Sunday, November 18, 2007

Keystone Resort Colorado Villages

Two of the Keystone villages are also base areas for the ski mountain. Mountain House and River Run.

Mountain House

This is the original base area for Keystone when Max Dercum founded Keystone in 1970. The Snake River Runs along the base of Dercum Mountain, so there is precious little space right on the slopes. Only 4 buildings in Keystone are actually ski-in ski-out. Two of those buildings are in Mountain House Village (Chateaux D'Mont the original luxury condo building featuring in-room hot tubs and Slopeside which is an economical ski-in ski-out building). Mountain House is FAR less crowded than River Run and has a nicer beginners and ski school area. You will find one cafeteria style restaurant, one ski rental shop and one pizza joint, but not much else in the village. Mountain House is like having your own private mountain though.

River Run

In 1987, Intrawest (owns Whistler and Copper Mountain and Winter Park) developed the $700M River Run that is the quintessential alpine ski village. 12 individual condo buildings are arranged with shops and coffee houses and restaurants on the ground floor. The River Run gondola and high speed quad lifts service River Run. River Run is by far the most desirable location in Keystone as judged by numbers of guests wanting to stay there. The condo buildings are newer and the amenities are quite nice (pools, hot tubs, pool tables, saunas, fitness centers, etc). Downsides are that it's expensive, the rooms tend to be smaller, and it can get quite crowded.

Typical Guest: Families and Young Urban Professionals

West Keystone

West Keystone is group of many traditional condo buildings that are of all ages. It's only about 5 mins drive to either base area and is serviced by free shuttle buses that run every 20 mins in the peak season. The condos are nestled in mature pine forests and spaced out with nice Snake River Views. West Keystone is also where the two world-class golf courses are located. West Keystone is where you get the most for your money if you don't mind being 10 mins or so from the slopes. Downsides are that some of the buildings are older, so it is recommended to be able to see the actual condo you're renting as they do vary widely in quality.

Typical Guest: Families wanting value and people that come to Keystone year after year.

East Keystone

The newest addition to Keystone is East Keystone. Built on the old 'Ski Tip Lodge' property which was the original stagecoach stop after you passed over the mountain pass into Keystone. There are only a few condo communities and lots of multi-million dollar homes. The condos in East Keystone are large and new and nice and again, only 5-10 mins to the slopes at River Run.

Typical Guest: Affluent people wanting quiet and quality.

North Keystone

US Highway 6 bisects Keystone into the mountain side (to the south of US 6) and North Keystone which is everything across highway 6. You can get alot for your money in North Keystone. The buildings tend to be older, however there are some newer developments also. Again... only 10 mins to the slopes AND you can see them easily from your condo in North Keystone.

Typical Guest: Young guests looking for cheap accomodations and Senior guests looking for value.

Lakeside Village

This is the village Keystone built around a 5 acre lake to go with the Keystone conference center. Nice older well maintained condos surround the lake that you can boat in summer on a canoe, or skate on in winter. There are also several shops and restaurants and the Keystone Inn, which is a 4-star hotel run by Vail Resorts

Typical Guest: Conference Attendee and people wanting a hotel instead of a condo.

Keystone Ranch

The 7th village is the gated community built on the original homestead site for Keystone Resort. Keystone Ranch doesn't have condo buildings, only single family homes ranging from $1M and older to brand new huge homes valued at well over $10M. Only a few of the homes are available for rent. This is also home to the clubhouse for the golf courses which wind into West Keystone from here.

Typical Guest: Affluent guests wanting a home instead of a condo.

About Author

Steve Falk is co-owner of SkyRun Condos in Keystone Colorado. For more information and photos of all of the Keystone Villages discussed in this article, see


Snowmobiling Becoming a Family Affair

ARA) - There are over 4 million snowmobilers in the United States and Canada, and studies show that snowmobiling has become a family activity. A survey by the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA) shows that 95 percent of snowmobile enthusiasts consider it a family sport.

“Snowmobiling is a wonderful way for families to share an active, outdoor lifestyle in the winter, spending time together while appreciating the beauty of nature when it is blanketed with snow,” says John Tranby, marketing communications manager for Arctic Cat, a leading snowmobile manufacturer. With 230,000 miles of groomed and marked snowmobile trails throughout North America, families have many opportunities to explore the great outdoors.

