Monday, December 31, 2007

Jens Peter Aarnaes

Jens Peter Aarnaes and his wife Diane have lived in Colorado for ten years. He is director of marketing for a firm that sells, supports, and services digital medical imaging equipment, and she is a technical “guru” in the workers’ compensation division of an insurance company.

The Lodge fostered a life-long mountain interest in Peter. He teaches skiing part-time, and also flies and hikes in the mountains as much as possible.

The photo is of Peter & Diane near Keck Observatory in Hawaii in 2006.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Rock Creek Lodge Staff 1965-1988

Pamela Hunsicker, Cathy Poole, Kim Rosander

Eric Boutwell, Pamela Hunsicker, Linda Mitchell, Jack Moore, Tom Roby, Kim Rosander

Carla Bemetz, Dan Gallup, Pamela Hunsicker, Ed Moore, Jack Moore, Sue Sherman

Cameron Aanerud, Dan Gallup, Cindy Nielsen, Roger Nielsen, Penny Sykes, Wendy Sykes

Grant Clark, Roger Nielsen, Tom Pogue, Penny Sykes, Wendy Sykes

Cameron Aanerud, Jody Bauernschmidt, Roger Nielsen, Penny Sykes, Wendy Sykes

Cameron Aanerud, Anne Brashears, Peter Harboe, Roger Nielsen, Cindy Parker, Sally Slemsek

Cameron Aanerud, Cindy Edwards, Leonard Hunsicker, Roger Nielsen, Sally Slemsek, Penny Sykes

Cindy Edwards, Linda Leslie, Dan Piercey, Sharon Porchia, Mike Reilly, Tom Walsh

Cindy Edwards, Casey Fitzpatrick, Linda Leslie, Sharon Porchia, Mike Reilly, Tom Walsh

Peter Aarnaes, Ollie Cramer, Leonard Hunsicker, Sharon Porchia, Kelly Reilly, Nancy Williams

Dana Aanerud, Peter Aarnaes, Ollie Cramer, Debbie Haney, Robbie Nicholas, Kelly Reilly, Nancy Williams after Debbie left

Shirley Akin, Anne Bogen, Brian Snow, David Waterfall, Nancy Williams, Ron Williams

Leonard Hunsicker, Karen Kennedy, Kelly Kyle, Donna Mangold, John Williams, Ron Williams

Peggy Brose, Donna Mangold, Gail (?), Billy Villarin, John Williams, Ron Williams

Lisa Cimmarusti, Donna Mangold, Billy Villarin, Jeff Williams, John Williams, Ron Williams

Lisa Cimmarusti, Dawn (?), Shelly Wilson, Billy Villarin, Jeff Williams, John Williams

Ollie Cramer, Chris Hesson, Leslie Roby, Billy Villarin, Jeff Williams, Mickie Willis

Sue Aguilar, Aaron Brown, Tina Ferrrara, Ria Harboe, Leslie Roby, Jeff Williams, David Williams, Mickie Willis

Aaron Brown, Ollie Cramer, Leslie Roby, Susan Vogt, Jeff Williams, Susan Williams

Ginny Bruce, Ollie Cramer, Ria Harboe (Aug), Shelley Moore, Clint Pearson, Leslie Roby, David Spiller

Christine Ferrara, Greg Jennings, Carl Mancuso, Kathy Ripley, Kibby Roby, Leslie Roby

Christine Ferrara, Carl Mancuso, Joe Mancuso, Kathy Ripley, Kibby Roby, Leslie Roby, Mark Thornsley

Christine Ferrara, Carl Mancuso, Chris Reavis, Kathy Ripley, Kibby Roby, Leslie Roby

Cameron Aanerud, Kelly Kyle, Kelly Riley, Linda (Mitchell) Roby, Ed Moore, Jack Moore, Sally Slemsek

Monday, December 24, 2007

Pamela (Hunsicker) Stadler

Dear Leslie,

I feel left out of your I was the first hired cook along with my cousin Kimberly the first year your Mother and Father took over the running of the Lodge from your grandparents. We gave your mother her first baby shower at the Lodge when she found out she was pregnant with you...we helped her through her "night sickness" instead of "morning sickness". Then the third year I worked as one of the cooks with my friend Carla, I changed your diapers all summer long and fed you your bottles. Granted you don't remember that, but I did get to watch you grow up for several summers until I lived too far away to come to the Lodge in the summertime. I had been coming to the upper Rock Creek campground and to the Lodge since I was 5 years. I met my husband at Rock Creek in front of the fireplace in the Lodge...he was the cook at the Pack Station. We will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary in Feb. and owe it all to Rock Creek and Marge London who for years had been hoping to set one of her employees up with either my sister or me.

