Monday, December 15, 2014

Watching the Dew Tour Mountain Competition in Breckenridge

Yesterday was the last day of the 2014 Dew Tour Mountain Competition in Breckenridge. The event included men's and women's ski and snowboard superpipe and slopestyle events as well as an evening streetstyle event downtown on a collection of street features under the lights on Washington Street. I did watch two on-mountain events as well as the streetstyle one, the women's and men's snowboard superpipe finals.

I was especially impressed by 14-year-old Chloe Kim, who took second place in the women's event, only a half point behind Olympic gold medal winner and veteran snowboarder Kelly Clark, who took first. I'm sure Chloe Kim will be one to watch in the 2018 Winter Olympics. I was pleased as punch when she agreed to pose for a photo with me right after she nailed her second place run (see below). Below that is a photo of the top three women in the event on the podium (from left to right), Chloe Kim, second, Kelly Clark, first, and Arielle Gold, third.

For more information about the event, go to the Dew Tour website. Here's the link for the women's snowboard superpipe event.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Two Signings Coming Up for Holiday Shoppers!

For the holiday shopping season, I've arranged two book signings so readers can buy personalized and autographed copies of my mystery novels for gift giving (or for themselves!).

On Friday, November 28th, from 2 to 4 PM, I will appear at The French Kiss as part of the GoBreck Black Friday Shop Hop experience where local merchants will offer treats and/or special discounts to holiday shoppers. Here's the address:

Friday, November 28, 2 - 4 PM
The French Kiss
226 South Main Street
Breckenridge, CO 80424

To promote the Indies First Campaign and Small Business Saturday, I will appear at Next Page Books and Nosh from noon to 2 PM on Saturday, November 29th to promote books written by some of my favorite Colorado authors (Sandra Dallas, Maggie Sefton, Ann Parker, and Craig Johnson), as well as my own. I hope my local fans will stop by to chat about books--and maybe buy a few! Here's the address:

Saturday, November 29, noon - 2 PM
Next Page Books and Nosh
409 Main Street, #101
Frisco, CO 80443

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A New Review for A Basket of Trouble

A surprise review for A Basket of Trouble, the third and latest book in my Claire Hanover gift basket designer series, appeared in the Summit Daily News today. A quote from the review states: "Fans of Groundwater's writing should be thrilled." I'm thrilled, too!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Gondola Evacuation

About a week and a half ago, my husband and I joined about 150 other volunteers to help the Breckenridge Mountain ski patrollers practice evacuating people (and dogs and kids) from gondola cars, in case of breakdown. We lined up at 8:30 AM to sign waivers, eat donuts, and get assigned to groups of 4-5 people per gondola car. Then we loaded into the cars, were sent up the mountain, and the lift attendants stopped the gondola when we were all in place. Then we waited while ski patrollers climbed up the nearest up hill tower then worked their way down the cable to the gondola cars below that tower. Our car was the third one evacuated by our team of patrollers. We were suspended above the Cucumber Gulch wetlands in the Breckenridge Nordic Center grounds.

In the first photo below, a ski patroller is standing on top of the gondola car uphill of us. He has finished evacuating that car, is hooked onto the gondola cable, and is about to slide down that cable to our car. In the second photo, I'm being lowered to the ground in the "diaper". The last two photos show my husband being lowered.

After we were gently lowered to the ground, we walked out on the hiking/snowshoe trail to the road, then back down to the base of the gondola, where we were served a delicious barbecue lunch as a thank-you for our volunteer service. A great way to spend the morning!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


A few days ago, a neighborhood friend called us to say that moose were currently hanging out near the retention pond below the Peak 8 Base of the Breckenridge Ski Area. My husband went up and took some photos of the large critters, and I'm sharing them below. Along with black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, and foxes, they're just some of the wildlife that we share our town and its environs with.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Visiting the Bristlecone Pines on Windy Ridge

Last week, my husband and I and some neighbors drove to Alma, Colorado, to visit the Bristlecone Pine Scenic Area, established by the U.S. National Forest Service on Windy Ridge overlooking the town. Some of the trees are over 1000 years old. As you can see from the photos below, Windy Ridge lives up to it's name. The force of the winds has bent the trees over. The wind even made it hard to walk straight!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Hiking to CJ's Cabin

I've hiked from my home to CJ's Cabin on the Breckenridge Ski Mountain between Peaks 9 and 10, three times in last three weeks. It's about a 3 hour round-trip. Once was a scouting hike with my husband and a neighbor couple to make sure I knew where it was. The second time, a week later, I led six other members of my Women With Altitude hiking group up to the cabin. And the latest time was a few days ago with a neighbor friend after a snowfall the night before. Below are some photos of the last trip. I now feel qualified to lead this hike anytime!

The stream burbling down Lehman Trail on the return trip.

Notice the ice forming on the branches crossing the stream below.

The view across the valley, with fresh snow on the mountains.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Fall Colors on Angler Mountain Trail

Here are some photos from last week's hike on the Angler Mountain Trail near Silverthorne, Colorado.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Biking on Boreas Pass Road

The fall colors were beautiful a few days ago.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Report on the Breckenridge Festival of Film

What a jam-packed weekend the Breckenridge Festival of Film put on last weekend! My husband and I had a blast, going our separate ways and meeting for parties. We wanted to see different films, and he was a Film Liaison volunteer, so he had to introduce his filmmakers' films. I, on the other hand, was interested in meeting as many Short Drama filmmakers as possible, to let them know I was responsible for selecting their films (as Short Drama lead on the Program Committee) and to tell them how much I enjoyed their films.

