When you spend your days off at your second home in Estes Park, the 100th anniversary of Rocky Mountain National Park feels like a family affair, so much so that Lynn Waring and her husband Russ dressed in period costumes for the big party.
Lynn works for the Colorado Secretary of State Office’s business and licensing division and she took off on Sept. 4 to attend the anniversary celebration at Glacier Basin Campground. (The camera date is wrong.)
“Oh, it was beautiful,” she said. “There were about 1,000 people and they had cake and lemonade. It was so well organized that they didn’t have long lines.”
The Arvada resident it was exciting when the “bigwigs” showed up, including Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner. Lynn’s husband is 6 foot 4 so he was able to raise his camera and get some good shots with her and the bigwigs.
President Woodrow Wilson in 1915 signed the act that included Rocky Mountain into the national park system. The anniversary was actually a year-long celebration that began in 2014 and included Estes Park, Grand Lake and other communities near the park.
Brad Fitch, an Estes Park local and John Denver look-alike, led the audience in singing “Rocky Mountain High,” which Lynn said “truly was a Kodak moment.”
Some political trivia: Former U.S. Sen. Mark Udall’s maternal grandfather brought the first loads of tourists to Rocky Mountain National Park, in the 1920s and 1930s. Roe Emery was billed at the father of Colorado tourism, and Udall’s mother, Patricia Emery, spent her summers at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. Gardner, a Republican, defeated Udall, a Democrat, last year.
Udall was present at the event, as were other dignitaries from the U.S. Park Service, county commissioners and such.