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Boyd's Blog
Having a dog is a walk in the park
Greta the dog enjoys a great lunch break at the Intermountain Dog Park.
Tom Boyd 

Having a dog is a walk in the park

By Tom Boyd

September 10, 2007 —  Despite what my mischievous older brother would have you believe, that is NOT my new mugshot you see to the right of these words. Thatís Greta, the dog, and sheís a very nice girl who lives in West Vail. I met her today at the dog park.

Itís tough to be a pet owner and come to a new town, and when youíre looking for a dogpark you can get a lot of misinformation. So hereís the deal with Vailís dogparks.

1) The Intermountain dog park is in West Vail. To get there take I-70 to the West Vail exit, follow the south frontage road (the Marriot Streamside side of the highway) west to the first turn on the left. All the photos are from that dog park Ö dogs old and new get together there any time of day and play in the large field there, or jump into Gore Creek for a drink. Thereís also a nice pedestrian bridge which leads to a beautiful path, and the path leads to a fun play park for kids. For a map click here.

Having a dog is a walk in the park
I always feel a sense of releif every time I see a sign which allows me to release my dog from his ever-present leash.
Photo by Tom Boyd 

2) The Bighorn Lake dog park is in East Vail. To get there take I-70 to the East Vail exit, follow the south frontage road east and turn right on Streamside Cir E. Continue east on Streamside about 400 yards and then veer right. Follow this road past the Vail Racquet Club and look for Bighorn Park on your left. Great spot for dog swimming! For a map click here

3) The Edwards dog park is in Edwards and also has a lake. To get there take I-70 to the Edwards exit, turn south onto the spur road (away from Singletree) and take a left at the first stop light onto Miller Ranch Road. Take your second right into Freedom Park and look for the pond. For a map click here

There you go! And, as always, if you have more questions send us a message through our "Ask a Local" feature available on the right-hand side of this page.

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Dodie — January 29, 2009

This is a great dog park, even in winter. There is water running nearby, so if you have a chicken little dog that might go out on ice, keep an eye on 'em! Lots of big dogs in the park, but all well-behaved. If you have human youngsters, there is a nice playground just across the creek.


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Rider with local ties heads to Scotland for World Cup
This photo, taken during the 2001 UCI World Mountain Bike Championships in Vail, show the kind of terrain downhill mountain bikers are challenged with during competition.
Jack Affleck, Vail Resorts

Rider with local ties heads to Scotland for World Cup

By Tom Boyd

September 7, 2007 —  It takes a courageous kind of guy to step onto the pedals of a downhill mountain bike, point it down a twisty, turning, rocky single-track course, let go of the brakes and ride as fast as possible toward a distant finish line.

Cole Bangert is just such a guy. The 21-year old resident of Twin Lakes, near Leadville, recently qualified as the top downhill mountain bike rider in the nation, earning him a berth at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships this week in Fort William, Scotland.

Rider with local ties heads to Scotland for World Cup
A rider navigates the Vail World Cup mountain biking course during competition in September of 2001
Jack Affleck, Vail Resorts

Downhill Mountain Biking is a nascent and struggling sport here in the United States, yet Bangert seems to have picked up a pioneering spirit from his father: former Vail resident Daryll Bangert, who started Timberline Tours raft guides with one raft and an old Chevy Impala back in 1979, and later created the successful Lakota Guides raft company (which he sold three years ago).

Although Bangert is the nationís best rider, heíll still have to foot a $3,500 bill for his travel expenses to Fort William. For more on Bangert see Scott Willoughbyís Denver Post article by clicking here.

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Cross Creek
John Buckley takes a break from fishing on Cross Creek.
Photo by Bode Boyd /realblogs.php

Cross Creek

A quick hike thatís a major departure
By Tom Boyd

September 6, 2007 —  One of my favorite local hikes is the Cross Creek hike which departs from Tigowan road. Itís fairly easy, very beautiful, and thereís even a bit of fishing up high if I feel like bringing my fly rod along. The dogs love it, too.

See our complete hiking and backpacking guide by clicking here

Cross Creek is one of those hikes thatís easy to get to and yet can make you feel like youíre way out into the wild. On the other hand, itís fairly popular, so youíre sure to run into other people, and other dogs, along the way.

To get there: Follow I-70 to the Minturn exit 171, then follow Highway 24 southeast toward Minturn. Drive through Minturn until you reach the base of Battle Mountain, where Tigowan road (a dirt road) intersects with Highway 24 on the right-hand side. Follow Tigowan road up to the first trailhead (on the right) and park.

Hereís the Forest Service description of the hike, but to really get to know if youíve got to get out with your own to feet and experience it (in all itís glory). Itís definitely one of my favorites.

