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Vail: Not Just a Ski Town

Summertime's when the Rockies shine.

Strolling the streets of downtown Vail.
Strolling the streets of downtown Vail.

Incorporated in 1962, the five-square-mile town of Vail, Colorado, was named for Charles Vail, the engineer who, in 1940, routed the highway that eventually became I-70 through the valley. It’s 100 miles west of mile-high Denver, and itself stands 8,000 feet above sea level. (Nearby Vail Mountain rises to 12,000 feet.)

Although Vail is home to one of the largest ski resorts in the States, summers there are spectacular. Hiking trails leak out of the village in every direction – and if they don't provide enough exercise, the Summer Mountain Games will. There are competitions in kayaking, rafting, mountain biking, climbing and long-distance running. And music and dance festivals are held throughout the summer at Vail’s 1,300-seat amphitheater.

Last summer, three friends and I sat on the lawn under the stars behind the parquet and, caressed by a balmy breeze perfumed by mountain flowers, watched a show of athleticism by the Paul Taylor Dance Company.

The next day, my friends and I strolled through Vail's Alpine Gardens, amidst 2,000 varieties of plants, to a photogenic 120-foot cascade. With a worked-up appetite, we headed for the large, arts-and-craftsy Lancelot Restaurant on Gore Creek Drive. I can vouch for the salmon, glazed in mustard and served on a bed of green beans, roasted onions and asparagus. I drool to think of it.

After dinner, as we drove westward from Vail, down an incline toward the Eagle River, we watched an elderly gent in waders, fly-casting.

As we got close, the man stumbled, his waders filled with water and pulled him under. We screeched to a halt, rushed into the river, hauled the unconscious fellow onto the riverbank, and gave him CPR. An SUV roared up, a woman jumped out and screamed, “What are you doing to my father!? Get out of here!”

We got out of there. Thank goodness she saved him.

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Strolling the streets of downtown Vail.
Strolling the streets of downtown Vail.

Incorporated in 1962, the five-square-mile town of Vail, Colorado, was named for Charles Vail, the engineer who, in 1940, routed the highway that eventually became I-70 through the valley. It’s 100 miles west of mile-high Denver, and itself stands 8,000 feet above sea level. (Nearby Vail Mountain rises to 12,000 feet.)

Although Vail is home to one of the largest ski resorts in the States, summers there are spectacular. Hiking trails leak out of the village in every direction – and if they don't provide enough exercise, the Summer Mountain Games will. There are competitions in kayaking, rafting, mountain biking, climbing and long-distance running. And music and dance festivals are held throughout the summer at Vail’s 1,300-seat amphitheater.

Last summer, three friends and I sat on the lawn under the stars behind the parquet and, caressed by a balmy breeze perfumed by mountain flowers, watched a show of athleticism by the Paul Taylor Dance Company.

The next day, my friends and I strolled through Vail's Alpine Gardens, amidst 2,000 varieties of plants, to a photogenic 120-foot cascade. With a worked-up appetite, we headed for the large, arts-and-craftsy Lancelot Restaurant on Gore Creek Drive. I can vouch for the salmon, glazed in mustard and served on a bed of green beans, roasted onions and asparagus. I drool to think of it.

After dinner, as we drove westward from Vail, down an incline toward the Eagle River, we watched an elderly gent in waders, fly-casting.

As we got close, the man stumbled, his waders filled with water and pulled him under. We screeched to a halt, rushed into the river, hauled the unconscious fellow onto the riverbank, and gave him CPR. An SUV roared up, a woman jumped out and screamed, “What are you doing to my father!? Get out of here!”

We got out of there. Thank goodness she saved him.

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Comments
1

Well, you have to understand; there are people from the cities going up to these resort areas and after an exciting day of skiing or hiking or rock climbing, a hot rock massage at the spa, and a nice vegan organic dinner, they are grabbing a senior citizen on their way out of town as a souvenir! I mean, something has to be done.

March 26, 2013

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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