Wine, Wings & Snowshoeing at Colorado Resort

CopperUncorkedCopper Uncorked appeals to wine-lovers, wing-aholics & snowshoeing addicts

Copper Mountain hosts an interesting and casual wine event during Valentines Day Weekend or Presidents Weekend. “Copper Uncorked (and In Love)” is not your average wine festival. It takes place at Burning Stones Plaza in Center Village and features affordable wines from across the globe ripe for tasting throughout the February 14-16 weekend, while chefs from around Copper Mountain compete for best pairing during the Wine-n-Wing Challenge on Saturday, February 15.

Following is an event that appeals to me about as much as a chance to sample those wines, a Moonlight Snowshoe Tour from 5 to 8 p.m. Copper Mountain’s congenial Resort Ambassadors lead the tour, which starts from West Village and traverses frozen creeks and wooded trails, leading to a romantic meadow (actually around Copper Creek Golf Course) lit by the full moon. Finish up the evening with s’mores around the bonfire and a mulled wine on the plaza. Space is limited, please call Guest Services to reserve a spot, call 970-968-2318 ext. 45861.

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Post Mortem on 2014 Winter Trails Day

Strong turn-out where there was snow — except in Colorado

WinterTrails-logoThe 19th annual Winter Trails Day on January 11 experienced a strong turnout at recurring locations with good snow, especially in the Midwest with attendance up 20 to 30 percent at some venues, according to administrator Reese Brown, who noted that snowsports newcomers were “very excited” for this year’s event. It’s a free intro, which might enhance the excitement. However, other events were canceled in the Pacific Northwest and California due to low or no snow and driving, then freezing rain in the Mid-Atlantic and New England region.

Colorado’s two big Winter Trails Days that focused on snowshoeing were canceled, but not because of weather. REI’s Denver flagship store, which traditionally provided loaner equipment and personnel for the event at Echo Lake in the foothills west of Denver, has had major changes in personnel and is “not ready” for this year. The Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park event generally held a week later was canceled because the park’s and the town’s were severely strained by wildfire, the federal government shutdown and catastrophic September floods.

New 3-Piece ‘Anniversary Pole’ from Exerstrider

TR3 added to top strapless pole line

A quarter of a century ago, a cerebral runner named Tom Rutlin  began marketing the strapless Exerstrider fitness walking pole and with it, a more upright walking style that contrasted to the aggressive forward lean of the original European Nordic Walking technique. With further developments, Exerstriders found a special niche among seniors and people with balance issues or other physical challenges.


The TR3 — not s snappy vintage Triumph sports car but the latest model — the Exerstrider 25th Anniversary Edition TR3 is a travel/adventure 3-piece total body walking pole designed to deliver the same world class performance, value and quality as the popular OS2 model, but with the added convenience of telescoping down to just 25 inches for ultimate convenience when traveling or stowing in a pack or suitcase. It is suitable for use by walkers from 4 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 2 inches tall. Precise adjustment is accomplished via EZ-fit size markings on the lower shaft and a cam locking system. Adjustable poles are  suitable for anyone who travels by air and doesn’t want to leave home without them, for growing children and for people who want poles to share with family members or friends of different heights. The TR3 features celebratory graphics of black, gold and silver.

Other features of the T53:

  • Exerstrider’s exclusive ERGO /SC ergonomic strapless grips designed for unrestricted comfort and safety.
  • Equipped with both hardened carbide tips and CushionGrip tips.
  • A pair of “trekking” baskets installed, as well as a pair of large interchangeable snow baskets for snowshoeing or winter walking.
  • Included is Tom Rutlin’s 5-star rated Exerstride Method Nordic Walking instructional video (DVD) and printed instruction manual and user guide ($19.95 value if purchased separately).
  • Grip socks for added comfort.

The TR3 25th anniversary edition runs $114.95 per pair, including the accessory package. Shipping is free. Order online.

Canada’s Sun Peaks Adds Nordic Walking

Sun Peaks-logoCanada’s Sun Peaks Resort, a year-round, destination north of Kamloops in interior British Columbia, is adding Nordic Walking, or as they call it Nordic Pole Walking, to its summer program. Discover Sun Peaks Adventures, which handles the resort’s activities program, will be offering introductory and intermediate clinics throughout the summer with experienced instructors and interpretive guides to teach the technique while exploring the walking and hiking trails at Sun Peaks.

