2017 Essay Contest
[ From Erin Spillane, Magazine Editor ]
Wow. Last year’s inaugural essay contest produced funny, insightful and poignant essays and now Telluride’s fifth graders have done it again. This time, to commemorate the Gondola’s 20th birthday, local kids wrote about the G and why they love it. The results captivated the judges – former Mayor Stu Fraser, County Commissioner Joan May, Wilkinson Public Library Public Services Manager Jill Wilson, One to One Mentoring Program Manager Kathleen Morgan, Telluride High School English teacher David Lavender and Annie Carlson, Director of Social and Interactive Media at the Telluride Tourism Board. Telluride’s young people are great writers, and we think you’ll agree that the winning essays, written by Siri Shoff , Grace Lynch and Kiara Kelly Warren, are very special. We hope you enjoy reading them.
By Siri Shoff
Some people travel by car, bus, or taxi, but in Telluride, Colorado, we travel by gondola. Now, traveling by gondola is a little bit different and there are several things I love about it. First of all, it is free! Anyone can ride it, even pets.
When I ride the Gondola, I feel like I am bobbing up and down in the sky. It’s like sitting in a boat and watching the waves roll past you, except you are above the breath-taking town of Telluride. The view is spectacular. Whether it is day or night, summer or winter, I love looking out of the Gondola. I can see waterfalls, mountains and the wonderful town of Telluride. From up high, the houses look like dollhouses with ants walking on the streets below. In summer, you can see deer, marmots and many other animals. In winter, you can see people skiing below you.
The Gondola does not pollute because it is solar powered. If the Gondola was not solar-powered, our town would not be as delightful as it is now. Most of the people in are town are environmentally friendly, so they love the Gondola, too.
On the Gondola, you meet such cool people from such awesome places in the world. I have met people from all over the world on the Gondola. Once, I even met someone from Peru! When you meet people, you know how to tell a story of the town of Telluride. Sometimes I tell the story of how Butch Cassidy robbed a bank in Telluride 100 years before I was born.
Now that we are celebrating 20 years of the Gondola being in Telluride, I feel so lucky that I get to live in a town with such a magical type of transportation.
By Grace Lynch
It’s a cold, starry night and it is lightly snowing. My mom and I just finished Christmas shopping for presents. The Gondola operator gives us a few blankets as we get on. I stare out the window looking at all the trees as my breath fogs up the window. I make up little stories of my past dreams with my frozen fingers, quickly as my cold breath on the window fades. Through the trees, we see all the Christmas lights throughout the town.
I spot the big tree with all the lights at the end of the street I live on. The only thing I hear is silence and the rumbling of the snow machine getting ready for the zooming skiers in the morning. I turn my head to see the snowcat grooming the freshly made snow. The Gondola at night helps you see that not only do people on the mountain work hard in the day, they work just as hard at night.
The snowcat continues on as we slowly glide down the steady Gondola. I look back at the town and even though it’s freezing outside I am warm inside with joy. I remind myself that not many people can see their town or city from above. We are only half-way down but I have lost track of time looking at the lights. As the snow howls along with the coyotes, the wind timidly quiets down to only a trickle of snowflakes dropping from the clouds. I look up behind me only to see the mountain standing up taller and taller, trying to topple over me. Only it does not. It stays at its highest point waiting for me to reach the bottom. I look back at the lights in Telluride only to say good-bye to the overview of the town.
By Kiara Kelly Warren
“Three, two, one, Blast Off!” we all shout as we exit the bronze station. The Gondola shakes, then bumps up and down thrice, like the take-off of a rocket. Then we glide smoothly out, over the slopes and town. As we glide out, I peer at tall aspens and pines. Some are sprinkled with snow, like powdered sugar on French toast. Other times the trees have their branches full of orange or bright green leaves. Under me, skiers carve turns as powdery snow shoots up behind them, and sometimes the ground under me is filled with fall leaves, so much that I call it the yellow brick road.
In the night, the views are magical. The town twinkles from magnificent night life. You always meet the most amazing people on the Gondola. One time we leapt onto the Gondola to find a tall man with a dark guitar case. We immediately sprung into conversation. Soon he was singing Irish tunes, while his fingers gracefully danced over his guitar. Sometimes you learn the most interesting things, like what was happening at the Fire Festival.
When it’s chilly outside I love to draw on the windows. Gondola rides are always filled with fantastic times and memories. Again, the Gondola bumps and shakes. Suddenly the shiny doors swing open. Everyone announced their farewells. After we all exit, I glance at the glass filled with drawings of smiling faces and crazy animals. At all the memories of the last wonderful ride. “Come back again soon!” the Gondola whispers, and I know I will. I always love a Gondola ride. Whether it’s to hit the slopes or for the views, the Gondola is a perfect place to go.