August 4, 2009

Me and Meade in Bachelor Gulch with Bachelor (the dog).

Caption contest:

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(I swear I did not retouch the expression on the dog's face.)

I have many other pictures of Meade and the dog — whose name is Bachelor — but this one came up with a hilarious expression that had me thinking of the famous Obama ass-gawk photo. A camera can catch a single instant that gives an impression that something happened that no one actually present and viewing the whole scene in real time would have perceived.

The dog and Meade actually got along tremendously well. The dog liked me too, see:

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Now, how did we get a dog? The hotel has a dog that you can borrow for walks — it's a "Loan-a-Lab program." Here's the hotel, nestled in Bachelor Gulch:

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So, what's the story with the name "Bachelor Gulch"?
The lush mountain valley known as Bachelor Gulch rises out of the Eagle River Valley, home to the Rocky Mountain towns of Vail, Avon and Edwards. From the Ute Indians who originally settled in the “Shining Mountains” and western valleys of Colorado to a group of spry old bachelors in the early 1900s whose namesake remains, “Bachelor Gulch” as it became known has always been home to many memorable residents. The legends and lore of these bachelors became the inspiration for the secluded mountain resort and the surrounding community on Beaver Creek Mountain.

Many of these original bachelors were miners who first came to Colorado in search of silver and other precious ore. They settled in Bachelor Gulch in search of a better way of life and because they were able to purchase land, which was made possible by the Homestead Act of 1862. Seven of these most colorful men who settled The Gulch were John Anderson, Gunder “Gundy” Berg, Ed Howard, Charley Mays, John Mertz, Ferdinand Smith and Carrothers – a man whom so little is known about that he’s only recognized by his last name in historical references.

John Anderson’s original cabin can still be found around the corner from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Daybreak Ridge. Berg’s and Mertz’s homesteads no longer stand, but the stories of these bachelors holding court at the general store while children raced their horses down the street for their entertainment are legendary. Howard was deaf and it was said that a crowing Rooster perched atop his bedpost couldn’t wake him from his sleep. Smith was actually nicknamed Crippled Smith as Smith was lame – so that people would not confuse him with another Smith who lived up the Valley. Charley Mays was the favorite of the local children, making them lunch pails from his tobacco cans. The area’s most elusive bachelor Carrothers, local lore recounts only as having poor eyesight and making bad decisions as a result.

The bachelors stayed in the area until the 1920s when high altitude lettuce farming or “green gold” took root in Bachelor Gulch. The next generation of homesteaders found an easier way of life in the mountains, making a good living by growing lettuce. The climate was ideal and the soil was very rich with nutrients. However, the Great Depression of the 1930s affected the farmers who sold their land to two local ranchers who used the area for herding cattle and grazing sheep. The land remained privately owned for nearly 40 years until the vision for Bachelor Gulch as a vacation resort began to form.
So what do you think: an early gay community? "Spry" ≈ gay. And, of course, "bachelor" ≈ gay.

***

Hotel footnote: The Ritz Carlton is a pretty cool place to stay. We enjoyed toasting marshmallows in the firepit and eating our way through the tasting menu at Spago — among many other things.

22 comments:

Lem said...

Caption contest:

Listen how do you like to make a few extra bones? ... nobody showed.. we need a witness.

What?.. I'm a dog .. keep me out of it.

XWL said...

The area’s most elusive bachelor Carrothers, local lore recounts only as having poor eyesight and making bad decisions as a result.

Carrothers wasn't gay, he just was Mr Magoo-ing himself into the wrong beds from time to time...

(don't forget while celebrating your own joy to celebrate The Birth of The One)

And only 400 thread count on the linen, you guys are roughing it, spry miner style, I see.

Matt Brown said...

"Seven of these most colorful men who settled The Gulch..."

"colorful" might be another codeword for "gay."

Meade said...

Caption contest:

How about:

"Sure, you say you're a married man, but take off those sunglasses so I know you're not that old Carrothers guy everyone talks about."

Chip Ahoy said...

I'm imagining Meade/Althouse Colorado mountain wedding as witnessed by the woodland creatures.

Sheepman said...

Caption contest:

Meade:If dogs run free, then why not we
Dog:There must be some way out of here

madawaskan said...

Dog:This guy smells like a gulch-please pretty lady-

Help!

{Ok the "among other things"...Ritz Carlton always better than a rock...}

ironrailsironweights said...

The should have a program under which dogs can borrow humans to take them for walks.

Oh, happy to hear about the big day!

Peter

knox said...

LMAO! Dogs rule.

bearbee said...

Hey, who signed me up for this gig anyway?!!

This IS Bachelor Gulch and my name IS Bachelor. I don't hang with married guys.

After all **sniff**....I do have a reputation to maintain.

MadisonMan said...

Bachelor looks like a girl.

Hunter McDaniel said...

If unmarried adults are primarily homos, then the real heyday must have been after the Civil War - when the South was lesbian and the West was gay...

Big Mike said...

@Meade, she let you wear a different shade of blue shirt?

Bissage said...

DIS FACE I LERN FROM MAGZINE LOL.

Lamar63 said...

Is Beaver Liquors still in business in Avon? They had great T-shirts. I always had to stop and get a bunch to bring back to friends whenever I drove out to Aspen.

Ralph L said...

"Don't try sticking your nose up my behind again, buddy. Two can play that game."

Bruce Hayden said...

I'm in the wrong business. The Ritz Carlton there is really nice, but at least in the winter, obnoxiously expensive.

peter hoh said...

re. the dog photo: I've seen that expression before. Will send the link when I am not on a work computer.

knox said...

I thought "spry" meant "old."

Kurt said...

That sounds like a nice place to stay. I especially like the loan a lab program. The expression on that dog's face, though, is priceless!

avwh said...

I've skiied there several times, but couldn't begin to afford to stay at the Ritz in the winter.

Local ski tour guides call the big houses on the resort slope "2/2/10/10s" - "2 people come and stay for 2 weeks, in a 10,000 SF house that costs $10M".

Gerald Ford's and Tom Hanks' houses are up the slope from that ski lift only a few hundred feet.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Caption Contest:

Why did I just agree to be leashed to this man?