Vail to Denver, Uniquely

Two things motivated this story.  The first is a website sponsored by the Town of Vail called solepower.org (very cool).  This should be a blogpost in itself, but as you can see if you visit the site, it’s a way to log miles walked or pedaled in lieu of driving.  Check out the Team Leaderboard and you’ll see that the Antlers is kicking just about everyone’s butt, with the exception of our friends (ahem) over at the West Vail Liquor Mart.  If you scroll the Solepower blog, you just might also see some smack talk between the two of us.  It’s all good.

The second big driver was just the attraction of being one of the few people (to say the least) to ride a bike from Vail to Denver for a business meeting.  Call me crazy … everyone does.

So Sunday afternoon at 2:00 (after walking 18 holes and shooting a million, by the way) I set out from home on my trusty Giant armed with rain gear, a couple fresh jerseys and a healthy supply of “vitamin i” in my backpack.

3:00 found me at the East Vail exit feeling great.

Shortly after passing our namesake signage on the way up, by 4:20 I was cresting Vail Pass and happy, happy, happy.

      

A mere thirty-five downhill minutes later it was hi and bye to Frisco.

Who knew that the bikepath across the Dillon Dam was painted bright pink … what’s that all about?

Forty-five minutes further up the road, I pedalled into Keystone.  It was at this point that I started feeling less than 100%.  When I realized that one of my original two water bottles was still half full, it dawned on me that I wasn’t drinking nearly enough and might be getting dehydrated.  Duh.  In retrospect,  I was already well beyond what I could fix by simply drinking a bunch.   In fact, although I didn’t know it yet, I was toast.  More on that later.

After hanging at Keystone from 6:00 to about 6:30, eating power bars, drinking Gatorade, drinking Gatorade and eating power bars, I hit the road still foolish enough to think that Loveland Pass summit would be no sweat.

Notice that the sky is a bit dusky.  Right.  What should be an hour and change took me over two (with more than a couple catch-your-breath stops (piss me off).  At that point I had been on the road for six and a half hours, it’s beyond “dusky” and I hadn’t pee’d once.  Pardon me, but this isn’t good.

Nevertheless, the gratification of being at the top, combined with less than no alternatives of what to do next, made for an exciting (shall we say?) descent.  Just me, my bike, my little headlight (thank you again, Evelyn) and an occasional eighteen wheeler.  Yipee.  By the time I rolled into Georgetown at 9:30 I was beyond pooped, and really, really happy to call it a day.

I posted a picture of my luxurious motel room on Facebook and quickly got a “Motel 3?” response from Boomer.  I replied “two point five”.   But who really cares?

I should back up and tell you that the destination for this (not ill advised, but poorly executed) adventure was a CACI Executive Committee meeting at the University Club, a block from the capitol building in Denver.  Prior to being dim-witted enough to let myself dry out, I was sharp enough when I met with them the week before, to ask Darla and Eliza (our queens of PR) if they could deliver my suit to said destination.  Brill, and thanks.

Day 2 -Rise and shine … 7:00, out the door, back on the steed and Ya-hoo … another 18 mile thrilling descent into Idaho Springs.  And this time I can SEE WHERE I’M GOING!  It just doesn’t get any better.

From there, it’s a not-too-tough climb up Floyd Hill.  Now I’m no medic, but methinks that the dehydration screwed up my system beyond what guzzling water and one night’s fitfull sleep could fix.  When it took me at least twice as long as it should have, to climb FH and everything else, I was sure of it.

Reminiscent of Loveland Pass, reaching the crest of the hill next to Lookout Mountain got me stoked, with those familiar great views both east and west.

  

Toasted or not, the E-ticket ride down Route 40 is a hoot.  I confess to being a little preoccupied with the prospect of having to crawl back up that same path later in the day, but it was still really fun.

Once in Denver, I made my way east on Colfax (bad idea) and some side streets (slightly better) until I eventually reached my final resting place destination.

It was 10:30 and I had time to shower (thanks U Club), change, and get ready for our meeting.  I did my best to not let on that I felt somewhat like badly overcooked spaghetti, and seemingly got away with it, as the meeting went well and we adjourned just prior to 2:00 like usual.

