A Golden Opportunity

RMOWP’s 2022 Conference is tentatively planned for June 26-29, in Golden, Colorado or nearby, with post-conference field trips on June 30. These field trips would include a high-elevation excursion to Mount Evans (14,271 feet above sea level) plus lower elevation options for those who aren’t comfortable that high up.

Conference organizer Maryann Gaug has been working with Jack Olson and other RMOWP members from the area. She reports that due to Covid fears and staffing shortages, meeting room managers are reluctant to book space or even provide firm prices for our dates at this time. However, we remain optimistic that we will be able to nail down a location in the near future.

It also appears that, at least as of now, lodging in the Golden area will be expensive, possibly over $130 per night, so those on limited budgets may need to look for lodging closer to Denver and commute. Some campgrounds are nearby, and a variety of lodging information will be forthcoming once a meeting room is booked. 

The continuing pandemic is making planning challenging, so we strongly suggest blocking out the dates and investigating travel and lodging, but not doing anything that can’t be cancelled without a full refund.

The very tentative schedule calls for starting Sunday afternoon (6/26) with the board of directors meeting, registration, welcoming reception, and a presentation of contest submissions. Monday (6/27) would have the general membership meeting, a field trip to Dinosaur Ridge (dinosaur bones and tracksites), including a guided bus tour, plus a workshop and the writer’s forum.

On Tuesday (6/28), we’re looking at a field trip to Roxborough State Park and possibly a guided walk on the park’s scenic Fountain Valley Trail. There would be several workshops that afternoon, dinner, and the photo critique. 

Wednesday (6/29) begins, at least for early risers, with a sunrise photo shoot at nearby Red Rocks Park, then an exploration of Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a walk on the park’s Trading Post Trail through the flatirons, and a visit to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame in the Trading Post. That afternoon would include another workshop and the auction, followed by the banquet and awards ceremony.

The main post-conference field trip Thursday (6/30) is on the Mount Evans Highway, stopping first at the Dos Chappel Nature Center (elevation 11,500 feet) to see the alpine gardens and bristlecone pine forest. Next, it’s Summit Lake (elevation 12,840 feet), with hopes of seeing bighorn sheep, marmots, and wildflowers. 

Then on to Mount Evans (elevation 14,271 feet), for staggering views and bragging rights for conquering one of Colorado’s famed 14ers. No need to tell anyone that you made it in the comfort of your car on a paved highway to a parking lot just 141 feet below the  summit.

Options for lower elevation excursions include a tour of the historic Argo Mill in nearby Idaho Springs, Buffalo Bill Cody’s Grave (where the famous bison hunter, Civil War soldier, and showman may or may not be buried), Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Mother Cabrini Shrine, the Colorado Railroad Museum, the old mining town of Georgetown for a ride on its historic railroad, and of course a thirst-quenching tour of the Coors Brewery.