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Chuck Hinman: IJMA No. 018 : It's A Small World

Chuck Hinman. It's Just Me Again No.018: It's A Small World The column fits right in with the current theme in CM on how to deal with nature, beginning with Alicia Bosela's Why this is a special place: It is relatively unspoiledA statement for nature, an idea which has received broad support from leading Adair County ecologists.
Is Chuck Hinman your favorite Sunday with CM columnist, as many tell us? If so, we hope you'll drop him a line by email. Reader comments to CM are appreciated, as are emails directly to Mr. Hinman at: charles.hinman@sbcglobal.netThe next earlier Chuck Hinman column: Chuck Hinman. IJMA No. 336 - The California Style

By Chuck Hinman

When Paul and Mary Ann, our kids, were still living at home, we spent a week each summer at Little Squaw Resort at the headwaters of the Rio Grande River near Creede, Colorado. It was a delightful, extremely beautiful place. The accommodations were on the rustic side -- meaning don't let the name "resort" mislead you! It was just right for us and best of all, the price was right.

It was in the San Juan Mountains on the eastern slope of the Continental Divide, elevation around 7500 feet - whee!

We had a hearty breakfast each morning; then dressing appropriately (it was on the chilly side), we set out for our "hike of the day." There were so many well-marked trails, we rarely did the same one twice in all the years we went there shortly after school was out. We made friends with families like ours who came back year after year.

Part of the fun of going back to Little Squaw each year was to find the "Chuck Hinman family secret place" where Connie had tied a much-worn neck-scarf on a special tree in a special place. We would squeal with delight to discover that each year we returned, the scarf, even though faded, was still there!

We haven't been back for nearly forty years. Connie and Mary Ann have passed away. I would give anything to return to Little Squaw Resort to see if Connie's scarf is still flapping in the breeze after all these years. It brings tears to my eyes to feast on those precious moments of yesteryear. They are priceless and a welcome respite from Oklahoma tornadoes and "stuff."

Connie would prepare a lunch so that we dined in some beautiful place in the wilderness which God had made just for us. Speaking of "heaven on earth" -- this was it! Mountain streams were a dime a dozen -- so not only did we have extremely beautiful mountain scenery with fauna galore, it was set with a mountain stream straight out of Thomas Kincaide's repertoire of pretty places. It made us feel like we were a million miles from 5017 Bridle Road, Bartlesville, Oklahoma. But isn't that what vacations are for? And isn't that just like God to be our trail guide so we won't miss what he created just for the Hinman family on this year's vacation. Thank you Lord!

Even though we seemed so far from civilization on those trails, more often than you might think, we would exchange greetings with someone who had mistakenly thought they were the only souls in this "neck of the woods"! Sorry we messed it up for you! Smile!

One time we visited with a young couple we had never seen before. We couldn't believe this was Susan and Stan Mueller from back home in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Imagine meeting them on a remote mountain trail. They are the daughter and son-in-law of our then next-door neighbors, Lois and Glenn Epperley! Susan was always away in school, or something, and we had never gotten to know her.

It is truly a small world!

Chuck Hinman (born January 19, 1922), former Nebraska farm boy, spent his working days with Phillips Petroleum Company in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and Houston, Texas. He lives at Tallgrass Estates in Bartlesville where he keeps busy writing his memories. His hobbies are writing, playing the organ, and playing bridge.

This story was posted on 2011-07-03 00:36:38
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