The festival kicked off Thursday evening with three parties and a film: The Filmmaker Welcome Party at The Warming Hut, the VIP Party at the Riverwalk Center, the Opening Night Film, It's Not You, It's Me, and a late Opening Night Party at the River Mountain Lodge. The first photo below is me with Robb Woulfe, CEO of Cultural Arts of the town of Breckenridge, and his wife at the VIP Party. The second is of me with hubby and friends at the Opening Night Party.

Friday, I went to see the High School films in the afternoon and was pleasantly surprised by the creativity shown by these young filmmakers. After the late afternoon Industry Party at Montana's Cantina, I watched the Adventure Reel of high-energy, outdoor action sports and exploration films, headlined by Roraima -- Climbers of the Lost World, then went to the late night Official After Party at Cecilia's Martini Bar and Nightclub.

Saturday afternoon, I sat through all three Filmmaker Forum panels of 8-9 filmmakers each, then chatted with those I wanted to meet after each panel. Then I watched a full-length slapstick comedy film set in Turkey, Dugan Dernek. After a quick sandwich at The Crown Cafe, I watched the second half of the Adventure Reel selections at the Riverwalk Center, headlined by Higher, an extreme backcountry snowboarding movie. Then I attended the Blue Stag Saloon Party to "come down" from the adrenaline high produced by the Adventure Reel. The photo below shows my husband and me with Town Council member Erin Gigliello at the party.

I spent Sunday running from one overlapping film to another, starting with Flying the Feathered Edge, a documentary of aviation legend Bob Hoover's life. I left before the final minutes of this excellent film to catch a showing of BFFs, a full-length comedy about two women friends going to a couples retreat. Then I ran over to a showing of Life Itself, a documentary about film critic Roger Ebert. I missed the first half hour of the film, but the rest was wonderful!

Hubby and I had a quick dinner at Rita's, then we watched the Awards Ceremony followed by Una Vida, the Closing Night film. It is a drama about Alzheimer's disease that is set in New Orleans. Finally, we went to the Wrap Party at the Blue River Bistro. The photo below shows us with other partiers, including the Emma movie filmmaker, an enthusiastic young man who starred in his film and won our Best Actor award.

I can't wait for the 2015 Breck Film Fest!

Monday, September 22, 2014

More Hiking and Biking in Summit County

In September, I was able to fit in two of my favorite local hikes near Breckenridge, CO--McCullough Gulch and Mohawk Lakes. Below is a photo of me (in the middle) with two hiking friends, showing lower Mohawk Lake in the background.

Last Wednesday, I had my last bike ride of the season with the No Name Group--last ride for them, but not for me. I hope to be riding through the end of the month. We biked from Frisco to Keystone and back, with lovely views of gold, peach, and rose-colored aspens under a blue, blue sky with temps in the sixties. A perfect day for riding! The photos below were taken by Dick Candlemo.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Volunteering in Breckenridge, CO

Last Thursday, my husband and I volunteered to be Hole-in-One judges for Fatty's Golf Tournament at the Breckenridge Golf Course. Fatty's is a local Italian restaurant that hosts an annual fun golf tournament that benefits a local charity. This year, the beneficiary was the National Repertory Orchestra. Since the NRO Director of Marketing and Development knows us as steadfast supporters and volunteers, she asked if we would be willing to be judges. We were happy to oblige, and since many of the teams were dressing in costume, we decided to wear our Viking horn hats that we had decorated for Breckenridge's annual winter Ullr Festival (Ullr is the Norse god of snow). You can see us at our posts below.

Then last Saturday was Summit County's Make A Difference Day. We celebrate it early, because in October, we're likely to have snow that would get in the way of accomplishing outdoor projects. My husband and I volunteered to do some trail building work with the Friends of the Breckenridge Trails. We worked on adding a new section to the ZL Trail to connect it to the Galena Ditch Trail. The photo below shows me taking a break from wielding such tools as a McLeod, a Pulaski, and a shovel to create the new trail.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Not all hikes are for viewing wildflowers ...

... as shown in this photo of a Summit County Senior Center "Walkie Talkies" hike to the Mountain Pride mine site near Breckenridge, CO, which includes seven buildings other than the mine itself (behind the group), a couple of graves, and a tin can midden.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Stage 5 of the USA Pro Challenge

Last Friday, my hometown of Breckenridge, Colorado, hosted the finish of Stage 5 of the USA Pro Challenge bicycle race that included internationally-known racers that have competed in the Tour de France and other well-known multi-day/week races. By hosting a start or finish, a town or city turns it into an all-day event, with vendor booths and side competitions or demonstrations. So, along with watching the racers come through town, we shopped the vendor booths and entered their contests and observed the pond crossing contest and a stunt bike performance. We also listened to the free Big Head Todd and the Monsters concert at the Riverwalk Center that evening for awhile before walking home. Below are a few photos from the fun day.

The first three photos from the pond crossing contest are from Sharon Trombore. Hubby and I are in the last photo. Competitors tried to bike across a six inch wide wooden plank bridge to get to the other side of the Dredge Pond without falling in the very cold water. As can be seen in the middle photo, one young man even tried it on a unicycle. The winners primarily were local midde-school aged kids.

The next two photos show racers screaming around corners in town, prior to tackling the steep climb up (over 10% grade) Moonstone Road before zooming down Boreas Pass Road back into town and the finish line.

Stage winner Laurent Didier from Luxembourg crossing the finish line.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Canoeing on Lake Dillon

About a week and a half ago, my husband and I took a canoe out of the Frisco Marina and paddled around Lake Dillon, Colorado. It was a beautiful still morning, and we even managed to spot an osprey.