dreamy, happy summer in vail

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    Dreamy, Happy Summer in Vail, COAugust 23, 2012 Adventures, Beyond New


    My brain went on freeze mode thisafternoon and I was looking to get itgoing again, so I pulled up my photofiles and came across this picture:

    Its me, happy. Really, really happy.

    Photo by Kristin Yantis

    And all of a sudden I could hear my husband teasing me for he cannot comprehend how it is that a tropicalisland girl, by way of Brooklyn, could be so madly in love with the mountains. And I have to step back andwonder if this is all just a serious case of wanderlust and the grass being greener syndrome that mostnomadic souls like me suffer from.

    Except, Ive been to the mountains quite a few times before, and regardless of whether it is in Scotland orthe Adirondacks, I am drawn to the majestic beauty of it all, longing to wake up surrounded by thescenes every day of my life.

    When I recently went to Vail, I made it a point to take an early morning walk on every one of the very fewdays I was there. There was all this talk about bears coming down from the mountains in search of foodand how they had been a problem this year, and I wont deny that the possibility of a bear crossed mymind a few times, but the sweet morning dew and smell of crisp air called me like clockwork makingme leap out of bed and set out for exploration.






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  • The first day of my walk was a short one only 45-50 minutes long. I was exploring the terrain, getting afeel for the land. I was accompanied by Teresa of TangoDiva.com. We walked a short distance up themountain from Vail Village and then back down towards Lionshead.

    The second day of my walk, I got up a little earlier and went a little further, this time with Lauren of EaterDenver by my side. We found some new paths and even ventured through some hidden ones, makingfriends with playful doggies and admiring the palatial mountain homes along the way.

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  • Having gotten my feet wet from walking on a muddy path that was meant to be closed, picking the dry pineneedles out of my curly hair once back in my hotel room, and feeling the light sweat trickling down myback only inspired me to go further the next day.

    On my last day in Vail, I woke up to the sights of a cloudy morning and an overbearing fear of bears. Ilooked out at the mountain and saw the morning fog hanging low, no sunshine in sight. I waited a bit, then Iput on my backpack and heading out on my own. The timing was perfect. Even for a Monday morningthere seemed to be so very few people around.

    I followed the stream to the foot of the mountain and slowly started to make my way up the Berry Pickertrail. Cute name, I thought, until the half mile mark when I realized that it gets its name from the crazyamount of red berries that surround the path on both sides. Of course I would take the berry path on one ofthe highest seasons of bear sightings. I was told making noises often scared bears away, so I tried to actcool and whistle a tune as I hiked up, but it was hard to do that and take in the little oxygen I had at mydisposal at this height, thus I decided to risk it and just breathe in silence instead.

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  • After walking a bit further up the winding path, I was out of breath. I stopped for some water and air. Ilooked around, there was nothing but green. Green and flowers. I just wanted to cry. It was so beautiful. Ilonged at that very second to not have to leave and to have my family magically transported so that theycould share this moment with me.

    Two chipmunks scurried past and a few birds shook the leaves overhead. My eyes winced at the faintsunlight gleaming through the aspen forest, long enough to color them golden and for me to capture. Icould hear the water trickling down a creek nearby as my breathing found a pace that allowed me to go on.

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  • I made it to the first mile, but could see the trail inviting me to go further, though time was not on my side.One of those crazy mountain joggers sped past me, but not before letting me know about the deer upahead in the field. I made my way up another half mile, but the deer had left and I needed to start my waydown.

    I took in every second of my walk, refusing to speed up my pace more than I needed. I hated that Iwouldnt be able to finish the entire 3.5 miles of this trail, and that I didnt see one single bear.

    The Fun of Vail, ColoradoVail Village is designed, literally, to inspire those who visit no matter what the season and to make themfeel like they are in a mountain village similar to those often pictured in fairy tales or Europeanguidebooks. The summer months in the mountains are by far my favorite. Vail will soon be celebrating its50th anniversary, and has gone through some major renovation, $2.5 billion worth!

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  • As luxury as Vail is known to be, it also has a lot of offer that anyone can enjoy free of charge or at a verylow cost especially in the summer months which helps to balance it all out, in my opinion. My wholespiritual journey up the mountain, for example, is compliments of Mother Naturewell, and the ForestryDepartment who helped pave the trails. If walking up the mountain is not really your thing, the ride up anddown on the Gondola makes for a great romantic, or family friendly experience especially for those withlittle ones.

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  • The views from Eagles Nest (3,155 feet), where the gondola drops you off, are gorgeous and its where thedownhill biking trails start and where the horseback tours, pony rides, and top of the mountain tours takeoff from. It is also where you can take part in various activities such as rebound trampoline jumping, wallclimbing, and miniature golf. Most importantly, it is where the wedding deck is located a sight to behold.

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  • Guided nature hikes are an hour long and free of charge, and there are various lawn sports, such as bagtoss, horseshoes, and more which are also free of charge.

    To visit Vail in the summer also means to be able to take part in one of the largest Farmers Market and ArtShow in Colorado (till September 16) and other events such as jazz festivals, kids adventure races,Gourmet on Gore (Sept 1-3) and Oktoberfest (Sept 7-9 and Sept 14-16), just to name a few.

    During my visit, the Vail Soul Music Festival was taking place and it was nice to witness first hand thediversity and welcoming warmth of the community. Everywhere I went I saw families and couples, youngand old, enjoying everything the area has to offer.

    Must sees are: The Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, VailNature Center and the various art and fountains found throughout. And even better idea, is to rent a bikead see the area on wheels. This bike friendly, active town is just fabulous to navigate through.

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  • If you like the mountains in the winter, you will definitely love them in the summer, and if you want to takethat experience to a level a bit more special, than Vail is a great place to kickoff your adventure, with orwithout kids in tow.

    Stay tuned for more on my adventures at Vail, including how I ate my way through this small village andwhere I stayed.

    For more information on Vail during any season visit Vail.com and follow them on Twitter at @VailMtn.

    Many thanks to Malen Yantis Public Relations and their partners in Vail, Colorado for their hospitalityand service in order to make this experience possible.

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    6 Responses to Dreamy, Happy Summer in Vail, CO

    Holly says:Aug