constancehammond

Jun 062010
 
Carbondale — A Biking Mecca

CARBONDALE — Aspen has skiing and Glenwood Springs has its whitewater park, but Carbondale may just emerge as the bicycling epicenter of the Roaring Fork Valley. The town sits at the crossroads of what could easily become tourist destinations in their own right — the Rio Grande Trail, which already links the valley between Aspen and Glenwood, and the Crystal Trail, which will eventually allow bikers to pedal the 16 or so scenic miles between Carbondale and Redstone without venturing onto dicey Highway 133.

Feb 172010
 

Written by Mike Horn for The Crested Butte News The Gunnison County Ski Club built Colorado’s first chairlift on the flanks of Cement Mountain—near what is now Crested Butte South. It was completed in 1939, and the single-seated Comet Chair carried skiers nearly 2,000 feet up. The fun lasted until 1956, when the ski area closed for reasons unknown. Fifty-four years later, there’s a movement afoot to reopen the Pioneer Ski Hill. Al Smith of Crested Butte South is the chief proponent, and he’s paid a visit to the Forest Service and started gauging public opinion. The Forest Service directed Smith to get them a proposal, and then they would tell him what else was required.  …read more

Dec 052009
 

This is, literally, the end of the road. Twenty-five miles up an icy highway from Gunnison, surrounded on three sides by some of the most beautiful and rugged mountains in Colorado, there’s one way in and out of Crested Butte in the winter. Skiing is a way of life, in a rustic town that has attracted hippies, drop-outs and ski bums for generations, with a mountain known for deep powder and double-diamond runs that challenge skills and test the soul. Crested Butte Mountain Resort is at the center of a fierce debate that belies the beauty and tranquility. The resort wants to expand to nearby Snodgrass Mountain, and what was supposed to be a groomed path to approval has hit what skiers call a massive yard sale: The U.S. Forest Service, citing community divisions and environmental issues, last month denied the project, declining to commence a review under the National […]

May 292008
 
Life on Vacation: Jackson Hole Is A Beautiful But Expensive Second-Home Spot

By Larry Olmsted, Special for USA TODAY There are many good reasons for living in Jackson, Wyo., but saving money is not one of them. As a popular local lament goes: “The billionaires are pushing the millionaires out.”Jackson’s airport is a mirror of the community: bumper-to-bumper private jets from celebrity vacation-home owners such as Tiger Woods and Charles Schwab and primary-home owners such as Harrison Ford and Dick Cheney, who commutes to his second home in Washington, D.C., via Air Force Two. Despite its wealth, gourmet restaurants and boutiques, Jackson oozes Old West charm, right down to the saddle-covered bar stools at the venerable Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.  …read more

Mar 052007
 
Metamorphosis

Webster says that caterpillars are voracious feeders with soft bodies that grow rapidly, and by the looks of things, that’s me. But, this stress-eating, migrating caterpillar is about to become a beautiful butterfly, so I’m more than fine with this present stage, knowing what lies ahead. I’ve been thinking long and hard about who I want to be when I get to Aspen. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly going to be true to myself and “be me.” But what are the great aspects of me that I want to bring to the forefront during this next phase of my life? I’ve already lived in Aspen once, during my early 20′s, as a fun-loving party animal, and I had an absolute blast. No regrets. None. Two decades later, I’m looking forward to experiencing Aspen in a different, more mellow, way. I’m sure there’s plenty of party animal left in me, […]

Feb 232007
 
NYC Rat Race Gives Me the Heebie-Jeebies

Walking through Grand Central Station tonight for the last time as a local NYC commuter, I thought I’d feel a bit sad. Instead, the “signs” started showing up (as they always do) to remind me that I am indeed on the right path: moving back to Aspen. First, it was the stench. Yes, the smell of the underground RR has bothered me before, but never worse than today. Then there was the inescapable mold all over the escalator ceiling grasping my attention as I descended into the depths of Gotham to catch my ride home. And the hoards of people! Was it because of the annual squash tournament taking place or was it because today was my last day walking through the terminal and this was another sign? As I made my way home, freezing to death because of the 33 mph winds, I thought: it has never been this […]