Pioneer Potluck: About Estes Park Colorado

About Estes Park, Colorado


My Trip with Bernie 1996


As I said last week, Estes Park has changed, big and crowded, especially in the summer time.

Bernie and I have traveled many times to Colorado together. In 1996 we landed in Denver, Bernie’s friends Lillian and her husband Chuck, picked us up at the airport. Our adventure in Colorado had just begun! I stayed with my sister Ginger. My Mom was living with her, in Boulder and Bernie stayed with Lillian.

A few days later we planned a big day in Estes Park, Ginger, driving me and Mom and sister Elaine and family following.

The only thing I recognized about Estes was the Salt Water Taffy Shop and a little section of river in the middle of town where we had our picnics. We walked the streets and stopped at an ice cream shop. We all had to have ordered an ice cream cone-double! Mom in her own quiet little world, was suffering from Alzheimer’s, grinned from ear to ear as we all licked on the delicious ice cream.

Then only in Bernie fashion - spotted a photography shop, where they take nice looking beautiful curvy body photo and photograph your face in the cut out.

We got to pick the body we wanted. Bernie picked the skinny curvy body of the blonde. I picked the brunette. They both had skimpy bikinis on. The picture was surrounded by two hunk-a hunk-a men. (Susan’s description!) We had our photo faces taken with a crowd of people peering in the window watching these two grown ladies, Bernie and me, laughing until the tears rolled down our cheeks. Bernie has that “tears rolling down your cheek” effect where ever you go with her!

Her big plan was to take home the copies of each photo to King and Bob. She was SO SURE our faces would not be recognized by them! She took her picture home in her suitcase. I had a better plan. My brother Jim was visiting from Grand Junction where he lived at the time, and I asked him to mail my picture from Grand Junction. I wanted to see Bob’s reaction when he got a sexy photo of two lovely gals in skimpy bikini’s, surrounded by hunky men.

When we returned to Alaska - and NOT without another incident, because you see, my traveling companion was BERNIE - the envelope arrived from Grand Junction. It was addressed to Mr. Robert Ricks and at the bottom marked Confidential!

As I am the controller of the post office key, I had the situation under control, I eagerly waited for Bob to open the big envelope, but not appearing to be too snoopy or anxious!

He pulled the photo halfway out and looked at me, I thought my game was over! Instead he said “You are NOT going to believe this!” I said: “What?” I tried to look very innocent. . He stuttered, “Now-now-now I DON’T KNOW THESE GALS!” He pulled the photo of Bernie and me in our bikinis, out of the envelope and looked and looked, then he looked at me. Oh.oh.. I knew the jig was up! He handed the photo to me, and said, “do you know who they are?” I said with a poker face, “NO - but those sure are nice hunk-a-hunk guys!” He shouted “The girls?” No, I replied, I do not know who they are, trying to be a little jealous and innocent.

Bob turned the envelope over and said I wonder who sent this to me? OH, from Grand Junction, must have been your brother Jim. No I said, he is in Boulder with Ginger and Mom. Another big fat lie!

Bob, still looking at the photo said, “WELL, I don’t know those girls!” and I said “Well, I don’t know those good looking guys either.” THEN Bob said to me...” The blonde isn’t to bad looking, but the brunette - humm?” He tipped his head sideways, studying them all over again, he continued, “The brunette, (me) not a nice face but a very good body, I guess I prefer the blonde!”

I was so shocked, I almost grabbed the photo and smacked him with it, but I wanted to continue the charade. I was, however, a little “fumed” inside. Served me right!

I personally think he NEVER recognized us because he never looked at the faces, just the skimpy bikini clad bodies.

This game of WHO sent Bob the photo went on for months. Once in a while I would say, I wonder WHO sent that photo and what are you gonna do with it? He would tell me, “Oh I don’t know and put it back in his little drawer for safe keeping.

