Published July 2008
Edition of 30 books
In 1960, my father stopped his Oldsmobile in a muddy mountain meadow where he announced that this would one day be the site of a world class ski area. My eight year old eyes could not envision the graders and mud pits as anything but what they were. The muddy fields evolved as our family rolled through the Vail Valley on our yearly trek to our small cabin in Aspen. Eventually, the “ski bug” got the better of my father and we moved to Aspen. Of course, being a rival ski town, we scoffed at the little step-child of Vail trying to assert itself into the ski world. It was my uncle, a 10th Mountain Division Veteran, who dusted off my prejudices by regaling us with the beauty of the Gore Range and his winter sojourns between there and Aspen. Vail remained a momentary stop on my drives to and from art school in Denver. Little thought was given to the valley other then as an obstacle. After three years of Bavaria and The Black Forest, courtesy of Uncle Sam, I returned to Colorado to find a culture every bit as alluring as that of the German Alps. Travel had opened my eyes to much of the beauty and culture I had taken for granted. Now, with I-70 complete, the Gore Range was a simple drive from Denver. It was more easily explored and I have even dared to allow my skis to touch Vail snow. Over the years that I have explored the Gore Range, I am always humbled by their beauty. The Vail Valley remains a passing thought to most travelers as they speed along I-70 to some distant destination. Fortunately, many have made the narrow valley their destination, as well as preserving the Gore Range as a part of Colorado’s Cultural Heritage. Those muddy fields now have become part of that culture, with the Gore Range still asserting its influence.