When it came time to head out, I shared my adventure with Dan, Ann and Chuck, but predictably left out the part that I felt like hell and should have been ever so much smarter about drinking an ample amount of water along the way.  They were each more impressed than was deserved and Dan even went so far as to email out my undertaking to the entire CACI board.  Slightly embarrassing, but okay.

True to form, Ann took a picture.

Once changed back into my bike gear, I texted Evelyn that all was well (although my pants were on fire), telling her that the meeting went fine, but I didn’t feel great and was starting to question my ability to make it all the way home.  I presumed that we would communicate more and ultimately make arrangements to meet in Idaho Springs or similar.   You have to know that Ev was never too fond of the whole idea in the first place.  A short time later I got a return text telling me that she was passing Frisco and “on her way”.  At that point I had mixed emotions, part of me unhappy with her rush to judgment (and action), doubting my abilities altogether.  The other half of me was completely of the attitude, “OH THANK GOD!”.  By the time she picked me up just as I was about to begin the long ascent up to Lookout Mountain, the latter feeling had won out completely.

In sum, I think I can claim to be one of the few people to ever ride from Vail to Denver for a business meeting, but it does still leave me with one more goal for the future … down AND back.  And I’ll be a LOT smarter about how much water I drink!

    

 

Save 30 Percent on Vail Lodging, Lift Ticket Package This Winter

Antlers at Vail Hotel Offers Prime Season Ski, Snowboard Deal

Antlers at Vail's Value Vail Ski Package

Photo by Jack Affleck

August 1, 2011 – Vail, CO – This winter at the height of ski season, the Antlers at Vail hotel offers its popular “Value Vail” package.  From January 7 to February 15, 2012, guests can enjoy 30% savings off regular prices.  Rates for the five-night package start at just $1,134 per person per night for four people in a two-bedroom condo–including four-day lift tickets for all four skiers! 

General Manager Rob LeVine recommends booking early to secure a package.  “We sold out of the Value Vail package last year, and we anticipate even more skiers and snowboarders at the resort this year,” he says.  “To get the deal, we recommend that travelers lock in dates and packages as soon as possible.”

The Antlers Vail offers condominiums ranging from studio suites up to four bedrooms with fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, outdoor balconies, free Internet access and free heated indoor parking – plus free equipment storage for skiers and boarders.  Every room provides plenty of space to spread out and all the comforts of home, and the Antlers’ Vail-insider staff is on call to answer questions big or small.

Conveniently located 200 yards from the Vail Gondola, numerous restaurants, galleries and shops are within walking distance and the free Vail town shuttle stops just footsteps away.  Named the Vail Valley ‘Green Business of the Year’ in 2009,  the Antlers Vail condominiums is also proud to be named a Platinum Service Award Winner by the Vail Valley Partnership.  For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit www.antlersvail.com.

Media Contacts: Rob LeVine, General Manager, The Antlers at Vail, (970) 476-2471, RLeVine@antlersvail.com or Darla Worden, WordenGroup Strategic Public Relations, (307) 734-5335, darla@wordenpr.com.

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Hiking Mt Sherman 2011

Mt Sherman Hike (14,036′)
A decent short 14er for those who want to notch the first one on their belts. It takes about 4 hours to reach the top and return. The land may seem brown and lifeless compared to some other 14ers however; it is rich in mining history as can be seen from the scattered mining structures all around the area. This was one I could see from the ridgeline very near to the top of Sherman.

When my fellow Antlers employee Dan and I hiked it on June 27th, it still had snow fields to cross at the start of the hike. However, we got through easy enough without too much post holing (and a slight deviation from the trail that turned into a lot more work than expected… DANNNN). Still, the rest of the trail was clear and easy going once we started gaining elevation. The most exhilarating thing about this hike was the wind that day. Sherman is very very exposed so a windbreaker/rain jacket is a MUST or you will risk being exposed to the elements that make hiking very uncomfortable.

A little bit windy up there

Only 40 a minute drive away from the Antlers here in Vail it was definitely a great day hike and a good first 14er for any moderate hiker looking to reach the next level. Make sure to add to the wind walls when you reach the top and sign the registry!!!

