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Way finding, mixed baskets, and Zip Lines: Travel Blog Day Two, June, 15 2009

After a day of much needed recovery at my brother's beautiful mountain home, I was once again ready to throw some discs into the vast unknown. My playing partner for the rest of the trip would be my wife of five years and my best friend of over eleven. When we first met in STL and the first 6 years we dated, we would play DG together several times a week. As a former college softball player, she is very athletic and her mechanics used to be impeccable. But as the kids came, she fell off the boat; today would be the first day in over five years she had thrown a complete round.

The Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA course is north of Tabernash and south of Granby, CO. The place is huge; dozens of buildings, lodges, and administrative offices make up the smaller portion of the Rocky Mountain YMCA Complex which not only serves as a summer camp but also as a conference center. The course is located in the far northwest section of the Ranch. Quite hilly and wooded, the course meandered through the pine-beetle infected forest forcing shots uphill, downhill, straight, heizer, and anheizer--not to mention quite few thumbers to get out of trouble. The course played fairly short; the average hole was just over 300 feet--but many of them were tight shots where trouble lurked at every bend.

The oddest part about this course was its baskets. They were literally a mixed bag--it seemed to us that they were all donated just by looking at the variation, size, stickers, and other idenifiying marks on them. The baskets varied from brand new Discrafts to older red baskets of an unknown variety--some were in great shape, some were not--but they were there 22 of them to be exact. There were 2 practice baskets near the camp commons, roughly 1/2 miles from the course--and 20 holes. Its just good to see DG being introduced to young folk at in a formal camp setting.

As the title of this blog references, the way finding on this course was terrible, but that is part of the fun of playing a new course. Small wooden sticks with "# 3 this way" written on them led you through the ranch, over a couple creeks, and onto the dirt teeboxes. The course was very wet, mostly from the morning condensation, but from the continual thunderstorms that have rolled through this region every afternoon like clockwork.

The Zip Line--it was roughly 500 feet long, touching the tips of the pines--you could see it from most of the 20 holes and hear the yelps of the camp staff (not the campers) having a great time zipping through the forest. It never really came into play--only if you threw a really bad shot--which I did--I turned over an understable driver and still didn't get within 100 feet of them--so it was strategically placed. But it was a great distraction to the game we trudged through.

The best part of this course was the solitude. The only people we saw for 2 hours were the Zippers--not another player on the course--near the end we saw another couple just getting started around 12 noon--they got hit by a massive thunderstorm I assume. But nature and isolation were in harmony on this course. Despite the devastation caused to the Rocky Mountain forests by the pine beetle and the necessary logging industry that must follow, the course was beautiful. The wonderful Fraser Valley was a great place to begin our mountain journey.

Next up: Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area DG Course
Winter Park Resort
Pioneer Park DG Course, Sulfur Hot Springs
Ghost Town Sanctuary, Russell Gulch

For those of you masochists who choose to read this drivel, stay tuned for more reports.

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Comment by Nascar Dave on June 17, 2009 at 12:16pm
Man, I love the mountain golf courses and I'm really glad to hear the enjoyment in your voice. I wish you could have played Frisco before the beetle devastation but it's still a really nice course with beautiful views. Have fun.
Where did y'all live in STL? I lived across the river in St Charles for six years but unfortunatel that was before I played disc golf.

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