Kristen Lodge – Outdoor connections abound in Grand County
Grand County, CO Colorado
Diane Fisher, 66, and Bill Tucker, 77, biked across country this summer. They have been doing this every summer for 15 years.
They started long distance biking 20 years ago when they biked from Seattle to Bar Harbor, Maine, then back to Michigan. They have put thousands of miles on their bikes and love every minute of it. Bill says it is a great way to see the country and meet a lot of nice people.
This year was the first time they cut their trip short because they were intimidated by cars coming too close and drivers have a bit of an attitude, but typically they have never had any problems with being run off the road. They attribute this to being courteous bikers: biking single file, wearing day glo, and obeying street signs.
Diane and Bill have been full time residents of Winter Park since 1991. They were married on top of Winter Park Resort and their story is told in the chapter, “Peak Experience” in Joan Shaw’s book, Mountain I Dos: “They decided that their marriage would be intimately sealed on a place they loved most of all, namely 12,060 foot altitude atop the Winter Park Ski Resort at the top of Parsenn Bow … The groom claims he heard the bride promise to obey him. Funny how the wind can play those tricks on a guy. ” (page 32)
Diane and Bill also make handcrafted toys for charity. The toys are beautifully quilted and stenciled by Diane and her elves. These handcrafted items are tool boxes, wheel barrows, step stools, doll beds, and rocking horses. They are personally stenciled and painted in Grand County.
A group from the Grand Quilters helps make mattresses, pillows and blankets for doll beds. Grand Woodworks Inc. of Tabernash supplies the scrap wood for tool boxes and step stools.
After they are constructed Diane and Bill drive down to Denver to deliver the toys to warehouses where later they are distributed to Toys for Tots. Last year they were recognized as 7 News Everyday Heroes for making these toys and donating to the children in the Front Range.
After the toy rush is over, I see Diane and Bill swimming laps every morning at the YMCA. Every time they are in the pool they swim one mile.
I love the interconnectedness of people who make Grand County their home. Regardless of age, there are so many people doing amazing things to stay healthy and giving back to the community.
There are many connections in many different arenas. The person I see dropping off gifts at the free gifts events that DiAnn and Sandy organized in November, is the same person who donates their time to historical and art organizations. The person who is building trails on National Trail days is the person who writes books about local music and weddings. We buy locally made quilts and pillows from Janet and send Grand County gift baskets to our friends and family from Franc. We read local authors such as Fran Cassidy and Joan Sundell. And, these artists give back to the community by supporting fundraisers for Grand County Search and Rescue. These connections go on and on, ad infinitum.
As members of this community we may not agree on liquor stores, trails in wilderness, rec centers, or recycling but we fully participate in our community. All of us who make Grand County our home share a common connection with history, art, sports, and the outdoors as we wave to people we know in our cars, stop to talk at the grocery store, run into friends on hiking and ski trails and debate the issues of the day. And, we move to the far left as we pass the bikers with the orange flags, as they ascend Berthoud Pass, again, to another trip across the county.
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