Karen and I headed to Winter Park on Friday (8-7-15) to prepare for the Winter Park Beer Festival on Saturday and sell some copies of Ski Bum Chronicles in the land from whence it was spawned. My how the place has grown since I ran wild there in the early 80’s.

We bought party food and beverages just north of WP in Fraser at the ginormous new Safeway. The tiny town has blossomed, but familiar old haunts kept it real for me.

 

 

Just across the way from Crooked Creek Saloon is a shining example of what to do with old skis.

Just across the way from Fraser’s Crooked Creek Saloon is a shining example of what to do with old skis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ran into a huge crowd of former Grand County seasonal employees at the Crooked Creek Saloon attending a "Leaving Planet Earth" event.

We ran into a huge crowd of former Winter Park seasonal employees at the Crooked Creek Saloon attending a “Leaving Planet Earth” event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Winter Park Beer Festival I manned the grill at the condo we rented. I cooked for the Snow Mt. Ranch gang and relocated Texans who now live in Colorado. Saturday was a blur of good friends, good beer and great stories.

 

 

Joel braves the smoke on the balcony at our Winter Park condo.

Joel braves the smoke on the balcony at our Winter Park condo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(L-R) Sam, Jean, Reid, Betsy, Sue, Julie and Jeff still crack each other up on front balcony at the condo.

(L-R) Sam, Jean, Reid, Betsy, Sue, Julie and Jeff still crack each other up, while trying to pose on the front balcony at the WP condo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sam and Jean joined Karen and Me for a bit of hiking around Winter Park on Sunday.  It always amazes me how beautiful the mountains can be, even a short distance from the bustle of activity around I-40 that runs through town.

 

 

 

This cabin in Winter Park is less than 100 yards from the main road through town and ages away.

This cabin in Winter Park is less than 100 yards from the main road through town and ages removed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen got this candid shot of Jean, Jeff and Sam on the Fraser River Trail.

Karen got this candid shot of Jean, Jeff and Sam on the Fraser River Trail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ranger Sam snaps a "wefie" by the Fraser River.

Ranger Sam snaps a “wefie” by the Fraser River.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After our morning stroll Sam, Karen and I road the Zephyr Lift at the Winter Park Ski area to the top of the mountain and ate a picnic lunch.

 

 

 

We road the lift to the top of the mountain instead of hiking. Sam said, "That's the best $15 I've spent lately."

We road the lift to the top of the mountain instead of hiking. Sam said, “That’s the best $15 I’ve spent lately.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen relaxes after lunch and enjoys the awesome view.

Karen relaxes after lunch and enjoys the awesome view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Park Ski Area bills itself as the second largest mountain bike park in the world, behind only Whistler in Canada. We were amazed by the number of bike riders and how much development has occurred at the base of the slopes.

 

 

 

Note that every other lift is outfitted to carry mountain bikes during the summer season.

Note that every other lift is outfitted to carry mountain bikes during the summer season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of shops, condos, a mini golf course and eateries have been built to create the Winter Park Village.

Lots of shops, condos, hotels, a mini golf course and eateries have been built to create the Winter Park Village.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could never have imagined the Winter Park Resort Village when I lived at Snow Mt. Ranch.

I could never have imagined the Winter Park Resort Village when I lived at Snow Mt. Ranch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a fantastic time visiting old haunts and reconnecting with dear friends. The growth and changes to this area gave us pause for deep reflection. I feel fortunate to have lived, worked and skied in the Winter Park area during the early 80’s. Gosh, we thought it was crowded back then. Ski Bum Chronicles is a slice of Grand County history.

 

 

The Winter Park Resort Village was overwhelming.

The Winter Park Resort Village was overwhelming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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