The legend of Eagle County’s ‘Lover’s Leap’: Kids Corner for the week of 10/5/20
Editor’s note: The Vail Daily’s weekly kids section is chock full of activities and fun to keep the young and the young at heart entertained during the pandemic. If you have an idea for the section or would like to get involved, email Entertainment Editor Casey Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn about Eagle County history each week.
The town of Red Cliff is named for the towering rock walls that mark the entrance to this early-day mining camp. At one time, the rock cliff extended much higher than it is now, and a highway sign with an arrow identified the cliff as “Lover’s Leap.”
According to historical legend, this Red Cliff landmark got its name during a battle in the mid-1800s. As the story goes, the local Ute Native Americans were fighting off a band of Arapahos that attempted to invade Ute territory on Battle Mountain.
Over many days of fighting, an Arapahoe brave fell in love with a Ute maiden. When the Utes gained the upper hand in the battle, the young Arapahoe brave rode into the Ute camp, pulled his lover up onto his horse and they galloped away, intending to spend the rest of their lives together. However, when the angry Utes pursued, the couple rode to the top of this cliff. Rather than be separated, they jumped the horse off the cliff, and plunged to their deaths. Hence the name “Lover’s Leap.”
But legend is not necessarily documented history. The tale of Lover’s Leap has persisted through the years, but it is unlikely that this romantic story ever happened. The tale cannot be documented by archival material. It is an entertaining story but is not a proven part of Eagle County history.
However, it is presumed that the name “Battle Mountain” is a reference to a long ago skirmish between the Utes and a rival tribe.
“Lover’s Leap” is no longer the dramatic rock structure that it once was, and the highway sign was removed several decades ago. The upper part of the cliff was blasted off during the 1939 Highway 24 improvement project and the construction of the arch bridge. But the Lover’s Leap legend persists.
Time Travel is researched and written by Kathy Heicher, president of the Eagle County Historical Society. Learn more about ECHS at eaglecountyhistoricalsociety.com.
When it comes to squash, pumpkins reign supreme as the most recognized and honored of the fruits during October. Some produce, like tomatoes, can’t tolerate the cooler nights. Not the squash. It can truly thrive with the change of season.
Squash are divided into two categories: winter and summer. Summer squash (crookneck, yellow and green zucchini, straight neck, and scallop ‘pattypan’) have thin, edible skins, soft seeds, mild flavor and are packed with vitamins A and C and niacin. Winter squash (acorn, butternut, spaghetti, calabaza, pumpkin and more) have thick skins, hard seeds and are loaded with Vitamins A and C, iron and riboflavin. Squash grow from a flower, and that flower is also edible. Squash blossoms taste yummy when stuffed with cheese and baked.
Pumpkins are a member of the gourd family, which is also a squash. Another popular gourd is watermelon. And, pumpkins come in many more colors than just orange including green, white, red and yellow. Some large varieties of pumpkins can weigh as much as 200 pounds; but some can grow pumpkins that weigh more than 2,000 pounds.
Winter squash actually grow in the summer, but get their name because they can be stored throughout the winter for weeks, or even months in the right conditions.
Did you know squash are actually fruit and not vegetables?
Outside Scoop is submitted by freelance journalist Julie Bielenberg. Contact her at email@example.com.
Word of the Week
Learn new words in English and Spanish each week.
to eat / comer
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Riddle: What Jack has a head but no body?
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Riddle: Who helps the little pumpkins cross the street to school?
The crossing gourd.
Riddle: What is the ratio of a pumpkin’s circumference to its diameter?
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Looking to do a long hike this fall? Try the Fancy Pass-Missouri Lakes Loop in the Holy Cross Wilderness.