After we added another foot or so it still wasn't very helpful

Antlers at Vail Peddles to Summer Mountain Bikers

Hotel offers convenient location, knowledgeable staff, value pricing

The Vail Valley offers numerous bike trails for all ages and abilities

April 20, 2011 – Vail, CO – “I was going so fast, I wondered if I’d need a runaway truck ramp like the ones they have on I-70!” a biker quipped after a thrilling ride down the Vail Mountain bike trail. With the Vail Gondola offering transport for people and bikes to the top, those who prefer downhill cruising to uphill climbing will find plenty to enjoy in and around Vail.

The Antlers at Vail hotel is a conveniently located home base – rated #1 in Vail Specialty Lodging by TripAdvisor readers – with comfortable condominiums just footsteps from the Gore Creek trail and darned close to the Vail Gondola. The Antlers knowledgeable staff can suggest trails, and nearby shops like Charter Sports, Vail Bike Tech and Bike Valet offer bicycle and helmet rentals for adults and kids. Both Vail and Beaver Creek offer summer maps for navigating the area’s 340+ miles of biking trails. Guests who reserve rooms by June 1, 2011 can save 25% to 40% off regular prices, with rates for a studio suite starting as low as $144 per night.

Riders looking for a summertime challenge can join the Antlers team for the 10th Annual Comcast Colorado Eagle River Ride on Saturday, July 23. The tour begins in Beaver Creek and brings riders along the scenic banks of the Colorado and Eagle rivers, and riders can choose from the 100-mile, 68-mile and 42-mile routes. The fee is $90 until June 24, $100 for those who register before July 22, and $130 on the day of the event; proceeds benefit the youth nonprofit, SOS Outreach. Riders of all levels are welcome, and new riders receive a customized Antlers team jersey.

The Antlers is also a sponsor for the Runner’s World and Bicycling Magazine “Pursuit” Package August 18-21, 2011. This all-inclusive weekend features celebrity hosted runs and rides plus dining at Vail’s premier restaurants, luxury lodging, activities and more. For those who enjoy watching the pros, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge features elite professional teams and athletes from around the world in Vail and Avon August 25 and 26, 2011.

Since 1972, the Antlers has offered a unique Vail lodging experience in a relaxed mountain setting. The Antlers Vail condominiums – named the ‘Green Business of the Year’ by the Vail Valley Partnership Success Awards – is also proud to be a Green Star rated business. With condominiums ranging from studio suites up to four bedrooms and plenty of space to spread out, each room at the Antlers offers all the comforts of home including fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, outdoor balconies, free Internet access and free parking in a heated indoor garage. The Antlers Vail is conveniently located in the Lionshead area of Vail with numerous restaurants, galleries and shops within walking distance, and the free Vail town shuttle stops just footsteps away. For more information, call 1-800-843-8245.

“As the Antlers Turn…..” scene 15

What do you want first, the good or the bad news?

Although we did not win the “Grand Prize”, we did win.  I haven’t written the e -mail to anyone yet explaining our good fortunate, but when I do it will go like this:

From:  G Ziccardi

Subject:  Lottery Results

Do not quit your day job.  The big winner is from New York and I’m sure, whoever he or she is, that individual needs the money more than us.

These are the results of our 100 tickets (checked and then double checked because I couldn’t believe the results the first time).  Of the 100 tickets, 3 of them were in the money.  One ticket for $2, one for $3 and the last for $7.  Divided by 20 players, the net profit is $0.60 each. 

Not included is the Service Charge ($0.77) that everyone is responsible for and the Fuel Surcharge ($0.67) that recently has been levied.  After re-calculation, everyone owes me an additional $0.74.  I have decided to forgo these additional charges.

Any problems with that?  If so, have your people call my people and we’ll do lunch.

Greg

A few souls called and wanted to know the results on Sunday morning.  I felt like I let everyone down.  Randi was first.  “Should I buy that trip to Switzerland?” she asked.  I only said “No, but you can buy some gas for your car and come back to work tomorrow.”

I saw Lora this morning and she seemed convinced and confident when she asked “Did we win?”.  Thank God she got a radio call and had to walk away before I said anything.  I’ll break the news to her Monday.

Amy just wanted a new golf bag.  “Fortunately, I don’t need $5 million for that.  I’ll manage.”

Chris Ratz seemed more concerned than I thought he would be.  “What do you mean we didn’t win?  I already told my father he could use Tom’s Cadillac and stay at Elsa’s new house.”

My mother was probably most upset.  I promised her the first $100K.

