We went out for dinner during the sub-zero blizzard because that was the way to be sure we got a table. It was us, other locals and the few weirdos who have rented Airbnbs in town and only realized upon arrival that skiing is still a little ways away. You can spot them wearing full ski gear with no lift tags on their coats.

I don’t mean to get down on tourism because I know it’s a huge part of what keeps Evergreen running. We live in a magical place and we should be willing to share that. It’s just, usually February to March feels like a little break, where we residents get it to ourselves for just a bit; but this year, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

So, in an effort to reduce tensions, I thought it might be wise to reach some understanding. The thing is, the tourists don’t understand us, so it looks like we might have to come to understand them. With no skill for drawing or scale, or any real grasp on topography, I have sketched this tourist map of the Evergreen Lake/Upper Bear Creek region as a case study. I hope you find it helpful in your future tourist encounters.

  1. Ice Fishermen ONLY.
  2. The world’s most confusing intersection. Different from any other roads in any other place.
  3. A pedestrian crosswalk to be entirely ignored or to be observed forever and all eternity, amen.
  4. Definitely not a downhill one-way.
  5. Overflow lake parking.
  6. That wedding venue where you too will someday marry.
  7. Certainly the entrance to a restaurant parking lot, and though chained off, if you come to a complete stop and stare at it while cars line up behind you, the chain might magically disappear.
  8. A little picnic stand perfect for gawking at other people doing active things.
  9. Denver’s favorite golf course and sledding hill.
  10. Obviously a Colorado beach just clamoring for city folk to set up beach umbrellas and suntan to the sounds of obnoxious country music piping through bluetooth speakers set to drown out the annoying ramble of the creek.
  11. A possible stage for The Elk Show. Please call the Chamber of Commerce for scheduled showtimes.
  12. Unmarked parking lot for unmarked trailhead.
  13. Mislabeled as private property when obviously a site for fly fishing.
  14. Private residences to be treated as museums. There are no placards; facts must be inferred and/or Googled—but damn it, service drops out. Drive by slowly to ascertain all available museum information.
  15. This looks like a neighborhood road now. Right here is the perfect blind curve for a 17-point turn to reverse course.
  16. To be used as a walking trail though no marked path is available—flip off cars driving by!
  17. To be used as a walking trail though no marked path is available—flip off cars driving by!
  18. The first manmade paddleboard bridge to cross the length of a lake. Only available during summer season.
  19. Barely frozen lake space for daredevil feat of venturing upon the ice before experts deem it seasonally safe. Only available before Christmas before it gets really, really cold. After the holiday season, ice will most likely thicken and all thrill is lost.
  20. Like, a really hard Colorado hiking trail. Are you out of breath?