Rocky Mountain Adventure: Day 8

Swan RiverOur last full day in the Rockies provided a crisp, clear morning, followed by a warm, sunny afternoon, allowing us to stroll along the Swan River, a 10-mile long tributary of the Blue River. The site where it joins the Blue River, in a narrow valley about five miles from Breckenridge, was previously occupied by mining camps during the late 19th century. Today, it’s Tiger Run Resort.

Wildflowers seem to be growing everywhere at this time of year. During our walks we saw delphiniums, lupines, paint brushes, wallflowers, pink fireweeds, several varieties of columbine, California poppies, and an abundance of Shasta daisies throughout the area.

We spent some time in the afternoon driving through downtown Breckenridge. Although the town’s population is only 4,500, it swells with thousands more as outdoor enthusiasts arrive to ski, hike, fish, bike, and raft. The historic buildings along Main Street, many with clapboard and log exteriors, add to the small-town charm. While most of the buildings are from the Victorian era, Breckenridge never had the detailed ornamentation usually associated with the architecture typical of that period.

Finally, it was time for us to make our way to nearby Frisco to attend the Garner Family Reunion. For many years, the “Seven Sisters” would gather their families at a central location in Texas. This year, out of deference to oldest sister Doris, the family agreed to gather in Colorado, near her home. Lillian Elizabeth Duncan and Andrew Jackson Garner had nine children: Clifford, Evelyn, Verna Jo, Doris, Jack, Lillian, Bobby, Mary Ann, and Lucy. Today only Doris, Mary Ann and Lucy survive, and all were present for the event. Jack was present through his son, Cliff, who also brought to mind his namesake uncle who was lost at sea in the Philippines during World War II. Verna Jo was present through her daughter, Terry. And Evelyn was present through her daughter, Mary.

After a lively dinner at the Blue Spruce Inn, we joined Cliff’s cousin, Deb Gurley, her husband, Doug, and daughter, Lindsay, for drinks and conversation. The Gurleys are also Airstreamers, so we had many adventures to share before finally bringing the evening to a close and returning to base camp.