The real good news is we are all back where we belong.  No new hassles in our lives, just the routines we are accustomed to and do so well. 

The bad news is the Power Ball Jackpot is getting close to $100 million.

Design Your Own Discounted Spring Ski Package, Save Up To 50%

The Antlers at Vail hotel Spring skiing in Vail

Left, Antlers at Vail hotel; right, photo by Jack Affleck

“Stay three nights and your fourth, fifth and sixth are free!” declares Antlers at Vail

Locals know that springtime in Vail is one of the best times to enjoy the resort’s award-winning slopes and attractions. April brings abundant snow, shorter lift lines and springtime sunshine, and the conveniently-located Antlers at Vail hotel offers a ‘Design Your Own Ski Package’ from April 10 to 24, 2011. Pay for three nights and the fourth, fifth – and even sixth night is free. A one-bedroom bunkroom that sleeps four people starts at just $355 per night for the first three nights, with up to three additional nights free. Coupled with Vail Resorts’ deeply discounted lift tickets and passes, springtime values can’t be beat.

Along with reduced rates, the resort’s ‘Spring Back to Vail’ promotion features plenty of end-of-the-season events and activities featuring on-mountain snow events and street parties, concerts including a performance by Train on April 16 and the 12th annual Bud Light Street Beat free concert series held Thursday nights, Vintage SkiFest on April 16 at Beaver Creek, and the World Pond Skimming Championships. The best party of the year is held at the top of Vail Mountain on closing day — April 24 this year – when many arrive in costume to celebrate another great season. “Whether there’s a blizzard raging or it’s warm and sunny, the closing day party is always a good time,” says Antlers GM Rob LeVine, a Vail local for more than 30 years.

The Antlers offers plenty of generous, money-saving perks including complimentary fitness passes to nearby Vail Athletic Club, fully equipped kitchens for eat-in savings, complimentary indoor parking in the Antlers’ heated garage, free internet access, a heated pool and hot tubs with million-dollar views. The hotel also sponsors popular activities including biweekly morning yoga classes and weekly happy hour receptions.

Since 1972, the Antlers has offered a unique Vail lodging experience in a relaxed mountain setting. The Antlers Vail condominiums – named the ‘Green Business of the Year’ by the Vail Valley Partnership Success Awards – is also proud to be a Green Star rated business. With condominiums ranging from studio suites up to four bedrooms and plenty of space to spread out, each room at the Antlers offers all the comforts of home including fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, outdoor balconies, free Internet access and free parking in a heated indoor garage. The Antlers Vail is conveniently located in the Lionshead area of Vail with numerous restaurants, galleries and shops within walking distance, and the free Vail town shuttle stops just footsteps away. For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit the Antlers web site at www.antlersvail.com.

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“As the Antlers Turn….” scene 12

Who is Marie Roberts?      

In scene 11, I had mentioned an item I bid on at the Vail Valley Partnership Awards Banquet.  It was a silent auction and I never bid on anything for several reasons.  First, I don’t need a ski vacation package and second, I’m a very frugal (cheap) individual.  But I did fall in love with one particular item that was innocently lined up with all the other items.      

As I walked by the tables looking at the donated vacations, massages, chiropractic visits, CME rides, dinners at various restaurants, hot air balloon rides and so on, I stopped and began to stare.  I was frozen to the floor in my borrowed Italian loafers and my eyes focused on the only item I would ever bid on.       

I looked at my friend and said “I’ve got to have it.”      

Just a couple of regular joes at the golf course

A Fifty Dollar bill was a lot of money in '67.

She said “It must be a guy thing.”       

The clipboard that held the sheet to offer a bid on this treasure simply stated “Minimum Bid – $250.  (increments of $25 please).       

I thought to myself and then explained to my friend  “I’m going to scare the hell out of any one else that would even consider bidding on this.”      

“What’s your plan” she asked.       

“I’ve got to get rid of the high rollers” I explained.  “I’m going to bump this bid to $275.  That will put people in their seats.”     

She looked at me stupefied, and to kind to say what she was thinking.  She did, however, say “I don’t think it will hold up.”     

I then explained “This money is coming from my new skis fund.  It’s all I have.”     

She then said “If you plan on buying new skis for $250, you better take a time machine back to 1967.”    

