Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Michael Balkind | A sports mystery writer’s inspirational vacation.

October 11, 2007
Recently my family and I went on vacation out to Colorado and Utah. We were heading to Colorado first to attend a family reunion. My brother lives at the base of Telluride Ski Mountain in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies. Telluride is known as a skiers’ paradise during the winter but during the summer it provides for many exciting activities. It is one of the countries premier festival resort towns. The festivals include the Mountainfilm Festival, Balloon Rally, Bluegrass Festival, Wine Festival, Fourth of July, Telluride Jazz Celebration, Telluride Culinary & Art Festival, Blues and Brews, Telluride Film Festival, Oktoberfest, to name just a few.

While the festivals entice many into the town of Telluride, the hiking biking and sightseeing can keep you very busy once your there.

As many inhabitants say of the town, they originally went there for the winter skiing but they stayed due to the beautiful summer months.

I must say I agree, I have been there to ski many times, in fact, years ago we skied down the isle for my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding. But now that I have visited telluride during the summer, I see what really keeps the townies in town. The views of the surrounding mountains and Bridal Veil Falls are breathtaking. Hiking up or down the mountain, while a daunting task, makes one feel very close with nature.

One of the most enjoyable parts of our trip was enjoying the views while riding the gondola up the mountain then the exhilaration of riding back down the skree lined trails on mountain bikes. Squeezing the brakes the entire ride down while navigating wicked switchbacks, mud and roots while standing on the pedals and leaning back so you don’t flip over the handlebars was a serious challenge. I guess some people may think that the people who do such things for fun are a tad bit wacked! Maybe they’re correct, but I don’t remember a vacation or experience that will live on in my mind like the rides down those trails. The thrill still courses through me as I write this story. Wow!

After our thrills and spills on the bikes we boarded our vans for a trip to Moab, a unique town out in the Utah desert.

The first thing we did when we arrived was go play nine holes of golf. The course was like none I’ve ever experienced before. I have played my share of lavish golf courses but never with the backdrop of hundreds of feet of red rock cliffs. Incredible views and terrain bordered the fairways and greens.

The next day our entire family of 14 boarded rafts and kayaks for a full day’s excursion down the Colorado River. The ages ranged from my 10 year old niece to my 79 year old mom. Thank goodness the surging Colorado River calms down somewhat in the late summer months. What an invigorating and soaking ride!

The final day of our trip was spent hiking and enjoying the amazing rock formations of Arches National Park. Even as a writer, I feel that attempting to describing the views would only do this park injustice. You really must see it to believe it. America really rocks!

Besides, providing for a wonderful and memorable vacation for my family of five, I know I will eventually write a novel in my Deadly Sports Mysteries series based on this trip.

Michael Balkind

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