Sadly, we leave behind another memorable hiking season… why does it go by so fast? Kudos again to all the volunteers who make the hiking program such a success, including our leaders, coordinators as well as party organizers extraordinaires Michele Darken and Karen Gerhardt! Each volunteer makes everything not only possible but also enjoyable. Indeed we were able to have terrific outings despite the many rainy days.
As you all know, leaders are the backbone of Vail Club 50’s hiking program. Each one is appreciated, of course, and special thanks go to the following volunteers who went above and beyond by leading two or more hikes and even taking over when a few leaders had to bail out: Jeanette Brown and Sue Kuntz (on top of coordinating the Tortoises and Hares, respectively) as well as (and in no particular order) Suzette Newman, the Laughlins, Lois Bruce, Chuck Bailey (and his hardy crew for doing a 14er in not so great weather), Bill Mimeles, Paul Gerhardt, Steve Penrose, Jon Schwartz, the Darkens, and Gretchen Babcock. Special mention goes to Sue Mitchell, Jim Yager and Barry Zvibelman, our brave “newer” 2014 volunteer leaders.
Do you realize how often you see many of these names in Vail Club 50’s correspondence? Indeed and it’s this terrific group of dedicated people which makes Vail Club 50 work the way it does! I’m truly grateful that our same coordinators have signed on for next summer, and I know they join me in saying “we hope next season will bring back our dedicated leaders as well as new volunteers.”
Until next summer, start dreaming about our most enjoyable “classics” and perhaps new trails too.
And for now, farewell and enjoy the winter months. You can expect to hear from us again in late February when we’ll schedule our organizational meeting.
— Louise Willimann, 2014-2015 Hiking Chair
Another great season of biking occurred in 2014. Thanks to Pat Cornett for being the Biking Coordinator this year. One hundred seventy-five of us mounted our bikes and participated in at least one of the twenty-four rides that included seven mountain bike rides and seventeen road bike rides. Two rides were cancelled—Gary Blamire’s traditional Independence Pass ride scheduled for May 23rd since the road was still closed due to snow pack, and Larry Stewart was geared up and ready to lead the popular Woody Creek ride on Aug 1st that was cancelled that morning due to threatening, blackened skies to the west that did deliver torrential rains shortly after riders returned to their cars at the start point.
Everyone cleared the cobwebs off his or her mountain bikes early in the season on a ride led by Greta Blamire. Shortly after, Rich Freyberg helped many of us break in our road bikes on the relatively flat terrain from Lionshead to Minturn and then onward from Minturn to Red Cliff over the not-so-flat (aka difficult) terrain over Battle Mountain.
It took three attempts before we were able to complete the Glenwood Canyon ride all the way from Dotsero to Glenwood. Trail damage between Hanging Lake and Shoshone kept that part of the path closed until August. An alternative ride up Colorado River Road took place in June led by Gary Blamire and an abbreviated ride from Dotsero to Hanging Lake occurred in July led by Pat Cornett. Those who finally made the full trip in August were warned about bears and there was plenty evidence of their recent presence along the trail – scat indicated they were well-fed bears!
Two new rides in the Leadville area occurred this year. The round trip ride from Leadville to Tennessee Pass occurred early in the season led by Pat Cornett. The ride around Turquoise Lake in mid-July with Patsy Rowe as leader was a beautiful scenic trip except for hungry mosquitoes that were ever-present at every break point. It was a fun ride for many and a challenge for those on hybrid bikes, many of whom decided it was time to purchase a regular road bike. Thanks to Gary Blamire, whose “sag wagon” put a smile on many a face that day.
Whole Foods supermarket in Dillon is still thanking Suzette Newman, leader of the Heeney Road/Green Reservoir ride for bringing the group to the newly opened store for a healthy lunch at its deli.
Summit County was also the locale for several other road and mountain bike rides led by Rich Freyberg, Linda Hryckowian, Jim Tharp and Gary Blamire.
The traditional Sylvan Lake Road ride, led by Peter Rosenberg who graciously stepped up to lead at the last minute, was well attended as was lunch at Adam’s Rib on the return trip coordinated by Patsy Rowe. Peter’s annual August birthday ride was re-established this year. The fall colors up Lake Creek Road added to the celebration.
Those who wanted last minute training rides before Bike Fest, were happy to see Paul Gerhardt ready to lead the hill climb from Vail Village to Eagle’s Nest and then a week later lead the mind-numbing 2000 foot climb over Battle Mountain to Red Cliff. And for the final ride of the season, Greta Blamire led nine mountain bikers on a scenic Wildridge – Power Line – Singletree ride.
Jim Tharp led the mountain bike ride on Boy Scout Trail out of Glenwood Springs in late August. The ride has some technical moments, but the spectacular views of Glenwood Canyon plus a real aerobic workout made it worthwhile for all who participated.
