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Liquid Gold

Sailing on Lake Dillon

Everyone has an opinion about where to find the best view in Summit County. On top of a peak—Buffalo, Quandary, Guyot, Ptarmigan—would be the obvious answer; on a clear day from any of these summits, you can see for hundreds of miles. But for my money, our best view exists not at 13,000 or 14,000 feet but at 9,017 feet, smack in the middle of Dillon Reservoir. Only there, bobbing on the surface of a five-square-mile body of water, can you fully appreciate the towering wonders around us.

When you think about it, Summit’s mountains are really just craggy local watersheds that combine to form one larger watershed, directed by gravity down a rare south-to-north voyage. From Hoosier Pass to Loveland Pass to Vail Pass, every drop of precipitation ends up in our massive reservoir before eventually leaking north to start its journey to the Pacific via the mighty Colorado River.

Before it leaves, we play in it. Or on it. Or we simply sit on the shore, staring at its beauty: the way it sparkles at noon or reflects the alpenglow at dusk. It carries us downhill like a train. Floats us like buoys. Enriches our lives in a hundred ways. Personally, even on days when I choose the peaks over the water, I’ll often try and end my adventure on, say, the roof of the Frisco Bay Marina, rum punch in hand, gaping at the miniature freshwater ocean that irrigates our high-country lives.

Hope to see you there.

– Devon O’Neil

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