From Verne Lundquist to Buffy the Tire Slayer: Buffalo Pass trail name ideas run the gamut | SteamboatToday.com

From Verne Lundquist to Buffy the Tire Slayer: Buffalo Pass trail name ideas run the gamut

Brad Charlesworth takes a bike ride up Buffalo Pass to Summit Lake in September 2013.

— It's hard to punt on a name as cool as “The Verne Lundquist Sickest Trail in America.”

But a new intermediate bike trail on Buffalo Pass is not destined to carry the name of Steamboat Springs' most famous sportscaster — No sir!

The U.S. Forest Service recently had the tough task of whittling down a list of more than 30 trail names submitted by the community to just four finalists.

Trail name finalists

Painter’s Pathway

"This trail should be named Painter's Pathway because when I looked at a picture, it showed me the trees in the fall were different colors. It looked as if each tree was painted with a different color. In the winter, the trees and ground are painted white. In the summer, they are painted green. In the spring, the forest gets splattered with different colors. On the ground, there are flowers which a painter creates and paints. The rivers, lake, and ponds are the leftover blue and green paint."

Flash of Gold

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There is a Flash of Gold in the fall when the aspens change colors. This trail takes you through several flashes of gold during the fall.

SunDog

SunDog is a synonym of a rainbow. While the trail builders were working to make this trail a reality, they saw several SunDogs. It is a colored ring around the sun. When you are enjoying the trail, hopefully, you will be lucky enough to see a SunDog too.

Spring Creek Highlands

The trail is an extension of the Spring Creek Trail upwards toward Buffalo Pass. The trail does not have its own independent trailhead and instead is an offshoot off the top of Spring Creek, thus the name should tie in with Spring Creek.

Names still in the running include Flash of Gold, Painter's Pathway, SunDog or Spring Creek Highlands.

Community members can vote online for the winner here if they submit a $10 donation to the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund.

Voters who do not want to contribute to the upkeep of local trails can vote in person at the U.S. Forest Service offices on Weiss Drive.

The naming contest ends June 15.

Unlike the last notable naming contest in Steamboat that ended with the James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge, voters can only cast one ballot in this contest.

When Forest Service employees sat down to cut the list of possible names for the new trail to four, there were a lot of tough decisions they had to make.

Buffalo Gold perfectly marries the name of the pass with the color of nearby aspen trees. But Boulder Beer has already claimed the name for one of its ales.

Forest Service District Ranger Chad Stewart also got a good laugh out of How's Your Aspen, submitted by two boys in Matt Anderson's sixth grade class at Steamboat Springs Middle School.

"We chose this name because there are many aspen trees on Buff Pass, and when you're riding on the trail, your butt hits your seat or you fall and it hurts," the boys wrote. "Then you will hurt your butt, but you will still see all the beautiful aspen trees."

The name got cut after Stewart learned there's already a bumper sticker campaign in the town of Aspen with the tagline of "How's my Aspen?"

What about Buffy the Tire Slayer?

Or Hey Bear?

No, and no.

Then there was Pot O Gold, which was a favorite of cycling advocates and the workers who spent a lot of time constructing the trail.

It was sort of the unofficial name of the trail before the naming contest.

"The reasoning behind the name is that Buff Pass is often the end of a rainbow that spans downtown Steamboat Springs," the submission form read.

But Stewart said city of Steamboat Springs staff raised some concerns that the name may have a double meaning.

That's because workers who were scouting out the path of the trail that is being named stumbled upon an illegal, 926-plant marijuana grow operation in the wilderness, leading to an early morning law enforcement raid and the arrest of two Mexican nationals on serious drug charges.

The submission was tweaked to “Flash of Gold” just to be safe.

Submissions were entered for Lynn Jones, a longtime trail builder in the local Forest Service District, and Steamboat Powdercats founder Jupiter Jones.

Stewart said both men will be honored and memorialized by having their names attached to a loop trail on Buffalo Pass.

Another community member wanted to honor two individuals who tragically lost their lives on Buffalo Pass.

The Klopfenstein Harden trail would have honored pilot Scott Alan Klopfenstein and passenger Mary Kay Hardin, who were killed Dec. 4, 1978, in the crash of Rocky Mountain Airways Flight 217.

After the crash, 19 passengers and the co-pilot were rescued in harrowing conditions.

Completed in the fall, the now-nameless intermediate mountain bike trail has initially been dubbed Buffalo Billy's.

It originates near Dry Lake Campground and runs for about five miles.

The winning name will be unveiled at a ribbon cutting ceremony, currently planned for June 23.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

Trail name finalists

Painter’s Pathway

“This trail should be named Painter’s Pathway because when I looked at a picture, it showed me the trees in the fall were different colors. It looked as if each tree was painted with a different color. In the winter, the trees and ground are painted white. In the summer, they are painted green. In the spring, the forest gets splattered with different colors. On the ground, there are flowers which a painter creates and paints. The rivers, lake, and ponds are the leftover blue and green paint.”

Flash of Gold

There is a Flash of Gold in the fall when the aspens change colors. This trail takes you through several flashes of gold during the fall.

SunDog

SunDog is a synonym of a rainbow. While the trail builders were working to make this trail a reality, they saw several SunDogs. It is a colored ring around the sun. When you are enjoying the trail, hopefully, you will be lucky enough to see a SunDog too.

Spring Creek Highlands

The trail is an extension of the Spring Creek Trail upwards toward Buffalo Pass. The trail does not have its own independent trailhead and instead is an offshoot off the top of Spring Creek, thus the name should tie in with Spring Creek.

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