Arlene was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. Her father was a businessman and her mother an artist. Both loved the outdoors! It was not unusual to be met after school with canoes on top of the car, camping gear, fly rods and mom’s sketch pad, to take off of a weekend in Southern Missouri or Northern Arkansas. Summer travel was more extensive, many trips to the West, a trip to New England and summers in the Ozarks. She took her first steps in her Aunt’s mountain cabin in Colorado. Is it any wonder that she is at home in the mountains and loves snow and ice!? She went to undergraduate school at the University of Missouri studying biology and graduate school at the University of Chicago in botany. A brief time in the DC area and then on to Los Alamos NM for 25 years and finally to Crested Butte, Colorado for the past 17 years. Her son and daughter are the joy of her life.
What's your favorite vacation destination?
Anyplace that is new to explore! My bucket list is way too long! One of my favorite activities when in Europe was to grab a map and connect the dots and use any transport available trains, funiculars, buses, gondolas, hitchhike - whatever it took.
However, my heart belongs in Vienna and I always tried to return there for the museums, music, sushi (not a typo) and friends!
What's your favorite hike?
Umm, well anything worth doing is worth doing in excess: The Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt while staying in huts and small hotels in beautiful villages.
Local, Four Pass backpack circumnavigating the Maroon Bells
Hike to Stone Lions in Bandelier National Monument
What's your favorite bike ride?
White Rim in Utah
Ride from Rothenburg in Germany to Kelheim joining the Donau and on to Vienna,
History by pedaling! A poignant stop at Mauthausen concentration camp, hiking to the ruins where Richard the Lion Hearted was incarcerated in Dürnstein, the vineyards of the Wachau and on this trip. A moving memorial at the Hofberg in Vienna for 911.
Favorite trips to guide?
Crested Butte Wildflower Festival. Guiding guests from Sage communities, through aspen forests, mountain meadows, spruce-fir for communities to the alpine tundra bursting with tiny flowers is an incredible and spectacular adventure. There are many pauses for oohs and ahs, time to sit on rocks or log and contemplate the miracle of nature and learn more about the fragility of our planet.
When working for Guest Services at Crested Butte Mountain Resort I guided snowshoe tours (One time seeing a Great Horned Owl napping in the Aspen), mountain ski tours and ski tours in the extremes. There were stunning vistas, an time to talk about geology, and the complexity of the winter life above 9000 feet. Exhilarating!
What do you do to make a guest's vacation memorable?
I like to get to know a little about a guest's life, interests, capabilities and what they want to get out of a tour. Designing bits and pieces of a tour to fit their hopes. That can be for 4 hours or 5-10 days. I thoroughly enjoy meeting guests from all walks of life . I've met many new friends through guiding!
Into the Void, the first Star Wars movie, Midnight In Paris
Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson, Rights of Nature by Roderick Nash, Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey
When did you first catch the travel bug?
Probably as a child on the many family trips while entertaining myself in the backseat of the car telling jokes or reading. The “bug” really got accelerated when traveling in Europe on wine business started in 1997. I always took time after business to explore for a few weeks.
When are your hobbies?
Mountaineering, I have climbed many peaks around the world including all of Colorado's 55 14ers ,Mt Rainer, Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Dufourspitze, and many more in Europe, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Alpamayo in Peru. Ice climbing is a favorite, skiing (alpine, Nordic, AT backcountry), hiking, running trails, reading, art museums,
And I love to cook as I have been influence by many fine chefs along the line.
Hanging out with my kids and grandkids in the mountains, desert and just about anywhere!