Janet Day: Rumors abound about return of Ski Train
July 19, 2009
Rail Rumors. It’s kind of strange to not have the Winter Park Ski Train’s familiar orange cars disgorging hundreds of weekend visitors. Not as strange as it will be in the winter, just weird.But is the Ski Train really gone for good? Rumors abound in Denver, ranging from talk that the train was only sold to the Canadian National Railway for summer use to suggestions that it will be available on a private party lease-only basis in the winter to wishful thinking that a new train will take its place.As usual, the Anschutz Corp. is mum on the subject.We’re not the only resort community to lose an iconic rail travel option. Rail Europe recently decided it would discontinue its Snow Train overnight sleeper service between London and the French Alps. That train, in operation for two decades, was known for its uncomfortable seats and friendly staff. Sounds a lot like our Ski Train, except ours was operating with uncomfortable seats for seven decades before the last whistle blew.Authors Abound. What is it about this area that attracts so many writers? Maybe it’s the mountains in general that are so inspiring – remember the James Caan author character in the movie version of Stephen King’s thriller “Misery?”Some writers, including yours truly, have retired or moved permanently to the Fraser Valley. Plenty of Denver radio and television personalities have ties to the area. Fox 31 anchor Libby Weaver recently got married at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, wearing pink cowboy boots. And quite a few current and former Denver newspaper reporters and columnists have second homes in the Winter Park area.Michael Madigan, a former editor at the Rocky Mountain News and part-time Fraser resident, is celebrating the publication of his book, “Heroes, Villains, Dames & Disasters / 150 Years of Front-Page Stories from the Rocky Mountain News.” It’s a commemorative history of the Denver newspaper founded by the same man who gave Byers Peak and Byers Canyon their names – William Byers. Madigan will be talking about and signing his book at Cascade Books in Grand Lake on Sat., Aug. 1, noon to 4 p.m. He’s also scheduled to talk at Juniper Library in Grand Lake and meet with a Tabernash book club in October.Former Denver Post columnist Mark Obmascik, who has a home near Tabernash, is celebrating the publication of his second novel, “Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled – and Knuckleheaded – Quest for the Rocky Mountain High.” It’s the tale of his midlife quest to climb all of the state’s 14ers, the people met and lessons learned along the way.Busy Bees. Have you noticed the Winter Park Honey being sold at local farmers markets? Good stuff, but it’s easy to get confused about. A close look at the company’s brochures shows it’s based in Winter Park, Fla. But a chat with the owner reveals it really is about Winter Park, Colo. The company, and its hives, have moved to the Granby area.Last Chance. This is the last week to see the art show and sale at the Pole Creek Golf Course clubhouse. Art Out of Thin Air members will be taking down their work on June 23. Stop by soon to see beautiful paintings, ceramics, photography and more.Keep in Touch: What’s got your attention around the area? Let me know. I’ll try to find the answer or spread the news. Send it all to JDayQuilts@msn.com. Follow me and local tidbits at http://www.twitter.com/DayJan or http://www.twitter.com/DayDreamCrafts.