Have I ever told you about “Lone Duck“ campground? It’s in Cadorado. That’s how my grandson used to pronounce Colorado. You see, we’ve taken a family vacation to Colorado every year for the last ten years now. When I say family, I mean a lot of people. My wife and I, our three kids, a son and daughter-in-law, and two grandkids. My son’s best friend, Fred hardly ever missed a year. There’s my nephews, Matt and Aaron. I can’t forget to mention my really cool, eight year old niece, Lisa. It took a caravan to get us all out there. I’ve always pulled the trailer. We’d borrow a car trailer from Fred’s dad and my son used it to haul the jeep and usually a four wheeler or a couple motorcycles with his truck. Everyone else rode in my daughter’s car. Trust me when I say, there isn’t a rest area or gas station in between here and there we don’t know on a personal level.
The reason we found Lone Duck in the first place is because of my brother Aaron’s inability to follow simple directions. Because he was living in Dodge City at the time we agreed to meet at the rest area just east of Wakeeney around noon. We waited about two hours and finally drove into town to call his wife. She said he’d left early that morning and should have been there hours ago. We drove back out to the rest area in case he showed up. Finally, around five o’clock we gave up. Just about the time we pulled back onto I-70 we spotted him coming from town looking for us. To make a long story short, he thought I meant the City Park in town. He’d been there since noon. What a dork.
Because of our five hour delay, we didn’t get to Colorado Springs until ten o’clock that night. The kids were fighting, I was tired and my nerves were shot. If you’ve ever taken a similar trip, you know what I mean. Anyway, we stayed on the hi-way through town and pulled into the first RV park we came to. It was a huge park, but it was more like a huge parking lot with this really big laundry-mat. I told my wife we’d just stay there for the night, and find a better place in the morning. She had this huge fit, saying she hadn’t made this hell trip to stay at some lousy laundry-mat. Fine, I told her. But we’re staying at the next place we come to. We headed west.
It was about eleven by the time we pulled into the Lone Duck Campground. I went into the office only to find out they were closed. But there was a note on the counter saying to pick any open site and come see us in the morning. I knew then they must be good people. The site we picked that night, campsite #72 became “our” campsite for the next ten years.
Oh the adventures we had. We got the tourist stuff done in the first couple years. For the most part we just explored the seemingly endless jeep trails around the Woodland Park area. You wouldn’t believe some of the places we’ve found. The best part of every day was getting back to camp, we always tried to get there before the evening thunder storms moved in. For the next few hours we’d roam the campground. The kids used to have these contests to see who could jump across the stream that runs through the place. Afterward they went to the pool. My wife and daughter, the biggest kids of all headed straight to the pin-ball machines. Their favorite games are “Fish Tales” and “Taxi,” they’d spend hours on them. The best was yet to come. The fire. We ended every night with a camp fire. We’d sit around it to talk about the adventures we’d had that day and where we were headed tomorrow. We poked fun at each other, we argued, cussed, and discussed it all. And so it went year after year.
I knew the day would come when the kids couldn’t make it. It seems that my daughter and daughter-in-law are both pregnant and are both due in November. Okay you two, I’ll let you use that excuse this time, but next year I don’t want to hear it.
My wife and I spent a couple days in the area last week. We stopped by Lone Duck to say hi and let them know we wouldn’t be making it this year. It was good to see them. But a little sad too. We did notice that our campsite, #72 was sitting there open like it they were waiting for us. Nice Touch Steve. Hopefully next year we’ll have a couple more grandkids to spoil.
If any of you are looking for a wonderful place to spend your family vacation, check out their website at http://www.loneduckcamp.com/ I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Kevin McGinty can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org