The two-hour introductory program begins at 10 a.m. on the following Saturdays: June 22, June 29, July 13, August 3, August 18, August 31 and September 14. Those who have completed the Discover Nordic Walking program can “graduate” to the  Discover Alpine Nordic Walking program, a 2½-hour program, still described as “novice” but on upper-mountain trails. It takes place at 1 p.m. on the following Saturdays: July 13,  August 3,   August 31, plus Sunday, August 18. If you’ve had a bit of Nordic Walking experience, you might ask whether you can participate without the intro session.

Each session costs CDN$39 for  instruction and interpretive guided program, plus use of Keenfit Nordic Walking poles and, for the Alpine option, one uphill ride on the Sunburst chairlift.

Book through the Sun Peaks Adventure Centre located in the Village Day Lodge or call 250-578-5542.

San Antonio’s Growing River Walk

More River Walk mileage good for fitness walking

RiverWalk-logoThe San Antonio River through the heart of the city long ago was channeled and is no longer truly natural, but the pay-off is the River Walk, a lively recreation and entertainment area. To attract visitors and as a local asset as well, architect Robert H. H. Hugman developed River Walk for  a 21-block section, completed in March of 1941, that transformed downtown through beautification, preservation and flood control. Further revitalization took place in advance of Hemisfair ‘68, the world’s fair to celebrate San Antonio’s 250th anniversary.

Today,  restaurants and hotels line the walkway below street level. From late morning till late at night, it is a popular place for dining, partying, strolling and people-watching.  Early in the morning, it is also a wonderful place for joggers and walkers, with or without poles.

A quiet time and place on the River Walk.
A quiet time and place on the River Walk.

As the River Walk is growing, less congested extensions suitable for fitness walking, with or without poles are being developed — and these also show greater 21st century regard for the natural environment and creativity. In the mid- 2000s, city leaders dreamed of expanding the River Walk to ultimately span 15 miles. The 1.33 mile Museum Reach north of downtown completed in 2009 features visual and aural works of art, terraces landscaped with native plants and pedestrian access to the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the historic Pearl Brewery complex. River taxis pass through a lock-and-dam system to transport visitors to and from the original River Walk area.

To the south, the one-mile Eagleland section incorporates ecosystem restoration, a walking path and hiking and biking trails. The Mission Reach section, opening in phases with completion slated for later this year, extends eight miles to Mission Espada. Key to this segment is restoration of the river and its banks for aquatic life and wildlife, along with construction of 15 miles of recreational trails, picnic and seating areas, pedestrian bridges, pavilions and portals to four Spanish colonial missions—Concepción, San José, San Juan and Espada.

I just recently spent a long weekend in San Antonio, but with a full schedule, there was not enough time to put in any mileage on this beguiling walkway. Next visit.

Nordic Walking: Fit for a Queen

A Facebook friend from Spain posted the clipping below of Queen Beatrix of Holland, age 75, with Nordic Walking poles. The newspaper refers to her as “princess,” but she has been Queen Regnant since her mother, Queen Juliana, abdicated in 1980. She in turn is abdicating soon in favor of her son. I don’t know much more about the royal walk with poles, but I am happy that Nordic Walking has such a high-toned practitioner in Europe. I can’t even credit the publication, because I don’t know what it is.


Poland Hosts 2013 INWA Convention

INWA-logoThe 2013 International Nordic Walking Association Convention will be held at the Jędrzej Śniadecki Academy of Physical Education and Sport in Gdansk, Poland. from October 2 to 6, coinciding with the year’s final Polska Federacja Nordic Walking Nordic Walking Cup event. It may be hard for Americans to comprehend a “Nordic Walking Cup” when the sport/activity is so long in gaining real traction on this side of the Atlantic, but it gives North American advocates that much more of a goal to shoot for. The INWA convention’s theme is Sport as a Leading Element in Nordic Walking.” Program details to be announced.

Wednesday is National Walking Day

First Wednesday in April is the day to walk — or walk more

NatlWalkingDay-logoThe American Heart Association promotes the first Wednesday in April as National Walking Day. The goal is to get as many people as possible to commit to walking for at least 30 minutes a day. Many of us already put in more time on  foot and with poles, but that that is the minimum that reduces health risks, according to the AHA.

Some communities, senior centers, rec districts and even companies organize National Walking Day activities for Wednesday, April 3 this year. The AHA offers a National Walking Day Toolkit for individuals and organizations. The US Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking solicits comments in the Federal Register on what the Call to Action should be to promote walking for health, wellness and fitness.