Monday, May 8, 2017


Spent the weekend going back to family roots. On our mother's side, my sister and I are fourth generation descendents of the North Park, CO Latham family. Stopped by the Walden cemetery to pay respects.
Most of the relatives are in the southeast corner.

Onward to Maybell, CO. Again, fourth, maybe fifth generation as some of the forebearers might have been legally challenged. Maybell was the scene this past Sunday of the Sombrero Horse Drive. Good excuse for us to get together.

My lodging (the small one)
My sister stayed at the Old Victory Hotel.

When they are full, they don't allow pets. My sister's
schnauzer slept with me. OK guest, doesn't bark or snore  but wants his half in the middle.

Thirteen miles West of Maybell off Highway 40 is the old family homestead. Cousins have kept it in the family and a section is now a private cemetery. This year a cousin's cremains were interred. He had a disabling stroke some fifteen years ago. His family cared for him all that time.

His sister.
My father's grave. He hunted all his life and often said when he died, he wanted us to put him in a gully and cave enough bank over him the coyotes would have to dig hard. Close, there is a badger den in his grave.
He would be pleased to know there is deer scat all over the area. In the tree behind some branches have been rubbed by deer shedding the velvet from their horns. They were probably standing on the grave. That would really please him. My  sister had some venison sausage. She left a piece beside his headstone.
Some miscellaneous shots from the graves area.

There is one in every family. Man on the right is a 90+ year old heavily decorated WWII Pacific Fleet Sailor. For many, a favorite uncle.
He is also a rapist and a pedophile with many victims. He is alive only because his three sons are fine people. My sister had him arrested and convicted.

The problem with grubbing sagebrush is it grows back. On the road down to where the cabins once stood.

What was left of the cabins has been carefully dismantled and preserved. Loose plans to build some type of shelter using the old beams are discussed. We shall see. On the hill in the distance are two year around springs and corrals with a snubbing post for breaking wild horses, a one time family business.

One intact structure is the 100 year old privy. This was commandeered by the ladies. Men and photographs were prohibited. Takes a braver man than me to argue with that bunch.

Back on the Front Range and parking the trailer at a friend's farm took this picture of Longs Peak simply because it pleased me to do so. 

This is my adventure rig. Hoping to make a least one expedition a month this summer.
My desktop is in the shop having a year's worth of malware and viruses cleaned. I use utilities but the crud creeps in. Being a Latter Day Luddite I prefer to have the experts do it. Gives me a taste of how customers may have felt when buying a car from me.


  1. Reunions are interesting. And in their own way, they're all the same no matter your kin, color or country.

    I appreciated your father's resting place. It's a good spot.

  2. Great story!

    I'm looking forward to a little "exploring" once we get settled. My wife won't go unless there's a 4 star hotel nearby, but I don't mind sleeping in the Jeep!

    1. Something between mine and the rolling palace behind it might change her mind.

      Your trail rated Jeep will do well anywhere in CO. Check for skid plates. Some used by Jeep have a downward curl on the front that acts like a chisel.

    2. Mine doesn't have the skid plate option. It does have a warning in the owner's manual to remove the front lower valence/spoiler if you're going to be doing things that require a steep approach/departure angle.

      I'd never deliberately go where I'd need the skid plates, and if I get in that situation, I'd either turn around, or back up to where I could turn around.

  3. Great pictures WSF. We have a family grave cleaning get-together every year, too. My mom's roots (Bowman's) go back to the late 1700's, migrating here from Ireland via North and South Carolina.

  4. Great pics and cool history. I once stayed in a couple cabins in Walden, CO in college. One of my friend's dad owned them and he took us up there. Was very nice. Would be cool if you guys built something out of the remains.

    1. All of the structure is hand hewn. There is one long center beam. The idea is to use that and make an enclosure from a prefabricater in Grand Junction. Family names would be carved into the beam.

  5. Thanks for the pics, and glad your family has hung on to the family land!

    1. That piece of land lets us all reconnect whenever we gather there. Almost surreal.