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BUSEK: Colorado adventure, including a store where he browsed but did not inhale

By JIM BUSEK • Mar 28, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Colorado landed near the end — No. 48 — of my adventure travels because I knew it would be fun in the wintertime.

I have been there dozens of times in the past. On motorcycles and in cars. On ski trips and business trips. In every season. And it is always wonderful, one of my favorite destinations.

This time I started in Durango, way down in south-central Colorado, about an hour from the New Mexico border.

 

Durango is a prototypical modern mountain town with a rugged western feel complemented by cushy hotels and upscale restaurants, if that’s your preference.

People are drawn there by the San Juan Mountains, some of the most scenic in the world. It is worth the trip just to take the all-day drive into the mountains to the old mining towns of Silverton and Ouray and then on to the iconic ski town Telluride.

The alternative to driving the picturesque mountain highway with its sheer drops and unlimited vistas is to take a steam train round trip from Durango to Silverton. It travels on the same precarious narrow gauge railroad bed as its predecessors did on their routes to and from the silver mines. And it gets very high marks from everyone who rides it.

The little town of Ouray now has a unique winter attraction: an ice park. The parking lot was full on the Saturday afternoon I was there. And I soon learned why — it is fascinating to watch ice climbers rappel to the bottom of a hundred-foot-deep canyon and then climb their way back up the sheer ice walls. There are even bleachers set up on the rim of the canyon for the comfort of spectators like me.

After three days in Durango, including a downhill ski day at the mountain called Purgatory, I relocated to Silverthorne in Summit County.

And my first day there was Colorado-perfect, with sunshine and a sky accented by snow and spruce trees that always make it look too blue to be true.

That made for a perfect day to cross country ski. And there was a wonderful park dedicated to just that in the small town of Frisco. I was there on Super Bowl Sunday, a day which, in most parts of the country, is dedicated to lots of television and party preparation.

Apparently they had not gotten the message in Frisco. There were literally hundreds of people, mostly families with children, filling the snow park on that day for skiing and tubing. It was inspirational to see.

And I had my best day of cross country skiing ever. Good snow. Nice trails. And, of course, that awesome sunshine. Very fun.

I concluded my visit at Keystone resort. Like Frisco, Keystone is a family ski destination. Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and nearby Vail are the choice for hardcore skiers, but I have always liked Keystone. And I spent the day on all my favorite runs (one easy family favorite is more than three miles long!). It was not a new adventure, but it was a good nostalgic one.

For a taste of everything I experienced on my wintertime adventure in Colorado, check out the short video I made (see above).

As you are watching, you can simply ignore the part at the end where I am coming out of the marijuana store. It’s legal in Colorado now, of course, but when I told them of my medical need they said, no, cannabis is not particularly helpful for male pattern baldness.

 

Jim Busek is a free-lance writer who lives in Norwalk. He can be reached via e-mail at jimbusek@ hotmail.com.

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