David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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A Visit to Baldpate Inn


I went up to the Baldpate Inn the other day and had a chat with Don Vick, who owns the Inn, along with his wife Leean. Leean is the grand daughter of Gordon Mace, who built the Inn in 1917, the same year my family arrived in the mountains. I arrived somewhat later.

Leean was having a busy lunch hour, attending to guests who seemed to be enjoying their meal which had been prepared in Baldpate’s brand new kitchen.

It was the first time I had been down the Baldpate road in 27 years. In the summer of 1967 I worked at the Baldpate Inn as a waiter. The staff was small, and the kitchen antiquated. Gordon Mace, who was quite an athlete in his youth, had slowed a great deal, and he died two years later.

My recollections of that summer are hazy now. I was preoccupied by my graduation from college and my impending career.  Mostly, I remember Gordon Mace’s sense of humor. There was evidence of it all over, in the many strange objects hulking on the walls, including a jackalope, which is a stuffed rabbit with antelope antlers stuck on it. Gordon had a lot of fun with that.

There was also a hat with a bunch of porcupine quills stuck in it and Gordon had a long and funny story to go along with it. I can’t remember the story, but the hat is still there.

He also had a set of stuffed elk hooves.

When things got a little dull, Gordon would go out into the parking lot and make a lot of prints in the dust, and then tell the guests they had just missed seeing a huge elk. The guests would traipse off into the woods in search of the giant elk while Gordon and the rest of us had a good laugh. The guests had a good time anyway, looking for the elk.

Don Vick seems to be of a like mind, and it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that the giant elk is once again prowling the Baldpate Inn parking lot.




© 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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