I'm not sure where I would be-or what I would be doing-if I hadn't been moved by the mountains at a young age. It happened when I was a wide-eyed 12-year-old flatlander riding in a sputtering school bus over the Continental Divide (pre-Eisenhower Tunnel) to attend a summer ski camp at Colorado's A-Basin. The view out the window forever changed my view of the world. That experience, and several more that followed, inspired me to spend two long summers washing dishes and busing tables in Michiganso I could take a year off before college and spend it skiing in Colorado.
After college, despite my every intention of working for a big-city newspaper, the mountains pulled again. Now, looking back after 20 years of editing newspapers and magazines in Breckenridge, Aspen, Sugarbush and, now, Boulder, I can proudly say I was never quite able to resist the magic of the mountains.
For sure, the mountain life isn't for everyone. It comes with great sacrifices as well as incredible rewards. Yet in today?s environment of easy communication and convenient travel, the mountain dream has never been more attainable. This issue of SKI is designed to give you a taste of what moving to the mountains is like:oOn page 23, Paul Tolme examines the boom in mountain living, a population explosion that has been fueled only in part by skiing.oOn page 32, Michael Finkel ima-gines a bittersweet chairlift dialogue between a ski bum and a former ski bum turned suburban family man.oIn Ski Towns, on page 60, Susan Reifer profiles Reno, Nev., a relatively big city with lots to offer?including more than a dozen nearby ski resorts. oAnd, in our 13-page Moving to the Mountains package, beginning on page 101, we chronicle three different routes to ski town bliss. Susan Reifer writes about "Family-Style Success in Park City"; Andy Dappen reveals the secret of acquiring a skiing Ph.D. in "Ski Bumming in Telluride"; and David Healy shows how to spend your golden years in style in "Retiring to Stowe." In addition to the inside scoop on living in those three mountain towns, Hannah Nordhaus profiles another 15 ski communities that may be ideal for you.oFinally, in Mountain Life on page 148, Assistant Editor Maureen Drummey follows the ascent of three former ski bums who found that selling ski town real estate is one way to balance a healthy mountain lifestyle with an equally healthy bank account. "Ski Bums Gone Rich" may give you pause as you battle traffic on the way to the office tomorrow morning.
I do know one thing for sure: I?ll never live out of sight of a snowy peak again.