Shirlee and Clyde

June 2nd, 2014 in Yesterday

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One of the joys of High Camp ownership and also for the staff is the wonderful relationships that develop with guests at Scottish Lakes. Shirlee and Clyde are a great example. They have been coming to High Camp to ski since Bill and Peg Stark were the owners. Don and I connected with Shirlee and Clyde right away and they have become very close friends. They were actually in the Tucker Snocat when it ran over our son Bryce! It was a major scary accident from which Bryce recovered over time. I will always be so grateful to Shirlee, Clyde and their dear friends who cared for Bryce when it happened.

Shirlee and Clyde loved to come to woodcutting weekend. They were masters chainsawing, splitting and stacking. As time went by they also came and worked on our staff both winter and fall seasons. Clyde can fix just about anything and Shirlee is a master at cleaning and organizing cabins so after they shift High Camp was always in great shape.

High Camp is truly a special place that draws wonderful people and brings out the best in everyone. Below, is in Shirlee’s own words…

Approximate date is 1985 and we had just started cross-country skiing the year before. We had 220 and 210 skinny skis and lightweight, low-cut boots. I blew out the shoes the first day and spent the rest of the trip with duct-taped boots and wet, freezing feet. We skied everywhere, including McCue Ridge and perfected the weenie traverse on the way down. Good thing we were younger and strong, because we spent a LOT of time picking ourselves up. Somehow that did not deter us and we have been coming up every year since.

Back then, Bill and Peg arranged the meeting place at the Squirrel Tree, from where we and our gear were driven to Coulter Creek Road and loaded into the Thiekol Snocat  or snowmobile, depending on what was running, what the conditions were and who was available to drive the snowmobiles. One memorable trip, we two were the cargo on the sled of the snowmobile! At Windy Corner, when the snow was banked high enough, there was some danger that we might tip over so we walked until the road behaved again. The ride up took a minimum of two hours and often three. At High Camp, Peg greeted us with hot cups of High Camp Tea and soon after we were on Dipsy Doodle, the “required” first ski of the trip.

Many years, better gear and better technique have put us in amazing places with great adventures attached. We’ve skied in moonlight, been lost,  hurt ourselves, been hungry/exhausted/freezing, and have always come back for more. We’ve cut wood, built buildings (installed the spiral staircase) and trail marked. We’ve brought up family and friends and had competitions for best High Camp dinners.

For my 60th birthday, you taught Clyde and I to drive snowmobiles and hired us as winter camp hosts. Lasting friendships, more adventures of a different kind and hard physical work. We mostly loved it and did things we never thought we’d do, like drive guests out four miles on a solid sheet of ice!

A few years of winter hosting were enough, though, and we have lately been happier with Fall hosting and incredible Fall hikes. Clyde did Beat the Diner many times , and we led a trip to the High Meadows one year. We even ran the business for two weeks!

Our real connection with High Camp began when you and Don became the new owners and we became friends. It would be difficult to find the words to express what High Camp has meat to us since that time. Perhaps saying the High Camp is a state of mind would cover some of what it has been for us. We have learned and experienced so much there, it has become a reference point in our lives. We would end by saying Thank You! But, that would fall short of what we really feel. Maybe ” aren’t we the lucky ones” would be closer.

Long Live High Camp!