Two years ago, in August of 2017, my husband, Carlton and I made one of the most important decisions of our lives: to move to Colorado after 15 years in Vermont.
Because I moved every three to four years as a kid, 15 years was by far the longest I’d lived anywhere. I was torn, and our kids, Dillon and Harper, were teary-eyed as we broke the news that September. We were leaving behind our dream house, our home mountain, and nearly all of our closest friends.
Carlton, who grew up in Boulder, promised bluer skies, bigger mountains and softer snow, and I knew in my head he was right. But it wasn’t until our first foray to Eldora that I felt it in my heart. There was a different energy, as everyone put on their boots in the parking lot, eager to hit the hill; back East, we’d be avoiding the bitter cold by lingering in the lodge as long as possible. A new six-pack, and powdery trails only 45 minutes from our new home in Louisville? Yes, please.
Pretty soon, we’d brave I-70, ready to wait out the traffic, but discovered that an early enough departure could get us on the slopes of Copper Mountain and Winter Park without sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. And for the last two winters, these resorts have been our anchors as we’ve sailed through the Rocky Mountains with Dillon (now 12) and Harper (now 11). Thanks to the Fifth and Sixth Grade Passport program, our family has been able to save money on lift tickets—which seems to justify our splurging on sit-down restaurants, microbrews and fancy hot chocolate. We’ve made new friends, and our new house is the perfect base camp.
Carlton’s Colorado roots mean that he’s skied more resorts—Aspen, Silverton, Steamboat, Telluride, all of which I’m now more eager than ever to try. In our Vermont days, we also traveled to A-Basin for a wedding, so I can check that one off my list. But I’ve also learned that I might as well burn any checklist during thigh-burning ski days at the assortment of areas because it’s not about ticking a box but about feeling the time tick away more slowly as we exchange hoots and hollers in the white stuff with the kids, or contemplate burning questions on a chairlift.
We’ve also discovered that Colorado resorts are just as much fun in the summer, with enough mountain biking, hiking, zip-lining and more to fill each and day, which, yes, include plenty of blue skies.
Sarah Tuff Dunn
Sarah Tuff Dunn recently moved to Louisville, Colorado, with her husband, Carlton, and their two children, Dillon, 12, and Harper, 10. They’re looking forward to exploring the world-class skiing in Colorado, aided by the Colorado Ski Country 5th and 6th Grade Passport Program. Sarah has been writing professionally for nearly 25 years and her work has appeared in The New York Times, SKI, Skiing and Powder, among other publications. Read more of Sarah’s stories here and follow along with her Colorado skiing journey here.