Wednesday, August 29, 2018

My Brother-in-Law’s Resting Place…in the Rockies

At Sunset Point Campground, Lake Granby, Colorado


In 2003 I got one of those phone calls that everyone dreads…a member of the family had passed away.  My sister Patti married Terry around 1994, he quickly adopted her daughter Ashley.  Terry had been plagued with Cystic Fibrosis for many years, most of his life.  Around 2001 he had a lung transplant, and all was going well.  One day, either a Thursday or Friday, he was at work at a Counseling Center…within just a couple of days, he died…complications from the transplant a year or two earlier.  No signs before this…it just happened.  We were all devastated.  Stephanie and I drove up to Kansas City area where mom and dad lived, and the four of us drove out to California for the funeral.  Years later, Patti finally made it to Colorado, with daughter Ashley and Terry’s two surviving brothers and other family members of his, to spread his ashes into a pond near a lodge he worked at in Colorado, and to celebrate his life.  Terry’s oldest brother died at age 1 months, Christmas Eve, most likely of Cystic Fibrosis…and he had another brother who died of Cystic Fibrosis about 10 years before Terry did.  What a terrible disease that is…


Meeker Park Lodge is located on highway 7, near the foot of Long’s Peak, the highest point in the Rocky Mountain National Park at 14,259 feet.  The lodge itself has 8 sleeping rooms, a restaurant, a store, and there are also numerous rental cabins on the property.  Also on the property…a large pond…which contains the ashes of many longtime locals, including Terry.  The Dever Family has owned and operated the lodge since 1922.  I stepped into the lodge, made my way to the store, and inquired as to if the young worker was part of the family that owned it.  She acknowledged that she was, and another older lady says, “And I am the Aunt…”  I explained who I was, and mentioned Terry’s name….  “Oh, what a sweet young man that Terry was…and your sister came through a few years back.”  Terry had worked at the lodge during the summers that he was in college.


At the spot where I took the first picture are these markers, Top Left: Keith Dever, 1923-2011, Marian Dever, 1927-2017, Bottom Left: Bambi Darnell, 1978-2012, and the large one: Crete Dever1892-1993 and Danny Dever 1885-1973.  However, the ‘Aunt’, who I assume is Laura Dever, the general manager of the lodge, said that countless number of people have had their ashes spread at the pond…she wishes that they had a list of all the people over the years.  (You are permitted to scatter ashes on your property that you own or other private property with the permission of the owner.)

2a    2b
2d    2e

The entire time Patti was married to Terry, and during the time they knew each other before marriage, I was living far away from Sacramento.  Yes, I met Terry a number of times, but we never had the opportunity to become close.  At his funeral I learned more about him from friends and family and the Priest who performed the service than I had ever known about him…for that, I was always sad that I never got to know him better.  You always think, “There will be time…”  Well, that is not always the case.

3a   3b

Just down the highway from the lodge is Chapel on the Rock, officially named Saint Catherine of Siena Chapel.  What a pretty Catholic Church built in 1936, but first envisioned by Monsignor Joseph Bosetti in 1916.  It is still in use today, and if you click on the far right picture, you can even see some people coming out of a church service as we drove by.


And here is a picture of Long’s Peak along highway 7.  Colorado has 58 mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet, and Long’s Peak is the farthest most northern peak that is over 14,000.  Long’s Peak is named in honor of explorer Stephen Harriman Long, a U.S. army explorer, topographical engineer, and railway engineer, and is featured on the Colorado state quarter. 

4a    4b


4d  4e

It was a 65 mile trip over to Meeker Lodge, and on the way back we took a side trip up to Bear Lake.  Today we saw two moose, three deer, three or four elk (only showing picture of two), and a family of turkeys…that is momma turkey in front of that bus shutting down the road while the babies have just crossed (babies along the right side of the roadside).


Bear Lake is a very pretty place, but getting a parking place, even on a Wednesday afternoon, is very difficult…easier for us with the ADA parking tag. 


Other lakes we passed included Mary’s Lake…


..Lilly Lake…

5d   5e


…and a few un-named (to us at least), high altitude (11,500 feet level at least) lakes, some of which were green due to the glaciers which feed them.


Our trip today took seven hours, most of it spent in the car driving and/or viewing.  The Rocky’s are so massive, and so is the Rocky Mountain National Park, where vehicle speeds are normally 35 mph, with sharp turns, and amazing views. 


We both feel that it probably ranks in the top ten of places we have been…if you lump the Alaska trip into one big place.  Although we are here at Lake Granby for another five full days, due to the crowds of Labor Day I doubt we will enter the park again on this trip.  Yesterday (Tuesday) we went to Berthoud Pass, and I will post a blog about that on Friday or Saturday.

Rest in Peace brother Terry…I know you are enjoying the view….


  1. What a beautiful place to spend eternity. He certainly has a great view!!

    1. Yep, but I think the view is more for 'us' who visit to help remember what type of man he really was...such a good, honest, decent man...he is sorely missed. (ps: I forgot to add his picture sent to me by Patti, which is now added at the end of the blog)

  2. Hi, I have been reading your blog for a long time and enjoying it. We used to travel full-time and no longer can so I do live vicariously thru others travels. :)
    I live in Denver and an sure enjoying your trip through the Rockies. I would like to know if you would mind me using your photo of Longs Peak on my Facebook page? I can see this side of it from my apartment.
    Thanks, June

  3. What a nice tribute.

    Yes it is an awful disease. I have a HS friend that lost two children in childhood to it. It's one of those diseases you don't hear much about unless it affects someone you know.


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