September 22, 2013

Greetings from Shadowcliff. It was a wonderful season in so many ways. So wonderful, that we are sad to see it go. We had a wonderful staff, terrific guests, great weather. wildflowers, wildlife, mountains, valleys, lakes and streams and so much more that make up the Shadowcliff experience. We had new workshops with new partners. We had groups return for the more than 20th time. It was an absolute delight.

And, we are already looking ahead to 2014 and what might be the best season ever. We’re already anticipating most of our long time groups. And, we expect to have an expanded slate of Shadowcliff workshops. Our Family-Eco Vacation will be back starting on June 21 co-sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Nature Association, and a new RMNA partnered photography workshop will begin on August 22. Expect to see a full schedule within the next few months.

Cabin reservations for our Friends of Shadowcliff members will begin on November 15 while cabin reservations for others will begin after January 1. Friends of Shadowcliff members may reserve lodge rooms on January 1, and others may begin making reservations later in January.

Check back in with the website or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/shadowcliff for up do date schedules and changes.

Thank you so much for being a part of the Shadowcliff Family.  Until next season, best wishes to all.

 

September 13, 2013

Greetings from Shadowcliff. How about that special announcement? Didn’t see it? Look again.

It’s hard to believe that our season is nearing its end. We remain open for lodge guests through the night of September 21 and for our cabin guests, a few days longer. Time is running out for the 2013 season, and it has been a decent one.  We are going out with a bang–literally. A great fireworks show is set for Saturday, September 21, during our volunteer weekend. We have a few lodge rooms left and a couple of cabins, but you better reserve quickly.

September has been a challenging one for us at Shadowcliff. A few groups had to cancel, one because of the terrible flooding along the front range.  Our hearts and prayers go out for the thousands impacted by this natural disaster. And, while Grand Lake has avoided the flooding, we have not been able to avoid the closure of Rocky Mountain National Park. Trail Ridge Road has been closed to all vehicles except emergency and construction related vehicles for the near future. In addition, the Park has closed all of its trails, including those in and around Shadowcliff and Grand Lake. We still have those fireworks to look forward to though.

We’ve been blessed with a great staff and great guests this season. Our workshops have rebounded well from the last several seasons, and the future looks bright indeed.

I look forward to hearing from many of you during the offseason. An announcement as to when reservations may be made for the 2014 season will be forthcoming soon. If you have questions or want to arrange for your group to come to Shadowcliff, give me a call. I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a wonderful, happy and healthy Fall, Winter and Spring. It will be summer soon enough, when the doors of Shadowcliff swing open wide to welcome our old and new friends.

 

 

 

August 4, 2013

Where does the time go? It’s been more than two months since I’ve updated this post. We’ve been experiencing an absolutely fantastic season at Shadowcliff.  How can I count the ways? Our workshops and groups have been fantastic. The Stream Restoration workshop was excellent. It sold out in 10 days. Just this morning, our Sustainability Coordinators workshop ended, and we’re already talking about 2014. If you missed our Eco Vacation, you missed a classic. What can be better than bringing multiple generations together to enjoy a week in the great outdoors—nothing. June us next June, and see if you don’t agree.

We’ve welcomed lots of groups to Shadowcliff over the last couple of months, including several that have been here for more than 20 years. We love that, and they seem to feel the same way about us.  We’ve hosted dozens of Continental Divide Trail hikers, and as always, their stories of the trail are entertaining and informative. We’ve hosted many individuals and families, once again many of whom are frequent Shadowcliff visitors. It is always good to see old friends and wonderful to meet new ones.

Still to come this season at Shadowcliff: we have a number of fantastic groups heading our way: Tai Chi, Dancers, Planners, our great Shadowcliff volunteers, and many more. Don’t forget the great colors of Fall and the beautiful sounds of elk bugling during the rut. Cool crisp mornings and beautiful blue skies and comfortable temperatures during the day—can you just picture it? Maybe you can even feel it.

 

Wildflowers have been beautiful and abundant, wildlife are ever present, and the weather has been great. The best news is that all good things are continuing.  If you haven’t done so already, make your reservation and come up for a visit. We still have lots of rooms available in late August and September—a wonderful time to visit Shadowcliff and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Our last weekend for the season is September 20-22, so if you want to get that last visit to Shadowcliff, call us soon. Or else, we’ll look forward to seeing you in 2014.  Special thanks to our volunteers, donors, Friends of Shadowcliff, workshop partners and so many more.

 

May 30, 2013

It’s been nearly a month since I arrived–a foot of snow and temperatures in the teens. Since then, there have been beautiful days with sunshine and warm temperatures. Of course, it snowed, hailed, rained, and thundered with a little sunshine thrown in today. It is Colorado.