Finally, at one of our big Bob-Bon-Fires in the winter with all the bon-fire gang standing around, Bernie and I could not stand it any longer, we HAD to tell Bob. I went and got the photo, passed it around, asking everyone if they knew these people. The gals would say, wheeie, look at the bod’s on those hunk-a guys and the men, quickly looking at the skimpy bikini gals, passed it on like it was hot potato! No one knew who they were, except King, Bernie and I.

Handing it back to Bob, I demanded, LOOK at the faces! “OH, OKAY, but I still do not recognize them!” Bernie and I burst out laughing and I shouted at him “ The brunette face is ME and the blonde is Bernie!” He looked at the faces, I am so sure, for the first time, as he was, I am positive, mesmerized by the bodies. Then he looked at us and started to laugh. I am not sure if he was laughing at us or with us.

This story has a perfect ending. When Bernie got home from Colorado, she showed King the photo and asked him who he thought they were. He knew it was Bernie right away. I still think Bob studied the bodies in the bikinis and did not take a second look at the faces. Well, he can look and dream, but touching is what will hurt him!!

PS He still has the photo in his drawer of good dreams.


The Grannie Annie series is written by a 47 year resident of Alaska, Ann Berg of Nikiski.Ann shares her collections of recipes from family and friends. She has gathered recipes for more that 50 years. Some are her own creation. Her love of recipes and food came from her Mother, a self taught wonderful cook. She hopes you enjoy the recipes and that the stories will bring a smile to your day.


Grannie Annie can be reached at anninalaska@gci. net


The “Grannie Annie” Cook Book Series includes: “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ on the Woodstove”; “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ at the Homestead”; “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ Fish from Cold Alaskan Waters”; and “Grannie Annie’s Eat Dessert First.” They are available at M & M Market in Nikiski.


This is a requested repeat from the a friend at the Kenai Veterinary Clinic.

Cream in a mixer bowl:

1/2 cup butter at room temp

1 cup sugar - I use brown sugar or half brown and half white

1 egg

In another bowl:

2 cups flour

1 tsp each, salt, soda and baking powder

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp each, allspice, nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

Stir with fork and mix into the cream mixture,


1 cup applesauce. preferable unsweetened.

Mix well and fold in 1 cup of chopped walnuts if desired. Raisins. or Craisin, good also.

Pour into a foil lined, oiled 9 x 13 cake pan.

Bake at 350% from 35 to 45 minutes. Test to see if done.

Frost with powdered sugar frosting or sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over top.

Be fancy and serve with a big dip of vanilla ice cream, just the way my Dad loved eating it.

Thanks for the request!


In a 13 X 9 foil baking pan or a dish, foil lined, place in 350% oven to melt:

1/2 cup butter


1/3 cup hot water

1 envelope onion soup mix

2 to 4 Tbsp cayenne pepper

4 shakes of Tabasco sauce

Slice potatoes in THICK slices, about three of four sliced per potatoes and enough to fill pan one layer.

Cover the pan with foil and bake 350% and the recipe says “cook’em ‘till done.” About 1 hour. Take off foil and test. Leave foil off if liquid has not evaporated, Alaskan potatoes have lots of moisture in them. So good at picnics. Better make two pans for the guys.


Tons and tons of this have been made in my kitchen and when I owned restaurants.

1 can cut yellow wax bean - drained

1 can cut green beans -not French cut - drained

1 can red kidney beans

Drain all in colander and add

1/2 cup each, onion, celery

1/2 cup of combination green, red and yellow bell pepper


1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup warn chicken broth

2 tblsp sugar

1 tsp each celery seed and minced garlic

1/2 tsp black pepper

Stir until sugar is dissolved, pour over vegetables. Let stand from 2 to 24 hours.

I usually make this in the morning for the evening meal.

Variations and additions - of course!

1 pkg dry chili soup mix or dry taco mix, dissolved in the liquid, adding 1/4 cup warm water. Add 1 can chopped green chilies.

I triple this usually as it keeps for a month in the refrigerator. Store in glass jar.


5th annual Swank Street Market celebrates boutique, antique and more in Soldotna this weekend

Swank Street Market will be hosting their fifth annual flea market today, Saturday and Sunday in Soldotna.

Read more