TRAIL BEGINNING: 8,520 ft 2 miles up Tigiwon Road on the right side.

TRAIL ENDING: 11,820 ft near Treasure Vault Lake at the intersection with Fancy Pass and Missouri Lakes Trails.

LENGTH: 15.5 miles one way (turn around wherever you like to keep the hike short.

HIGHEST ELEVATION: 11 1 820 ft. At the end of the trail near Treasure Vault Lake.

DIFFICULTY: Easy to more difficult.

ELEVATION GAIN: 3,300 feet in 15 miles.

RECOMMENDED SEASON: Mid June to October.

Moderate to high.

Minturn, Mt. Jackson, Mt. of the Holy Cross

Cross Creek
Bode, the puppy, navigates Cross Creek's tricky waters.
Photo by Renee Boyd 

The hike: The trail begins following a ridge and then drops-down to Cross Creek. There is a bridge crossing at mile I in a meadow that is usually filled with wild-flowers. This makes a nice destination point for a short day hike. Or, continue a little further and there is a pond surrounded by rocks that offers a good lunch spot.

Around mile 2, Mount of the Holy Cross is visible from the trail; on the eastern face of the mountain there is a permanent snow field that is in the shape of a cross.

At mile 6, Cross Creek trail intersects Grouse Mountain trail. Reed's Meadow is about 2 miles further and is a long open meadow in a glaciated valley.

On the way to Treasure Vault Lake, short side trips to Harvey Lake and Blodgett Lake offer good fishing and timberline lake scenery.
The last few miles of the trail pass through open meadows with wildflowers and mining relics. There is evidence of mining cabins, ore mills and old mines. The trail follows an old wagon road to Treasure Vault Lake. Large groups use this trail through mid-summer; plan mid week trips to avoid crowds. Use "No TraceĒ camping skills to minimize impact; camp away from meadows and creeks.

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August snow dusts peaks
Dusted peaks crowned the Valley Aug. 24.
David O. Williams 

August snow dusts peaks

And why I like it that way
By Tom Boyd

August 27, 2007 —  The Gore Range picked up its first dusting of snow and yet itís only August Ė so what does that mean? Thereís no scientific evidence to link an August dusting with a big winter, but my inner superstitions Ė mixed with a healthy dose of hope Ė have me believing weíre in for a banner snow year.

All this has me remembering something Ö the dust of snow has dusted up a bit of a memory Ö letís see Ė how does this one go?

Lauren Krantz was a sweet, petite, Southern Belle, the first of many I would meet during my time at University down in Geeee-oor-ja (as itís properly pronounced). She was a book-smart , straight-A student, kind as a pear-tree flower, and well-schooled in the fine art of teaching a Colorado boy (one who had never lived in humid climates) how to make the malodorous effects of mildew disappear from his otherwise unkempt laundry basket.

In her whole life (18 years at the time), little Lauren Krantz had never seen snow Ė not once. I showed her a picture of my brother kneeling in our front yard after a 12-inch snow storm, and she let out a gasp, amazed at how much snow fell in my home town.

Moments later, when I told her the photo had been taken on July 4th, 1995, I learned that Southern girls have the ability to create incredibly high-pitched squeals which, when encountered up close, can be damaging to the ear. She followed with a cacophony of questions Ö Are you serious? How do people live? How do we get around? What do we wear? Donít we freeze to death?

No, I told her, in fact we enjoy it. In that photo my brother has the kind of smile on his face that indicates heís one of those people who not only loves Natureís surprises, but who also revels in the chaos which inevitably ensues. The annual Fourth of July parade was awash in the heavenís white confetti, children were sliding down Bridge Street in their summer sandals, the highway had become little more than a parking lot for confused motorists , who checked their calendars and looked up at the sky, wondering if perhaps theyíd seen too many episodes of the Twilight Zone. Pictures of Vailís unique Fourth of July celebration were splashed on television screens far and wide, and July 5th was a busy day for hotel booking agents.

The next ski year, as I recall, was quite good.

I missed it, of course, since I was living down in the land of warm rain and proliferated pines, strip malls and water towers painted like peaches. The South was not for me. Even with Laurenís help, I never mastered the art of containing mildew. With no true winter to speak of, everything in Georgia grows seemingly without limit, from bacteria to kudzu to flying cockroaches. Most things bite and everything leaves a rash. Rain falls for days, but almost never snow.

After a few years in Georgia I transferred back to CU, to where a healthy winter keeps biological frenzy in check. Even while in Georgia I lost touch with Lauren rather quickly, as her path led toward the Bayou and mine back toward home, where snow falls anytime, without warning, and I have never missed a ski season since.

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