Rau: Race weekend recap
The snow was lightly falling and the small flakes were shimmering from the rays of the sun piercing the cold air. Who would not want to be outside in this incredible environment of nature at it’s best! To escape the rest of the world and glide silently among the trees is the ultimate way to reset your mind, learn to appreciate the scenery and serenity at our fingertips, and learn how to forgive and forget what is happening in our frantic world. The snow is great everywhere in Grand County. There’s no better time to get out, learn a new winter sport and enjoy your local trails. Take a lesson at one of the Nordic areas to learn the basics then get outside. We have some of the best snow in the country and world-class touring centers right here in Grand County. We also have excellent access to quality backcountry skiing. If you head to high country go prepared with extra food, water, and clothing and be sure to tell someone where you are going. This year it is extremely important to check avalanche conditions – Google “Colorado Avalanche Information Center”.
Hundreds of people came for the Stagecoach Classic last weekend. Some were driven to race. Some just wanted to witness the beauty around them. The Stagecoach course takes you through areas that are only open that one weekend – some of our most beautiful meadows and forests along this side of the Continental Divide. Years ago, we skied a similar route that has since been cut off by new landowners who are not willing to share their little spot of heaven. Many people at the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, Devils Thumb Ranch, US Forest Service and other Nordic volunteers have spent hours making this event happen – hats off to all of them for a great event! Memories can last forever and many memories were created that weekend that will bring people back to Grand County time and time again.
Charlie and I helped at bib pickup and explained details to the expectant faces. Volunteers at each check-in table patiently sorted out issues and got all people and bags of clothes where they need to be. Some did double duty – Charlie also shoveled the Left Field road crossing and encouraged people as they crossed. Then we skied the 15K Trek picking up trash and helping Bryan Mtn Patrol sweep when needed. Patrol members are so good. They have everything under control and participants are in great hands. My dog, Duke was in harness ready to help pull someone along if needed as he has done for many years but no one needed him this year.
Grand Park Nordic Relays
Next day at the First Annual Grand Park Nordic Relays, people relaxed and the word was FUN! Teams of two or three skied 1km laps totaling 6km and in each category of competition, adaptive, recreational, and youth. There were prizes for coed teams, female and male teams. Our incredibly supportive community had donated prizes for each category and everyone skied away happy. The best was the kid’s race doing laps of a 400m course. We even made a short cut for the littlest team of 4- to 6-year-olds. There were almost as many volunteers as participants and some people squeezed in both including the Doggy Dash at the end! Karen and Mike have brought us another annual well-run fun event!
Key words through all of this are volunteers, sharing or giving and fun events. Our county is truly blessed with people who are willing to share of their time and wisdom; and merchants who share their goods and services to make things like this happen. The old adage What goes round, comes back around is so true. A cup of coffee and a kind word or shoulder goes a long way. Doors are opened and people help each other in a way that never happens in the closed environment of city life. I guess I just love the people of Grand County!
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