Resorts, restaurants and shops near popular snowmobiling areas have started catering to families as well. Even traditional skiing destinations like Vail, Steamboat and Aspen in Colorado and Stowe, Vt., have recognized the appeal of snowmobiling and now offer ski/snowmobile packages. Many resorts rent snowmobiles for families that want to try the sport.

“Today’s snowmobiles are designed with a variety of comfort and convenience features that make them safe and enjoyable to ride for hours. Manufacturers have developed cleaner and quieter engine designs to lower the noise levels as well as emissions. In addition, the continued popularity of touring snowmobiles that make it easy and comfortable for two people to ride shows the impact of the family on the sport,” says Ed Klim, president of ISMA. Arctic Cat’s T660 Turbo Touring model is a good example. It offers the convenience of a quiet four-stroke engine, rear racks for extra storage, heated handgrips and mirrors -- perfect for a family outing.

Anyone who operates a snowmobile should take a safety course, but this is especially true of children; in many states, training courses are mandatory for youths and underage drivers. Many snowmobiling clubs and state snowmobiling associations offer this type of training. There are nearly 3,000 snowmobile clubs in North America, along with 27 state associations in the United States. Virtually all snowmobile clubs are involved in trail maintenance, charity fund raising and family activities.

The International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association and Arctic Cat encourage all riders to follow the safe rider’s pledge:

* I will never drink and drive a snowmobile.

* I will drive within the limits of my machine and my own abilities.

* I will obey the rules and laws of the state or province I am visiting.

* I will be careful when crossing roads, and always cross at a right angle to trafic.

* I will keep my machine in top shape and follow a per-op check before each ride.

* I will wear appropriate clothing, including gloves, boots and a helmet with a visor.

* I will let family or friends know my planned route, my destination and my expected arrival time.

* I will treat the outdoors with respect. I will not litter or damage trees or other vegetation.

* I will respect other people’s property and rights, and lend a hand when I see someone in need.

* I will not snowmobile where prohibited.

With proper training and a respect for nature, snowmobiling can be the perfect family activity. To see the variety of snowmobiles available today, visit www.arctic-

Courtesy of ARA Content

About Author

Courtesy of ARA Content

Colorado Fly Fishing – Bait Huckin' vs. Fly Fishin'

It was one of those fishing trips. You know, everyone catches fish but you, you loose six or eight of your most expensive streamers, it rains buckets, and you sink the boat. That’s right; I got skunked at Steamboat Lake over Memorial weekend.

I was determined to show those meat huckers (worms and power bait) that a well chosen and strategically placed fly was as effective as anything a conventional fisherman could load on a hook and hang under a bobber. Well, no such luck, I got stomped.

The fish were rising like mad on a midge hatch, and I threw everything in the box at them. I could swear I saw a hefty rainbow nudge my fly to the side to eat the natural laying only centimeters from my damn near perfect replica. As we watched the group of 12 year olds add another 18” fish to their stringer (full loaded, I might add) I decided it must be a lake thing. I don’t fish lakes often.

I usually have good luck with a streamer in faster moving water, so I head for one on the several tributaries hoping to get the boat up far enough to make a make a few good casts. No such luck, here comes the wind. Determined and frustrated, I proceed to lose several of my best streamers in the dense shrubbery surrounding the mouth of the creek (can’t retrieve them since the current is too strong to get the boat any further up the creek).

On the way back to camp we are passed by a couple of boats with stringers of fish crashing off the bows of their boats (hmmm, are they just rubbing it my face, or are they tenderizing the meat?)Questioning my decision to become a fly fisherman, I head over to the dock to pick up my 5 year-old son and a fresh styro of night crawlers. I'll let my son fish the meat before I crumble and load one up on the spinner myself. Surprising, no luck with the meat either, and hear comes the rain. I throw my arms up and ponder my karma activity of the past year.

We charge for shore as the lake turns to white caps. The rain and lightning moves in fast. Did I mention that we got the boat for free and have no clue what to do in the rain? We pull the boat up close to shore near our camp, outside of the no-wake zone. We leave all of our gear and head for the soggy camp.

Well, apparently it’s best to leave your boat in protected cove in the no wake zone. From what we could tell, our boat was hammered with 300 to 400 gallons of water from the waves and boat wakes from boaters rushing back to the dock. Yes, it sank in 18 inches of water. I didn’t realize a boat could sink in 18” of water! All of our gear is floating around the shore. The gas tank and gear which included an Orvis waste pack with hmmmm, some 500 plus flies. Every box any fly had to be opened and dried on the dashboards of our trucks.

