Vail, CO Our tour director is definitely not having a good run of luck. We were able to get into Vail yesterday just ahead of the closing of the pass and were not one of the unfortunates that was stranded for the night. The snow was very wet and heavy so there was quite a bit of tree damage. Now our guide has learned that we cannot travel our planned route tomorrow because of closed roads and is having to reschedule meals and activities as best she can. In the meantime, those of us on the tour are amusing ourselves since half the shops are closed and the gondola up the mountain is not running. The largest single-mountain ski resort in North America, Vail has a population of only about 5400. It is a very nice community, linked by Vail Village and Lionshead Village – each connected by heated sidewalks and filled with shops, restaurants and bars (currently closed for the most part). The country's largest free transportation system runs frequently, although we prefer walking. Lined with cobblestones and structures reminiscent of a centuries-old European village, the passageways are car-free zones, making it extremely pleasant to stroll along window-shopping or just enjoying being outdoors. The town itself is about 8,000’ high while the mountain reaches almost 12,000’ so we walk slowly and do not exert ourselves much. The town receives an average of 200 inches of snowfall per season, with even more in the surrounding mountains. The only scheduled activity for today that we were still able to do was a cooking demonstration of beet salad, gnocchi and peanut butter and jelly cheesecake. We were able to eat the results. Needless to say, Jim’s preference was the cheesecake.