear that your mom worked overtime even on the other side to make things better for the family, sis Angie. Bless you all on this Sunday, my dear.

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      • Thank you bro. Mark. We made it thru, said our goodbyes to each other, and they are all on their way home now. Some left early on Sunday, the last ones left early today, Monday. Two of us are left in this area, so now what will we do for Christmas when we don’t have Mom’s house to meet? I guess I need another crying session.

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      • It’s coming, little by little, bro Mark. Just when I think it’s all out and I’m all dried up, the dam breaks again.

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  14. A family reunion in a very beautiful place. Looks like your Karen found a beautiful blue cottage for you to stay in! I can tell you loved it. GREAT!
    I was in the Rockies last summer. Just drove through. I was also there several years ago… and once again passed through. I enjoyed your pictures to see what I missed!

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