Once again, Shadowcliff has been transformed over the last few weeks, and we are now open for guests. Thanks so much for the dozens of volunteers who spent countless hours over the last few weeks to make this possible. They cooked, cleaned, scraped, painted, built, hauled, ran errands, patched holes, fixed windows, and cleaned some more. It was an awesome experience.

 

Our new interpretive trail is nearly done. The trail has been framed and chipped, and the wonderful benches and chairs have all been placed. The laws of nature signs and commemorative plaques should also be up within the next few weeks. Our volunteers helped us finish this project, and we all enjoyed the inaugural hike along its many scenic areas and enjoyed relaxing and reflecting in the private locations where the benches are placed. You will love the trail.

While our volunteers toiled, thousands of families and individuals made their way to Grand Lake and Rocky Mountain National Park. The beach was crowded with families young and old although I didn’t see anyone under about the age of 7 in the water. That’s a great indicator that 2013 will be a wonderful summer for Grand Lake and Shadowcliff.

 

The moose are very prevalent now, and the elk have also returned to the area. Wildflowers are just beginning to make their presence known, and the aspen trees are now blooming. Experts tell us that we hit the peak spring run off over the weekend. The North Inlet Stream has been roaring as it flows past Shadowcliff. It’s a beautiful sight and sound. All in all, it is quite spectacular.

 

 

 

The Shadowcliff Board came to Grand Lake for its May meeting, a most productive one. Much of the meeting focused on new partnerships with workshop groups and other Grand County organizations. We are very excited about our upcoming slate of workshops, beginning with next month’s Eco-Family Vacation. You can learn much more about this workshop elsewhere on our website. There are still some spots open. If you’re interested, call me for more information.

Shadowcliff has something for everyone this summer. The weather is fine, and the view is always fantastic. We’re at the source of everything you might need: access to town and trails, quiet places for reflection and restoration, information about the area or how to reconnect with the natural world and so much more. Call us for more information or make your reservation on line. You’ll be glad you did, and we’re eager to serve you.

 

May 7, 2013

Greetings from Shadowcliff. What really goes on at Shadowcliff during the season? What makes Shadowcliff and the Shadowcliff experience so special?  What’s blooming? What’s been wandering up through the meadow? Where are the moose and elk? How are the trails? How do you make s’mores?  Beginning with this post, I’ll try to give you an inside look at life at Shadowcliff–not every day mind you, but every once in a while. If you’re like me before I became Shadowcliff’s director, you’re often wondering about the weather up here, how’s the view from the Rempel deck and so much more. I’ll try to capture some of that for you just to tide you over between visits.

And, if you’ve never been here before, I hope to give you a good idea of what to expect–your own personal and wonderful Shadowcliff experience. Here we go.

J.J. and I have been at Shadowcliff for a week. We’ve seen a foot of snow and the mud created when a foot of snow melts. We’ve been embraced by 9* temperatures and warmed by 64* temperatures (not on the same day). Snow glistens from nearby mountain tops. In a week, the ice on Grand Lake has slowly begun to melt—about 75% of the lake was frozen over when we arrived, tonight it is about 45% and declining. If you have never seen frozen Grand Lake, it, like so many other things in this area, is incredibly beautiful. Whether you live for seasons, cycles or rhythms, it’s all here.

The sound of the North Inlet Stream rushing past brings back wonderful memories from many seasons past, a far cry from January when the Stream was frozen and made no sound at all. For those of you who marvel at and relax to the sound of the North Inlet, imagine the silence. It too is a wonderful thing.

We’ve seen bear tracks, fox and a few moose. There’s scat out there we haven’t identified yet. The lodges and the cabins are eerily quiet, the calm before the storm. It’s been only a week.

And, there are the boxes to unpack, offices to set up, furniture to clean and move, rooms and cabins to prepare–it takes us nearly a month just to prepare to meet and greet our 2013 guests. We can’t wait.

Between now and then, dozens of volunteers will join us and do the many thankless tasks that create the opportunity for the Shadowcliff experience. It’s a long tradition at Shadowcliff, and without our volunteers, Shadowcliff would not be the same. Our fantastic staff will also be joining us in the weeks to come. J.J., Judy and Skelly, Julia, Kelly, Eleah, Will, Kara, Stephen, Jan and Hannah are all returning, and Natalie, Audrey, Ryan and Laura will be joining our Shadowcliff family. As always, the pace will be dizzying, the atmosphere electric, the laughter loud and often. There’s no better place to be now or anytime. Or, as Judy might say, “It’s just another day at Shadowcliff.”

Since this is my post, I want to give a personal shout out to my Oregon family  Barb, Neil, Brian, Eddie, Henrik, June, and Bailey the wonder dog.  Happy Birthday to my two wonderful and beautiful daughter’s-in-law Claire and Lyndsay. Sorry that the picture to the left was taken last year before Henrik and June were born (you’ll see them in another post).  Note to self: get more family pictures.

Stay tuned. Let’s see how this story evolves. Come and be a part of it.

Peace.