Judith and I found Shadowcliff on our own honeymoon in 1977. It was love at first site! Since that very first exciting visit we have known that Shadowcliff is a special place of the heart where friendship and romance are found and often blossom into lifelong love affairs. Certainly that is our story as we returned each year with our children and now with our grandchildren. Our years as on site Directors brought us ever closer to one another as friends, partners and lovers. Over the next few months we want to share with you a few of the ongoing Shadowcliff love stories from guests and staff. The first is from two very special people, Adam and Aubrey Beals, who were part of our staff in 2010 and later were married at Shadowcliff in 2012.
Shadowcliff has always been an important place to the Beals family. Nancy Jorn and Stu Beals helped with the original construction with Warren Rempel in the ‘70s. They came out for a few summers when they were first dating and fell in love in the Rocky Mountains, especially Lake Verna! Years later, they brought their sons Adam and Dave annually to stay in Riverbend so the young family could explore the banks of the Tonahutu, hike the loooooong hike (for little legs) up to Adams Falls, and roast marshmallows in the fire pit of Rempel Lodge. Knowing the Beals’ long devotion to Shadowcliff, I was nervous to spend the summer of 2010 there with Adam Beals as his girlfriend and fellow staffer. We had been dating for two years and it was time to put our love to the test on the third floor of Rempel. Would I love this place as much as Adam and his family? And, more importantly, can partners co-habitat in a 14 foot wide bedroom without wanting to break up or kill each other?!
Long story short, that summer was the best summer of our lives. Adam and I spent three giddy months in the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park and in the warmth of the Shadowcliff family. We grew closer as we took runs on North Inlet, tromped up Longs, and shared ice cream from Grand Lake’s boardwalk. This time allowed us to reflect on our devotion to each other and to create shared memories that lasted much longer than our acclimatization to living at 8,500 feet! Shadowcliff provided a space for us to plan a shared future. But more than the incredible location and the time away from “real life”, Bob and Judith, Skelly and Judy, JJ, Mari the cook, and all our fellow staffers and guests built a loving community that nourished our relationship and accepted Adam and me as life partners. Two years later, we decided to return to Shadowcliff to exchange vows in the presence of our closest family and friends. It was only appropriate that Bob Mann officiated because I think he knew long before we did that we would choose the path of marriage.
We loved sharing this special place with our friends and family. And, we are eager to share it with our future kiddos who we can bring to Shadowcliff to unwind and connect with such a thoughtful, nurturing community.
— Aubrey Beals