“Your brutal sarcasm is beginning to test me.  Why don’t you go and get us a couple of martinis.  I have some paper work to fill out.”    

I then scribbled in my bid and printed my name legibly on the clipboard.  It was 6:30 PM.   

I went back to our table.  It was time to eat.  Then it was time to check the bid sheet.  No more names. Then it was time to dance.  Then it was time to check the bid sheet.  No more names.  My plan was working.  I did scare the hell out of the high rollers.  It was 8:30 and the bidding closes down at 9:00.  I announce to everyone at our table that I wasn’t getting new skis this season.  I started to cry.   

I looked at Chris and said “I need new skis. I don’t need a picture of Arnie and Jack.”   

Everyone at the table overheard my conversation with Chris and no one had any pity for me.  I reasoned with myself and told the group “I need to give something  to my son when I die.  This will be perfect.  I’m going to buy it like a man.  Lets dance.”  

It was now 9:30 PM and went back to check the bid sheet.  Low and Behold!  Another name and a $300 bid.  It was Marie Roberts.  I looked at my friend and said “I don’t believe this.  She’s probably a trust-funder. Lets dance.”  

My friend said “I saw this Marie when she collected the item.  She was not a pretty women.”  I was puzzeled by that remark.  

The hours passed and the night was through.  I quietly walked home and thought about the only thing I ever wanted to give my son when I die.  How disappointed he will be.  

I managed to get a hold of this picture of Marie.  If you see her, could you tell her how disappointed I am.  

Let the truth be told…….When I returned home that evening I opened my door and threw my keys on the kitchen counter. Right beside the picture of Arnie and Jack. 

I, again, was frozen to the floor.  A Post-It Note was on the picture and it simply said “Thanks for being you.”  

Marie Roberts

NO MARIE….THANKS FOR BEING YOU 

Cinebistro

Cinebistro, the new upscale movie theater, located in the Solaris in Vail Village offers gourmet dining paired with the newest movies. All movie seats are high-back leather rocker chairs and have a slide-out table tray. They have 3 theaters with 3-D capabilities.

Cinebistro Movie Ticket

Cinebistro offers an assortment of specialty cocktails and wines. You can enjoy a drink in the lounge before you are seated, then have a gourmet dinner brought right to you before the show starts. The menu offers appetizers, entrees, desserts and even traditional movie items like popcorn and candy. A server will come by and take your order then bring out your meal and beverages. They charge for everything  upfront when you place your order and the server gratuity is added. If you will be dining plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to showtime as they do not bring out food/drink items once the movie has started. You are not required to order food and they do offer parking (be sure to have your ticket validated after the show). You can check show times and order tickets online here.

Bighorn Cabin

Greetings hikers!

Bighorn cabin is a private property (although left open as a storm shelter) located at about 10800 feet in the Gore Range Wilderness. A good moderate hike and definitely one of the least steep in the area it is great for those looking to head into the mountains and photograph wildflowers, see some wildlife, and enjoy the great outdoors. The trail used to be a part of an old wagon trail so be sure to look for signs on the sides of the trail to be a part of the old homesteaders travels. You will reach some rock fields, to be sure of the way make sure to look for cairns (rocks stacked up like a tower). Not far from the Antlers in Vail this is a great hike accessible to all. One thing to remember is that parking there is limited so going early or taking the bus is recommended. Also, for the aggressive hiker this is a good way to reach the Grand Traverse which is a long ridge at the height of 12000 ft designed for mountain bikers and expert hikers.

Here is a terrain map provided by Google showing the basic route up to the cabin and some other trail heads in the area.


View Bighorn Cabin in a larger map

Enjoy!

Tyler

Little foodies in the Kitchen and Fondue Party

Pasta makerLittle foodies
Family/Little Foodies in the Kitchen Week
Menu:
A Fun filled 1 and ½ hours of food identification with both uncommon and common foods to talk and learn about. Information about 10 nutrients that every child needs and a hands on instruction for making your own spaghetti noodles followed by lunch and Finished with a Healthy Fruity Forks Chocolate Fondue.
When: October 16, 2010
Time: 11:30am to 1pm
Where: Antlers at Vail Kitchen
Cost: Lodging package $160.00 for 1 bedroom condominium with bunks beds includes space for 1 child and 1 parent. Each additional child/parent duo or without lodging $20.