Pamela (Hunsicker) Stadler

A note from Susie (Lawton) Reynolds

Golly, Rock Creek...Spent the better part of my summers there. (Your Dad [Kib] was 7 and I was 4 the first year - about 1950!!)...Continued to go every summer for the next 40+ years.....Jim [Roby] once tossed me in the water.....They let me "be the first" in the row boat they built: They pushed me off into the pond and the boat sunk! I spent the rest of the summer trying to catch them....Tom [Roby] was sooo cute - a YOUNGER MAN...Martha [Roby] was always so nice....Charlie [McNeil] ran the store and was such a darling - gave me the name of "Hot Lips" and my cousin, MaryAnn (who died in 2004), "Poopsie". Remember the dogs that would scatter the planted fish - Rocky-the-Lab was a wonderful dog - so sweet with the kids who would climb all over him. Your grandparents were always so nice to everyone. The Lake store with the BEST hamburgers and PIE!!! Ice cream bars in the afternoon. My grandparents always camped at the the same spot for up-teen years! I remember when your parents got married...and when you [Leslie] were just a babe in arms!!

Fishing with my grandfather on the big rock near the store. Driving that last 7 miles in the back of a bouncy station wagon when my grandfather used to stop every few 100 feet to chop a log that was blocking the road...or crossing a stream that obscured the road...or, worse, moving a boulder that had blocked our super-highway then...and he was pretty close to the first one after the snow started to leave. Monopoly games in the lodge when it was too cold, or rainy, to be outside. The smell of the pine trees...and the allergies which followed...and the clearest-best-tasting water EVER!! My grandmother making baked goods over an open camp fire...ah, pioneer stock! Watching my mother cast a line at the smooooth...and she always caught more fish than anyone.

Kib-the-elder taught me to build a fire...a talent which serves me to this very day. The showers at the lodge...the thinnest towels in the world!!!!! Cabin 8 which was my father's FAVORITE!!!! He loved to fall asleep with the sound of water in the background. I hated the trips to the outhouse in the middle of the night...flashlight in hand. Spreading a blanket on the meadow grass at night and watching the stars. Laughing at your mother [Shirley] trying to figure out how to multiply recipes for 8 or divide recipes for 50.

Susie (Lawton) Reynolds

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Kathy Ripley (late 1980s)

The things that come to mind are definitely the people/ characters that were there when I worked and the ones who came to stay or visit whom I was able to meet. The fact that we all share in the experience of simply being there and having wonderful memories that will always be a part of us, regardless of how different the memories may be for each person...vivid memories of the area...the Lower Corral and just "being" with the horses and mules, Miner's Pond, the clear ponds above the Pack Station, Tom's Place...the sense of "family" each summer with whoever you were working with that year...the many lessons learned!

My husband Jeff and I have been to Mammoth a couple times with the kids, and always go up Rock Creek canyon. My kids have seen the lodge and heard many kid-appropriate stories. They absolutely love the area, too, and are always asking when we're going back.

Kathy (Ripley) Robasciotti

Joe Mancuso Fine Art

Photo by Carl Mancuso

Brothers Joe and Carl Mancuso worked at the lodge in the 80s and continue to visit the area. You may recall the wood-burned scenes of the lodge Joe created, which some of us still possess. I recently ran across an ad for a painting by an artist named "Joe Mancuso" and discovered it was indeed our own Joe Mancuso. He's become quite an accomplished artist, and many of his paintings are of the Sierras. Here's his bio and a link to his Web site:

Some of Joe's earliest memories are camping trips to the Eastern High Sierras and taking walks with his father down the railroad tracks to the rabbit fields near his home. This was his wilderness as a child and he credits his father for his early introduction to nature and the outdoors.

Joe's first art instruction began early in school when he would receive instruction on how to create shadows on simple shapes using a pencil and paper. This really began Joe's enthusiasm for drawing. One summer, while visiting an art fair in Mammoth Lakes, he came across some drawings by Helen Seal, a southern California artist. The beautiful simplicity of her High Sierra sketches made a lasting impression on the young artist. At that moment, he says, "This was something I knew I wanted to do." His mother, recognizing his obvious enthusiasm, purchased one of her drawings, which still hangs in his studio. He admires contemporary artists such as Clyde Aspevig, Matt Smith and T. Allen Lawson as well as many others.

Joe is best known for his landscapes. He is greatly influenced by the changing of seasons and weather, and the more dramatic the weather, the more inspired he feels. "Light on the landscape and the way it plays with and reveals its forms and color is extremely seductive to me. Painting on location and in the studio is a way I can interact, participate in, and respond to the magnificence." Joe celebrates the moods each season brings and he works on location often to accurately see and capture the changing light.