Please thank the following leaders for their time and effort. They all scope out and many of them do a “test ride” prior to leading an event. Our Leaders: Gary Blamire, Greta Blamire, Pat Cornett, Rich Freyberg, Paul Gerhardt, Linda Hrychowian, Suzette Newman, Peter Rosenberg, Patsy Rowe, Larry Stewart and Jim Tharp.
We celebrated the end of the biking season with the annual Bikefest on Monday August 18th. Fifty-eight riders participated in four rides:
1. Century ride to Breckenridge and back
2. Singletree to Vail Pass
3. Singletree to Donovan Park – the largest group led by Gretchen Babcock with Jeanne Mosier managing the middle of the pack and Judd Babcock as the sweeper. Caroline Tharp scoped out this ride and provided detailed directions to ensure no one got lost through the bike path construction areas.
The 4th Bikefest ride was new this year. Alice Boone initiated the idea for and coordinated an overnight ride to Breckenridge. Eight riders participated with four completing the whole ride and the other four doing parts of it on both days. On Sunday evening, with their bikes parked at the Fireside Inn in Breckenridge, the group presented a dozen roses to and shared some sparkly with Joan and Don Chambers who celebrated their 56th Anniversary. All rode back to Singletree on Monday and joined the rest of the Bikefest crowd.
Hats off to Jim Tharp who coordinated all the biking events and support that day. He and his wife Caroline were up bright and early setting up the support station on top of Vail Pass and at the Donovan Park site. Many thanks to the following people who staffed the aid stations: Chuck Bailey, Jan and Ray Cartade, Patti Johnson, Harve Latson, Angie and Steve Penrose, George Person, Nathan Robinett plus Jim and Caroline Tharp. And thanks to our two Sag Wagon volunteers: Nathan Robinett and Charlie Sherwood. It was a beautiful day with all bikers returning safely. The BBQ that followed at the Singletree Community Center was coordinated by Melanna Marcellot. The food was plentiful and delicious and a good time was had by all; a big thank you from the bikers.
See you on the bike next year!
— Pat Cornett and Jim Tharp
This summer’s Vail Club 50 tennis season got off to a good start with our opening day brunch and tennis June 12th. There were many familiar faces from previous seasons, as well as a few new players. We filled most of the courts this year at 8:00 am, but were not able to fill the 10:00 am slots as regularly as in the past. The weather cooperated most of the summer and, despite some cloudy mornings, we didn’t experience a rain-out until the very last week of the season. Good tennis karma!
We wrapped the 2014 Vail Club 50 tennis season up with three hours of mixed doubles at Beaver Creek on September 3rd. Following our tennis finale, we enjoyed dinner at The Vista Restaurant at the Country Club of the Rockies. Some challenging matches were had by all, and the following people distinguished themselves by winning the following prizes:
• Women’s First Prize: Ann Faison
• Women’s Second Prize: Eileen Thurnauer
• Women’s Third Prize : Tie, Rita Thompson & Kay Bertrand
• Men’s First Prize: Richard Leslie
• Men’s Second Prize: Sandy Faison
• Men’s Third Prize: Tie, Charlie Bertrand & Skip Thurnauer
It has been a pleasure serving as the Vail Club 50 Tennis Czars the last two summers. While the position offered some unexpected challenges, we were rewarded with the opportunity to meet and play with many delightful people and we also enjoyed some very good tennis. We’ve enjoyed it thoroughly and look forward to seeing you all again on the Vail tennis courts next summer.
— Skip & Eileen Thurnauer
2014 Ladies Par 3 Golf
The 2014 Par 3 season was as enjoyable as in previous years. It was a pleasure welcoming several new players to the group, and as always it was wonderful seeing all the familiar faces from previous years. I wish to thank my co-chair, Gussie Ross, for all of her assistance, but most importantly I thank all of this year’s participants. You made Monday mornings a good way to start the week and a lot of fun. The 2015 Ladies Par 3 Golf will be coordinated by Barbara Wahle. Welcome Barbara!
— Gabrielle Mimeles
2014 Sporting Clays & Target Shooting
Gary Blamire led Club 50’s first sport shooting group this summer. The group met on Tuesday mornings for a variety of activities including sporting clays, pistol and rifle target practice. The group really enjoyed the sporting clays at Sage Outdoor adventures. It offered a relaxing afternoon and beautiful scenery. Lunch at the Wolcott Yacht Club usually followed the shoots, and gave everyone a chance to brag about their shooting prowess. Sport shooting will be continued next summer, and possibly this winter, weather permitting. Want to join the fun? Contact Gary at email@example.com and join the “crack shots” email group.