David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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Modes of Transportation


Probably nothing has changed so much in our mountains over the years as modes of transportation. The first year my family came here for the summer they took a narrow gauge train from Jamestown to Ward and then a White steamer bus, open all around, on the dirt road from Ward to Big Owl Road. It took the better part of the day and they were tired and dirty by the time they arrived.

I expect the residents of Jamestown and Ward would be delighted if that train were still running. But the trains went away, replaced by the Model T Ford, and the rails were finally pulled up as scrap metal, to be melted down and shot at or dropped on the Germans and Japanese in World War II. Today, as you drive from Ward to Nederland, you can still see, just south of Ward, the roadbed winding along the hills to the east of the new highway.

Many of us can still remember when the paved road ended at Peaceful Valley. But today a trip to Boulder is a matter of an hour’s drive in air conditioned comfort, and we have recently been told that the last of the bad curves, at St. Malo and the Aspen Lodge, will next year give way to a wider and straighter highway. Engineered for 50 miles an hour, most will drive it at 60.

Still, we’ve seen something of a return to older ways, as the new highways, and the designation of the Peak to Peak as a Scenic Byway (which we knew all along) make possible the invasion of the bicycles.

Twice this summer we’ve seen huge congregations of them outside the fire station, and eventually we can expect real bike lanes, which will mean more people, but people of a different sort than the ones to which we’ve become so accustomed.

These days, as we drive to Estes Park, we sometimes find the bicyclist annoying, particularly on those sections of the road where the shoulders are narrow, but we try to bear in mind that they don’t pollute the atmosphere, as we do. They take their time and seem to be here pretty much for the same reasons we are; to enjoy the views and the pleasure of taking a day to enjoy our mountains. For a few hours they leave their work and worldly cares and join us here just for reasons of health and aesthetics. They don’t bring very much with them, and many of them leave a few dollars with our local merchants and some Crystal Springs water in their bottles, and very little else to tell of their passage, if you don’t count their photographs and their memories of a day in our valley. Seems like a good trade to me.




© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner

Allenspark Wind Columns:


Why Allenspark?

Going Riding [August, 1985]


Used Cars

Peace and Quiet [1986]

Liberals & Conservatives

Going to the Movies

The Screened Porch

The Beginning of The Season

The Weather

The Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The End of The Season

The Gift of Time

The Beavers

Addresses [1987]


Watching the Trees Grow

Postal Rates

Changes in Estes Park

Square Dancing at the Pow Wow

Back to the Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The Solstices

Bird Feeders


The Estes Park Hardware Store [1988]


Limousine Service

A Memorial Service

A Hummingbird


A Hiking Trip

The Estes Park Public Library

Wild Life

Riparian Rights [1989]




Mountain Friendliness

A Motorcycle Trip

Satellite Television

“Weaving Mountain Memories”

Hotel Rates in the Old Days

The Price of Propane [1990]

The Front Range Almanac


Modes of Transportation

Miller Moths

My 50th Column

Modern Conveniences

Rock Climbing

On the Death of Otto Walter, Postmaster

Otto’s Memorial Service

A Big Owl Pot-Luck Dinner

A Whine About Telephone Service [1991]

After the Persian Gulf War

Some Changes in the WIND

The Trip to the Mountains

The Mountains in the Summer


Of Dogs, Music, and Children

Muhlenburg County

To My Grandson

The Sale of Longs Peak Inn

World War II  [1992]

Murphy’s Law and the Computer

The South St. Vrain Canyon


The Hazards of Volunteering

Crime in Our Valley


On the Death of Charles Eagle Plume

Can We All Get Along?

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Lost Horizon [1993]


Rumors About a Visit by the Pope


More About Fences


The Visit of Pope John Paul II

Forest Fires

The New Sewage System

The Snow Pool

The Good Old Days [1994]

The WIND’s 20th Anniversary

The Bunce School

The Shooting Gallery

The Estes Park Museum

Our Government

U.S. West Takes a Hit

The Year of the Hummingbirds

A New “Yield” Sign

Growth in Allenspark

Private Telephones?

The Salvation Army

Creation Science [1995]

Devolutionizing Big Government



Fort D.A. Russell

Domestic Terrorism

Old and New

Barney Graves

Life in the Wilderness

What’s In a Name?

Arthur C. Clarke


The Estes Park Trail-Gazette Columns:

July 1983


Estes Cone

Johnny Grant

Observations in Estes Park

The Bath House


The Sutherland’s Ice House

How Old is Charles Eagle Plume?


Christmas Trees

Tree Murder

Mountain Driving


Mail Boxes

More About Mail Boxes

“Are you related to ....?”


An Accident

The Wild Cat

A July Reunion

A Visit to Baldpate Inn

Opening Cabins


The Times, They Have Changed

Death and Transfiguration

The Population Explosion

The March of Time

Faith-Based Social Services

Looking for Pitch

Recent Writings I

Recent Writings II

Recent Writings III

Recent Writings IV

Recent Writings V

Recent Writings VI



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