Joe holds signature membership with the Pastel Society of America, and The Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters. In 2007 The Pastel Society of the West Coast elected Joe to "Distinguished Pastelist." His work has been published in the Pastel Journal’s “The Year's Best” in 2004 and 2005. His collectors include film producer Lawrence Kasdan and actor Kevin Kneeland. His work has exhibited in the Napa Valley Art Museum and hangs in private collections throughout the United States.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Jim Brumfield, Packer & Author

Many people who had contact with Rock Creek Pack Station during their time at Rock Creek may recall a packer named Jim Brumfield. He started working there in 1979, and he's still packing! He's also a published author. Here's a bit about Jim and his many talents:

James McNay Brumfield resides on a ranch in the Monterey Bay area and divides his time between writing, training horses and mules, and working as a professional packer and mountain guide for Rock Creek Pack Station located in the Eastern Sierras. He has guided trips for over 25 years, and has traveled the High Sierra back country from Sonora Pass in the north, to the Forks of the Kern in the south—a distance of over 300 miles as the crow flies. Brumfield is also five time World Champion Packer at Bishop Mule days and a member of numerous World Champion pack teams. In 2002 he trained and rode World Champion Green Cow Working Mule Lil' Joe, owned by Mrs. Aleta London. Jim's mountain heritage runs deep. He is a 6th generation Californian, a direct descendent of Captain John Jordan who led a wagon train of emigrants to California from Brazos, Texas in 1850. Captain Jordan also blazed one of the early trails across the High Sierra, the Jordan trail, and was probably the first white man to see a Golden Trout. John Jordan drowned in the Kern River in 1862.

Jim has two books in publication right now, and I can personally recommend both of them as being difficult to put down. Reading Across the High Lonesome is like being on the trail with him. You may even recognize some of the personalities. Check out the Web site for his publishing company, Tres Picos Press. You'll find a lot of wonderful photos of the Sierras in addition to information about his books.

Monday, November 26, 2007

What was your experience?

I have learned that everyone has very distinct memories of their time at Rock Creek. We each remember different things, or the same things in different ways. But there are always pieces of our experiences that overlap. Here’s a list of some things that rattle around in my memory:

making mud pies in the sandbox
sliding on waxed paper down the red slide
making paper dolls in Hansi’s trailer
kittens at the lower corral
Foss Neilsen making cricket noises in my ear
having cocktails at Cabin 14 with Vic & Lydia Coppard & their cat Mai Tai
visiting Wally & Edie Hunsicker at Cabin 4
learning to fish with Grandpa Rouse
going to Tom’s Place to make a phone call (before service extended up the canyon)
the sound & smell of the generators (pre-electricity)
Delaware Punch
having to carefully choose 1 candy bar or ice cream per day
Daisy the horse (“my” horse)
special horseback rides with Marge London
rainy, cold horseback rides with Annie Christie
melting plastic Army men on the pot-belly stove in the lobby
rock-hopping up and down the creek
building forts
“camping out” in the big green tent
games, cards, and conversation in the lobby
Cameron Aanerud’s slideshows (and Wally Hunsicker snoring through one of them)
going to see the fireworks in Bishop, riding on a mattress in the back of the truck
Michener, the sporting goods salesman
Banta, the Chevron gas deliveryman
hand-pumping gasoline
playing Frisbee golf
swimming at Big Tire and Serene
the clank of someone playing horseshoes
my dad’s constant whistling
snow in July
watching lightning & hailstorms from the lobby porch
kerosene lanterns
the “chug” of pot-belly stoves
chopping wood
pulling down trees with the winch on the old blue truck
bonfires & s’mores
the signatures and drawings on the walls & ceiling of the room above the showers
the raft at the pond
the yellow mini-bike
the yellow mountain bike (we seemed to like yellow)
mail runs to Tom’s Place with kids piled in the back of the truck
hanging out in front of the store
the bubbling drinking fountain
Bill Beckett teaching me to drive on the road to Tom’s Place
after-dinner walks to the lake
The Big Tree
the fish truck & running buckets
the sound of the wringer washer
cleaning cabins & trash runs to the sounds of Reggae, The Police, etc.
the double bunk bed in Cabin 5 (wonder if it’s still there?)
Sani-Pine-drenched toilet buildings
Servel refrigerators
the buzz phones (1 for the store, 2 for the kitchen, 3 for the Roby cabin)
the hand-crank siren on the kitchen porch
4th of July barbecues (especially when Leonard Hunsicker slapped me for playing with the keg)
going to movies in Bishop
campfires at Cabin 1
the awesomely quiet chill of the morning when I was the first one up
stars, stars, stars, and more stars in a black, black sky...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007