Thursday, March 30, 2017

Day 45: Baldpate Inn, Our Estes Park Home

Home Sweet BPI
As a former staff member of The Baldpate Inn, I know that there are many cherished memories that are held by the staff, from every year of operation. From wildlife encounters, to adventures guests share with us, to kitchen disasters and miraculous recoveries, to meeting future spouses, the staff of Baldpate are blessed with an abundance of fun memories. 

For me, my “staffing” days started early. I was barely in grade school when the Smith family purchased the inn. Although my older brothers got to spend the whole summer at The Baldpate Inn, I was strangely not old enough, despite my best arguments to stay and hang out with all the cool cousins and new friends! I did get to spend several weekends there, when my parents were busily helping out. I recall peeling eggs in the kitchen, and always wanting to take Duke, the large resident German Shepherd, for a walk. Harold, who ran the front desk and was the kindest old man you can imagine, taught me how to make fires in the large lobby fireplace, twisting newspaper to get the fires started without fail. I still thank Harold for my skill when starting a fire. I recall “helping” Brad (see more about his story below) with his rounds of housekeeping, likely just following him around and peppering him with questions and stories. He was always kind and good-natured as I tagged along. 

Brad on a return visit to The Baldpate
I like to think that I helped out, but considering the number of garlic knots that I consumed while there, I’m not sure my contributions were of any real benefit. 

When I was finally old enough to work there for an entire season, I fondly recall working hard and playing hard, making friends with folks from all around the globe, exploring Estes Park, and enjoying hiking and climbing in the surrounding magnificent Rocky Mountains. And of course, eating well at The Baldpate Inn throughout it all!

No matter how many years have gone by, what remains true for many of the staff anytime they visit The Baldpate Inn, is a feeling of homecoming. Former long-time staff member Brad states it well,  "I first came to Baldpate for a summer job in May 1989.  I had just graduated from college and had no idea of what I was doing next or what to expect.  I just knew I was moving to Colorado.  When I got there I was home!

And after several return summers, Brad states, “Despite all efforts to the contrary, I was growing up.  However, no matter the scope and range of my life journeys, Baldpate has always welcomed me back.  It is an anchor for me, fixed and equalized.  Anytime I walk through the front door, it’s like coming home."

Read more of Brad’s story of his experience of The Baldpate Inn. 

Former Baldpate Staff: what’s your story?
Written by Liz Rodgers

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