Bucket lists became a common term after Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman paired up in "The Bucket List" in 2007. The movie told the story of two terminally ill men who become friends on a road trip around the world to accomplish things on their "bucket list" — things they've always wanted to do before they "kick the bucket" but lacked the courage to do on their own.
While making a "bucket list" has become popular, more often than not, accomplishing those things on their list is not always easy to do alone but can often be accomplished with a little help from one's closest friends. So it is with five senior citizens (aka mature ladies) living in the Surface Creek area.
The five ladies — Marilyn Stumpf, 68, has two children, Cherrie Gilliam, 66, has six, Carole Robertson, 68, has two, Barb Hoffart, 69, has three and Eve Friemel, 73, is the mother of four. All are active members of the St. Philip's Catholic community in Cedaredge.
Marilyn, Cherrie, Barb and Eve got together nearly 15 years ago, through church sponsored social gatherings. Realizing that they had a lot in common, they continuedgetting together at dinner parties, playing dominoes and eventually camping out together before pooling their bucket lists. For these ladies, putting together a "bucket list" was not a fad, but a list of unfulfilled dreams that they were determined to do together.
And through the group's encouragement and participation in each others "dream list" of things to do, they have helped each other realize some of those dreams.
"These ol' gals just wanna have fun," laughed Marilyn.
The ladies are all now Cedaredge area residents, but they came here from different parts of the country; Cherrie is from Arizona, Barb is from Minnesota, Marilyn is from Iowa, while Carole and Eve are both Colorado natives.
Marilyn said these wonderful ladies get together every year just to do something fun, and exciting. In years past they've gone whitewater rafting together, and this year they traveled to Glenwood Springs to spend the night and to do the zip line, an adventurous ride while suspended from a pulley attached to a fixed cable.
Marilyn said their "zip line" experience included crossing a swinging bridge before being connected to the zip line. The zip line provided the anxious, although enthusiastic, ladies with a fantastic view of Glenwood Canyon and the Colorado River.
For Eve, who has been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer, crossing over the river on the swinging bridge was the most terrifying. "It was at least 1,000 feet high," laughed Barb.
Carole, the newest member of the group, said that at the time she was hesitant to cross over the swinging bridge, but then thought to herself, "If Eve (the oldest member of the group) can do it, so can I."
"We all made it," laughed Marilyn, "and we had a blast doing it."
In July 2005, the original group of four (Marilyn, Cherrie, Barb and Eve) made their first, so called "easy whitewater" rafting trip on the San Miguel River, through the rugged San Miguel Canyon.
Marilyn, who had some experience canoeing and Cherrie, who had absolutely no prior experience, were put up front on the raft to guide them through the rapids, while Barb, who had some rafting experience, was in the rear helping to steer the raft down this beautiful and scenic river.
Cherrie said the guide, who evidently thought this trip was going to be a piece of cake because this crew was a bunch of elderly ladies, gave them some instruction and told them not to fall out of the raft, "because you can't get back on the raft." With that said, away they went.
Eve said, "I was not in the least bit concerned about falling out of the raft." Although she had no rafting experience, she was raised on, and learned how to swim in the Roaring Fork River.
Marilyn said as soon as the float trip began, Eve appeared anxious and all that she and Cherrie could see were big rocks, red cliffs and white water hurtling by. She added, "Eve and Barb were frantically bailing water out of the raft as fast as they could."
"We got to the takeout point faster than anyone else that day," she laughed.
According to the ladies, other groups rafting on the river that day even went so far as to ask them if they had a outboard motor on their raft. Marilyn joked that Eve and Barb had it easy. "They got to see the scenery,"she said, "while we had to do all the work."
They all agreed that their second raft trip was a just little bit easier. On this trip, the ladies put in at No Name with four other "younger" people on board, floating down the calmer waters of the Colorado River, below the Shoshone Rapids, through Glenwood Canyon and past the junction of the Roaring Fork River, before returning to Glenwood Springs via a shuttle bus. Marilyn noted they even had the opportunity to get out of the raft and soak in a hot spring before reaching the take out point.
Eve said these ladies are the best friends anyone could ever have, and that some of their various adventures (collectively and individually) include off-roading on all-terrain vehicles with the Thunder Mountain Four Wheelers, service trips to work with the poor in Mexico, snowmobiling, camping and fishing.
Next "to do" on their bucket list? A ride in a hot air balloon.
Barb said she is looking forward to doing even more things with this group of ladies, and Eve, noting that her cancer has returned, said that with a lot of prayer, she too was "ready to do anything." Eve said the next thing on her bucket list was to take that ride in a hot air balloon.
Carole agreed, adding that "You're only as old as you feel, and I'm looking forward to doing a lot more things with them."
Cherrie said it was Marilyn who first got her on, and taught her to ride an ATV. "These ladies are great," she said with a chuckle, "and since moving to Cedaredge, I've had more fun with them than I've ever had before." One of the things on her bucket list is to get the ladies to take the tour through the Glenwood Caverns and the historic Fairy Cave. "But," she laughed, "for some reason I haven't been able get them to even want to go into those caves."
Marilyn said she has a long list of things to do, including jumping from an airplane with a parachute. "I've been wanting to do this since I was 21," she said. "Now maybe I can do it for my 70th birthday."
As far as the ladies go, Marilyn said that ever since they met, "We just had fun, and we couldn't get enough of each other.
"And now, if any one of us needs anything at all, all we have to do is call the others and they will be there to help."
St. Christopher obviously has his work cut out with these "ol' gals!"blog comments powered by Disqus