We bail the boat, load the truck and haul our soggy gear and crippled egos back home.

Next Memorial Day, it’s back to the river!!!

About Author

Rick Chapo is with - makers of writing journals for fly fishing. Visit to read more about the great outdoors as well as fly fishing articles and stories.

Spring Skiing; winter is over, but the snow must go on!

Just because the winter is over, it doesn’t mean the winter sports have to end. Most ski resorts remain open till mid-April, and with longer hours, sunny slopes, plus discounted lift passes and accommodation, spring is an ideal time to head for the slopes for some skiing and snowboarding.

In spring you’ll find the slopes less crowded than during the winter months, and the snow is typically soft and sugary. Other advantages of spring skiing are commonly found with the onset of warmer weather, which sees restaurant and cafĂ© terraces opening for BBQs and beer sessions, where skiers and snowboarders can sit in the sun and soak up some rays whilst enjoying the mountain scenery.

Spring skiing and snowboarding typically offers a relaxed atmosphere on the slopes, and many resorts hold festivals, parties and carnivals to celebrate the end of another winter. These come in the form of live music performances and fun events such as a “Slush Cup” – where skiers and snowboarders ski down a hill and then try to make it over a big slushy puddle, often in fancy dress. The winners enjoy the glory and applause from the onlookers, the losers end up rather wet!

When skiing in spring, be sure to bring plenty of high factor sun cream, as the intense rays and highly reflective surface of the snow will quickly burn your skin. For the same reason, a good pair of sunglasses is essential to protect your eyes, as you may find wearing goggles gets a little hot. In spring it’s often possible to ski or snowboard in a t-shirt, although it’s wise to carry extra layers too, as it’s not unknown for spring storms to deposit a dump of snow, and you might even get lucky with some spring powder!

Spring is also an ideal time to buy new ski and snowboard gear, as prices are normally heavily discounted at the end of the season as shops seek to clear their stock and get ready for the summer trade.

The best places to head for spring skiing are ski resorts situated above 2500m. Ski area with glaciers such as Whistler will stay open even longer, with lifts running until June.

If you are considering a spring skiing trip, you’ll be able to find a range of options for ski resort accommodation whether you’re heading to resorts in Colorado, Wyoming or British Columbia. So, when the winter’s over, don’t let the skiing stop - spring is one of the best times to head to the slopes for low prices, sugar soft snow and fun in the sun!

About Author

Andrew Regan is an online, freelance journalist.


Best cabin Rentals

Best Cabin Rentals

If you are one of the desperate travelers who inquire more about the lodging facilities than the tourist destination and seek for relaxation during your stay, the cabin rentals are best for accommodation where you will find it all. Cabin rentals are not new to us, but in today’s scenario they are fast becoming popular. The reason for such popularity of the cabins is that they are comfortable and cheap means of lodging across United States. In addition to the price saving structure when it comes to family vacations they offer complete privacy, which is not possible in any other means of lodging.

The best part of the cabin rentals is that the cabin rentals add pleasure and excitement, while holidaying in the natural splendor of your favorite holiday destination. Cabin rentals are typically made from wood, which gives an ethnic impression at the very first sight. According to the needs of the travelers the cabin rentals are available in different sizes and at different location so that, you can choose as per your needs and requirements. Along with that they also suit different budgets so you don’t need to worry if you are planning a vacation with your family on a tight budget. At the end of the day, cabin rentals are sure to provide you with the best deals you could get on accommodation in any tourist destination. That is not all, you get complete privacy which is very essential when traveling with your entire family.

In general the cabin rentals are equipped with various contemporary and useful amenities such as kitchen, attached bathrooms, pools, DVD, television sets, washer, dryer, fireplaces, car parking etc. You will find the cabin rentals are comfortable just as home. To avail the services in offered by the cabin rental you will have to pay the rent of your stay. Typically the rent of the cabin rentals depends upon the location and size of the rental and the general facilities included. Today most of the information regarding the cabin rentals in the popular tourist destinations like Lake Tahoe, Ohio, Colorado, Virginia and many others are available on the internet. It just takes one click of the mouse to access the information and to book the cabin rental for you. There are many vacation planners who also help you top book the cabin rentals with much convenience. Cabin Rentals can also be booked directly from the owner of the rental.

