Where did Vail’s paradise go? | VailDaily.com

Where did Vail’s paradise go?

Otto Wiest
Vail, CO, Colorado

Have you ever walked along the sandy beaches of an ocean? No cars, no people, no buildings, no roads, just you and the sea. Alone with your ideas. Breathing the salty air and listening to the sound of the waves.

Have you ever walked through the beauty of the winter world? Feeling the snow under your shoes, seeing the humidity of your breath in the cold air. Watching the snow on the trees, enjoying the blue sky.

Isn’t it amazing how much the snow absorbs all the noise? It’s quiet and peaceful. This is nature and beauty. Can life offer more to us?

Where has nature gone in Vail? I was reading the other day that some of the World Cup ski racers call Vail the “truck stop.” They are not so wrong. It seelms like half of the valley is highway and frontage foads, and the rest are high and higher buildings. The noise and smell of the traffic seems to be everywhere. But when you come out of a city, for urban people this seems to be the way, how life has to be.

Let’s say you come to Vail for a vacation and you should get the crazy idea that you want simply to walk a little, maybe for one or two hours, just to get some fresh air

In Vail you are for running, skating, snowshoeing, skiing, boarding and so on. And if you are too lazy or to old for activities, then you go shopping, dining, or at least you go for a drink. What a strange idea to use your own feet and want simply to walk?

OK, you may try to walk along the roads to the west and jump up the snow banks with every truck or car what is passing you. Also the landscape there is not really “breathtaking.” So, you may try the south side, where you can hike up the slopes of the ski mountain — not a good idea, as walking is not welcome there.

If you manage to cross the Highway you try the north. But there is not much walking except along the busy roads. Or you may finish at some private properties and you may be asked if they could help you find what you are looking for.

So let’s finally go east. There is the golf course with all the new signs for trail fees; $8 daily fee simply for a two-hour walk? A ski resort where you have to pay for a simple walk? What a great idea, punishing walkers for not behaving according to the Vail rules, which say you have to go shopping, dining, skiing, that’s it.

But don’t ask for moving your legs in a normal way, and look out for nature and peace. Those times seem to be finally over in Vail.

Otto Wiest


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