How do visitors and newcomers meet up with active, over-50 adults in Summit County? A few weeks ago, I asked for your advice after a visitor said that his annual ski trip to Summit County had become a lonely experience ever since his buddies from the Midwest had given up the sport.
Annie B. wrote, "I recommend the Over the Hill Gang at Copper. (It's open to anyone over 45 years old.) That's how I got started meeting folks in Summit County, and then, I decided to move here. It's a guaranteed way to have a group to ski with at least four days a week and make friends to link up with the rest of the seasonal days." Many of you said that the pro guides, skill development and camaraderie at Copper Mountain's Over-the-Hill Gang make it one of your favorite ways to meet people. The web page: http://www.coppercolorado.com/winter/ski_and_ride_school/over_the_hill_gang
Frisco local and avid cyclist Carol Clarke recommends the Summit Biking organization. She says the group is open to all ages and skill levels and that "they picnic after the rides, so there is a social side as well." Summit Biking is dedicated to road cycling. Their website: http://www.summitbiking.org/Mountain bikers of all ages should check out http://www.summitfattire.org/
Annie B. recommends the National Repertory Orchestra, the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival and the Breckenridge Music Festival. She says they "all have lovely receptions and fund raising events in addition to their concerts" and that these events are attended by interesting people from all over the United States.
Rob Dollars, a volunteer with the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance http://www.breckheritage.com/, reminds us that the Heritage Center hosts easy walking tours and challenging guided hikes designed to appeal to a wide range of interests. Rob is currently guiding a few of the mining history hikes, a Breckenridge historic saloon tour and a twilight tombstone tour of Valley Brook Cemetery. Rob writes, "The walking tours are definitely all-ages friendly. Even on my mine tour hikes, I have enjoyed the company of many guests in their 60s and 70s. Often, they have a professional or amateur interest in mining history and I wind up learning at least as much from them as they do from me. So, send those folks our way."What else is out there? Strum the shamisen as we open our kimonos to reveal the number one social hot spot in the county . . . "My goodness, I bet you're inundated with replies to this one. Haven't you heard of the Summit County Senior organization?" wrote Charlotte Clarke, a volunteer at the center. "Our building is the Community and Senior Center at County Commons (0083 Nancy's Place in Frisco). We seniors volunteer all over the county on a daily basis and have a newsletter at the office as well as on line at http://www.co.summit.co.us. There are hundreds of indoor and outdoor activities in our 12-page newsletter every month! I think there are 2,000 of us. You can check by calling (970) 668-2940.""The annual fee is only $10 to participate in everything we offer. This is a really fun, embracing community of people," says Gavin Larney, manager of the Summit County Community & Senior Center (SCSC). SCSC has hiking, cycling groups, yoga and chi gong classes. Steep discounts are available for over-55 golfers through the center for Keystone Resort Golf. If you'd rather get out and explore, the SCSC offers groups who attend concerts, plays and events, and enjoy excursions, travel and day trips. Join the book clubs, or quilting groups, participate in the extremely popular bridge parties and mahjong meet ups. Attend classes on computers and new developments in the law. Don't eat alone: lunches and dinners are available at the center or for home delivery through the Mountain Meals program for a sliding fee of $3 to $5. For more information call the Meals Hotline at (970) 668-2944. Carol Clarke says of Summit County living, "Once you get involved here, you'll start meeting wonderful people from all over the country and you'll find that your circles of new friends keep overlapping."On a personal note: thank you for the excellent advice on growing tomatoes at 9,000 feet. The Droopy Carrot award goes to those of you who bragged about the size of your root vegetables. And, I appreciate the sentiment, but please - don't send photos of your 'Sexy Cucumber' Halloween costume. And no, I won't sit on your lap. Get out there and get your social on!Micaela Gilchrist's novels are published by Simon & Schuster and by Scribner. She lives in Summit County. Email her at MicaelaMGilchrist@comcast.net.