CO: Colorado Columbines


Our last coach outing of 2019, October 10-13 at the Lakeside KOA in Fort Collins, began with a snowfall across the Front Range. Being a hearty, fun-loving group, we weren’t fazed by the weather and gathered for a great outing! And we were prepared.

We shifted our activities from the outdoor pavilion to a very large conference room, proceeded with Happy Hour, a Hot Dog Bar and a 1953 movie in the library, “The Long, Long Trailer,” about life in an RV, starring Lucy and Desi.

Friday was an action-packed day! We started by attending “National Geographic’s 50 Greatest Photographs” display at the Fort Collins Museum of Art. In addition to enjoying the amazing photographs, we learned about the background stories and the photographers. Not surprisingly, one of the biggest hits was the “Afghan Girl.”

After an early Happy Hour back at the park, we enjoyed dinner and companionship at DC Oakes Brewhouse & Eatery, with some eyes on college football games available on several monitors throughout the pub.

Then, it was to downtown Fort Collins for tales of crime, murder and haunted history on the Ghost Bus Tour. Our guide provided an app for our smartphones to help discover if ghosts were in the area - yiikes!

Saturday was another interesting and fun-filled day, starting with a Fort Collins History Tour, visiting Old Town and stories from the 1800s, City Park, Horsetooth Reservoir on the Dakota Hogback, and Fort Collins’s oldest cemetery, Grandview, that was established in 1887.

Following a potluck dinner and our business meeting, we enjoyed a raucous early Halloween Party, complete with: a Halloween Trivia Contest, a Best-Costume Competition, and a lot of laughs with a Pin-the-Satellite-on-the-RV game! On Sunday morning we gathered for breakfast, shared some laughs about our activities the previous evening, recalled highlights of the fabulous weekend together and wished our friends, the amazing Colorado Columbines, safe travels: “Until we eat again!”

Thanks to Dan LaChance for the report & winter scene and Ray Bowman for the Goblin pictures!


On a beautiful, sunny November day, the Columbines met at Brooklyns to enjoy their buffet vittles and the legendary Columbine fellowship. From there it was a short walk to the Pepsi Center for a tour of this impressive facility. Once we got through their extensive and slow security system (apparently our reputation preceeded us) we toured the halls for 2 hours. This is the home for the Avalanche, Nuggets, and several other professional sports teams, along with a concert venue.

This first class facility is privately owned and does not rely on tax money like Mile High Stadium (aka Empower Field). The facility can seat between 14, 000 and 21,000 depending on the type of entertainment. They are able to change from a hockey rink to a basketball court in less than 2 hours – an amazing feat! V

Our thanks to our Columbine hosts – Annie & Cliff Baker


….and we closed out our 2019 Columbine calendar at Mount Vernon CC with 76 Colorado Columbines and guests enjoying the food, fellowship and festivities of the season.

Happy hour kicked things off before our salmon and steak was served for our lunch. The good food was enhanced by our table decorations, crafted by Michelle Freas and Vicky Venable. After the luncheon a short business meeting was held with the most important item being the installation of our 2020 Columbine Officers by Past-President Jim Freas. Fortunately for those of us with failing memories, the officers remained unchanged for next year.

Following our luncheon, we were entertained by our own Ray Fiorillo, playing his guitar and singing his songs. He again sang his original song about those fun people – the Colorado Columbines.

To cap of the afternoon’s entertainment, we were introduced to The Legendary Ladies. This volunteer and educational group promotes the historical and unique contributions that women have made to the West. We met four different women, among who were Molly Brown and Ellis Meredith, a suffragist. They were excellent! Thanks to Vicky Venable for arranging for their performance.


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