There are a few aspects that you need to keep in mind to have the best experience of your stay in the cabin rentals. So keep in mind that when you are taking help of any traveling agency, make sure that the agency is reputed one to guarantee a well-planned vacation. The cabin rentals should also be compared on the basis of facilities offered, rent structure, location etc. In all for the best and cost effective vacations with the entire family the cabin rentals are one of the popular choices of accommodation.

About Author

Looking for more information on Best cabin Rentals check out your guide to Best cabin Rentals.


Edible Wild Plants For Backpackers

Knowing a few edible wild plants can make your next backpacking trip, or any trip into the wilderness, a lot more enjoyable.

You can pack lighter if you eat wild berries every morning for breakfast, for example, and leave your oatmeal behind. So push the bears out of the way and gorge yourself on blueberries. Less weight on your back always feels better.

You'll also enjoy your backpacking more when you know that you won't be completely helpless the moment you lose your pack, or a raccoon empties it for you. You don't have to be a survivalist to see the value of knowing which of the wild plants around you can be eaten.

I eat dandelions, wild courants, pine nuts and other edible wild plants regularly. I ate hundreds of calories in wild rasberries during a break, while hiking in the Colorado Rockies. During a kayak trip on Lake Superior, a friend and I spent half a day stopping at every litle island, to fill our stomachs with wild blueberries. We were almost out of food, so our foraging helped us get through the rest of the trip.

Edible Berries

Here are just some of the wild berries my wife and I ate while hiking to Grinnel Glacier in Glacier National Park: Blueberries, Service Berries, Rose Hips, Blackberries, High Bush Cranberries, Strawberries, Rasberries, Thimbleberries, and Currants. Berries are the most convenient, calorie rich and nutritious of the edible wild plants out there. They are also the easiest to learn to identify

Edible Wild Plants And Survival

If you travel in isolated wilderness areas, learning to identify a few edible wild plants can keep you safe also. Someday you may be lost or injured, or a bear will push you out of the way to gorge himself your freeze-dried meals. In a survival situation, food isn't usually a priority (warmth and water are), but a pile of roasted cattail hearts sure will cheer you up and warm you up, and they even taste good.

Stay away from protected plants, of course, unless you are in a true life-or-death situation. Also, don't eat all the beautiful flowers, or kill off the lilies by eating all the bulbs. Use common sense. If you aren't sure if you're doing harm, stick to eating wild berries.

Check out a few books on harvesting wild food. You don't need to become a wilderness survival fanatic. You really only need to learn to recognise a dozen high-calorie, abundant wild edible plants to be a lot safer in the wilderness, and to enjoy it more.

About Author

Steve Gillman is a long-time backpacker, and advocate ultralight backpacking. His advice and stories can be found at


Peach Baking Recipes

Our Colorado peaches have come into season here. And fresh peaches puts me in the mood for baking. Here are a few tasty baking recipes for fresh peaches.

Peach and Brown Sugar Muffins

4 cups flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 eggs
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup fresh peaches, chopped

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and ground allspice into a large bowl and mix well. Dig a hole in the center of the mixture. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sour cream and oil. Mix well and then add in the peaches. Put the peach mixture into the hole in the flour mixture. Stir just until the mixture is moistened (it should be lumpy). Pour the mixture into paper liners in the muffin pan. Fill each one 2/3 full. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until they test done. Makes around 20 muffins.

Peach Pudding

2 1/2 cups fresh peaches, sliced
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Put the peaches into an 8 x 8-inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix together the 3/4 cup sugar, milk, butter, baking powder, and flour. Pour all of this mixture over the peaches in the baking pan. In a small bowl, combine the 1 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt. Mix well to make sure the cornstarch is evenly distributed throughout the bowl. Pour that mixture into a sifter and sift it evenly over the peach mixture in the baking pan. Boil the 1 cup water and add in the almond extract to it. Pour this mixture over the peach mixture. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 45 minutes. Serve warm. Makes enough for 6.

About Author

Get other baking recipes like these at Jill Seader’s site, You can also submit your own baking recipe and story for others to enjoy. You can also get recipe scrapbooking tools to help you create your own story. Happy Baking!